Family Eco Challenge

When we first began this blog, one of our focuses was our Family eco Challenge . We designed areas of focus and worked hard at reducing them. That was 18 months ago. Many of the things we were struggling with back then, have now become every day activities.

Now it is time to take it to the next level. We will do another Family Eco Challenge and try and improve our numbers once again.

The original areas were:





Here are the original ideas that we brainstormed:

1. Energy

a) Turn off lights when not in use

b) turn off appliances at the wall

c) Have shorter showers

d) install energy efficient light bulbs

e) use re-chargeable batteries

2. Water

a) shorter showers and water saving showerheads

b) catch cold water when waiting for hot to come through – use this to fill water bottle and kettle

c) wash up in the small sink

d) flush when necessary

e) install water tanks

3. Transport

a) Ride bikes to school and work

b) Limit trips to town – by planning and grouping trips

c) Get Dad to ride motorbike to town for smaller items/ errands

d) Walk

e) Find cheaper fuel, drive more economically

4. Garbage

a) Compost Food Scraps

b) Stop Getting Plastic Bags

c) Buy items with less packaging

5. Consumption

a) Don’t buy unnecessary things

b) Work on a cash budget

c) Use things sparingly-

d) Do instead of buy – make it yourself.

When I look back at this list it looks so easy, but when we first start out it was quite a stretch.
Now we will move to the next level.

We haven’t had our family meeting to brainstorm ideas yet, but I am thinking of possibilities like:

Can we make more and buy less ?

Can we drastically cut electricity usage ?

Can we not set foot in a supermarket for a month ?

Can we go ‘zero waste’ for a week or (gulp) a month ?

Can we run tank water through the whole house?

I look forward to what the family will come up. Children are so open to new and exciting ideas!

Are you interested in doing a Family Eco-Challenge ? What do you think your family could do ?
I would love to hear some feedback from my readers. I am not sure if I am just talking to myself here LOL – drop me a line!


Anonymous said...

No waste for a week. I wish I could get my family on board for such a challenge! But as soon as it came to t.p. or baby wipes (my husband thinks they have been around since Adam), DH would balk at the idea.

Anonymous said...

Amazing challenge. No waste for a week? I have no idea how to do that. I think we are down to a paper bag of waste each week. We do compost a large amount of our kitchen waste. Just moved to using cloth TP. It's all that blasted packaging! Must buy more in bulk!

Tania said...

Great Challenge!
In our household we do most of the things you listed, except for the transport bit which is a bit hard for us as we live 7 km from the town centre. We try to do everything with the one trip to town now.
Your second list is a lot more challenging.
I certainly can make more and buy less. Have also cut our electricity usage as far as we can, even gone solar. Not sure about the shopping monthly, I could struggle with this one. Zero waste? Not sure about zero but will certainly try to cut down more. Unfortunately we can't run the house on rain water because our yearly rainfall is too low and not guaranteed (220mm/yr). We do have 16,000 gallons (72,000litres)in rainwater storage though, and this is used for drinking and garden.

I am definately going to give this challenge more thought though.

Have a great evening,

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just found your blog and although we haven't offical been Eco challenging ourselves we have been doing alot of the things on your first list. This post has reminded me that it is time we upped the stakes so to speak. Your next level challenges are also the areas we need to address. I have been working on cutting our waste but without real success. I would like to hear how your brainstorming session went and the ideas you came up with.

Pippa (in the UK)

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

My big challenge for myself this year is to make every Christmas present I will be giving. Last year I made my annual cookie plates and gave away which is always a hit. I made small quilts for my 3 nieces, but ended up buying a toy for my nephew because I ran out of time.

I have been stashing fabrics that go on super sale all year and found a neat free apron pattern for children online that I will be using for their presents this year--even the boy! He loves to help cook and I am keeping an eye for out for some sale fabric that is appropriate for him.

My husband goes hunting next week for 12 days to fill our freezer. It is a great time for me to dive into my present making since the kids and I live on salads for dinner when he is gone which frees up my time to sew :-)


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