Even if you’re not a minimalist, it is never a bad idea to do your part for the environment. A happy healthy planet means a healthy happy you.
Here are some extremely easy tips to be green:
- Buy local. This not only reduces the amount of processing that goes into your foods, but also helps your community. They will be organic foods with less chemicals and more nutrients, vitamins, minerals — and best of all — flavor! Buying local and organic will guarantee that you are not consuming any GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and eliminates all of the greenhouse gas when products are flown/trucked in.
- Turn off your lights, enjoy a lovely candle-lit dinner. This will create a calming atmosphere and the harsh florescent lights will not be bothering you while you eat. Try little tea light candles, or soy/beeswax candles in a glass case in which you can reuse. Nadine makes her own candles so she can control the the ingredients used in her candles and reduce the amount of waste.
- Don’t forget to light your candles with a match! Most lighters are made with plastic and filled with butane fuel (both petroleum). Best to buy matches made out of cardboard, which is made out of recycled paper — also cheaper!
- Buy less packaged food. Look in the produce and bulk sections of the grocery stores. BYOB, or bring your own baggies to put things in as well! This is not only better for the environment, but more often than not beneficial to your health.
- COMPOST. Compost as much as you can in your kitchen. All your produce scraps can be composted. This includes egg shells, stale bread, moldy cheese, herbal tea bags, peanut shells, even animal fur, and so much more! No compost bin purchase necessary, my family simply created a small welded wire fence in our backyard and threw all of our compost in there. It creates nutrient-rich soil for our garden.
- Buy things second hand. Vintage shopping for clothes and furniture can reduce production needs. There are so many second hand shops, and you will be surprised at all the neat stuff you find — for a bargain too!
- Do as much of your billing and paperwork online as you can, then recycle everything else. It will also keep you more organized and up to date with your finances.
- Use your cars less! Rely more on public transport, bikes, and walking when you can. It’s amazing how much we rely on our cars. It’s truly a luxury, and unnecessary when you need to go right down the street for your errands. Take your dog with you, make it a habit!
- If possible, try reducing the amount of red meat you eat. The amount of energy that goes into feeding and caring for these larger animals would surprise you. It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef. Try eating vegetarian at least one day a week, and see how you feel! Meatless Mondays are always a good start.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle.
- Or, as a minimalist; reuse, reuse, reuse.
- Keep plants in your home. It will brighten your rooms, and lighten your mood! In Claire’s room she has a bamboo plant, a few cacti (great if you are lousy at remembering to water your plants), and a poppy, daisy, and sunflower plant that are still growing. It is also easy to grow your own herbs including rosemary, basil, thyme (yuck!), oregano, and mint.
- Challenge yourself — try to go an entire month without purchasing anything with plastic!
These are just a few of the steps you can take to help reduce your footprint. Let us know any other tips you have in the comments below. xx
-N & C