The foundation of what your child can become one day lies in the way you treat them now, what you teach them and the opportunities you present them with while they’re little. And when it comes to family, everybody’s top priorities are health and happiness. In order to ensure the well-being of every member of your family, you should try living as green as you can, treating the environment with as much concern as you treat those you love the most. Here is some advice on how to make your home eco-friendlier and create a cleaner and greener world for your little ones.
Recycle whatever you can
There are many things that can be recycled, but a lot of people simply throw them away without giving it a second thought. Changing this type of mindset in yourself and those closest to you is actually one of the first steps towards environmental responsibility. That’s why you should start sorting out your garbage and making sure that you don’t let anything unnecessary end up in a landfill or, even worse, in our oceans.
Once your children see you separating plastic from glass, aluminum from paper, they’ll follow your example and do the same. Take time to rinse all the bottles, cans and various containers before sorting them, since different materials can get tainted, which would make it impossible to recycle them.
Furthermore, any food or other organic waste can be turned into compost, so do that as well, to control the damage we cause to our planet. When the entire family is included in this process, your home will be cleaner and better maintained and everybody will know that they’re contributing to making their living space and the world a better place.
Make your home more energy-efficient
This is actually much easier than you may think. It just takes some eco-awareness, and the difference you can make is a significant one. For instance, replacing the incandescent bulbs with the LED or CFL ones is a sure way to save energy, as is simply switching electric appliances off when you’re not using them. Installing good windows is also a smart thing to do.
Not only can that keep your home insulated, leading to less energy spent on heating or cooling your home, but well-placed windows can provide your home with plenty of natural light. That can make your home look bigger, brighter and much more comfortable for everyone in it. However, while a glass ceiling, roof windows or skylights can bathe your home with sunlight, consider making them stained, tinted or frosted, to protect your family from the harmful UV rays.
Furthermore, it’s essential that you and your family are safe in your home, so when making such adjustments to it, you should also get better home insurance, one which can be flexible and in tune with your needs. You can lower your water usage by taking shorter showers, closing the tap while brushing your teeth and shaving, and installing water-saving nozzles on your faucets.
Approach your landscaping more mindfully
If you want an eco-friendly home, perhaps making it literally greener is the way to go. Take advantage of your backyard to create a garden, and plant anything from trees and bushes to flowers and other kinds of plants. You can even take it a step further and grow your own organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs. And that’s not nearly all you can do. If you can collect rainwater, you can use it for watering your plants.
Plus, the compost you make from your organic waste can also come in handy here. In case you don’t have a spacious backyard, you can use your balcony or even your window stools. Simply get several pots and use them to plant whatever you feel would complement your living space. Through smart landscaping and introducing greenery into your home, you can create a lovely outdoor area for your family to spend quality time in.
When your children join you in caring for your plants, not only will they learn about gardening, but they’ll also be more physically active, and subsequently healthier, and they’ll get to spend more time bonding with you. Finally, don’t forget that trees can keep you cool by providing you with a thick shade in the summer while protecting you from the elements during autumn and winter months.
Reconsider your cleaning habits
Another way to be environmentally responsible is to avoid standard supermarket cleaning products, which usually contain harmful chemicals. Instead, you can keep your home and your family safe and healthy by choosing some of the more eco-friendly and natural ones.
For instance, things like vinegar, baking soda and lemon can go a long way in keeping everything in your home spotless, hygienic and fresh, but without the hazardous chemicals. You can make your own cleaning products using these ingredients, and teach your children how to do it as well.
Nowadays, there are even some wonderful brands of organic, natural and non-toxic cleaning product ranges you can purchase. Maybe you can also start using a steam cleaner since those don’t really require any cleaning products at all to disinfect your home and leave it germ- and bacteria-free. All you need for them is pure water.
When you truly think about it, you don’t have to put too much effort into making your home greener. The things you can do are rather simple and easily achievable. Plus, by showing concern and respect for the environment, you’ll be setting an amazing example for your children, who can then grow up to become environmentally-friendly adults and pass their wisdom on to their children, too.
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.