The Mitchells of Delta British Columbia Canada try to follow the usual environmental 3Rs to reduce, reuse and recycle. The family tries to walk and bike as much as possible. When her car died, Mom Debbie got a hybrid car.

Sustainable Food Choices

Debbie says, “We try not to buy food with a lot of packaging. We’re now part of a local farm food co-op, so we’ll be getting our vegetables locally.” The family is vegetarian, which started when one of the daughters was diagnosed with vitamin B sensitivity and some food allergies.

The daughter was taken off foods with ingredients like wheat and dairy, so the whole family went off a bunch of foods. “We did not miss those foods and so we decided to just stay off foods like eggs, fish, dairy – not chicken.” On their home deck they have grown vegetables like tomatoes and chives, but now with belonging to a farm food co-op, family members intend to go and help out on the nearby farm.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Clothing

In terms of the 3Rs and clothing, one of the Mitchell daughters has been volunteering at a thrift store, raising awareness of clothing reuse and being able to access stunning designer fashions, including hats and wardrobe items with an Audrey Hepburn fashion influence.

Home Water Conservation & Personal Care Products

Around the house, the Mitchells are good about not using the dishwasher unless it’s full. They don’t use any cleaning chemicals and have found that baking soda and vinegar even works for cleaning the oven. The family monitors their water use by less frequent toilet flushing. Mom Debbie has also found a successful replacement for commercial shampoos from a recipe using baking soda and vinegar that leaves hair squeaky clean.

Eco-friendly Charitable Activities

The family is involved in various charitable activities including an organization called the Gleaners – a non-profit group that takes un-harvested food and locally available produce to make dried soup mix and apple snacks for distribution to the needy throughout the world. Volunteers chop, slice and dice, dry and mix the vegetables and fruits. The Mitchells also went on a trip to Mexico where they helped out in an orphanage.

The oldest daughter in the Mitchell family has really been into environmental projects with a friend. They even ended up going to international events and won an award from Canadian Geographic. Some of the family’s community green projects have included: beach clean-ups, invasive plant removal, tree planting, bird identification and Vancouver Aquarium activities.

Environmental Resources

An international, environmental organization encouraging the green cause is the David Suzuki Foundation. Environmental educator, Lindsay Coulter, at the David Suzuki Foundation, suggests some areas for parents to consider when going green. Lindsay says parents should examine their homes for toxic toys, pesticides and unhealthy personal care products. She also advises parents to read the publication called, Sustainability at Home: A Toolkit, to help families along their eco-friendly direction.

Creating a home using green living principles becomes an easier task when the whole family signs on to the reduce, reuse, recycle path. The Mitchell family is one of many successful models to follow.

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