Small Habits for a More Sustainable Home

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

I’m very passionate about the health of our environment, but at times I feel overwhelmed by the destruction and decline of our forests, seas and natural habitats.

It can be too easy to question myself “What can I do?  I’m too small to make any significant changes, what’s the point?”

My way of dealing with this is to scale the “mountain” down to a “mole hill” and think about what me and my family can do to make a difference (as little as that may be).  What we do within our own home IS in our control.  We have the power to make small changes which can form lifelong habits for our whole family.

One of the very first tips I picked up on (thanks Mum) was to cut up old and damaged t-shirts for cleaning cloths.  They can be re-used for years.  I keep a box full of clean rags in the bottom of the linen cupboard.  

What we do within our own home IS in our control.  We have the power to make small changes which can form lifelong habits for our whole family.

Instead of plastic bags or “compostable” bin liners I use a couple sheets of newspaper.  It’s such a simple swap out but can make such a difference over a period of a year or a lifetime.

Where possible I try to buy more natural products.  Stainless steel drink bottles, metal dustpan, bamboo scrubbing brush.  Bamboo toothbrushes can look a bit plain to the kids on the supermarket shelf compared to all those fun colourful ones, and you can’t tell whose is whose.  So each of the kids jazz up the handle of their toothbrush with one of my nail polish colours.

I’ve found a laundry powder which comes in a cardboard box and has no plastic lining or scoop.   I love to support products which align with my values.

Re-purposed glass jars look so tidy and organised in my pantry.  They’re great for nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  I find eucalyptus oil great for removing sticky labels from the jars.

My local bulk food store is great for topping up pantry supplies using my glass jars, and of course no trip to the bulk food store with the kids would be complete without a selection of colourful treats.  It certainly makes the drive home enjoyably quiet!

I’m far from having a green thumb, but I do like to grow herbs in a pot.  Coriander is my go-to herb because it smells great, tastes yum and is super versatile.  I add it to salads, wraps and curries.  Eating straight from the garden not only reduces plastic, it costs less and is safer for my family. 

Our family’s consumption of animal products is very low in an effort to reduce our environmental impact and for the benefit of our overall health.  

These little habits seem to have a ripple effect, they start small and evolve and grow over time, as I am constantly learning new ways to move towards a more sustainable environment within my home.

Tina is a Mum of three beautiful girls (two of whom are twins), she lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

When she's not at home with her family, her favourite places to visit are the forest, the bush and the beach. Tina is extremely passionate about the health of the Earth and feels a sense of duty to ensure that the environment is healthy for all that share it. She is always searching for new ways to care for the environment and reduce her family's impact on it. Her dream is for her children to grow up with a deep understanding of how their choices and actions can positively affect our environment.