With this Friday 5 June being World Environment Day, it’s a good time to start thinking about ways you and the family can be more sustainable at home, writes Charlotte Barkla, author of Edie’s Experiments 2: How to Be the Best.
If you have young children and want to encourage them to help the environment, there is a fun new book that provides tips while also engaging them with an entertaining story.
In Edie’s Experiments 2: How to Be the Best, 10-year-old Edie has the chance to show off her environmental skills in her school’s Eco Competition, for World Environment Day.
In the book, Edie and her classmates come up with all sorts of ideas to help out their school, like solar panels on the handball courts, rainwater tanks around the school and even statues made from recycled containers.
Edie loves coming up with creative ideas for her family to try to be more sustainable at home. Here are five of her favourites that you might like to try:
1. Grow your own food
If you have space, try planting some seeds in the corner of your garden, or in a small pot on your deck or windowsill. Growing your own food can reduce the carbon footprint of your food and can be a great way to get outdoors with your family. (If you’re new to gardening, hardy herbs can be a good place to start.)
2. Grow native plants
Also on the gardening front, if you’re looking to add to your garden, try native plants. Native plants promote biodiversity, and also generally require less water and maintenance. (Which means more time to sit back and enjoy your garden!)
The more you can divert from landfill, the better. As well as kerbside collection of recyclables, many supermarkets collect soft plastics through REDcycle. Your empty chip packets or bread bags might end up in recycled products like furniture and signage! Look out for the Australasian Recycling Label on your food packaging, a recent initiative of Planet Ark that shows you exactly which part of your packaging goes where.
4. Compost your food scraps
Thinking about how to deal with your food scraps is another great way to reduce what your household sends to landfill. Your local area might have a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection service, but if not, you could try a worm farm, bokashi bucket or compost bin.
5. Leave the car at home
Where possible, try walking or cycling to school, work and your local playground. It’s a great way to reduce your family’s fossil fuel consumption and get some exercise!
‘Edie’s Experiments 2: How to Be the Best’ by Charlotte Barkla is published by Penguin Random House Australia, out in July and available for pre-order here: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/edies-experiments-2-how-to-be-the-best-9781760891763