Busting “eco gender gaps”

Are women victims of the eco gender gap at home? It doesn’t have to be like that! Take control and get all hands on deck!

Today, I read an opinion piece in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail.

When women get stuck holding the (plastic) baby

The writer starts off by stating that her children’s school banned plastic, including packaged treats such as cakes and cupcakes.

It won’t take much longer to make an oaty bar, but who buys the ingredients? Who will clean up afterwards? …Who is sourcing (and using) the refillable, eco cleaning and laundry products? Who’s scouring recipes for tofu spag bol to avoid beef?

While I agree that mums may be the ones who get “stuck” with this responsibility of sourcing plastic-free products, I believe that there could be a different approach to a plastic-free lifestyle.

Trying to go plastic free should be a family aim, an opportunity for everyone to learn about  and suggest alternatives, as well as mucking in to help.

I can’t think of a better opportunity to teach kids how to bake! Instead of buying over-packaged, processed foods that contain artificial additives, colourants and preservatives, you can teach your kids how to make healthier options.

I see it as a re-ordering of priorities: less social media, less mindless scrolling and more home learning, bond-building.

We make time for things we prioritise: TV, snacking, shopping… but what can be more of a priority than children, the planet and their interwoven future?

If you co-parent, then YES! Involve your other half. YES, you will probably write down the list and manage the first few “training sessions” on what to buy and which containers to take to the shop. However, if you do not ask your partner to share this “burden” with you, how can you expect them to help out?

If you don’t co-parent, you can still teach your kids to chip in. Think of it as creating a capable adult!

You don’t have to be Gwyneth Paltrow to run a “green household”.

Men and women traditionally have different roles in running a household, with women often shouldering a full-time job plus the traditional roles of nurturing and household chores. But ladies, we live in 2020, and it’s time for you to take control and make the rules!

Set expectations for your partner and children (in all kitchen, cleaning and gardening chores).

Work together as a team (in all kitchen, cleaning and gardening chores).

Teach responsibility.

Model environmental leadership and respect.

Value making time to spend together as a family.

Learn together by researching articles, recipes or visiting new shops together.

Discuss solutions that worked and that didn’t work.

Ask your kids and partner for their opinions and ideas. You might be surprised!

What do you think?

Do you agree with Louise Jones that there’s an unfair eco-gender gap?

What can we do to close this gap?

I’ll finish off with a quote by Brené Brown:

Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting. In terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the “never enough” culture, the question isn’t so much “Are you parenting the right way?” as it is: “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?