Sustainable Practices for Family Life

Growing up in California, surrounded by nature, I was lucky to have learned the importance of caring for our planet very early. From farmer’s market visits and growing our food at home to eliminating waste through composting or mindful shopping, my upbringing formed a lifelong commitment to sustainability. It’s now my driving force for everything I do as a chef, founder of west~bourne, activist, and mother.

As a mom of three under three and a zero~waste chef, I do everything I can to teach my kids, at every step of their development, big and small ways they can care for their planet and the well-being of future generations.  My mission always centers around what’s good for our soil is good for our bodies. 

Here are some tips on how to implement sustainable practices into your family’s everyday lifestyle:

  • Shop Mindfully: With so many options out there for parents, it’s essential to look for products made with sustainable materials and for brands that do their part to reduce waste, like the Ergobaby Evolve Bouncer–which grows with each little one, from newborn to toddler, reducing the need for over-production. 
  • Cook Together: My kids love picking produce from our backyard garden, shopping at our local farmer’s market, and learning about each ingredient as we cook. It’s important that our children grow up with an appreciation for the care, dedication, patience, and thoughtfulness that goes into how our food is grown and how it gets onto our plates. 
  • Repurpose Leftovers: In our home, we call leftovers “playing jazz in the kitchen.” Teaching kids how to repurpose leftover food is good for the planet and helps them develop healthy eating habits and creativity in the kitchen. In the kitchen, create an entirely new, kid-friendly dish from leftovers, extra produce, and even veggie scraps to help reduce waste.
  • Compost: Create a compost bin for each of your kids. Work together to learn what goes to compost and what gets recycled/upcycled. If you have a garden, use the compost as nutrient-rich soil, or find a local compost collection site you can visit as a family. 

By incorporating these sustainable practices into your family’s daily life, you can help protect the planet alongside your children and for generations to come.


About Camilla Marcus:

Camilla Marcus is a chef, entrepreneur, and activist dedicated to rethinking what it means to be a steward for our planet, people, and future through the lens of food. Camilla’s pioneering hospitality business – west~bourne – was inspired by her California upbringing and began as the first mission-driven, zero-waste neighborhood restaurant in NYC. Since closing its doors in SoHo, west~bourne has expanded its mission of eating well and doing better into the go-to brand for plant-powered and planet-positive provisions for the next generation. 

Camilla is committed to innovating across fields, from environmental activism to structural reform within the hospitality industry. She is a co-founder of ROAR (Restaurants Organizing Advocating Rebuilding) and a founding member of the IRC (Independent Restaurant Coalition). In addition, she is committed to building a more equitable childcare system for working mothers. 

Camilla is a sustainability expert and seeks to inspire a communal, considered approach to eating, gathering, and caring for the planet.

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.

December 12, 2022
December 15, 2022