Let’s face it—being a super mum is a tough gig. Balancing their diet, organising play-dates, spending quality reading time together, taxiing them to sports and arts activities, teaching them pet responsibilities—it’s a lot.

So, when we’re told to add sustainable habits to the list, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed and want to exclaim, “Give me a break, Mother Earth!” But becoming an eco-conscious family doesn’t mean we have to donate all our possessions, don green capes, and go off-grid.

Here are six simple, fun ways to start an eco-conversation at home, inspire lifelong eco-habits, and easily fit into our bursting schedules.

Six Simple Steps to Cultivate Sustainable Habits

  1. Play Power Rangers

Before leaving the house, gather your Power Rangers for a mission to save energy. Assign each family member the task of checking that all lights are turned off as quickly as possibly. Transform it into a family competition, complete with energy stars on a chart to recognize their energy-saving efforts. It’s a game they’ll love, and our planet will be grateful.

  • Become Sorting Superstars

Turn the daily act of sorting recycling into a fun activity for the kids. Encourage them to create a colourful recycling station with labelled bins for different materials. As they sort, spark conversations about the importance of recycling and its positive impact on our planet. Share interesting facts about how recycled materials become new products and conserve resources.

  • Make a Masterpiece

After sorting, let their creativity shine by transforming recyclables into extraordinary works of art. From vibrant collages to 3D sculptures, the possibilities are endless. While they unleash their creativity, you could discuss the importance of recycling and repurposing materials to protect the environment.

  • Get Green Thumbs

From a tiny herb pot on the windowsill to a robust veggie patch in the backyard, home farming is not only fun but also teaches healthy eating habits. Assign your kids the task of nurturing plants and they’ll soon learn patience, responsibility, and the joy of self-sustainability. They’ll experience the wonders of nature up close, and a bountiful harvest might even lead to a mini farmers’ market and some extra pocket money.

  • Welcome Wriggly Family Members

Setting up a worm farm with your kids is a fun way to teach them about composting and minimizing food waste. They can witness first-hand the magical transformation of food scraps into nutrient-rich soil while learning about nature’s recycling system. By feeding the worms the kitchen food scraps and observing their work, kids develop environmental stewardship and gain valuable fertilizer for their gardening projects.

  •  Snuggle Up with Sustainability

Make reading time an eco-friendly adventure with storybooks that promote sustainability. Transport their young minds to imaginative landscapes while teaching them about conservation, recycling, and protecting our planet. By discussing the characters’ actions and their positive impact on the environment, it’s a great way of encouraging children to apply these lessons in their lives.

Instilling sustainable habits from an early age can make a lasting impact. And it doesn’t have to be overwhelming—for us as mums or our kids.

When kids see that they can take simple, small steps every day as part of their daily routine, they feel empowered and motivated to make a positive difference. And while these may seem like tiny steps, when we put them together, we’re making a massive leap towards a more sustainable world.

Dr. Samantha Smith is the author of Harriet’s Hungry Worms, published by EK Books, May 2023, RRP $24.99