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Reducing Our Family Imprint Together

Updated on March 29, 2018

It All Started With A Short Video

My youngest is absolutely in love with sharks. When I say "in love" I mean EVERYTHING is about sharks. Her backpack, slippers, shirts, leggings, pens, stuffies, wall decorations, piggy bank and more all adorn the beloved Great White Shark. She knows about shark fin soup and when anyone talks about it or she sees a blip about it she is angered to tears. It is this love for the oceanic predator of others nightmares that fueled our latest family enlightenment project...

Making our home more of a "green" household

While my daughter was watching her beloved shark videos she came across one of the many videos of jelly fish, sting rays and turtles trying as hard as they can to navigate the plastic riddled currents that carry them from feeding grounds to feeding grounds. It absolutely disgusted and upset my little girl. It was after watching this video that she brought to my attention our household's lack of effort in being "green". Even though we bag all our bottles and cans for return and never litter, we were all guilty of not recycling, composting and we all let the water run needlessly. I was more than a little ashamed to say the least, not only on a personal level but also as a parent. I wasn't teaching my kids healthy environmental habits. I called the kids into the living room and together we came up with a game plan for this spring.


Our Game Plan

  • Compost Bins under the sink and by the garden beds
  • Rain Barrels to water the fruit and vegetable gardens
  • Recycling bin station at the back door
  • Stop running water while brushing teeth and rinsing dishes (yes we still do our dishes by hand)
  • Reusing and re-purposing what can be reused such as yogurt containers, egg cartons, glass jars
  • Using cloth bags instead of plastic
  • Reusable water bottles, straws, lunch containers, sandwich bags and travel mugs

It Was Easier Than I Thought!

Taking the steps to become more conscientious about our every day actions has been easier than I thought it would be. When I hear the water running I say "You're taking water from the fish when you let the water run!" and the taps instantly turn off. The kids have started asking if an item is recyclable before they throw it out. I have a growing pile of glass jars and yogurt containers under my sink that will be perfect for freezing the berries, becoming paint jars, holding seedlings and becoming utensil holders for our first bbq this summer. I found recycling bins at our local Dollarama and made labels for them with lists of what can be recycled in that container. It makes for a quick trip to the recycling depot when they fill up. I also plan on picking up the compost bin and water barrel at City Hall this Earth Day when they sell them for cheap. We are re-purposing wood from my husband's workplace for the garden beds as well. I am sure as the year goes on, more and more will be added to the list.

Every day we all get a little more aware and get better at implementing our changes into our everyday activities. We are learning, growing and contributing together as a family. Anyone can make a change. No matter how small it is it will help clean up the mess we made. Be the solution, the change, the positive.

Recycling Bin Labels


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      21 months ago

      That your daughter cares about ocean life is a wonderful thing because we should be good stewards of the earth as well as careful in what we produce and use. However, what is being taught to children in our schools re environmental/climate change issues is sad business. Books like Inconvenient Facts, The Climate Chronicles, A Disgrace to the Profession, and The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science could help parents guide their children to the truth of how they are being deceived and what they can do about it.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes, it's not really so hard to recycle and re-use things. I've got a recycling bin and I make sure I put everything that I can recycle in that.


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