If you’ve been working at being green for a while in your home, you probably figure your family is used to the idea. But have you talked about it? How does everyone feel about it? Are there more changes people would be willing to make?
It’s easy to slip into a comfort zone with any activity. We all do it. Having a family talk about how things are working out is good for making sure that resentments aren’t building and to come up with new ideas.
What Are the Problems?
Raising a green family isn’t easy and it’s not always fun for all participants. What is acceptable at one point may be turning into a burden as your kids get older, for example. Talking about how things are working gives everyone a chance to express their feelings, even if you don’t make changes.
What Are the Solutions?
Discuss what your family is willing to do to go green. Who is responsible for various activities? Why are you doing all of this anyhow?
Each family will have their own areas that are easier and harder to deal with. For some, growing an organic garden will be a pleasure, even when it comes to dealing with the compost pile. For others, it will be a chore, and possibly better replaced by joining a co-op or finding other organic or local food sources.
Go through the list of easy and hard eco friendly activities. When something is challenging, talk about how you can meet that challenge or simplify it.
Give everyone a chance to talk. If one of the kids is on the quiet side, encourage him or her to speak up. Not only is it good practice, it will help to ensure that they feel their concerns have been heard. I can tell you from experience that just because a quiet child doesn’t speak up readily doesn’t mean he or she lacks an opinion or isn’t resentful that things don’t go their way. It’s just incredibly hard for some people to speak up for themselves.
You can write down your solutions to help everyone remember what you’ve agreed to. Some things you will be able to schedule so that everyone will know when particular jobs need to be done. Other things will just be a part of the routine.
You don’t need to talk about these things daily, but do talk regularly. How often depends on what works for your family. Just remember to talk about it.