Our focus here at LiveKen is on living simple, sustainable and meaningful lives. As we begin this next stage in our life, we need to consider how we can continue to live by our values and become a sustainable family.
What is a Sustainable Family?
As we defined our values clearly, we need to define what we mean by a sustainable family before we can become one. A sustainable family may be something different for you than it is for me.
Even within a family, each person’s definition may be different. I am keen to minimise the impact we have on the environment. E is more interested in how we will manage physically and mentally as a family. Obviously, both of these are important aspects of sustainable living. However, sometimes an action that achieves one of these goals may clash with the other. As with any joint decision, it’s important to find balance. Compromises can allow everyone to be happy.
Having said that, here is my definition of a sustainable family:
A sustainable family is one that minimises their negative impact on the environment, while building strong community ties and maintaining their mental, physical and financial health.
For us this has meant:
- agreeing that we will try the ‘environmentally friendly or sustainable’ options but will stop if they negatively impact my health in any way. An example of this is cloth nappies. We are starting with them, but if we find it’s too much work we’ll look at alternatives.
- taking time for ourselves before the baby arrives to go out for a nice meal, a movie, or some other event.
- accepting hand-me-downs or buying things secondhand.
- asking for gift vouchers for a nappy wash service if people want to get us gifts. This allows us to minimise the impact of using cloth during the early weeks when I’m recovering.