How to “green” your family

Family of five laying in the grass

Appreciate that most people are doing their best and value the same things you do! (Photo: Pixabay via Pexels)

Are you the eco-friendliest person in your home?

Family members can be the hardest to “green.”

When the living planet needs us to recycle less, use hankies, cloth diapers and non-toxic deodorant and reconnect with nature, how do you get your loved ones to buy in?

  1. Appreciate that most people are doing their best.
  2. Connect over values you share.
  3. Host a family meeting to create new house rules.

Establish “green” house rules

  • To avoid eye rolling and the “groan zone” — where people get irritated and bring low energy — provide food and drink.
  • Hold space. Listen more, talk less and ask questions. Trust that you know enough to lead!
  • Ask each family member to contribute at least one new house rule. No rule is too small or too big. (The solutions already in them will surprise you.)
  • Write the rules down and post for all to see. Use sticky notes on a dedicated wall or bulletin board.
  • Set dates for new house rule implementation (consider offering a prize or incentive).
  • If competition suits your family, make it a challenge. Who can save the most water? Whose house rule most reduced the power bill?
  • Challenge your relatives to do the same or invite the neighbours to play along.
  • Be open to the idea that things will turn out better than planned!

The best part about going “green” as a family? Being on a team can make many of us more effective. And collaborative solutions are more likely to work than trying to go it alone.

Talk about climate change with your family

We know that conversations about climate change can bring up all sorts of emotions, like frustration, despair, anger and embarrassment, but one of the most important things you can do about climate change is talk about it. People trust their peers, family members and loved ones more than they trust experts, scientists and environmental organizations.

This set of resources will help you learn how to discuss it in ways that bring people with differing perspectives together over shared values.