Living a greener lifestyle can seem somewhat overwhelming, because there are so many ways to live greener. The first place to start is actually to head into the great outdoors, wherever you are and start enjoying it. If you live in the inner city, then find a park or take a day trip to your local gardens. If you work at a desk all day, then head outdoors. Learning about nature first hand helps you to understand it better and gives you reason to rescue it.
When you are raising eco-warriors volunteering becomes a way of life. I know when folk think about volunteering most folk immediately think about a soup kitchen, but to be honest there are many many ways to volunteer and make a difference. It is up to us to find activities that our kids will be able to join in and engage in… the more that they do this while they are young the more they will think that this is a way of life and it will be something that they continue with when they are older.
Se7en Ways To Live A Little Greener
- Make a stand: As a family, choose one or two days day a month to head into the great outdoors instead of doing your weekly shop. Just try it once or twice, you might well discover a way to spend fun time together and it needn’t cost the earth either. In Cape Town in it is fairly easy to get outdoors, there are plenty of parks, the beach or Table Mountain… these options are free… head out and enjoy the environment. It is a lot easier to protect and care for the environment when you enjoy it. One way to make a stand for us has been to join the Penguin Waddle every year… it is a safe place for our kids to make a stand.
- Look out for Activities: The Two Oceans Aquarium has a plethora of events on all the time, evening of environmental talks, beach clean ups, courses and so on… follow their blog for the latest and greatest information. If you can’t find a beach clean up, then create your own… gather up some friends and just go for it.
- Get Involved in some Urban Greening: Greenpop is a great organisation for planting trees and greening up spots around the city that were previously very un-green. Pop over to their website and sign up to their newsletter where you will get heaps of information about their many, many happenings… there is something for everyone there.
- Do a Home Study: Check out your families Eco-foot FootPrint and start making small habits today. One step at a time… it is very hard to get rid of all the plastic in our modern lives, but we can start by refusing to use plastic shopping bags, we can say no to plastic water bottles, we can avoid stalls with excessive packaging. We can create eco-bricks with our non-recyclables. If you are in Cape Town you can give your eco-bricks to Waste-ED. I think this past summer with the incredible drought we have realised just how much water we were throwing away as grey water… Now that we collect our shower water, in fact every drop of water we can catch… we will never go back to just watering the garden from a hose pipe again or flushing a toilet for that matter. Yes it is that desperate in Cape Town, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t collect their shower water to flush the toilet anymore.
- Shop Local, or even better Grow Your Own: You don’t have to grow an entire food forest, just growing your lettuce and tomatoes for your own salad is a great way to green up our garden and feast off it. Soil for Life have plenty of workshops and open days, and opportunities to volunteer. It is great to visit them, just for all the lovely inspiration.
- Use Your Recycling: Create Handmade Charlotte’s Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Use up your recycling and learn about sustainable living all at the same time, I just love this….
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 1: The Structure.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 2: The Solar Panel, Wind Power and Green Roof.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 3: Rainwater Recycling and Natural Heating.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 4: Plumbing, Electrical Wiring and Bathroom.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 5: Kitchen/Grey Water/Composting/Water Pond.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 6: Home Finishes and Wood Stove.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 7: Panes/Planters/Electrical Finishes.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 8: The Furniture.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 9: The Kitchen and Hanging Vegetable Garden.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 10: Farm Animals and Chicken Coop.
- Off the Grid Dollhouse Part 11: Farmhouse Dolls.
- Join the War Against Single Use Plastic: Trust your kids to start a project and roll with it, the Meek Family have decided to make a stand against single use plastic bottles, their goal… Clear 100,000 single use plastic bottles. Watch their video, it is fantastic. And if you are really brave there is always: Plastic Free July. I know we would find that really difficult… so much food comes in plastic. The website is full of tips and fantastic ideas, to try and reduce the menace of plastic in our lives.
Just somewhere to start on the journey to greener living… we are always making little changes and tweaking how we do this… Green living is a journey that you can really only travel one step at a time. Creating new habits takes time and effort, and it is so worth it if together with our kids we can make a difference.