10 Resolutions for Going Green with Your Family This YearEmily McClements
If you’re one of those people, like me, who are still making your resolutions, or setting your goals for the new year, I want to encourage you to try to find ways that you can go green with your family and save the environment in simple and easy ways this year.
Every year I make a list of green changes that I would like to make over the coming year, and I thought I’d put together a little list for you, if you are interested in moving your family in a more eco-friendly direction, but maybe not quite sure where to start.
These are simple and easy changes you can make over the next year that can have a big impact on effect that your family’s life has on the planet. You can definitely start small with vowing to make just one or two of these changes this year, or maybe you’re already doing a few of these, and would like to try to do the rest of them over the course of this year.
Here are ten resolutions for going green with your family this year.
1. Non-Toxic Cleaning 1 of 11One of the very first changes I made on my journey towards more green living was to switch to homemade and non-toxic cleaners for my home, so it's one of the first things I recommend to anyone who is interested in making green changes in their family's life.
Get all the essentials to make homemade cleaners with your kids.
2. Green Your Personal Care Products 2 of 11It's really important to be aware of the products we use on our skin and our children's skin. Unfortunately, there are lot of nasty chemicals in most conventional brands of personal care products, so you'll need to read labels and choose products that are safe and non-toxic.
This list is a great place to start for switching to green and safe personal care products.
3. Ditch the Disposables 3 of 11Reducing the amount of garbage your family creates is a great way to have a big impact on the environment. This could be anything from switching to cloth napkins and rags instead of paper napkins and towels, to using cloth diapers instead of disposables.
Here's more information if you're interested in making the switch to cloth diapers.
4. Buy Used 4 of 11Making a commitment to buying things used instead of new saves money and saves the environment at the same time. Before you run to store to purchase things this year, try to find what you're looking for used - at garage sales, thrift stores or online from sites like Craigslist or Ebay.
Further reading and resources on buying things used.
5. Make Recycling Easy 5 of 11If your family doesn't already recycle regularly, this is an important step to take to reduce the impact of the waste your family creates on the planet. Set up a recycling system that everyone in your family can easily use, and begin to teach your children what is recyclable and what is not — and try to use recyclable things more than disposable ones!
Find more inspiration for making recycling easy for your family.
6. Turn Off the Lights 6 of 11This is a really easy one that you can even get your toddler involved in. Make sure you turn off the lights when you leave a room, and don't leave lights on in areas of the house that you aren't using. Have your kids help you remember to turn of the lights, and if they're anything like my kids, they'll want to go ahead and turn the lights off themselves!
Take the simple step of turning off your lights this year.
7. Plant a Garden 7 of 11I think it's really important to teach our kids where food comes from, not just that we buy it at the grocery store. One great way to do this is to plant your own garden and have your kids help you with it. There are lots of ways to grow your own food, even if you have limited space.
See how my son loved to help in our garden last summer.
8. Simplify Your Stuff 8 of 11Simplifying your stuff may not really seem like a way to live green, but less stuff means you save money and earthly resources needed to produce and buy that stuff, and gives your family the space and time to enjoy the truly important things in life. Getting away from materialism and back to basics is one easy way to live a little greener.
Make the effort to simplify your family's stuff this year!
9. Buy Local and Organic Food 9 of 11The food we eat has a major impact on our environment, but choosing local and organic food can help to decrease that impact. Resolve to shop your local farmer's market and buy more food directly from the farm this year.
Here are ten ways to feed your family natural and organic food on a budget.
10. Conserve Water 10 of 11There are lots of little ways you can conserve water and make a dent in your overall water use this year. Start with turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, taking shorter showers, making sure you don't have any leaky or dripping faucets around your house, installing a low flow shower head, and even following the "If it's yellow, let it mellow" rule in the bathroom.
Make some easy changes to conserve water around your house this year.
Green Your Kid’s Gear 11 of 11And if you're looking for even more ways to go green around your house and with your kids this year, consider these ideas for greening your kid's gear.
See the slideshow: Top Green Products for Kids.
Have you made any green resolutions for your family this year?
Top photo: Aunt Owwee/flickr
4. John Beagle/flickr
11. Kleen Kanteen