Are you looking for tips on how your family can be more environmentally friendly? Read our family guide to going green.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau, Zero Waste Chef.
As a family, you might be looking for ways in which you can have a more sustainable lifestyle and being more environmentally friendly. The most important thing to remember about green living is that taking a zero-waste, sustainable and environmentally friendly approach isn’t about one or two people overhauling everything in their lives, it’s about everyone in the family being greener by taking little steps.
A family guide to going green – make sure you read our sustainable lifestyle and green living tips for the whole family
If you’re looking for a guide to going green, we have twelve sustainable lifestyle and green living tips for families, which include green tips for the home and small ways in which you can make a big difference, and get your children involved too.
Green living tips – transport
- Walk to school instead of taking the car
Think about the car journeys you make that could be done on foot. Can you walk to and from school? It’ll save the school run parking stress and is also a good way for your children to burn off some of that excess energy that’s been stored up from sitting around all day.
Green living tips – food and diet
- Eat less meat and dairy
If you’re reluctant to completely cut out meat, why not try something as simple as meat-free Monday? If you and your family are taking part in Veganuary, or thinking about trying a vegan diet, make sure you enter our competition to celebrate Veganuary with Wellkid Peppa Pig.
- Plan out your meals in advance to avoid waste
If you plan out your week’s meals and then only shop for what’s on the list, this will help to reduce food waste, and also save you money. Buy seasonal, British food where possible, as it means reducing the carbon footprint that’s been used to transport it to this country. Make sure you regularly ‘shop’ your fridge, freezer and shelves and work around what’s there – everyone has those forgotten cans lurking at the back of the cupboard.
- Use up your leftovers
The average UK family throws away a shocking £810 worth of food a year, so make sure you use it all up. Sites like Love Food Hate Waste have some great ideas for turning leftovers into tasty family treats.
Green living tips – using less plastic
- Invest in re-usable water bottles
All children have beakers and water bottles, so follow their exampleand invest in your own reusable water bottle instead of buying single-use plastic ones when you’re out and about. 2.5 billion non-recyclable coffee cups are thrown away in the UK every year, so to avoid this waste buy an insulated keep cup for those freezing cold trips to the park, most cafes will refill them for cheaper.
- Use less single-use plastic
While lots of people are aware of staying away from single-use plastic bottles, think of other single-use items you can ditch too. For example, if you’re going out for the day, take your own cutlery so you don’t have to take picnic plastic forks from shops, for example.
- Always take a tote bag with you
Most houses have a big supply of fabric tote bags hanging around, so many sure you always have one on hand for groceries, clothes shopping and more. They are also useful for sending in to school when projects or costumes are required.
Green living tips – household and recycling tips
- Research your recycling
Look on your local council’s website to check exactly what can and can’t be recycled, and make sure your children help sort it out too. Make sure all recycling is clean and food has been washed off, as it can contaminate the load.
- Turn the temperature down on your washing machine
You’ve probably turned it down already, but when it comes to grubby children’s clothes, you might be wondering how effective lower temperatures really are. A new report has found that washing clothes at as little as 25 degrees can be effective on all but the toughest of stains – olive oil – and means clothes will shred less fibres in the wash.
Green living tips – fashion and parenting
- Buy less fast fashion, and swap clothes with friends instead
Try and cut down on the amount of cheap fast fashion you buy. Children’s clothes, especially baby clothes, aren’t worn that much so can be purchased from second-hand shops in a good condition. Think about people you can hand clothes and toys down to.
- Consider switching to cloth nappies from disposables
Read our post on five reasons to use cloth nappies for some tips on reusables. Even if you use cloth nappies a couple of times a week, that’s still fewer nappies going into landfill.
Green living tips – conserving energy
- Save water – turn off the tap!
The final sustainable lifestyle and green living tips for families in our family guide to going green is to encourage everyone in the family to turn the tap off when brushing their teeth, as a running tap wastes more than six litres of water per minute.