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Going Green: A Beginner's Guide for Aussie Families

As Australians, we're blessed with an incredible natural environment all around us. From the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged Outback landscapes, our unique ecosystems are something to cherish and protect. And going green at home is one of the best ways for families to do their part.

The need for environmental action has never been more crucial. Climate change, driven by human activities like burning fossil fuels, is already impacting Australia through increased bushfires, droughts, heat waves and damage to the Great Barrier Reef. If we don't make serious changes soon, by 2050 our way of life could be dramatically disrupted by rising sea levels, disrupted weather patterns, and loss of biodiversity. But by working together as families, communities, and a nation, we can still get on a more sustainable path and preserve our beautiful country for future generations.

Getting started doesn't have to be difficult or costly. With a few simple habits and activities, you can steadily reduce your environmental footprint while bringing the whole family together for some eco-fun. Here are some top tips:

Ditch Disposable Plastics

An easy win is cutting out single-use plastics around the house. Use reusable cloth bags instead of plastic grocery bags. Pack waste-free lunches for school with reusable containers, utensils, and drink bottles. Avoid disposable plastics like straws, cups, and packaging as much as possible.

Recycle Right 

When it comes to recycling, get savvy about what can and can't go in your council's recycling bins. Things like soft plastics, polystyrene, and broken glass shouldn't go in. Do a recycling audit together and make sure everyone knows the drill.

Composting

Don't forget to recycle food scraps too by composting or using a greens bin. Around half of the rubbish Aussies send to landfill is food and garden waste that could've been composted instead. Start a backyard compost heap or worm farm and let kids get their hands dirty while reducing that waste.

Save Power and Water

Trim energy and water usage at home by having kids lead efficiency initiatives. Do an energy audit and have them unplug idle electronics and switch off lights. Time short showers and have a competition for who can use the least water. Adjust thermostats and AC a couple degrees to reduce heating/cooling costs.

Clean and Green

For family cleaning days, switch to eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products without harsh chemicals. Better yet, look up DIY recipes to make your own cleaners from simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Kids can help mix up batches and refill reusable spray bottles.

Meat-Free Meals

Challenged the family to go vegetarian for dinners once a week or fortnight. Look up new vegan or vegetarian recipe ideas and try hearty meatless dishes like lentil shepherd's pie, veggie sausage rolls, or jackfruit carnitas. Not only is it better for the planet but pushing your culinary skills benefits health too!

Nurture Nature

Get out and experience Australia's incredible outdoor environments while giving back. Plan regular family trips to local parks, bushlands, and beaches to explore nature firsthand. And make it a point to put in some volunteer time picking up litter or helping with environmental restoration projects to nurture those green spaces.

Buy Sustainable

When shopping, try to pick products with minimal/recyclable packaging and look for eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically-sourced options. Buying used and second-hand is also a fantastic way to reduce your consumption footprint while scoring unique, affordable finds.

 

The key is getting the whole family engaged and involved in fun, productive ways. Even the easiest "green" habits and activities make a valuable impact when done consistently over time. So rally the troops, make a game of it, and enjoy doing your part to protect the amazing Aussie environment we're so fortunate to call home.

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