Sustainable Living: Getting the Whole Family Involved.
45 ideas to reduce your family's carbon footprint
The average carbon footprint of an American family of four is 48 TONS, and in some larger cities such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco, that number skyrockets to 100 tons per year. That’s 24,000 - 50,000 lbs of emissions per person and A LOT of harmful greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming and climate change.
With our kids as consistent and important reasons to implement change towards a more sustainable and planet-friendly lifestyle, it can be overwhelming to think one family can make a difference, let alone research all of the things you can do and committing to doing them consistently.
In fact, there is not a one-time change that will make a difference for your family or the planet. It’s the small and progressive changes that, over time, add up. And add up they do, in the most unexpected ways, like in your bank account, your time, your health, and your personal self worth.
At Nui, we CARE about you and we care about the planet. After all, a healthier environment is not only important for current and future generations, but the changes you can make for your own family means you actually will be living a healthier lifestyle. Things like toxic chemicals and pesticides in your food and clothing are NOT “normal”. And while big industries are profiting from producing them in mass, it is NOT something you need to support in order to live.
So leave it up to you, our #nuiworld family - when we asked you what changes you have implemented in the past year to live a more sustainable lifestyle - you told us! And tell us you did, with so many wonderful ideas and practices that other families who are seeking to live more sustainable lifestyles can learn from.
There were so many great sustainable living ideas that we took it upon ourselves to put it in a comprehensive list (including a few of our own) that you can save, and pick from over time.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT AS A FAMILY
- Cut up old clothing not fit for donation and make reusable paper towels
- Switch to bar shampoo and conditioner over bottles
- Use a zero waste razor
- Make your own body butter
- Make your own cleaners (see a fabulous DIY recipe below!)
- Buy second hand furniture
- Shop organic, natural fiber, and sustainable brands like Nui!
- Use reusable refill bottles for cleaning
- Use glass containers instead of plastic or plastic bags
- Use reusable pouches
- Go plastic free
- Use period cup and cloth liners
- Use cloth diapers
- Grow a garden!
- Make your own snacks and bread so you can stop buying processed/packaged goods
- Reduce your baths to conserve water
- Refill glass containers at a local coop - soaps, oils, spices, nuts and seeds
- Use cloth napkins and paper towels
- Use beeswax food wraps
- Learn Elimination Communication to reduce use of diapers and only use cloth diapers as backup
- Use zero waste dish soap and laundry soap
- Switch to bamboo toilet paper
- Create a compost site
- Don’t use plug ins and/or unplug after every use
- Go meatless or eat vegetarian dinners a few times a week
- Hang clothes out to dry
- Always wash on cold
- Eliminate plastic straws
- Only buy from companies that use biodegradable bags
- Don’t use foil and plastic products
- Make toys out of scraps of wood and other things that end up in a landfill
- Teach your children to connect to nature
- Separate trash for composting
- Make your own baby food
- Use Stasher Silicone bags
- Clean a local beach as a family activity
- Subscribe to sites like MightyNest to keep learning about ways to lessen your waste as a family
- Been conscious about how you utilize power at home (and get money back!)
- Support regenerative agriculture
And here a few that you can apply overall as a sustainable framework:
CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
This applies to everything - food, clothing, household purchases, school supplies, and more. Practicing intentional decision-making and mindfulness are things you can also teach your kids. When they are taught to care for their belongings, they learn more compassion and appreciation for everything.
REUSE, REPURPOSE, RECYCLE
The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to climate change. Saying “no” to fast fashion will not only save you time from always having to shop for new, worn out, low quality clothes, but buying natural fiber, higher quality clothing is softer, more comfortable, and healthier for your children. And when they grow out of them, we love our Rewear partner Kidizen where you can sell your pre-loved clothing, and shop for them too!
USE NON-TOXIC PRODUCTS
While you can buy chemical-filled cleaners, personal care items, and food everywhere, that doesn’t mean you should. And why would you want to put chemicals on you in the first place? Making your own supplies as many did in our #nuiworld did or buying non-toxic ones is just better. Check out sites like Made Safe to stay informed, and try the DIY cleaner recipe from one of our Nui family members herself!.
LOVE LAUNDRY MORE BY DOING IT LESS
Wash less with organic merino wool! Natural fabrics like wool are breathable and magically air out between wearings, so you can wash less and wear more! Also natural fibers dry fast as opposed to synthetic clothing, so you can wash and wear the next day.
Also consider installing a microplastic filter on your washing machine. Synthetic fabrics shed up to 750,000 microplastics into the water system with every load. A filter like Filtrol 160 is an easy-to-install, one-time purchase, and will filter out 87% of those microplastics.
SUSTAINABILITY AS A LIFESTYLE
Caring about our carbon footprint and the impact each of us make on the planet as a whole is a process. And while the importance of it should be acknowledged, figuring things out is a process and takes time to build new habits.
So don’t be hard on yourself as you grow. None of us are perfect and every small change we make in our own lives, when combined with other conscious parents, can produce a ripple effect of lasting and impactful change for the planet.
Provided by #nuiworld mom @mamoloudiaries
- Organic vinegar
- Attitude unscented dish soap (capful)
- Plant Therapy organic lemon essential oil
- Put in a reusable amber spray bottle
CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR
CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR FOR A HOUSEHOLD: