Basically, my way of thinking is: we don’t have to give up our good lifestyles to minimise our impact on the planet. We simply need to make adjustments, ‘think outside the pollution box’ to minimise our carbon footprint, and continue to enjoy life. Because here’s the truth: if it isn’t enjoyable or fun – then why do it? And if it isn’t enjoyable or fun – why would you continue to do it?
Let’s say a favourite day out for you is with your partner and kids. You love to pile the kids in the car with a picnic basket chockers with yummy food and head off to a park. Then you’ll spend the day playing frisbee, ball games and relaxing in the shade after your meal.
Give the car a break – and leave it at home.
Put together your yummy food made from organic products – from deliciously fresh sandwiches, crispy apples and juicy oranges (they seem to ride well with no need for packaging), home-made slices (have you tried June’s Muesli Slice yet?), organic fruit and nut mixes, Cobs Popcorn, and lots of other organic yummies… Avoid using food wrap. Use packaging that can be re-used again and again, recyclable or is biodegradable.
Fill drink bottles (bidons) with water and home made organic juices that you froze the night before (this ensures they’re free from preservatives and the fruit or vegetable wasn’t part of Genetically Modified produce).
Pack your food into panniers on the back of your bike, as well as a rug for sitting on. * Just a hint on packing panniers: make sure you balance the weight between the two sides of the bike. Don’t do what I did during a camping trip on Stradbroke Island (Queensland, Australia). I packed all of the tinned food on one side and a loaf of bread on the other, and when we were cycling (on mountain bikes) along the sand beside a water inlet, the bike flipped and both bike and I went straight in the water… upside? It was a hot day and it helped to cool me down. Plus, I now get to share that piece of valuable information with you!
Put your kids on their bikes and cycle to a nearby park. If your children are old enough, make them responsible for carrying something to the picnic – whether it be a frisbee or a ball, or even an item of food. A small backpack will work perfectly.
The great thing about this outing is:
- You get to spend quality time with your family
- There’s no fighting in the car on the commute (major plus!)
- You don’t waste gas or fuel
- You’ll more than likely discover that the local park has just as many attractive qualities as the one you wasted time and fuel commuting to in the past
- Your children get to contribute more to the outing (ie. commuting there, and carrying an item that will be used)
- Your whole family will benefit from the physical exercise
- And the best thing: your kids will sleep well that night (and so will you!)
Think of your every day hobbies or activities and simply adjust them to better serve the environment… and remember to keep the ‘fun’ factor so your newly adopted eco-friendly adaptation becomes a habit.