We all want to be role models for our kids. If you are currently teaching your children at home about the impact of global warming on their future, you might also want to brainstorm home improvement projects and lifestyle changes that will help you reduce the family’s carbon footprint. Below you will find some ideas to discuss with the kids and your partner, so you can feel better about life’s little luxuries, knowing that you have reduced your family’s impact on the environment.

1. Heating

F you live in an old house, chances are you have an inefficient or low efficiency heating system that needs to be upgraded. You can choose your fuel source to become greener, or simply get a solar powered heater installed that uses renewable energy when it is available. This way, you can enjoy a warmer home for less for many years to come.

2. Water

It is important that you teach your kids about responsible ways of using water. Remind them that in some parts of the world, it is a very scarce resource, and the more water they waste the more needs to be cleaned and processed again. Change your family’s habits, and install a water saving shower. If you have an old water heater, it might be time to check your upgrade options. A tankless water heater can save you money on your monthly bills, and allow you to have hot water any time of the day.

3. Commuting

If you are still giving the kids a lift to school every morning, driving through congested streets, it might be time for a change. Consider school buses, or cycling to school. As you want to lead by example, you might also want to limit your CO2 emissions when going to work, or doing your shopping. Try public transport whenever it is convenient and affordable, instead of jumping in the car just to go around the corner.

4. Plastic Waste

The amount of plastic that enters the oceans and landfills increases every year. As it cannot be broken down by nature, it can cause serious troubles. Opt for alternative packaging, and buy drinks that come in a glass bottle, which can be recycled easily. Tell your kids about sweet wrappers and cans, and make a family plan for recycling.  Create a recycling station at your home, to make it easier to collect paper and glass.

5. Local Produce

You can also make a huge difference by visiting your local farm or market and buying local produce. Knowing that the food you are eating has not traveled thousands of miles will make it taste so much better. Buying at the market will also help you reduce your use of plastics that come with pre-packaged fruit, vegetables, and meat products.

If you would like to raise a family that cares about the environment and is conscious about their carbon footprint, you need to be a leader for change. Show a good example, and recycling and reducing waste will come naturally for the next generation.

 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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