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21/05/2021 Sustainability  | Home & Lifestyle

8 Sustainable Lifestyle Tips for your Family

Family Sustainable Living Tips
8 Sustainable Lifestyle Tips for your Family

Most families want to make environmentally friendly choices.  But it can be hard to know where to start. Parents may worry that their family won’t be able to maintain “green habits”.

Sustainable living doesn’t have to be overwhelming; making a few small changes in your lifestyle will have a positive impact on your family’s carbon footprint.

Ultimately, sustainable living simply means making choices and developing habits that are good for the environment.

So what can you start to do to make a difference?

Here are 8 smart but simple habits you can develop to ensure you’re doing your part for the environment:#

Recycle as a family 

Make recycling a collaborative effort at home. Set up a recycling station in your kitchen and teach your children how to identify recycling symbols. Starting a compost will also help your kids to learn about plants and biology as an added bonus!

Conserve your household energy

Teach your children to turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Anywhere you see a red light, develop the habit to switch off the power source at night. As much as 20% of energy use in TVs happens when on standby.

Use the natural light in your home as often as possible. On average, lighting accounts for between 10-15% of a home’s energy use in Ireland.

Throw on a jumper before you turn on the heating or better yet, see if you can turn down your thermostat a little.  The SEAI advises that temperatures in living rooms should be no more than 20 degrees.  In hallways and less used rooms, it should be between 15 and 18 degrees.  A one degree drop in temperature could reduce energy bills substantially.

Use travel mugs and water bottles 

If you haven’t done so, invest in reusable drinking bottles for the whole family, ensuring to clean properly in between usage. We will soon be in a position to bring our own travel mugs to coffee shops once again. For now, if you’re buying a coffee when out and about, do your best to rinse the paper cup and recycle or compost it!

Get some fresh air while reducing your carbon footprint

Make an effort to cycle or walk whenever possible. It’s a really good habit to get in to, and it’s as good for you as it is for the environment!

Grow your own food 

Make a vegetable patch and a herb garden in your own back yard. Family projects like this are a lot of fun for children, and who knows, maybe they might even pitch in when it comes to food prep! If you are shopping for groceries, consider buying local food to support your local produce.

Reduce unnecessary post

Buy a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker for your letterbox in your local hardware shop. So much unnecessary direct mail such as takeaway menus and leaflets are clogging up our recycle bins. If you are you are comfortable with receiving emails, consider switching to e-billing and save on endless papercuts, among other inconveniences!

Conserve water

Talk to your children about the importance of conserving water and make it part of your family’s lifestyle. Leading by example, turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, turning back on only to rinse. Making games can be fun for the family, such as timing the quickest shower-taker.

Don’t buy single-use items

While out shopping, avoid plastic wrapped groceries where possible. Bring your own reusable fruit and veg bags and carry bags to your local grocery shop. Make it a habit to put the bags back in the boot after unpacking. If you do forget your bags, ask the shopkeeper if you can have a cardboard box to pack up your things. At least then you can recycle or reuse the box back at home.