Conservation Conversation: Going Green as a Family

By Amber Gregg –

As many of you may know, our previous co-ordinator Vanessa Moberg recently boarded a 34-foot sail boat and set off for sea in an effort to create awareness around conservation. Vanessa’s adventurous decision meant that the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society would need to find a replacement for her—a tall order.

Spending time outdoors as a family is a great way to enjoy nature and learn about the environment.
Photo: Amber Gregg

After a successful interview, I was offered the position and happily accepted. It is my responsibility to ensure that the team has the resources they need to deliver our amazing programs. When I am not sitting in front of a budget, spread sheet, or funding report (something I actually enjoy), I am learning about watershed health, sustainable life, and what it means to be waste wise and water wise.

My husband and I have two young boys, ages three years and 18 months, and two dogs. He and I both work, and the kids are in daycare four days a week. We all love outdoor activities including biking, hiking, canoeing, and camping. We enjoy gardening, home improvements, and spending time with family and friends. We are busy, to say the least, and our routine is delicately balanced to ensure we don’t exceed the maximum amount of chaos on any given day.

Since joining the team at the Conservation Society, I have been reviewing our daily life from an environmental standpoint and we have been trying to adopt some new, earth-friendly habits. Here are a few that were easy for us to implement:

  • We ride our bikes as much as possible. My partner rides to work, rain or shine, and as cold as minus 20 degrees C. We have a bike trailer for the kids, and they think it’s a really cool way to travel, especially while yelling “faster mommy” as I pedal up the hill toward home.
  • We participate in the compost program at the Potato House. Once or twice a week we bring our bucket of scraps from food prep and their amazing team turns it back into nutrient rich soil for gardening.
  • We only do laundry when we have a full load and we hang our laundry to dry as much as possible.
  • We swap out products that come with packaging (even if it is recyclable) for alternatives as often as possible, such as purchasing milk in glass bottles, bar shampoo, conditioner, and body soap.
  • We turn the tap off while brushing our teeth and washing our hands.

As it turns out, more often than not, the environmentally-friendly choice is also less expensive and healthier—win-win!

My partner and I very much enjoy spending time in the kitchen preparing delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for our family. There is no question that we would much rather make everything from scratch and with the highest quality ingredients, but the reality is that we are not always willing to sacrifice the time, and ingredients can be extremely expensive or difficult to source. One night we may have a homemade meal with ingredients grown in our own backyard, and another night its frozen fish sticks and tater tots.

Going green as a family can be a daunting task. During my first month here, my very wise co-workers advised me to change one habit at a time so as not to become overwhelmed. We try to be conscious of the impact that the choices we make have on the environment and hope that our kids will, too. A couple of weeks ago, my partner was cleaning the bathroom and after wiping out the toilet bowl, he gave it a quick flush. Our son went in and told him, “That’s a waste of water, Daddy”. Sounds like we are off to a good start!

Amber is the Coordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society as well as the Coordinator for WildSafe BC for the Cariboo Regional District. When she is not working on spreadsheets or sharing information about wildlife safety, she enjoys getting outdoors with her husband and two boys. Visit CCCS at https://www.ccconserv.org to learn more about our education programs or community projects.

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