There is no denying that climate change isn’t an issue anymore. Being a parent I think about it a lot; what will the world be like when my daughter is an adult? What kind of environment will she be raising her children in? Plus living in Seattle right on sea level I do think a lot about the future of our city too.
I am not claiming to be extreme by any means, but I do feel we are all obligated to do our best to take care of the planet for those who will live here in the future far after we are gone. I put a lot of thought and research into what I can do to help, and here is my plan for how my family can help keep our planet ‘green’ for future generations to come.
Here are my few small ideas I have that will help my family make a positive impact on the environment:
- Say goodbye to K-cups forever. Keurigs are convenient, but they also create an enormous amount of waste. At home for coffee we use a French Press with reusable ceramic mugs, so that is easy. However at work we ONLY have a Keurig. I found reusable pods on amazon where you put your own coffee in and it brews you a single cup, and it never needs to be replaced. Sorry K-Cup addicts, I know you love the convenience, but these things are terrible! Here is a link to the ones I use at work on Amazon.
- Stop buying milk in plastic containers. Believe-it-or-not, milk delivery companies still exist and it really isn’t much more expensive than getting milk at the store because of how they run their routes. So, you can have cold milk delivered to your door in glass bottles! Some local services are no longer offering glass bottles but do use paper cartons, which is still a much better alternative to tossing out a few empty plastic gallons each week.
- Replace paper towels with washable fabric dish rags. I have a toddler and swear we could go through three rolls of plain paper towels a day, and it seems so incredibly wasteful! The only place I think it is appropriate to still use disposable towels is when cleaning with bleach, or if cleaning up a surface that has touched raw meat because you don’t want to risk cross-contamination. Otherwise, a damp dish rag with hot water and soap will totally do the trick! Doing a load of dish towels once a week is far better than the deforestation and large amounts of trash output associated with that Costco size pack of paper towels you go through every other week.
- Grow some food at home. We don’t have a large yard space, but we do have enough room for some planter boxes to grow our own little stash of herbs and veggies. Buying fresh produce from the store sounds harmless, but when you think about the plastic bags you place the veggies in, or the plastic container the herbs were packaged in, there really is still a lot of wasteful plastic being used. By growing a few easy essentials at home (tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, thyme, basil, etc.) we can cut down on the amount of disposable plastic we bring home from the store. Here is some inspiration on different ways to build your own small raised garden beds.
- Remember your reusable grocery bags! Duh, this is an easy way to cut back on waste, but I forget them EVERY TIME. So that I don’t give myself the opportunity to do so in the future, I am loading one tote full of extras that I will keep in my trunk so that I will always have a few spares.
- Quit using disposable anything! I had previously never thought twice about picking up some disposable razors for a vacation, but someone recently brought to my attention where those things go when we toss them out. In a dump somewhere to never break down and live on this planet forever… yuck! Same for disposable anything really… Styrofoam plates, cups, utensils. I recently grabbed a 4-piece Bamboo Utensil set to keep in my desk at work so I never have to toss out a plastic fork again!
Hopefully there are some ideas you want to copy here to help make your family more ‘green’ as well. If there is anything else your family is doing that is easy to implement, please do share!!