Thursday, November 22, 2012

Real Lessons to Reduce, Reuse and Be Proud! #BetterTogether #Cbias

Parenthood is a tough job. Besides the basic needs, I am trying to raise my children to be confident, compassionate and thoughtful individuals. I know that they learn most of their lessons through my daily examples, so I try to keep my household practicing sustainable living. This is all in an effort for Making Life Better.

Last week, in my first post, I mentioned Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan. After working on it for a week, I am excited to share my family's own project here with you.

If you haven't had a chance, stop by It is amazing what Unilever is up to! There is of course Unilever's Cross off Hunger donation to Feeding America, 

"Feeding America(R), the nation's largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks.  $1= 8 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks.  Unilever will donate $250,000.  The monetary equivalent of a minimum of 2 million meals will be donated" 

But, there is even more ways to practice sustainable living that can hit home with a family like mine.

Armed with a list of Unilever products and a goal to see how much we could buy for $50, we went in search of our favorites at Walmart.

It wasn't hard to find products that we already use daily. In fact, my bathroom is stocked with Unilever brands like Dove, Suave, Noxemia, Q-Tips and more. From desserts to pasta sauces and tea, I was able to find all we needed under one family of brands.

Now, Unilever practices sustainable living in many products with the packaging. Many of the containers can be recycled. Of course the only thing better, in my opinion, than recycling a package is to reuse it. So, that is what I am going to do with a few of the products we purchased.

My son had a great time helping me finish my shopping. I hope by watching his parents check labels and packaging he will also be a conscious consumer in the future. You can check out our entire shopping experience in my Google+ album.

Having small children means I spend a lot of time reminding them of appropriate amounts, to turn off the water and to turn lights off when they leave a room. Unilever supports the 'Turn off the Tap' pledge to conserve money and water. This inspired me to make my children more aware of their water usage and when to turn off the faucet. Since 'nagging' is not my goal, I decided to implement a Chore Chart as a fun reminder.

Luckily, my kids are both fans of shows like Go Diego Go and Bob the Builder who talk about environmental issues like water conservation on the show, so this was an easy discussion to begin.

I love Dove products and when I found out the brand's social mission is to inspire young girls to build confidence and self-esteem, I knew I had to tie that into my family project also. I was not a confident girl myself, but I have hopes that my daughter will be even stronger and sure of herself than I was. I want to promote this, the best I can, in both my daughter and son. Since they are pre-school aged, I wanted to boost their confidence and independence through accomplishments around the house. Another great chance for a Chore Chart.

Along with the Chore Chart I wanted to make a Chore Jar, just random things to help with around the house. Simple things my children can easily accomplish like sweeping the kitchen, vacuuming the living room or feeding the cat. My Chart was created with Elmer's Foam Board and craft supplies around the house. The Chore Jar was made with a reused Bertolli pasta sauce jar and the Popsicle sticks left over from our favorite Popsicle treats. Here is what I made:

My charts have drawings, since neither child is reading yet, and the paper can be removed and changed easily as needed. I am keeping them in the kitchen and the children can earn stickers for their chart when items are completed. So far the excitement and praise has been enough to keep the momentum going. Later on I might have to add more incentive.

The Chore Jar was so fast and inexpensive to make. A little hot glue on the lid and to hold on a bow, washed Popsicle sticks each list one item they can draw either when they ask to help, or to earn more stickers for their Chore Chart. As a bonus, the Popsicle sticks have jokes written on one side, I wrote on the other, so we can enjoy the jokes again and again.

I made a simplified version for my 3-year old. She was very excited to earn stickers just like her big brother. I made sure to put a smiley face at the bottom and she can earn a sticker every day for having a good attitude.

My son is 5, so his list was a little longer. He is really eager to help out around the house and I hope this challenges him to pitch-in more around the house. My scratch drawings might seem a little hard to decipher, but luckily my son caught on quickly. His list of 'chores' include:

  • Brushing his teeth
  • Putting his dirty clothes in the laundry basket
  • Making his bed
  • Turning off the lights when he leaves a room
  • Turning off the water while brushing or washing his hands
  • Using the Chore Jar
  • Putting toys away in the toy box
  • Having a good attitude for the day
Unilever has inspired me to be #BetterTogether not only with my family but also with the Unilever products that I choose. I learned so much through this program, not only about the brands, but how to look around my home and make small changes for the better.

Everyone has the power to make a difference. How will you share sustainable living with your family?

Follow MakeLifeBetter on Twitter or Facebook and see what small changes you can make.

*Disclaimer - I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and  Unilever  #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions and experiences are my own.

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