In my early teens and younger days I had a tendency to take things for granted a little too much, I would open the cupboards and food appeared, turned the taps on and there would be hot water, get cold and jumpers would be waiting cleaned in my wardrobe or the heating could be turned on.
It was only when I moved into my own home and started to pay for my own bills that I realised that there were steps that could, and should be taken to cut down costs, and things I could actively do to stop being so wasteful.
Becoming a mother I soon realised that there were so many more steps I could take to help prepare for a brighter future for my children. That if things didn’t change then 20, 30 or even 50 years down the line our children would be paying the consequences of our wasteful behaviour and of course children learn by example.
We now do things like making sure doors are closed fully and windows shut, we add extra layers and blankets instead of turning up the heating which is now a last resort and on less than half as much as it used to be.
Taps are turned on while brushing our teeth and the sink filled with hot soapy water for washing up instead of leaving the tap running to rinse plates.
Old boxes have so many uses, so instead of buying a new pen box or toy box we decorate the boxes we have in the house which of course if fun for the kids and saves money too. Teaching children about recycling is a good thing – you can read our post on 10 uses for cardboard boxes here if you want some inspiration.
We are supporting the Unilever’s #brightFuture initiative which focuses on these small changes which families and individuals can make which then in turn help to make a big difference to the world we live in. Since launching the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped support 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene – including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.
This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.
By buying some of these products I know that not only am I helping to support these worldwide causes but I am also helping to protect my family by keeping own home environment clean and as germ free as I can make it; of course they will bring home bugs from school but I can do my part to help stop these from spreading around other family members through bleaching the surfaces and making them as hygienic as possible.
We all want the best for our children in the future, so it is very important that we help them to learn about the impact their actions have on the environment and future of the next generations – it is never too young to start taking responsibility for our behaviour and actions.
As a family we spend a LOT of time outdoors, we love to climb trees, have picnics in the park, pond dip and spend time in the forest. If the children are bored we craft and make things or bake as much as possible instead of automatically turning the TV on (of course there are times we do watch it all day if the kids are poorly for instance – we are normal!) but we try to teach the children that fun can be had without the need for technology and expensive days out.
We also do things such as sharing baths to save on water, the children have no concept of hot water costing money – they just think that having a bath with Mummy is fun, which of course it is, they wash my hair and we have tea parties in the tub, we paint the mirror and the tiles with shaving foam paint and we bond at the same time.
It’s the little changes which can help – these little changes while at the time don’t mean a lot but all added together will help to have a bigger impact on a #brightFuture later on down the line.
“This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever”