A few small steps to a greener family life

I’ve recently written a few posts for the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital website on how families can begin to engage with environmental issues. A lot of it has come out of changes we’ve been making over the past few years. Some of it was new to me as I researched for these posts but ended up affecting us quite a lot as a family. It’s an ongoing learning process. I’m sure I’m going to look back in a few years and wonder why I hadn’t made changes I may not have even considered yet sooner. The truth is, it can all feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. So I thought I’d share these posts here, in case you could use some inspiration too.

10 ways to reduce the footprint of your food shop
So many of the top 15 pledges in the #do15 in 15 campaign involve changing food shopping habits. It’s easy to see why. Buying is a small area where individuals can, collectively, make a big difference.

For ages, we knew we wanted to give our buying habits an overhaul. Yet it seemed utterly daunting. On one hand, the convenience and price tags of big supermarket-style retail comes with huge carbon cost, driving intensive industrial-scale farming and production practices.

On the other, we only have so much time and energy. Our choices realistically need to fit with our lifestyle.

Bit by bit, we’ve made changes. It’s taken a little research and made me wonder whether more of us would take the leap if we knew how.
Read more for a few steps to consider if you want to reduce the environmental footprint of your food shop.

Summer bucket list: 10 green activities for Bristol kids
Kids are naturally fascinated by nature, often more likely to spot and wonder at things that we miss in our rush to get to wherever we’re going. Hopefully, this bucket list will help families with little ones slow down and think creatively about how to care for our city.
Read more for ideas on how to get kids thinking green, even if you don’t live in Bristol.

5 easy ways to save water as a family
With changing weather patterns and increasing populations, we know our water supply isn’t endless. Throw in the energy spent cleaning waste water and saving water becomes a hot topic for any green family.

1. Talk with your kids about the importance of saving water
Even the littlest tooth brushers can learn to turn off taps between brushing — estimated to save six litres of water a minute
Children can easily grow up taking water for granted. It’s literally “on tap”, after all.
Chat with your kids about why caring for water is important. Even the littlest tooth brushers can learn to turn off taps between brushing — estimated to save six litres of water a minute!
The whole family can make a pact to turn off the shower while soaping and shorten showers.
Read more for a few more ideas that could save your household a surprising amount of water.

5 ways to reduce your household waste
“Recycle, recycle, we’re going to recycle!” My daughter sings this Peppa Pig tune when she puts something in the recycling bin.

At four, she still needs prompting to throw things away, but when she does she’s well aware of what goes which bin.

I’m sure she hasn’t wrapped her head around the concepts of landfill or biodegradability just yet, but she knows that our family is trying to put as little in the rubbish as we can.
Read more for a few steps you can take that will immediately reduce the rubbish you throw away.