Family life

How to finally go green at home this year

Make 2020 the year your family gets serious about the environment.

By Simone Olivero

How to finally go green at home this year

Photo: Erik Putz

"We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility. Adults keep saying: 'we owe it to the young people to give them hope.' But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is." — Greta Thunberg

Children understand the urgency of the climate change crisis—sometimes better than adults. Here's how to inspire them to turn despair into action by going green at home.

1. In the bedroom

With constantly growing, regular play-in-the-dirt kids, even homes with minimalist parents will face the onslaught of apparel. Here's how to cope.

2. In the kitchen

The average Canadian household wastes 140 kilograms of food each year—roughly $1,100 worth. But unlike many other environmental issues, controlling how much food we throw out is completely within our control. Bob Blumer, Food Network host and ambassador for both Love Food, Hate Waste and Second Harvest, shares tips for reducing household waste.

Make this tasty dinner in less than 30 minutes using up all the scraps in your fridge.

3. In the playroom

It’s easy to just shut the door and pretend your playroom isn’t a dumping ground for every birthday present, party loot bag and art experiment. While lots of toys can be passed on or resold, here’s what to do with the stuff that usually ends up in the trash.