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eco-friendly family checklist

Become an eco-friendly family with our checklist to 'green-up' your family. Teach your kids to be environmentally aware!

In a recent poll, our viewers said,

waste-not, want-not

Try to reduce the volume of consumables that you purchase. Try to reuse or repair things that no longer work or you don't need - save money and the planet at the same time!
Recycle goods - use your recycle bin, charity shops or specialist recycling services for computers, mobile phones, batteries, paint and other items. Try to reduce the volume in your rubbish bin. Zero waste is the ultimate aim.
Put the right stuff in your home recycle bin - check with your local council about what can and can't be put in your home recycle bin. If you put the wrong things in, the whole bin load might have to go to landfill instead. It's surprising what can't go into a recycling bin, drinking glasses and cutlery for example, shouldn't go in. You can check with your local council for a more comprehensive list.
Try modern cloth nappies - disposables create a great deal of landfill
Try to buy products without excessive packaging
Use ecobags / cloth bags when shopping rather than store plastic bags
Talk to your neighbours - do they have a pet that would make use of your old newspapers, shredded paper or vegetable scraps?
Do you run a business that produces waste that might be of use to another local business / school or community organisation? Half-used tins of paint to refurb the local scout hall, scrap paper for a local childcare centre...

around the home

Turn lights off when rooms are not in use
Use energy saving light bulbs
Try to use ceiling fans rather than energy-hungry air-conditioners
Keep air-conditioning and heating to a minimum - insulate your home, keep windows shaded
Turn power off at the wall when appliances are not in use - don't leave tvs, stereos, kettles, toasters, microwaves, etc on standby mode. (Do keep your fridge and freezer on though!)
Wash laundry only when you have a full load
Wash laundry in cold water, whenever possible
Dry clothes on the line - keep the dryer for emergencies/wet weather
Consider switching your fridge, freezer, washing machine and dryer to more energy efficient appliances and replace faulty seals on fridges and freezers
Get dripping taps fixed
Try rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones

food & gardens

Consider growing your own fruit, vegies and herbs
Compost food scraps
Use your compost in your garden
Eat less meat - livestock emissions have a big impact on greenhouse gases and global warming
Mulch your garden (to reduce the need to water and keep weeds at bay)
Use reusable/washable containers for lunchboxes - not disposable packaging
Buy locally grown vegetables that are in season (the carbon footprint of locally grown produce is much lower than products flown in from overseas). Find your local farmers market
Try to minimise the amount of water used in the home
Install a rainwater tank - for use in the laundry, toilet flushing, watering garden and swimming pools
Grow native plants in your garden that have adapted to our environment and don't need watering

home office

Use both sides of a sheet of paper! Computer print-outs, junk mail and notices from school can be used as scrap paper for shopping lists or drawing paper for kids
Refill printer ink cartridges
Request that bills are sent to you online to save paper/printing

travelling

Travel less
Drive less - car pool, take public transport, cycle or walk
Travel locally - air travel produces massive greenhouse emissions. See the holidays portal for local kid-friendly holiday options
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