• Jessica Whelan

The Top 3 Easy Ways Families Can Take Action on Climate Change

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr

Jesi Whelan

January 16, 2020

3 minute read

Make it Easy and Just Start Somewhere

Being a leader of your family is hard work. There are pressures to provide for everyone’s basic needs today, and to anticipate what your kids will need tomorrow. And you probably put yourself and your wishes at the end of that list.

So many of us want to shift the way we do things to address climate change effectively, and lots of the advice out there doesn’t factor in that working parents are stretched thin as it is. We all know we should walk more and drive/fly less, and make our homes as energy efficient as we can. People in a position to do so can trade up for an electric car and use renewable energy at home.

For the rest of us, here are 3 convenient ways to participate in the climate movement. You already do these tasks, so it's pretty manageable to just tweak how you do them.

1. Eat plant foods more often: test-drive a meal kit and find inspiration

2. Buy essentials carefully: focus on preworn clothing and refurbished electronics

3. Talk about it: influence your community and leaders (industry and government)

Get help making more plant based meals

Everyone keeps telling us to stop eating meat, and we know it could make a big impact. But when we’re in a rush, we rely on old habits to save time and energy.

What’s a simple way to make it easier? A little handholding! It’s ok to get extra help at first when you’re making a major change.

· Try a local meal kit and select one or more meatless options. We got this as a Christmas gift and it’s been excellent so far because:

o It takes less time and effort

o Now we have a fun, new activity to do together

o We’re trying new foods that we can add to our regular rotation

· DIY by signing up for Veganuary, follow @erinireland on Instagram, or use cookbooks like Buddhist Chef or Jamie Oliver’s Veg

Tips to reuse clothing and devices

After food, the major way we can change is the way we’re buying textiles and electronics (Source: Elizabeth Cline, Overdressed). Both of those things take a huge amount of non-renewable resources to produce.

They’re different from food in that they aren’t consumables, but most of them get replaced long before they truly wear out, and that’s a problem.

So what can we do about it?

Clothing: Shopping for kids can be tricky since sizing is all over the place, they grow out of things quickly or wear them out before then. Get their replacement clothes secondhand and save yourself time by doing it online:

· Sign up for our curated, custom wardrobe box delivery service

· DIY with online thrift/consignment shops

For yourself, make better use of the clothes you already have by using a capsule wardrobe and let go of excess by giving or selling it. (There's an app for that: Cladwell - or do it yourself with Project 333)

Devices: Resist the urge to get the free upgrade! Instead,

· Use your phone/laptop/tablet longer, then find a refurbished replacement

· DIY by visiting a local Repair Café to get repairs

Share your values and actions

It truly affects the people you interact with when you put it out there that you care, and that you’re backing that up with your choices. When someone asks what’s new, chat with them about why climate action matters to you, and then take it further. Reflect and then choose one industry leader or one political representative you want to push to be more accountable for climate change, and get in touch.

Make it Personal

What changes will you start with? What are your obstacles? We’re definitely curious to hear your feedback, but these questions are for you to answer for yourself. Ask yourself seriously, and take 30 seconds to write down an intention right now.

Post your answer below to take your commitment further, and then share with a receptive, supportive person in your life. We can do this. Together.

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