How can we live a more sustainable, zero-waste eco-friendly lifestyle?
is a question that surfaces quite often.
Given that we live in a world filled with harmful chemicals and processed food, it’s not as simple as it sounds to go-green and lead a life (at least not a very inexpensive one) consuming only natural and organic products, though that would be the ideal.
But with baby steps and making small but lasting eco-friendly lifestyle changes we can all certainly help reduce our carbon footprint and make this world a better place to live for us and our future generations.
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Becoming a mom makes you think twice (or even thrice at times) about every action you take, even about things that were once no brainers. And you ask yourself a million questions on the daily, especially, how can you effectively teach your kids how to be mindful of their actions? TRUST ME, I AM GOING SOMEWHERE WITH THIS…
One of those million questions (currently) being, how to teach our little one to value the planet we live in and care for it? And coincidentally, one of the most popular posts on my blog is GREEN LIVING & PARENTING!
You know, it’s ironic, extremely ironic in fact, that while growing up all we (my family and I) used were stainless steel, glass, and reusable everything, but as I grew up (rather when I moved to this country) I got the hang of the ‘easy and practical’ (maybe not as practical now that I think about it) and opted for more ‘use and throw options’.
‘Use and throw’ was a foreign concept to us back then. At home, we always used metal, glass or wood, and plastic was very rarely used (if at all). We never used (in fact didn’t even know about) paper towels back then, but always opted for a cloth to clean just about anything and everything. We always brought our own (reusable) bags to the grocery store.
If something was broken we got it fixed and didn’t simply toss it out the door. And we only shopped for exactly what we 100% needed, there was NEVER buying anything on a whim. I owned exactly 3 pairs of shoes – 1 pair of black shoes and 1 pair of white shoes for school, and 1 pair of sandals to wear outside. Now I easily own 100+ pairs of shoes (I don’t even know what to say to that, but I know the next time I see a cute pair of Fall shoes, I will ‘add to cart’ and buy it).
All of it was simply the norm, a way of life, and I never found any of it to be inconvenient, and I didn’t even know that any other way existed, until, I came to the US.
Back then, taking care of our planet came so naturally and I did it even without making any effort (without my parents having to worry about how to make their kids understand the value of green living’, but now it’s a whole other story. Sadly, now I have to first unlearn most of those ‘easy’ choices that have become a part of this lifestyle in the past 11 years, learn how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle myself and then teach our son ‘how to’. That’s not to say that I don’t make any eco-friendly choices, I do, but there is still a long way to go.
SIMPLE STEPS TO A MORE
SUSTAINABLE, GREENER, ECO-FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
1) When you go shopping bring your own bags (that include grocery and produce bags) made from canvas, mesh, cloth or recycled/recyclable plastic.
2) In the kitchen, replace your non-stick utensils with stainless steel and plastic containers and canisters with glass.
3) At home, use biodegradable products as much as possible, for example, trash bags, cleaning products, detergents, etc.
4) Replace paper towels with cloth or bamboo towels to clean the house. I know, this is going to be the hardest but it’s only a matter of getting used to.
5) When you are out and about carry your own coffee mug (ask the barista to fill coffee in your own mug), water bottle, straw, and utensils.
6) Avoid food wastage by meal prepping and meal planning for the week. Not only do you save money but also save time and eat healthy at the same time.
7) Bring your own lunch to work every day and avoid takeout food. Again, healthy and saves money, along with saving the planet.
8) Cover leftover food and wrap produce when necessary with wax food wraps instead of plastic wraps. Store food in reusable containers instead of plastic.
9) Use a compost bin and separate out compostable items from regular trash. Ideally, have 3 bins – compost, trash and recycle.
10) Get in the habit of recycling paper, plastic, glass, and cans, etc. In some states, it is mandatory to separate out recycle materials from other trash.
11) Buy fresh produce instead of canned goods. Buy in bulk whenever possible and avoid buying single-serving items (classic example, yogurt, and snacks).
12) If you no longer use something, donate it instead of dumping it (as long as it is in usable condition). Sort and store them separately so you don’t lose track of these items.
13) AVOID plastic, styrofoam or anything one-time-disposable items as much as possible and think of long-term/multi-use alternatives.
While there are several more ways in which we can all make environmentally friendly choices on the daily, these are some great first steps towards making some necessary switches to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
On that note, please tell me below how you all practice sustainability?
SUSTAINABLE HOME AND KITCHEN PRODUCTS