In recent years it has become apparent just how much needs to be done in order to combat climate change and make sustainable choices. For many of us this can seem daunting, especially for families. It may seem like a number of changes are in order and that may initially seem scary, however you’ll be surprised how much of a difference the slightest changes can make. Sustainable living doesn’t need to be overwhelming; the small changes can make a big impact on your family’s carbon footprint. Making sustainable choices means implementing sustainable living into your lifestyle and soon it will just be habit. If you’re looking for motivation you can actually calculate your family’s carbon footprint and then track how you’re reducing it.

Recycling

Recycling is one of the most common and simplest ways to become more sustainable. Most councils across the UK now provide recycling bins for a number of different items from plastics and tins to glass and paper. Recycling as a family is important and it is essential you get the kids involved too. Encourage good recycling habits by making it fun and easy; set up a recycling station in your home and teach your kids what goes where. You can also recycle mattresses, textiles and home furnishings to avoid them going to landfill.

Public Transport

Transport is one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint. Therefore, wherever possible it is best to use public transport rather than your own vehicle. This reduces the number of vehicles on the road producing emissions and subsequently reduces your family’s carbon footprint. Alternatively, you could ditch the emissions all together and opt to encourage bike riding when safe to do so. Another thing to remember is that air travel contributes massively to your carbon footprint so look to reduce your long-haul trips if you tend to be a frequent traveller.

Shop Responsibly

Fast fashion is another massive contributor to climate change, with so many new trends each day we are consuming more than ever. Fast fashion is low cost clothing which is generally not worn many times and often thrown away. These items end up in landfill and pollute the earth; on top of this there are ethical concerns related to the production of fast fashion. In order to reduce your consumerism, look to purchase investment items which may cost a little more, but you will buy less of them and keep them for a lot longer. When it comes to children’s clothes this can be tricky as they grow at such a fast rate you need to constantly purchase new clothes. A solution to this is to ensure you pass down the clothing they grow out of either to siblings, friends or charity shops.

Reduce Plastic Use

Plastic is causing a number of environmental issues. Largely it is having a massive impact on our oceans and marine life. Single use plastic is everywhere and therefore it is incredibly hard to cut it out completely however there are a few small changes you can make to reduce plastic use and waste. The supermarket is home to a mass amount of single use plastic; bags of fruit, tubs of meat and much more. Some simple changes you could make are;

  • Buy loose fruit. Take a reusable bag to the supermarket and put your loose fruit in it, fruit generally has its own skin therefore doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic.
  • Reuse plastic bags or buy ‘bags for life’.
  • Reuse single use plastic in your home wherever possible; can you store things in the plastic tubs? Or perhaps your children could use them for craft purposes.
  • Switch to paper where possible; paper bags, paper straws and paper cups when you do need to use disposable items.

Reduce Meat Consumption

 The meat industry is one of the leading produces of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, if you want to significantly improve your sustainability you should try reduce your meat consumption. Cutting out meat entirely may be too daunting but begin by having one meal or one day a week where you go meat free and increase this if you like. One day without meat can have massive impact on your carbon footprint as well as your health and you can experiment with new foods to keep the whole family satisfied.

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