They say that when it comes to addressing our ever-growing climate issues, we need to ‘think global, act local’. Here are some simple ways you can become more sustainable at home – and teach your children while you’re at it.
Point out rubbish left on the ground
While it may seem simple, bringing your child’s attention to their surroundings when out and about is a great first step. When you’re at the park or the beach subtly alert your little one to any rubbish you come across and explain how it can affect wildlife. Even bring tools along to help clean it up!
From the garden to the plate
Children learn best when engaging all their senses. With gardening, children can touch and feel the dirt, seeds and flowers, see the plant grow into food, whilst learning about sustainable living. Not to mention, researchers have found that children who learn to grow vegetables are more likely to eat healthily. It’s a win-win!
Learn about how food breaks down with composting
Does your child’s school have a composting system? If not, why not ask their principal if they could start one, or create one of your own? Composting is a great way of showing children the process of decomposition and the risks of further polluting the air, land and water with rubbish, while also reducing the amount of rubbish that we bin.
Make a worm farm
They may not be the pets your children have been begging you for but having your very own worm farm is a great way to ensure you’re reducing your impact and teaching your children about sustainability at the same time. The little worm workers turn your organic waste (all of the food scraps and other organic material that would otherwise waste away in landfill) into a rich plant fertiliser, which you can use in your own garden or gift to the green thumbs in your life.
Get crafty with your recycling bins
Making recycling fun by having your children decorate their own recycling bins. It can often be difficult to remember what items can go inside the yellow bin, so it’s a good idea to place things such as paper, cardboard, firm plastics, metal and glass on the outside of the container so your children know exactly what they can recycle.
Once your child has recycling down pat, why not set up a composting system in your backyard? Easily purchased from Bunnings, small scale compost systems allow for the disposing of food scraps to be made into compost. They’re a great way to engage your children in a conversation about the follow-on effect of their food waste, helping them to build an awareness about where the sandwich crusts they never eat end up.
Money makes the world go ’round, so it makes sense that spending it wisely on items like clothes, shoes and makeup will have a big impact on improving global sustainability in the long run. Instead of shopping at your typical fast fashion retailers, do a little digging to see which stores offer more ethical and sustainable alternatives
A great way to minimise your plastic use is to make your own cleaning essentials. A lot of the cleaning products sold at the supermarket are not only packaged in plastic, but also carry a lot of harmful chemicals – instead, try making your own all-purpose cleaner and storing it in a reusable bottle.
Transform your toilet roll
Tossing out that toilet paper roll? Not so fast! There are so many things you can do to turn that piece of rubbish – and tissue boxes, newspapers, cardboard packaging… you name it! – into a functional or fun new item. Why not cover your toilet paper roll with peanut butter and birdseed for an easy bird feeder, or use paint to turn them into a collection of wild animals to play with? The possibilities are endless.
Cut out packaged drinks & snacks
When buying drinks or snacks, consider how much packaging you’re picking up with each product – juices, water bottles, soft drink, chips, chocolate and lollies are all notoriously plastic-laden. Instead, try making your own! This won’t just help the planet but will also save you a tonne of money and is much healthier.