Teaching kids about sustainability and eco friendliness around the home

Last week at the radio station I met Sydneys North Shore Green Party candidate Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans or ACE as he’s affectionately known. Not yet being a citizen of Australia I am not able to vote but when I do become a citizen, (fools!) I will have a closer look at the Green’s ideas for the local area and Australia as a whole because this man didn’t duck any questions in the normal politician way, talked sense and was well, a damn nice bloke.

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We’re pretty green in the Fast house, could be greener to be honest and would welcome any tips on how to be ‘Sustainably Greener‘ around the home and how you get the kids involved more. You know, the things that are simple to implement and just as simple to maintain. We I like simple!

Here are a few things that we do to keep things green around the place:

  • All plastics in recycling bin.
  • All paper and cardboard in the recycling bin.
  • Take all plastic shopping bags back to the recycling bin in the supermarket to be made into fence posts or a bench or whatever.
  • Water the plants with un-drunk water bottle water. Or any un-drunk water!
  • We have solar heating for the swimming pool.
  • Three minute or less showers and only one bath per year.
  • Only change the bed sheets once a month. 
  • Only wash the towels when they start to smell.
  • Wash the car bi-annually.
  • Turn lights off when leaving the room. The kids are a Work-In-Progress on this one. I started fining them pocket money if I found the light on in their room or bathroom so they started fining me when I swore. It didn’t work quite as I planned!
  • Put the dishwasher on at night when it’s cheaper and also only when it’s full!
  • Use washing machine only when it’s full. unless it’s an emergency (school shirts usually) and again, only at night.
  • We only use air-con/heating in parts of the house we’re in and only when it’s red hot or freezing cold. After you’ve put on four layers of clothes that is.
  • Any new appliances we’ve brought have been the most energy efficient.

That’s all the ones I can think of off the top of my head, i’m sure there are probably a few more but my head hurts from all the thinking.

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Our lovely recycling bins. That need emptying!
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Every little dribble counts!


I’ve just done a few searches to see what else we can do to be even more sustainable and eco friendly around the place. Here are a few things that we can look at as a family and see what’s feasible:

  • Composting – I like the concept but we don’t really have anywhere we could use it. I’ll look harder as I know the kids like dirt and worms!
  • No shopping bags – Take my own into the supermarket. Easy, I can do that.
  • Turn all/most electrical stuff off in the house – We do some but will do more. Promise.
  • Look at installing a rainwater tank – I have looked at this previously and will re-visit as prices are becoming more affordable and tanks better looking!
  • Solar panels on the roof – Have looked at this before too and we need the pool solar to break down completely to make it completely viable. That will hopefully be soon. More on Solar here
  • LED lights and globes when upgrading or replacing. Makes sense.

So that’s us and eco friendliness, what’s going down at your place?

Are you Really Green, Nearly Green or are you Barely Green… That is the question!



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