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6 Ways to Live Sustainably Under Your Parents’ Roof

You can still live sustainably while living with your parents. Here's how.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

Learning how to live sustainably isn't always easy. Add living under your parents' roof to the mix, and keeping up with your planet-friendly habits can be even more challenging. But it doesn't have to be.

Even if your family doesn't have the same mindset as you do yet, you can teach them how to implement small, planet-saving practices into their daily routine that can change that. Aside from bettering the environment, these changes can also save your family money, better their health, and more—not to mention be a great bonding experience. Here are six ideas to get you started.

Ways to Live Sustainably While Living with Your Parents

1. Gift Them Sustainable Items

Whether it's a reusable K-cup for a more sustainable cup of coffee or a reusable water bottle they can take to work, giving your parents a thoughtful eco-friendly gift is a great way to help them live sustainably. Take the time to explain why you're giving them a specific item and how it will benefit them and the planet.

2. Show Them Swaps That Save Money

If you have frugal parents, the sustainability movement is definitely something they can get behind. There's a plethora of small, simple changes you can make in your household that will save the planet—and cash. For example, instead of constantly repurchasing things, introduce them to their reusable counterparts. (Think Stasher bags, beeswax wraps, and DIY reusable paper towels.) Also, help them figure out things they can buy in bulk to cut down on waste.

3. Have More Plant-Based Meals Together

Have a family that loves to cook and eat together? Introduce them to some plant-based versions of their favorite dishes. Start by challenging them to take part in Meatless Mondays. Or have them try a new plant-based meal recipe every week. Who knows—once they realize how delicious these options are, it might become more than a once-a-week thing.

4. Have an Eco-Friendly Movie Night

Gather everyone on the couch, bring out some organic popcorn (popped in a reusable silicone bag!) and other fun movie snacks, and tune into an educational documentary that will get your parents more interested in environmentalism. Popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have a wide variety of eco-focused documentaries that'll keep your parents informed.

5. Participate in Activities Together

Looking for something to do that will be fun for both you and your parents? If they have a green thumb, try starting an herb garden together. If they love being outdoors, go on a walk and make it your mission to pick up as much trash as you can along the way. It's a great opportunity to spend time together, all while protecting the planet.

6. Show Them How to Recycle or Compost

If you've noticed your parents haven't been using the recycling bin as much as they could be, why not show them how? Recycling can be confusing at first. But once they get the hang of it, they won't even think twice about doing it. If you want to take it to the next level, purchase a compost bin for your kitchen counter and teach them about the benefits of tossing food scraps in there vs the garbage.

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