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30 Ways to Be a More Eco-Friendly Family

We all love nature, right? Of course we do! Especially kids. Here’s a list of great ways to be more eco-friendly as a family and teach kids about the planet!

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It is no secret that the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent every day. It’s up to us to take action and reduce our carbon footprint to slow the effects of climate change. One way we can do that is by making small changes in our everyday lives to find ways to be more eco-friendly.

There are a lot of easy ways you can start to improve your sustainability and help combat climate change. From the food we eat to the products we use, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce our environmental impact.

This article is an excellent place for families to start learning about all the simple ways they can implement lifestyle changes in their homes. We’ll go over some of the most common and effective ways to reduce your environmental impact, so you can do your part in preserving our planet.

Eco-Friendly Family Fun

Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition is the perfect eco-friendly way to bond with family and explore your world. This interactive book is packed with 50+ scratch-off mystery challenges, shareable and tear-able surprises, journal spaces, and more—all designed to bring the family closer together in a fun and sustainable way! Get ready for an unforgettable adventure—grab your eco-friendly family adventure book today and explore the world around you!

30 Eco-Friendly Tips for Families

Families can make a big difference in the health of our planet by making small changes to their day-to-day lives. This section will provide 30 easy tips for families looking to reduce their environmental impact and become more eco-friendly. Implementing these simple practices into your daily routine can have a significant impact on the environment and help to slow the effects of climate change.

1. Light your home with solar panels.

Solar panels provide clean, renewable energy that is better for the environment and helps families lower their electricity bills. Plus, they require very little maintenance and can last up to 30 years with regular cleaning and maintenance.

2. Shop for groceries at your local farmer’s market.

Shopping for groceries at your local farmer’s market is a great way to help the environment and promote sustainable food production. Not only does it provide an opportunity to buy fresh, locally grown produce that is often healthier than what you would find in larger stores, but it also reduces your carbon footprint and helps support local farmers.

Additionally, supporting a farmer’s market also allows you to get to know the farmers and learn more about their farming practices, so you can make sure your purchases are helping promote eco-friendly agriculture. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people in the community and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the market. It can quickly become the highlight of your week!

3. Avoid purchasing plastic cutlery.

While investing in reusable cutlery is preferred, by switching from single-use plastic utensils to wooden options, families can help reduce their environmental footprint. 

Countries like Australia and New Zealand have widely replaced their plastic cutlery in takeout orders with wooden ones. As a result, they have noted a decrease in plastic waste, as the more environmentally friendly option of using wooden cutlery is just as durable and cost-effective. 

Wooden options are available to buy online and at eco-friendly lifestyle retailers. By opting for them, families can help ensure that they contribute less plastic waste to landfills.

4. Recycle whenever possible.

It may seem obvious, but recycling is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste and help preserve our planet’s resources. Educate yourself on what exactly can be recycled in your area and properly sort out materials for maximum efficiency. 

It’s also important to remember that recycling is only one piece of the puzzle; reducing consumption should be the first step.

5. Save landfills and use reusable water bottles.

One easy way to help protect the environment is by avoiding single-use items such as plastic bottles. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can refill when you need a drink.

Some top-rated water bottles include products by YETI and Hydro Flask. These bottles are designed to keep drinks cold and hot, respectively, all day long. Plus, they’re stylish and come in a variety of colors and sizes that will fit any lifestyle.

6. Try meat-free Mondays.

With the rise of vegetarianism and veganism, delicious meat-free options are becoming more accessible at your local grocery stores. Encouraging your family to go meat-free on Mondays can be a fun way to get creative with recipes to reduce your environmental impact.

Eating less meat can help reduce methane emissions and energy consumption, saving the planet in the long run. Not only is this eco-friendly, but it also has many health benefits. Going meatless can introduce more balanced nutrition into your diet, such as more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

7. Trade your car for public transportation.

By taking the bus, train, or subway, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save money on gas, maintenance, and other expenses associated with owning a vehicle. Plus, public transportation allows you to enjoy the views of your city and make connections with others in your community.

Utilizing your local public transportation system helps reduce pollution, save money, use less energy, and give you more time to relax on your commute. Plus, it’s an exciting way to explore your city and discover new things.

8. Swap out your lightbulbs.

Switching to LED lightbulbs can reduce your energy consumption by up to 75%, so it’s an easy way to help the environment and save money on your energy bills. Not only are LEDs more efficient, but they also last longer, come in a variety of colors, and don’t contain any harmful substances. 

9. Replace your showerhead.

Taking shorter showers and replacing your showerhead with a low-flow head is an easy and inexpensive way to be more environmentally friendly. Not only will you save money on your water bill, but you’ll also reduce the amount of water used in your home.

Plus, with a WaterSense-certified showerhead, it’s easy to get the same pressure and coverage as traditional heads without sacrificing performance. To be considered an eco-friendly showerhead by WaterSense (an EPA-certified agency), it must use no more than 2.0 GPM (gallons per minute).

10. Bring a reusable grocery bag to the store.

Bringing reusable grocery bags when shopping can both cut down on plastic and save you money. Major cities like Chicago have implemented a “bag fee” for using their plastic bags. Stores like Whole Foods have even opted for paper bags for their customers.

While it can take some getting used to remembering to bring your own, reusable bags are sturdier and larger than plastic or paper bags, making it easier to carry your groceries home without worrying about them breaking or ripping.

11. Look for eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

Examples of eco-friendly cleaning supplies include natural cleaning products made from plant and mineral-based ingredients, reusable cloths, microfiber towels, and biodegradable scrub brushes.

Furthermore, eco-friendly cleaning supplies can also help save money in the long run, as natural products are more cost-effective than chemical-based ones. Plus, many of them are biodegradable and safe for both humans and your four-legged companions.

12. Use a bamboo toothbrush.

bamboo toothbrush is a great way to help families make their oral hygiene routines more eco-friendly. These toothbrushes are generally made from biodegradable bamboo and come with soft, nylon bristles for gentle yet effective cleaning of teeth and gums.

Bamboo toothbrushes are an excellent alternative to plastic toothbrushes, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.

13. Keep an eye on your thermostat.

Adjusting the temperature just a few degrees can make a big difference in terms of energy conservation. Investing in a programmable or smart thermostat can help you save even more money by allowing you to set temperatures and schedules that best fit your lifestyle. Plus, you can make adjustments when you’re not home.

14. Wash your clothes with plant-based laundry detergent.

Going green in the laundry room can be an easy “leave and forget” switch to make. Plant-based laundry detergents are an alternative to traditional chemical detergents, offering an effective and natural cleaning solution while reducing your carbon footprint.

Plant-based detergents are made from renewable plant resources such as corn, coconut, and palm oil. They are biodegradable, safer for the environment, and better for your health too. Plus, with no phosphates, chlorine, or other harsh chemicals, plant-based detergents are gentler on your clothes and skin than traditional detergents.

15. Keep your hair clean with natural shampoo and conditioners.

Consider swapping out your chemical-filled hair care products with natural shampoos, conditioners, and beauty products. These shampoos and conditioners are generally made with plant-based ingredients that are gentle on the scalp and won’t strip away natural oils or damage hair follicles. Plus, they don’t contain any of the harsh chemicals found in conventional products like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

Natural shampoos also provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional hair products, as they are free of potentially hazardous ingredients that may end up washing down the drain or in landfills.

16. Open your windows and minimize air conditioning.

Nothing could be easier than simply opening your window and letting the natural breeze flow in. Minimizing air conditioning not only helps reduce your carbon footprint but can also lead to long-term energy savings.

17. Sign-up for compost pick-up.

Did you know that your coffee grounds, fruit peels, and other food waste can often make their way back into the ground as fertilizer? Composting is an increasingly popular way to reduce waste and increase eco-friendliness in your home. Families can easily and conveniently make a big difference in their environmental impact by signing up for compost pick-up services.

Compost pick-up lets you keep all those food scraps out of the garbage, giving them new life as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for gardens. Plus, composting can help reduce methane emissions from landfills and lower the number of resources needed to create new fertilizers.

An easy way to make an impact is to switch from cling wrap or tin foil for food storage to beeswax wraps. Not only do these wraps come in lovely patterns and colors, but they’re also made from natural materials and are reusable.

18. Store leftovers in beeswax wraps.

An easy way to make an impact is to switch from cling wrap or tin foil for food storage to beeswax wraps. Not only do these wraps come in lovely patterns and colors, but they’re also made from natural materials and are reusable.

Beeswax wraps can be used to store leftovers in the fridge or pantry, keeping foods fresh and healthy while eliminating single-use packaging or plastic Tupperware. In addition, they provide a naturally antibacterial layer of protection for your food! Best of all, when you’re done with them, you can simply wash them in cold water and air dry them.

19. Purchase metal straws for your beverages.

Swapping out hazardous plastic straws for metal ones will save landfill space.

Metal straws are reusable, durable, and can last for years, so you don’t need to worry about buying new ones all the time.

20. Start carpooling with your co-workers.

Carpooling with your workmates is an energy-efficient option for reducing your carbon footprint while saving time and money. Plus, it’s a great excuse to have a chat and make the long commutes easier.

Carpooling can help reduce traffic congestion, and your monthly fuel bill, and lower unnecessary emissions and air pollution into the atmosphere.

21. Avoid fast fashion.

Buying ethical and sustainable fashion can help minimize waste, avoid dangerous working conditions, and lessen the environmental impacts of production.

By opting for clothing made with natural materials like organic cotton or bamboo, you can help ensure that fewer resources are used in production. Additionally, buying second-hand and vintage clothing is a great way to reduce your fashion footprint while being kinder to the planet.

22. Start line-drying your clothes.

Hanging clothes up to dry is a simple sustainability practice to naturally clean and freshen clothing, so you don’t need to rely on electricity or harsh chemicals. Line-drying your clothes can also help reduce water consumption and the amount of energy used in production.

23. Support local businesses.

Shopping locally supports sustainable practices in your community. In addition, shopping at these businesses helps keep money and resources within the community, protecting small business owners and reducing the need for transportation.

Local shops also tend to offer more sustainable products, helping reduce waste and pollution from mass-produced items. Plus, it eliminates the need for packaging or long-distance shipping of items.

24. Drink your own tap water.

Switching from buying disposable plastic water bottles to using your own plastic-free refillable bottle is an easy way to reduce waste. Drinking tap water will also help you save money while supporting the environment.

Tap water is tested regularly and can be just as safe (if not safer) than bottled water, so there’s no need to buy wasteful single-use bottles.

If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, you can also invest in a water filter. That way, you don’t need to buy bottled water and still get great-tasting water at the same time.

25. Try to remember that less is more when shopping.

While recycling is helpful, cutting down on consumption is the root of sustainability. Buying fewer items and focusing on quality over quantity is key to reducing your environmental impact.

It’s important to ask yourself if you really need the item before purchasing it, and avoid buying things just because they are ‘on sale.’ Additionally, look for products that can last a lifetime or be repurposed in some way. Good quality items are more likely to last longer, reducing the amount of waste created.

26. Unplug your devices when they’re charged.

Leaving your devices plugged in when they don’t need to be is a waste of energy. Instead, unplugging your chargers and adapters will help you save energy and lower your electric bill.

Switching off the lights, TVs, and other electronics is also important when you’re not using them. This helps reduce unnecessary energy consumption, which benefits your wallet and the planet.

27. Spend a weekend planting a tree as a family.

Planting a tree together is a great way to reconnect with nature and your family while helping the environment. 

Trees can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, making them powerful tools for reducing levels of this harmful gas in the atmosphere. Plus, they provide natural habitats to local wildlife and create oxygen that we need to breathe. Planting trees is an easy and meaningful way to be more sustainable in your daily life.

28. Download sustainable shopping apps.

There are a variety of apps available that can help you shop more sustainably. For example, apps like TreeClicks plants a tree with every one of your purchases, while Good on You enables you to identify ethical and environmentally friendly brands. 

Other apps like Shop Ethical! let you scan barcodes to find out more about a product’s sustainability rating. Downloading these types of apps makes it easier to shop responsibly and reduces your impact on the environment.

29. Purchase products with little to no packaging.

If you can, opt for products that have little orƒ no packaging. For example, buying food in bulk reduces waste from single-use plastic packaging and also helps save money.

You can also look for refillable items like shampoo bars, which are an excellent way to get closer to zero waste while avoiding harsh chemicals.

30. Stop buying paper towels.

We know—this is a tough one. However, cutting out paper towels as napkins is one of the best things you can do if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Switch to reusable clothes or kitchen towels instead. This will help reduce the amount of waste you generate while being kinder to your wallet in the long run. Plus, it’s much better for the environment than buying paper towels every week.

Ready to save the world?

Making sustainable choices doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. By implementing some of the helpful tips above, you can easily reduce your impact on our limited natural resources and help create a greener, brighter future for generations to come.

Remember that small changes add up, so every little effort we make today will go a long way in protecting our planet for tomorrow. With everyone doing their part, we can create a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly world for us all to enjoy.

Are you headed out of town soon? Take a look at Go Green or Stay Home: Tips for Traveling Green to help you make good decisions while on the road. Or, consider a whole trip dedicated to Ecotourism.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some easy ways to be more eco-friendly?

There are many ways to be more eco-friendly, such as line-drying your clothes, shopping locally, drinking tap water instead of buying plastic bottles, and unplugging devices when they’re charged.

What is the best way to reduce energy consumption?

Reducing the use of lights, TVs, and other electronic devices is one of the best ways to be more eco-friendly. Instead, try playing a family adventure book that will encourage you to explore the outdoors!

What are some sustainable products?

Great ways to be more eco-friendly include using sustainable products with eco-friendly materials and processes, such as organic cotton or bamboo fabrics, biodegradable packaging, and natural dyes. 

What eco-friendly changes can we make with kids?

One of the best things you can do for the planet is to foster a love of nature in your kids. A family adventure book will encourage them to be curious and creative about the wider world around them.

How does being eco-friendly help the environment? 

Being eco-friendly helps reduce carbon emissions, conserve resources, protect wildlife, and reduce pollution. Finding ways to be more eco-friendly helps create a sustainable world for future generations.

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