Get everyone in your family on the eco-straight and narrow by drawing up your own Eco Code!
What is an Eco Code?Basically your Eco Code will be the set of ecologically sound ‘rules and regulations’ you and your family chose to live by in the interests of the planet!
Saving the planet is a serious business - however you need to make sure your code is achievable and ‘do-able’ by your family - for instance, spurning car travel, plane journeys and any form of fast food is probably not going to be completely realistic - but walking whenever we can, choosing eco friendly holidays and cutting down on food packaging is something we can all do!
How Do I Convince the Kids?Like most things in life, stuff that’s fun, interesting, stimulating and holds our attention is going to be much easier to take on as a ‘way of life’ than something that we see as a chore! Make your code fun and you’re kids will follow it!
How Do I Make My Code?Your code doesn’t have to be a tangible object - it could just be a verbal agreement between you and your family, however, a poster or print out will be much more appealing to children, and they can then play a part in its design as well as its implementation!
What Should I Include in My Code?That’s up to you! It could be as simple as drawing up a ‘recycle and re-use’ poster to display above your waste bins, so your family know what disposal points are for items to be composted, what’s for stuff to be recycled etc. Or it could be as complex as an A-Z list for every aspect of your life!
Some Ideas for Your CodeSo you’re raring to go; you’re going to recycle, reuse and….what else? Here are some ideas that will build a good basis to start your family’s code on:
Recycling: We shall recycle everything we can. We will reuse old envelopes and the back of drawing paper. We shall recycle all our old newspapers and donate all our old magazines to doctors/hairdressers/hospital waiting rooms. We shall crush and recycle all our tin cans, and wash and re-use or recycle glass jars and bottles.
Reusing: We will endeavour to reduce our waste by reusing as many things as we can. We will opt for re-usable sports bottles rather than throw-away drinks containers. We will not use disposable plates or cutlery for our picnics. We will attempt to mend and repair rather than throw away and replace.
Looking After Wildlife: We will help to protect our wildlife by clearing away rubbish and litter that could endanger them. We will encourage birds and insects into our garden by providing areas of wood mulch and compost for them to inhabit. We will set up feeders, nesting boxes and baths for birds.
Cutting Down on Air PollutionWe shall try and stop the increase in air pollution and reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ by walking, cycling and using public transport. We will shop locally and not make unnecessary trips by car. If we need to travel by car, we shall try and set up a ‘car pool’ or share the journey with other people.
Getting ideas for your eco code, making it and sticking to it, should be fun as well as ‘green’ - it’s not only a wonderful project to work on as a family but an activity that could benefit the whole world!