Sustainable living, sustainable parenting, eco-friendly lifestyle, green living are very much the buzzwords of the moment. Politicians everywhere are discussing ‘plastic’ , recycling, climate-change, The Paris Climate Agreement etc and people are trying to work out how best to live in a more eco-friendly manner. Yet there doesn’t seem to be a definitive way to live sustainably. Should we all be drinking out of reusable coffee cups, dressing our babies in organic baby clothes, wrapping them in a bamboo swaddle and looking for ‘soil association’ or Fairtrade cotton labels on everything we put on our skin and wear on our bodies?
What is Sustainable Living?
How can we live sustainably then? There are so many ways to define sustainability but in a nutshell, it all boils down to us living in such a way that our basic needs for water, food and housing/shelter are met without causing any harm to the environment. So we live in a way that is mindful of future generations and do what we can to protect earth’s resources for the future.
It is important too that we use fewer of our planet’s natural resources and cause less pollution, in order to live sustainably.
Making Our Homes Eco-Friendly
It doesn’t matter what size house you live in as there’s always something you can do to make it more eco-friendly. For starters, think about your energy usage. Do you really need a tumble-dryer? It’s all very well buying bamboo baby clothes and other green baby bits and bobs but ideally let them dry naturally and don’t waste energy on them. Buying organic kids clothes is a good start in your efforts to live sustainably but don’t spoil the effect by sticking everything in a very wasteful tumble-dryer. (Lecture over!)
Do all the lights need to still be on in the living room when you and your baby girls dress are sitting eating your dinner in the kitchen? Essentially you need to consider how you can reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your house. If you can do that you will be reducing pollution. Putting good insulation in your home is the first step as if your house can stay at the right temperature then you’ll obviously use less heating.
In an ideal world too, you would try to get your energy from a company who offers green electricity, but one step at a time …
Remember to Recycle
Most of the things we use everyday can be recycled and once you know which ones can’t, it’s easy to stop buying them or at least cut down. Most of the things around us in our daily lives, use up earth’s resources so try as much as possible to look for natural and/or biodegradable products. If there are items in your wardrobe you no longer want, then pass them on or take them to a charity shop.
In brief … Put your food waste in a compost bin and try to buy products with as little packaging as possible. Don’t throw your old mobile in the bin, take it to be recycled. And remember to recycle paper, glass and plastic too. Last but not least, try to source sustainable food.
As parents and grandparents, we all want our planet to give today’s children a healthy tomorrow, so sustainable living is pretty much essential!