With countries declaring a climate emergency we all have a personal responsibility to reduce our waste, live simply and aligned with nature. Every little positive change we can make to our unsustainable consumer habits gives the earth a greater chance of recovery. It's not just our behaviours that can change our impact on the earth but also our relationship to nature can have far reaching benefits. If we see ourselves as being responsible for taking care of the earth instead of just taking from it we will not behave as seperate but rather connect back to where we came from. Nourishing the very thing that sustains our existence makes sense; we must live closely and in harmony with nature.
There are so many ways to make changes in the home and having children who are learning about climate change and sustainable practices have certainly helped me become more aware of what we can do. The great thing about environmental activism is it can start in the home with yourself and your family and it can be a great way to bring communities together. Here's some of the great ways we are living more aligned with nature and reducing our families waste to one small green bin a week, between 6 humans, a cat and a dog.
1. Compost of your food scraps and put it into an ice-cream tub with a lid so it doesn't get smelly and keep it on the kitchen bench and empty into a green compost bin every time it fills up.
2. Don't use extra bags for fresh food at the super market. Put your fruit and veg straight into your bags in your trolley and avoiding buying the fruit that is pre-packaged in plastic. Always check the odd bunch section for the uniquely shaped fruit and veg that is cheaper because of it's aesthetic and perfectly fresh.
3. Buy second hand clothes from non-profit outlets like Salvo's or Red Cross. Some of my favourites stores in Hawthorn sell second hand designer and high end fashion and it's fancy and a fraction of the cost. This is where I do most of my shopping.
4. Buy earth friendly cleaning products and toilet paper and use minimal amounts, not overusing and being conservative all the time.
5. Start a vegetable garden with your children and give them responsibilities of looking after it, ensuring watering, weeding, turning the soil and harvesting when the produce is ready.
6. Always take your own bags to the supermarket and if you forget them use a box instead of buying plastic bags. But best to keep your shopping bags in your handbag or put them straight back into your car for next time, don't forget this step and make it part of the unpacking ritual.
7. Have a keep cup for your coffee in your handbag at all times. Once you've used it wash and dry it and return to your bag asap and don't buy coffee unless you have it.
8. Turn off light switches, close taps and keep doors open to keep your space healthy and well ventilated.
9. Keeping the heater cooler during the winter and warmer during the Summer months and use fans when you can.
10. Wrapping the children's lunches in fabric or paper rather than cling wrap and using containers for snacks instead of individually wrapping.
11. Walk or catch public transport as often as you can. Its good for your health and better for the environment which is a win/win.
12. Ask your local cafe what they are doing to reduce their plastic and waste and tell them you really want better options for your local coffee and meals.
13. Speak to people about what they are doing to help climate change, find out what the challenges are , share ideas and see what new ones you can come up with in conversation with others.
14. Organise your efforts with other families and communities. I have joined a network called Plastic Wise and starting projects with schools and business and you can too.
15. Holiday in eco friendly destinations and if you can try going off the grid and giving your family a nature experience that isn't commercial.
There really is no excuses now not to act and do your part in caring for the planet and protecting it for the generations who will inherit the earth. We can make a difference at home and in our community and we can hold our politicians and corporations to account by using our vote and our voice to speak up for the environment and our children.