Tomorrow April 22nd is Earth Day, and I believe that everyday should be earth day. I would love to do environmental awareness through performance art, yet the best place to always begin for now is my own life. Minimalist living is definitely an awesome beginning!
I’ve read many articles stating that recycling plastics takes more energy than recycling other materials such as paper, glass, or metals, as well as is more toxic.
These articles also state that much of the plastic that we think may be being recycled usually ends up in land fills for one reason or another. I recycle as much as possible, yet when I think of all of the items that I purchase that is packaged in one time use plastic, but the cycle seems endless. I’m always thinking of more ways that I can create a smaller carbon footprint on the planet every day.
Here are a few changes that I’ve made and continue to strive for. When I get very busy it is so easy to choose convenience as the priority. The true priority should be creating a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations. With a bit of planning, making favorable choices for the planet is possible even during those hectic times!
1. Limiting Plastic and Packaging
I was thinking of all the vitamins and/or supplements that I usually purchase that come in plastic containers. Switching out supplements for ones that have combinations of ingredients so that I am buying less bottles, and also products that are sold in glass bottles like one of my favorites Healthforce Vitamineral Green is defintely a great option. I also love the idea of bulk size supplements that have less packaging overall. See more plastic-free ideas here.
Making so many of my own beauty products as well as household cleaners also uses less packaging. I am constantly reusing containers that I already have to store the products that I make. Making my own skin care, hair care, makeup, deodorant, household cleaners etc. allows me to use many of the same ingredients in different ways. Plus it saves me TONS of money!
2. Bulk Foods & Fresh Produce
It is much more common to see people bring their own reuseable grocery bags when shopping now, yet taking it to the next level would be purchasing bulk foods such as rice, lentils, beans, quinoa, and fresh produce in reusuable bulk/produce bags too. It is so easy to buy prepackaged foods over bringing your own produce and bulk bags to fill, but it is so worth it. It takes a conscious effort to purposely purchase items with less packaging, and it is actually feels so good when I use my reusable bulk and produce bags. I have my own moments when I don’t have enough bulk/produce bags for my shopping trip, yet you live, you learn, and you get better!
3. Buy Local and Organic
Creating the time and planning meals ahead to take advantage of my local farmer’s market is always a better choice than the convenience of grocery shopping throughout the week. I LOVE going to the farmer’s market every Sunday, and I feel extremely disappointed if I miss it. The food is so much fresher, ripens better, and tastes so extraordinary compared to what I can get from the grocery store. Also by limiting the amount of times I go to the grocery store, I save gas and fuel emissions. Choosing organic and local, not putting items in plastic bags that don’t really need it, and remembering to bring reusable shopping bags even for other non-grocery shopping trips makes a huge difference.
4. Redesigning and Reinventing
I’ve been sewing much more than I have in the past, and I do enjoy it. Although I’ve decluttered my wardrobe and hardly shop the way I used to, finding new ways to redesign or reinvent clothing items could be a great way to shop even less. A simple example is redesigning a stretched out leotard worn to my dance classes into a sports bra or athletic crop top. Or even changing the hem of a maxi dress to just above the knee or mini creates a completely new design.
5. Living With Less
Living with less is probably the best way to have a lighter existence on the planet overall. Having less doesn’t mean living miserably, actually the opposite. I have found so much joy and peace in my life once I eliminated everything that I didn’t absolutely love. The amount of time, energy, and space that clutter consumes can be suffocating. Everyone will have their own definition and qualifications for what minimalist living will mean for their own life. My overall perspective is if you do not use something daily, weekly, or even monthly, you may want to allow someone else to. Living light is not only emotionally and physically freeing, but a much smaller carbon footprint.
What changes have you made to be gentler to planet earth? See more Earth Day Resolutions here!
(Image redesigned by Dawn Michelle from Facebook)