1. Non-Toxic Cleaning
One of the very first changes I made on my journey towards more green living was to switch to homemade and non-toxic cleaners for my home, so it's one of the first things I recommend to anyone who is interested in making green changes in their family's life.
2. Green Your Personal Care Products
It's really important to be aware of the products we use on our skin and our children's skin. Unfortunately, there are lot of nasty chemicals in most conventional brands of personal care products, so you'll need to read labels and choose products that are safe and non-toxic.
3. Ditch the Disposables
Reducing the amount of garbage your family creates is a great way to have a big impact on the environment. This could be anything from switching to cloth napkins and rags instead of paper napkins and towels, to using cloth diapers instead of disposables.
4. Buy Used
Making a commitment to buying things used instead of new saves money and saves the environment at the same time. Before you run to store to purchase things this year, try to find what you're looking for used - at garage sales, thrift stores or online from sites like Craigslist or Ebay.
5. Make Recycling Easy
If your family doesn't already recycle regularly, this is an important step to take to reduce the impact of the waste your family creates on the planet. Set up a recycling system that everyone in your family can easily use, and begin to teach your children what is recyclable and what is not — and try to use recyclable things more than disposable ones!
6. Turn Off the Lights
This is a really easy one that you can even get your toddler involved in. Make sure you turn off the lights when you leave a room, and don't leave lights on in areas of the house that you aren't using. Have your kids help you remember to turn of the lights, and if they're anything like my kids, they'll want to go ahead and turn the lights off themselves!
7. Plant a Garden
I think it's really important to teach our kids where food comes from, not just that we buy it at the grocery store. One great way to do this is to plant your own garden and have your kids help you with it. There are lots of ways to grow your own food, even if you have limited space.
8. Simplify Your Stuff
Simplifying your stuff may not really seem like a way to live green, but less stuff means you save money and earthly resources needed to produce and buy that stuff, and gives your family the space and time to enjoy the truly important things in life. Getting away from materialism and back to basics is one easy way to live a little greener.
9. Buy Local and Organic Food
The food we eat has a major impact on our environment, but choosing local and organic food can help to decrease that impact. Resolve to shop your local farmer's market and buy more food directly from the farm this year.
10. Conserve Water
There are lots of little ways you can conserve water and make a dent in your overall water use this year. Start with turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, taking shorter showers, making sure you don't have any leaky or dripping faucets around your house, installing a low flow shower head, and even following the "If it's yellow, let it mellow" rule in the bathroom.