5 Practical Ways to Embrace Eco-Friendly Living with Kids
Find the inspiration and motivation you need to make your family life more eco-friendly.
Trust me, I get it. Making sustainable choices is a lofty task without kids. But with kids? It can seem downright impossible.
I mean, even simple things like making it to the grocery store can be daunting. I’ve rarely ever made it to and from the grocery store without at least one of my little ones having a breakdown… and even though I do manage to make it to the store once or twice a week, I always wind up forgetting at least two major things on my list.
But I’ve found that going green with your entire family can actually make things easier than going at it alone. Ever since I decided to make big changes to try and make my lifestyle more sustainable, I’ve been amazed at how living green has really brought us closer together as a family. My children surprise me every day at their willingness to adapt.
So I encourage you to tackle this adventure with your whole family. I promise you will be amazed and inspired by your children’s motivation and determination to save Mother Earth, and at how easily they will start making changes in their routines, the products they use, and even the food they eat.
Here are my top 5 tips for making eco-friendly changes with your kids:
Talk about it
Whenever you’re about to make any big changes as a family, talking about it first is a MUST. Kids are creatures of habit. They live for their routines. But that being said, children also so resilient. They’re often very open to change when they feel as though they’re part of the process. Explain to them why your family wants to make this change. Ask for their opinions. Encourage them to share ideas on how they think the family can reduce waste and cut back on plastic use.
Start slow & small
Don’t try to change everything at once — that’s setting yourself up for failure. In the beginning, start off small. Swap out just one item for an eco-friendly alternative. Make changes slowly, one at a time. Allow plenty of time in between each change so it becomes the new normal. Then, once you and your family feel comfortable with the change, introduce something new.
Test products togetherEven something as simple as switching to a bamboo toothbrush can be a big deal to kids... and to adults! The switch was huge for my husband. It actually took him way longer than anyone else to get used to the feeling of a wood toothbrush.
Whenever you start testing a new product, set a timeframe to decide whether you want to commit to it. Make a big deal about testing a new product for the first time together as a family. Be honest with your kids and encourage them to share their thoughts during the test period. As time goes on, the
initial shock of changing brands or processes will wear off and testing new products will become a fun family activity everyone can look forward to!
Lead by example
Once you’ve talked the talk, now it's time to walk the walk. Showing your children (and adult family members) that you’ve made the same changes you’re asking them to make will encourage them to participate (Monkey see, monkey do, right?). It’ll also help them see how important sustainability is to you.
Leave room for error
Remember: cultivating a sustainable lifestyle takes time and effort. Unfortunately, you’re not going to wake up to the perfect sustainable household one day out of the blue. So just do the best you can. Prioritize feasible changes that are especially important to you and your family — for me, that’s using reusable bottles, using cloth napkins, recycling, and using reusable bags. Then, forgive yourself whenever you fall short.
But above all, remember to have fun!
Take the time to celebrate the small victories along the way. Make sustainability a group effort. Get creative as you find ways to help the planet. I promise it’s worth it — after all, with every small change you and your family make, you’re impacting the planet in a big way.
Ready to take the plunge and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle? Read my 19 Tips for Living More Sustainably for more!