Does my blog post title sound too ambitious?! Can we really create a brighter future for our children? With most of the environmental research reporting gloom and doom, it feels like we're leaving our children with the most unenviable future. So, do we just give up without even trying?
Yes, we have screwed up with nature big time, but...
I believe that teaching our children to care about nature and encouraging them to make even tiny little steps in the right direction is always better than a passive acceptance.
Perhaps you think that as an individual you cannot do much about saving the environment or changing the future. Don't feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and start with small steps. Just a few small changes can make a difference.
Unilever's brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes which help make a big difference.
Small steps are not scary and are very achievable.
Just a few facts:
"Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 483 million people to improve their health and hygiene.
This is exemplified in the work undertaken by Domestos that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates and improve quality of life."
I agree, the clean sanitation is paramount, if anything, it is much more valuable than the questionable vaccinations the West brings to the Third World countries. They need to have access to clean water and sanitation.
Another initiative by Unilever which is worth mentioning is the Dove Self-Esteem Project. This inspiring cause helps girls and women gain body confidence. They've been working on this project for over 10 years. I remember when the first Dove ads appeared, featuring women with normal bodies. It was so refreshing and reassuring.
This campaign is a reality check, especially for young people who are bombarded daily by "perfect bodies" in social media. Young people of all genders would benefit from developing a positive self-image.
Bringing up our children to be confident is very important.
Could we dream of a future where people are not judged on the merit of their appearance, and nobody preys on the other people's insecurities?!
I remember how my own insecurities were riled up by an unkind teacher who used to comment on my "cute hampster's cheeks" every time she saw me. I tried to avoid her as much as possible.
So, kudos to Dove for the self-esteem project.
Which little steps do we take as a family, hoping for the better present and future?
- We recycle religiously, and have been for many years.
What else could count as little things to a more sustainable lifestyle?
- donating to local charity shops. As a blogger, I'm very lucky to be sent quite a lot of toys for reviewing. Some of them we keep, a lot of them is passed on to friends' children, or go to the nurseries and the charity shops.
- washing clothes at lower temperatures and using Persil Non-Bio.
- not using a car. We decided against having a car, and life without a car is do-able, unless you live somewhere in the middle of nowhere. My husband commutes by bus to another town for work. I walk everywhere in town, 10-12 miles every day easily.
- using leftovers creatively:
if I have fat leftover from the roast, I don't throw it away. The duck fat added to roast potatoes turns them into a feast of gods.
If there's beef or pork fat leftover, I let it cool, then add the seeds, roll into balls and pop into the freezer. Birds absolutely love those homemade food bombs. You can buy a big bag of seeds very cheaply. We love watching birds in our garden. There is a curious robin who follows me around the garden, whenever I have some gardening jobs.
We try to encourage bees and butterflies to visit our garden, by planting sweet smelling and wild flowers, and not weeding everything (for example, I keep a little patch of nettles behind the greenhouse - they are a magnet for some butterflies. The same goes for dandelions).
What do you do as a family to create a brighter future?
This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.
Disclosure: I received a selection of Unilever products for taking part in the challenge. All opinions are mine.