We rely on our cars. We depend on our washing machines. And some of us really can’t live without our air con, especially if you happen to live in Queensland.
While we don’t mean to use up the earth’s precious resources, we are, each and every day.
But, let’s face it, it’s a little bit tricky to go back in time and pretend modern amenities don’t exist. Even the thought of going camping and peeing in the bush makes me a bit anxious…
The good news for all mums out there who, like me, are feeling the guilt about not being green enough, is that you can still make a positive impact on the environment. And you don’t have to give up on the things you’ve come to depend on (you know, like toilet paper).
We asked our friends at ecostore to help us make a list of easy things families can do to go green. Make it your mission to try at least ten of these 20 minor changes – you will be surprised how easy they are to do and make a part of your weekly routine. Trust me, if I can do it, then anyone can!
In the kitchen
1. Switch to jars – Reuse jars from coffee, spreads, sauces. It’s not only better than throwing these items out, but it also makes for a much more organised pantry.
2. Ditch the packaging (if possible) – Many grocery stores now have bulk sections where you can load up on nuts, sugar, flour and other pantry essentials without having to buy the extra packaging. For items that must come prepackaged – dishwashing liquids and cleaners for example – look for environmentally friendly packaging like at ecostore, where every container is recyclable or recycled.
3. Recycle properly – This involves putting in a bit of effort and organising your pantry to include a recycle area – jars, paper, cardboard, cans. Have a different coloured bin for each item. This makes recycling so much easier and also helps teach the kids what can go in the rubbish and what can go in one of the colourful bins.
4. Save the bags – Reuse your shopping bags, or make the switch to cloth bags (which are also awesome for day trips to the beach, park, birthday parties or anywhere else really).
5. Invest in good water bottles – One (or two) for each member of the family that can be used over and over and over again. This will keep the excess plastic water bottles to a minimum.
In the bathroom
6. Shower together – Not every night, but some nights, let the kids jump in the shower with you. It’s quicker and easier than running baths for each child. Plus, it will save heaps of water.
7. Bring on the bubbles – Let the little ones indulge at bath time with ecostore’s Baby Body Wash, which is suitable for your littlest family members. With no nasty chemicals, you can bathe bubba without worrying about harming his skin or the environment. And when you’re done, empty the baby bath water onto the garden or lawn to give your plants a drink.
8. Check your towels – Kids have a habit of chucking everything in the laundry bin, even if it’s not technically dirty. It’s okay to reuse your towels a few times. Make it a habit to wash towels once a week, rather than after every single use (unless, of course, the kids have decided to bathe in a pile of mud beforehand).
In the kiddies’ corner
9. Bring in the Bento – Ditch the plastic wrap and bags and stick to Bento style lunch boxes which allow for variety without the extra wrapping. Or, reuse containers rather than placing items in plastic bags. If you prefer to use baggies, then wash them and reuse them.
10. Think outside the craft box – Rather than buying paper, card and other craft supplies for the kids to cut, paste and add glitter to (and then spill the glitter all over your tiles), reuse items from around the house – cardboard boxes, toilet and wrapping paper rolls, milk cartons.
11. Buy the right light – Opt for a plug-in nightlight or an LED light over one that uses batteries. And make sure the kids turn it off as soon as they wake up!
In the laundry
12. Go for cold – Make the switch to cold wash. You probably won’t even notice the difference. But your power or gas bills will.
13. Air dry the clothes – And set a timer so that you actually REMEMBER to bring the clothes in before it starts to rain.
14. Choose the right liquid – Not all laundry detergents are equal, especially when it comes to eco-cred. Ecostore’s Laundry Liquid is an excellent eco-friendly option. Like all ecostore products, it’s made from plant-based ingredients meaning it’s free of optical brighteners, phosphates, synthetic fragrances and all that other stuff you’d rather not put near your family’s skin.
But even though the nasty chemicals are banished, the cleaning power is not. So it’ll clean all those grubby clothes with ease and because it’s concentrated, you won’t need to use as much as other liquids. Plus, it smells divine. You can even safely divert the wash water to give your lawn or trees a good soak afterwards. Tick, tick, tick!
In the garage and yard
15. Consider composting – It sounds like a big job, but it’s actually not (and this is coming from someone who HATES all things yard work). The kids especially love our little backyard compost and I love not having to load the bin up with smelly food scrapes.
16. Dust off the bike once a week – I know, you are rolling your eyes at me right now. But, hear me out! This was seriously one of the best things we ever did! Starting the day with a family ride to school feels great (after the leg cramps go away). Plus it means you’re wasting less fuel. And best of all, you don’t have to battle it out at school for a car park.
17. Reconsider balloons for birthday parties – Yes, they are great fun for the kids, but not for the environment, especially when you release them into the air. In fact, releasing helium balloons is actually illegal in Queensland. So what can you do to brighten a birthday party without balloons? Opt for bubbles instead. You can even make your own with eco-friendly detergent and water.
18. Go paperless – Most companies will now email your bills and statements to you, which means less paper, less mail and less envelopes floating around the house.
19. Do a double check – Whenever you leave the house, check that the fans and lights are switched off before you go.
20. Hand wash without the worry – Make the switch to a hand wash that is better for the environment, such as ecostore’s Liquid Hand Wash. The coconut and vanilla wash smells great and gently cleanses, conditions and nourishes hands. Plus, it’s great value at just $5.49 RRP for 250ml!
Doing a little good every day
It’s actually quite incredible how itty bitty changes around the house can add up to a world of difference across the country (and even the globe!). It’s the best of both worlds when choosing products that are safer and gentler for you and your family can also help make a positive impact on the beautiful world around us. Talk about a win-win.
What we especially love is that ecostore’s products are not only better for the environment, but they also make life easier for mums.
With ecostore’s products, you can choose a better tomorrow without sacrificing anything today. Choosing to swap out all the nasty chemicals in place for environmentally friendly ecostore products won’t mean you’re sacrificing the dirt-busting power. Plus, even the packaging is made from renewable sugarcane plastic, so you can 100 per cent recycle those empty bottles!
See, mums, IT IS possible to go green around the home AND keep that level of luxury that we’ve all kind of gotten used to. So, next time you’re doing the weekly shop, head into Woolworths and check out the ecostore range. Or, even better, jump on over and browse (and shop) now.
This is a sponsored article for ecostore.