Sustainable Living: How To Get The Whole Family Involved

Written by Bobbi Peterson

Going green as an entire family may seem like an impossible feat, yet your efforts can be multiplied if the whole family gets on board with the process. Even young children can understand the importance of pitching in to help the environment if things are explained in a simple and exciting way. From kids to teens and older generations, try these tips for getting your whole family in on the green movement:


The beauty of teaching children sustainable habits at a young age is that they’ll internalize the lessons and develop eco-friendly habits with ease that will benefit them (and the planet) throughout their life. Try teaching young children how to identify and collect recyclables around the house for a good first chore – these items are typically small and lightweight, so it should be no trouble to get them into the proper bin. You can also teach children to scrape plates into a stainless steel bucket to compost kitchen scraps – they’ll love this process if you bring some worms onto the scene!


If you’re tired of arguing with your teens about pitching in with household chores, try adding some environmental reasoning behind your arguments. Most teens are passionate about social and environmental causes, so help channel that energy to your advantage when you remind them about turning off lights, cutting back on screen time and taking shorter showers. You can also encourage teens to ride their bikes to get to their friends’ houses or after-school activities in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.

Spouses & Partners

As the keepers of the checkbook in your household, you and your partner have the power to make many of green choices for your family, big and small. You can choose to buy organic groceries and shop at the local farmers market to make more sustainable eating choices. You can also opt in to renewables from your electricity provider and set the thermostat to save on your fuel costs year-round. If you commute to work, consider investing in vehicles that use alternative fuels to reduce your emissions and lighten your family’s overall carbon footprint.

Parents and Grandparents

If you live with members of an older generation – or visit them often as caretakers – you might find it challenging to persuade them to change longstanding habits. You can circumvent any stubbornness or forgetfulness by adding some eco-friendly gadgets around the house. A programmable thermostat with an away setting will lower utility bills, as will faucet aerators, water-saving showerheads and motion sensor light switches. These are all easily installed and don’t require a big lifestyle change.

When everyone in the family is doing his or her part to make the most sustainable choices, eco-friendly living becomes first nature. Have a talk with your family members about how they can help to work towards a greener lifestyle and healthier planet.  

Bobbi Peterson is a freelance writer and sustainability blogger at Living Life Green.  You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter.