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It might be hard to believe, but getting rid of extra stuff can bring the whole family together. Encourage everyone to tackle their own bedroom, then gather the crew to sort through a communal space like the living room.
How to play: Have everyone get rid of one thing on the first day of the month, two things on the second, three things on the third and so on until you reach day 30. At each day’s end, remove the items from your home — to either be donated, recycled or put in the trash.
This challenge might sound a bit intimidating at first, but not buying anything new for one month (or even two, three or more) is a great way to become more conscious of your consumption habits. After you’ve completed this challenge, you might discover that the purchases you skipped actually weren’t that important after all. And, you’ll definitely enjoy the money you saved!
How to play: Don’t buy anything new that you don’t really need for one month. You can still buy groceries, toiletries… you know, everyday necessities. However, avoid buying things like new clothes, technology and anything else that’s not considered an essential.
You’ll be surprised how many simple items can easily be swapped for more eco-friendly alternatives. And if you and your family use them for the 21 days it takes to make a new habit, you can make a change that will make a real impact.
How to play: Start by identifying three disposable items your family uses on a daily basis. Then, for 21 days, replace them with simple, re-usable alternatives. Use paper napkins at breakfast? Swap them for cloth ones. Get your coffee to go? Bring your own mug. Eat take-out for lunch? Use a set of cutlery from home. Find the replacements that fit your lifestyle and commit to using them for 21 days. Chances are, you’ll feel good about your new habit — and love taking the trash out less often!
Disposable plastics, like plastic bags, cutlery, soda and water bottles, coffee stirrers and most food packaging, are typically used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These “single-use plastics” are used for maybe 5-10 minutes, but can last for centuries. See how much of this plastic you use and how easy it is to stop.
How to play: Find an alternative to single-use plastics, like those listed above, for one month. If you can’t find an alternative, you have two options: Find a second use for it, or put it in a re-usable bag reserved for this challenge. At the end of the month, look in your bag to see how much you’ve collected. Think about how your habits have changed, and give yourself a pat on the back, before recycling it.
Going green isn’t just great for the environment — it’s great for everyone. These challenges are a perfect opportunity to set a positive example for the younger generation and the neighbors next door. It’s amazing how making just a few changes to what we bring into our homes (and take out!) can have a huge impact on both our immediate space and the world around us.
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