Green Week – For the Family
Welcome to Green Week! Because Earth Day was my birthday, all week I will be sharing some ways in which to “green” your life. I have been working on my journey towards a more sustainable life for several years now. No matter where you are on your journey, I hope you are able to use some of these ideas!
What if you are the only one in your family who is concerned about the environment? That may sound kind of harsh, but as a wife and mother, I have taken it upon myself to be the one to figure out ways in which to green up our lives. My husband is not completely on the “green” wagon. In fact, I think that he secretly makes fun of my more extreme ideas, and definitely harasses me on some others. I am lucky that he goes along with it all though. When I can show him a cost savings, that is all he really needs.
My first green change for the family? Use cloth diapers and wipes. I have talked a bit about my decision to use cloth diapers with our children. At first, I only used cloth wipes for my babes. But one day when I was doing our budget, I realized the cost of toilet paper was insane. Instead of continuing to purchase toilet paper, I decided to make some wipe solution, and let the toilet paper run out. We haven’t gone back since, and that was over 3 years ago. And as far as the cloth diapers go, we didn’t and still don’t use 100%. When we are traveling, it is easier to buy disposables, around the holidays, disposables are easier. But, for all the blowouts that were had wearing disposable diapers, and ruining precious little clothes, the cloth diapers were definitely the choice overall 🙂
The next green idea is to Involve Your Kids with Green Changes. I think that it is great if you are working to move your family in a greener direction, but if you do all the changes without involving your kids, how are they going to bring sustainability into the next generation? Obviously, a lot of these changes will involve the whole family. And when a child sees you doing something, they of course want a part of it. At least, this has been my experience. My kids know to turn the water off while brushing their teeth, they enjoy taking the kitchen scraps out to the compost pile, as well as finding leaves to put on it. It is a great learning experience for them, and will help them be better citizens of God’s creation when they are older. At least that is my hope!
There is a wonderful old saying, Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make Do, or Do Without. While this is a saying from the Great Depression on the message of frugality, it definitely applies to being green. When we take a step back and look at what we are buying, why we are buying it, and whether or not we could use something else, fix it, or do without; it gives so much more insight into our lives. Do we really need to have those new jeans, or could we make a fun patch to make the jeans we have last longer. I need a new skirt for church, can I just make a new patch on a beautiful patchwork skirt, or add some length to my daughter’s dress instead of buying something new that won’t hold up in the washing machine? It may take a little more effort at the forefront, but overall, it always saves us money.
I think that my main tip with regards to family, and more specifically kids, is to keep the lines of communication open. No, you don’t need to tell your children about a potential TEOTWAWKI, but you could easily instill the importance of reducing their need for some of our resources, like water and electricity. Make them aware that just because they can go to Wal*Mart and buy the latest and greatest, doesn’t mean that it is going to last very long, or that it is going to bring a large amount of joy to their lives. Encourage your family to find joy in nature. Try to spend one day per week unplugged, you can find ideas at Unplugged Sunday.
I am sharing at the hip homeschool hop and Your Green Resource today. How do you find ways to encourage your children to use less of nature’s resources, and instead enjoy the beauty that is around us?
I agree with you that it's so important to foster the "green living" ideas with your kids. I don't want to scare them but I do want them to understand why we do the things we do! Shutting off water when brushing their teeth, turning off lights, gardening, etc….
We have a long way to go at my house. Sometimes I get into this consumerist "gotta have it" mindset. I mentioned you in my blog post today. Thanks for being an inspiration!