Sustainable Living with Kids

By Sheila Bayliss on behalf of SLH

I used to wonder if sustainable living was realistic for us, as a family with busy lives.

But I’ve discovered that living in the Heatons provides us with lots of fun ways to live a greener life – like these:

Active travel

Recently we’ve been exploring the Heatons even more on foot. There are so many walkable routes for connecting with local wildlife, such as Heaton Mersey Common or the Mersey Vale Nature Park. We definitely feel the health and wellbeing benefits of walking outdoors together.

Connecting with nature

Aswell as those nature reserves, we also have plenty of other pockets of green locally, including several parks. Increasing your contact with nature can be weaved into your daily routine, eg we enjoy a bit of bird-spotting on our regular walks around the neighbourhood. We also like to stop by the community vegetable beds to see what’s growing – this inspires us to keep going with our own experiments in gardening for wildlife at home.

Shopping local

A favourite weekly ritual is a trip to The Good Life in Heaton Mersey, for some low-plastic shopping. It’s good fun for kids to help out with weighing and filling the tubs. There’s also a strong sense of community in our local shops.

I always come away feeling uplifted by that social connection – you just don’t get that sort of human interaction with online shopping!

‘Producing’ rather than consuming

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to make things yourself instead of buying them. Baking is a simple, family-friendly (and fun) way to start doing that.

We’ve learned to make cakes, flapjacks, biscuits and crackers that aren’t complicated, and reduce our reliance on plastic-wrapped snacks. Luckily, it’s easy to find planet-friendly ingredients in The Good Life or Blue Corn.

What I love is that these everyday practices don’t just help us to to be kinder to the planet, they also help us to stay healthy and happy.