These days its hard to ignore the signs. We, as a nation, are sending more rubbish to landfill than ever before. We’re wasting so much. Water, energy, plastic, time… But living an eco-friendly life is not something beyond our reach, and as a family we’ve made a real effort to make changes in our lives that will go some way to reversing the ticking time bomb we’ve inflicted on the planet. I’m not saying we’re perfect. We have a LONG way to go. But we’re more conscious now, and we’re more likely to make a better decision than we were 5 years ago. We’ve really found that education is key, and its great to see how much the kids know about recycling, reducing waste and eco-friendly options thanks to school, books and TV programs. Recently I asked the little ones what their top tips would be if an alien landed on planet Earth and knew nothing about protecting their new home. Here are our three easy ways to live a more eco-friendly life.
Stop wasting water!
On average, we use around 150 litres of water a day in the UK and, if pushed, my kids would tell you that the best solution here would be to skip bath time in order to save water… but thats not an option sadly! Instead, their ideas on how to stop wasting water include: turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, take a shower instead of a bath, collect rainwater to water plants. All good ideas. We also now have a water filter integrated on our fridge which means we don’t have to run the tap for ages before we get water cold enough to drink. Its a small change, but it makes a difference.
Another way to stop wasting water could be to install flushing devices in the loo (speak to your utilities provider) or to use a water pump if your water pressure isn’t up to much. This was the case for us, and annoying as it was to have to stand beneath the water for SO LONG to rinse my hair, the reality was that I could have been in and out (and saving water) in a fraction of the time. We fitted one of the Grundfos pumps, available in the UK and now that shower flows like a dream!
Stop wasting electricity!
When I was a child, I was fined 20p every time I left my bedroom light on, and it very quickly instilled a sense of duty to stop wasting electricity (after all, nobody really wants to live in the Blackpool Illuminations, do they?!).This is a work in progress in my house. The kids are terrible at turning lights off, and even worse for leaving a room with the TV on pause. I do find myself trailing behind them switching things off as much as I can, but I know its just as important to make them realise they need to be doing this themselves. Sticker charts and reward systems aren’t really a thing in our house, so if anyone has any bright ideas I’m all ears!
Stop wasting food!
My number one biggest bug bear, and something that honestly annoys me more than anything- wasting food. My children are the fussiest of eaters ever, and we have a collection of dietary requirements between us that means that we often sit down to different meals throughout the week. One solution we’ve found, boring as it is (for me), is to have a set menu and stick to it like glue. Everyone chooses their favourite meal, and everyone else has to agree to it. That meal is then served every Monday, and so on. It does help reduce food waste because each week I shop for exact ingredients, and I make food I know the kids will eat. They tend to prefer this way of eating too, but I personally cannot stand to eat the same thing all the time! Again, any ideas on how to reduce food waste would be much appreciated!
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