It is more important than ever that families take consistent small steps to be more environmentally conscious. As parents we have the responsibility to teach our children “Leave No Trace,” recycle, opt out of purchasing items that go in the trash after one use, save water, use sunscreen that doesn’t damage our oceans…the list goes on and on. Can our individual efforts really make a difference? Can we shrink our family footprint? The answer is yes!
Recycling: knowledge, education and programs…
Unfortunately too many people don’t have the knowledge, education and programs to always do this. Let’s not forget how busy we moms are and how expensive and harried it can get throwing parties and hosting holidays and packing up the family to go camping, etc. The school parties alone generate so much waste! Have you ever seen the amount of styrofoam getting dumped into the trash bin at the school cafeteria? The uneaten food? The partially drunk baggies of milk? Snack baggies. Sandwich baggies. The loads of frosting containers used for decorating cookies and little milk carton gingerbread houses? Yikes!
Families Create So Much Waste
I don’t know how to stop all this kid related buying and wasting. The only thing to keep doing is “improve” conservation efforts at home. Our family is just one small group in a giant world, but the more people are reminded about “going green” in small ways, the bigger the change we can inspire for our planet. If moms united on this front, we could kick some &%$. While there is probably nothing new on this list, it helps to be reminded every now and then.
Ways We Can Help
- Participate in America Recycles Day
- Don’t buy packaged fruit cups, fruit pouches, juice boxes.
- Don’t use K-cups, buy a refillable coffee pod.
- Try to keep coffee shop visits to a minimum. 🙁 Or bring your own refillable cup?
- Donate things you no longer need, even if slightly worn. That trash to you is treasure to someone else.
- Skip offering goody bags at your parties. It’s usually just stuff that gets tossed out.
- Reuse your snack baggies a few times if they aren’t soiled.
- Buy reusable beeswax wipe-able sandwich wraps.
- Buy plastic containers that are safe for the dishwasher.
- Bring your own straw. (This one is still a challenge.)
- Recycle as much plastic as you can and know the rules so that your stuff doesn’t end up in a trash bin somewhere.
- Bring fruit to soccer games and snack sign ups – it usually results in less waste.
- Batteries in toys and game controllers! Don’t even get me started. Can they just make better products with rechargeable batteries?
- Turn off unused lights and televisions.
- If you’re an Amazon mom, like me, recycle your cardboard boxes.
- No recycling program in your neighborhood or area? Talk to a scout group and get something going or pay for your own recycling service.
- Use Pinterest to inspire you to make something new out of your old glass jars and bottles and random containers.
- “Upcycle” old furniture with paint and imagination.
- Use natural cleaning products.
- Donate old magazines to a library or recycle them. Same with catalogs and junk mail.
- Carpool or ride your bike or walk more…
- Eat a plant based diet.
- Take shorter showers! (Try telling this to your teen!) 😉
- Eat less beef and pork.
- America Recycles Day (Coming up November 15!)
- Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
- Food Waste At School
- NPR Food Waste Solutions
- EPA.gov: How You Can Help Urban Waters
- National Wildlife Federation: Educator Resources
- Reef Friendly Sunscreens
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Hi, I’m Jessica. My blog Sweet & Spicy Essentials is all about things I’m doing to make myself a happier, healthier more focused Mom. Whether you’re searching for good tips on starting your own blog, running your household, getting organized or just trying to get in some “me” time, I’m right there too and I’m keepin it real.