Living responsibly: a much more than topical subject!
No one is perfect, but it is our responsibility to do the best we can with what we have. On top of that, families have reason to feel more concerned: parents often can't help worrying about the impact of pesticides, pollutants and tons of non-biodegradable waste on health and future of their children. But sometimes it seems like protecting the land and a hectic family life don't mix. As much as you'd love to avoid using plastic bags or spending half your salary on gas, as a parent you have lunches to pack, groceries to take home, and often essential trips back and forth. by car to do.
Good news ! You also have the opportunity to take new steps to be more environmentally friendly through family strategies that will help you reduce, reuse and recycle more efficiently, without completely changing your lifestyle. We give you a few.
1. Rinse and reuse all plastic sandwich bags from your children's meals.
Reduce waste by storing food in washable plastic tupperware (and thus avoid finding crumbs of biscuits at the bottom of the school bag!) So out of aluminum foil, which is bad for the environment and health, and cellophane. For example, prefer an apple to a compote. The fruits are generally delivered in their own packaging (their skin). No packaging necessary! If you absolutely insist on fruit juices, choose them in briquettes, the packaging is recyclable.
There is nothing better, from an ecological and economic point of view, than preparing the children's snacks yourself. On weekends, make cooking a family activity: bake cakes or cookies that can last several days (shortbread, cookies, etc.). You will have enough to fill the snack boxes for a good part of the week, without additional packaging!
2. Use a hybrid car, or adopt the right gestures in the car.
If it's not time to trade, help reduce greenhouse gases and save money by obeying speed limits, or keeping your car in good working order. For example, use a good quality motor oil or check that your tires are properly inflated. It is also useful to reduce the weight of your car: if you get rid of toys and bicycles that are in your trunk, you will reduce your fuel consumption. Also, don't think you necessarily need air conditioning on hot days. Rolling down the windows can relieve you and does not consume gasoline.
3. Ride smart!
Do your shopping nearby on foot or by bike. Short car trips being the most polluting and gas-guzzling, combine your trips whenever possible. Make a plan from your to-do list: Could you, for example, return the books from the library by going to the dry cleaners before picking up the children, then going to the supermarket before going home? And if possible, why not try having a car-free Saturday and see what you can accomplish using only buggies and bikes?
4. Recycle every can, bottle and piece of paper and fertilize your garden with composted scraps.
You can recycle your cans and bottles yourself and make collecting them a family project. As for composting, scatter food scraps (except meat, dairy, cooking oil or grease) around the garden to provide nutrients for plants. This gesture alone would reduce household waste by 30 to 40% per year and per person. If you don't have a garden, check with your municipality to find out if you have a collective composting facility near your home.
5. Give up toxic cleaning products.
Yes, these powerful cleaners can make cleaning faster and more convenient. But the bad news - for your health and for the planet - is that they release harsh chemicals into the atmosphere. But rather than giving up on these products, just replace them with non-toxic cleaners. Consider using vinegar diluted in 25% water to clean windows and mirrors, for example, and try baking soda to scour your oven, bathtub and sinks. You can also try plant-based cleaning products, especially on floors, where little ones crawl and are more likely to ingest chemical residue. Save paper by using reusable cloths to get rid of dirt.
6. Proper use of water and energy.
The best thing to do would be to save water and energy by washing your dishes by hand and wearing your clothes several times before washing them, to reduce washing machines. It would be reasonable if… a) washing dishes was a quick task and b) children knew how to stay clean for more than five minutes. Instead, be kind to the environment by doing big loads of laundry and only running the dishwasher when it's full. Choose unscented detergents and dish soaps, which contain fewer chemicals and make wastewater less toxic.
7. Reduce waste.
This may be through lots of small actions that seem ridiculous, but remember: one small step for man, one giant leap for humanity!
Use each piece of paper twice. For example, a letter with typos becomes a sheet of drawing paper for children.
Shop at the supermarket in a smarter way - buy family size products to reduce packaging, for example. When you are done unpacking your groceries, save the bags and reuse them. For example, to line your garbage cans or your litter box. Otherwise, use tote bags.
Leave the paper trail behind. Is your house littered with notes from doctor's appointments and parent-teacher meetings? Forget notepads and write everything on a dry erase board. This way, the whole family stays informed.
Order wisely. Can't cook tonight? Make sure nothing more than your food is delivered. When you call, ask for napkins, plastic utensils, pre-packaged condiments, sauces you won't eat (...). On Ubereats, don't check the "ask for cutlery" option if you have some at home, of course 😉
Limit digital pollution: put an end to the over-consumption of technological devices (smartphones, personal computers, televisions, etc.). Keep them for at least seven years, and buy refurbished. Only have the essentials: no, you don't need three tablets and four computers in your household! Indeed, the over-consumption of gadgets in general is a major contributor to carbon emissions. In the same vein, turn off your box and other electronic devices when you are not using them. Also delete unnecessary emails and avoid storing too much data on your devices. And yes ! Storing millions of useless photos, videos and emails on servers around the world creates a carbon footprint as large as that of the airline industry .
The clothing and textile industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than international aviation and shipping combined, and the rise of fast, disposable fashion is accelerating this trend. Lower prices often mean lower quality clothes that don't last as long. So our little advice: consume less, but consume better! Second-hand clothes can also be the solution (there is a large selection of children's clothes on Vinted). In the same spirit, rather than throwing them away, consider giving your clothes a second life. We give, we sell, we repair...
You now have the keys in hand to reduce your waste production. No one said it would be easy , but it 's all for the best !
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