Being eco friendly is not the easiest thing to do as a family. If you’re serious about it and not just doing the convenient stuff, there are going to be some sacrifices made. Where do you find the balance for your family?
Most of us simply cannot afford to do all of the eco friendly things we dream of. Getting to a point where your family can live off the grid takes a huge investment that most of us simply can’t afford.
The cost factor is the simplest line to draw. If you can’t afford the more eco friendly option, of course you aren’t going to go with it!
Fortunately, many eco friendly decisions don’t cost any money or help to save money. Continuing to use what you have is often the greenest decision you can make. There may be a difference in energy efficiency, but how long does it take to offset the energy cost from a new item being made? Can you dispose of the old item in a way that is better for the environment?
What About Inconvenience?
The inconvenient decisions are much harder to make. How often should you walk or ride your bike rather than take the car? Are you ready to give up your little luxuries?
You can change your perspective on some inconveniences and make them into a treat. You may find that you love riding your bike to run errands, for example. You might enjoy having television free nights, weeks or even a complete television free lifestyle. You won’t know until you try.
I love walking my kids to and from school, for example. We live very close, but many people who live closer still drive their kids to the school.
I find it’s more fun to walk. It’s a great time for just talking with my kids.
It’s also faster than loading the car, driving to the school and dealing with the crowds in the parking lot would be. I was told by one parent that they have to get there at least 20 minutes before school gets out in order to get a parking space. Why would I drive there when I can walk it in under 10 minutes?
Kids love walking in the rain, by the way, or at least mine do.
Don’t Feel Like a Hypocrite for What You Can’t Do
Odds are good that you aren’t going to live your dream eco friendly life. For most of us the realities of just getting by are going to keep us from that. There isn’t always public transportation to replace the car, and there aren’t always jobs in range of a bicycle.
Have a priority list for what matters most to you and what you can afford to do. Starting a garden is a great choice if you the chance. Rethinking your choice of electronics and cutting out the ones you really don’t need is a great choice. Skipping unnecessary purchases is a great choice. Keeping reduce, reuse, and recycle in mind and in order is a great choice.
If you can do every eco friendly thing you want to do, you’re one of the lucky few. The rest of us have to prioritize and find ways to make enough happen while understanding that it can’t all happen.