Making good choices for a better environment
World Environment Day!
It should not be just a buzzword which most people celebrate by planting a tree or talking about what we must do for the environment and forget about till another year goes by.
This year it’s time to think different.
Let’s start with the choices we make, better yet, about the choices we offer our kids.
Do you give your child choices? What can they have for breakfast maybe? Or which outfit they would like to wear on that day?
What about the selection of toys that you offer for play?
After all, choosing from options is a big part of being independent. Raising kids who can grow up to be independent, self-sufficient adults is one of the primary goals of every parent.
Do they know to choose outdoor physical play and limited screen time?
Will they automatically choose a sustainable product as a grown up, having watched you make them all their young lives?
Patience and love will help, but it’s gradual, consistent and about everyday choices.
As parents, we see no flaw in our logic but do we always make the right choices; especially those with far-reaching consequences?
Do we opt for eco-friendly behavior? Do we make sure we carry water bottles with us instead of buying plastic bottles every time?
Carry a cloth shopping bag? Or maybe buy a product that is sustainable – made with materials that sustain like wood and cloth?
“Do as I say and not as I do” is a mantra that never works with kids. There are reams of research showing how children often follow in the footsteps of their parents.
There are small choices, seemingly innocent that have long-term impacts. While we often include sustainable choices in everyday life like carrying shopping bags, what we put in those bags at the mall has a huge impact too.
So how can you make sustainable buying choices?
What you buy matters
When you buy something, you are sending a message to the producer endorsing what they are doing.
Try and shop for labels that state fair trade, and are sustainable. Give gifts that are sustainable like plants, and books made from recycled paper.
What you choose not to buy is just as important
No matter how good the company believes its product is, when customers boycott it, it gets the message.
What you say
Provide feedback to producers of goods through social media or other ways, so they know what you are looking for.
Speak out if you think something is damaging to the environment and sustainability.
Here are some ways to make sure the choices we make are sustainable
Place – Is the product local? Smaller producers are often more sustainable in the long run. They incur less logistical costs which cost the earth a lot. Reduce the carbon costs.
Packaging – What is product packaged in? Does it have layers which will end up in the trash heap? Is it reusable for storage?
Alternatives – Are there alternatives that are more sustainable like wood vs plastic?
Material – Is it safe? Is it eco – friendly? What all goes into the product? Is the information readily available?
End of Life – Is the product durable? Can it be donated to charity when no longer needed or pass it on to someone else to use?
No matter what you do, there are young eyes following your every move and absorbing everything like a little sponge.
Celebrating world environment day once a year while we degrade it the rest of the year will have no positive impact on the environment.
So if we wish to leave a better planet for our children, we have to start by making environmentally sound choices.
Make sure our choices are sustainable. Only then can we teach them to continue making such choices which are good for them and the planet.
Make every day an environment day! Celebrate the world and the planet we are on! It’s the only one we have!
Happy World Environment Day!