HOW TO KEEP AN ECO FRIENDLY HOME WITH A TODDLER, A BABY, AND A BUSINESS
Let Me Introduce Ourselves
There are so many articles and blog posts explaining how to be the perfect eco-family. And for good reason, that’s what I want our family to be. But it seems impossible, especially if you are like us with a rebellious two-year-old and rambunctious ten-month-old.
It’s not impossible though. It just takes small manageable steps.
First of all though why listen to us?
I, the Dad, studied Ecology and Environmental Studies a decade and a half ago and was a leader at my university, making fellow students aware of Climate Change. Then I went on to farm, co-owning a small sustainable farm and then managing a certified organic farm.
Casey, the Mom and Artist, grew up on a dairy farm, witnessing firsthand what it means to be connected to, and love, a place. Now she expresses that in her artwork. And when she went to graduate school it was this weaving of personal art and love of place that she explored.
But the eco-friendly home?
It is hard enough to get to a doctor’s appointment on time. How does anyone with small children have any time to see anything beyond what their children need?
We aren’t perfect at it, yet, but we take small steps, just like our toddler’s small steps. If you set your goals and are persistent you will get there. Don’t let the distance discourage you!
For our family, though, the number one goal is reducing our waste. It’s what we have the most control of.
Here are four of the things that we do that don’t take up a lot of time and can work for you, too:
Start a Compost Pile!
I love composting. A great resource about composting for whatever amount of space you have is the book Compost City: Practical Composting Know-How for Small-Space Living by Rebecca Louie. She also has a terrific blog, The Compostess worth checking out.
We have a bin that we keep in the basement and feed scraps to. Our toddler loves it. He even told his Mom the other day “Worms don’t like light!” when she opened the shades in the morning and he thought it was too bright. We got our worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm and they have been great pets.
Plant a Garden!
Use all that compost and worm castings to grow something. Plus, toddlers love to pick bright red tomatoes from the vine. It’s a great way for the little ones to see where food comes from and it doesn’t have to be big or time consuming. Local farms have seedlings for sale early in the season.
Flour Sack Towels!
This is our business and we believe in it. Don’t waste money and resources buying roll after roll of paper towels just to fill your trash bin with them. Use flour sack towels instead. They are reusable, washable, and stylish. They are lint free, absorbent, and ready for any kitchen job.
I love to cook and when I cook I always have one or two flour sack towels nearby for the messes I inevitably make (Casey calls me the Swedish Chef because of what the floor looks like after I cook).
So set some goals, take toddler steps to achieve them, and when you do achieve them, set some more goals. And know we won’t be the perfect Eco-Family, but we are trying. In trying, we are succeeding to raise Earth conscious children and we will succeed to make the world a wonderful place for them when they are raising our grandchildren.
And if you have any home tips please share them! We would love to hear what you are doing.
Enjoy the day!
Michael (the Dad)