Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sustainability Nook: 10 Baby Steps To Going Green

 photo sustainabilityposterwords2_zps8902385b.jpg Have you ever thought or are you thinking about living a sustainable lifestyle? If so, here are some helpful tips that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Even if you haven't thought about going green, there might be something here that resonates with you and causes you to embark upon making small, sustainable changes. To that, I say cheers!

1. Thrifing Is So Cool - Buying second hand at your local thrift store is cool, super eco friendly, a money saver, and you'll awesomely support a non-profit thrift store that provides many wonderful services to homeless, disabled, and underserved populations. And let's not even start on all the cool stuff you'll find for yourself, your bod, your home, family, friends and more! 

2. Oh, No...Don't Throw It Away - Remember when we used to throw everything in the garbage can? Well, we know better now. We know that our landfills are getting filled to capacity, we make too much waste and much of that doesn't have to be waste and we now know that almost anything can have a fabulous, new life if we look at it with new eyes, use our imaginations and rethink, reuse and recycle. Turn those spaghetti jars into storage containers, turn those cereal boxes into notebooks and turn those t-shirts into hats, scarves and much more. Turn the unwanted into something amazing! PS: If you're a regular reader, you know that I create lots of tutorials showing you how to recycle/make all kinds of stuff. Caveat: you have to read this blog to find out how to turn blah stuff into awesome stuff! :)
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Here's an example of not throwing something away. I upcycled a file folder into this notebook... which, by the way, you can snag from my shop. Like how I crept that in? Ha! Ha!

3. Beware the Chemicals - Here's a cool exercise (but don't think of it as an exercise). Take note of your chemicals for one day. Make a list of all the chemicals that are going into and onto your body. I'm talking soap, laundry detergents, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, household cleaners, etc. Then start crossing out those you can replace with healthier, more natural alternatives. Hey, you might even consider making some of your own products. It's super fuuuuuuun!! PS: I've written plenty of tutorials on this blog, that show you how to make all kinds of body products...and most of them are super fast and super easy! Check the archives... :) 

4. Delete the Paper Towels -  We need the oxygen trees produce, so save a tree and chuck the paper towels. You can substitute them with cotton towels. Plenty of crafters make really cute, cotton towels! Check any online marketplace, you'll see.

5. Put That Clothesline To Good Use - Save mucho on your electricity bill and put that clothes-line to work for you. If you don't have one, consider making one in your yard or in your basement. If you're not accustomed to using a clothesline, start out slowly and use it once a week and work up to using it more regularly.

6. So What Am I Eating? -  What is red dye #40 and yellow dye #5 and why would we want to put that into our bodies (believe me, it's in plenty of drinks and 'food'). Try to be more mindful of what's going into your body. Does red dye sound appetizing or would you prefer your colors to come from whole foods like strawberries, broccoli, squash or sweet potatoes? 

7. Reuse That Bag -  One fast and easy way to eliminate waste is to use reusable grocery bags. Using grocery totes has picked up in recent years, but sometimes we do forget them and leave them at home, in the trunk or whatever. Really try to get in the habit of grabbing them before you go shopping, because those bags really come in handy and do the job way better than plastic or paper bags. 

And speaking of totes, I make plenty of them because I use them for grocery shopping, checking out library books and much more. You can find some cool ones that I make here and here

8. Local Is the Magic Word - Buy local foods and goods. Support local farmer's markets. Eat at local restaurants. Buy from local handmakers (wink,wink). Support your local economy and your local community as much as possible. 

9. Sustainable Group, Anyone? If you don't want to go it alone, start a sustainable group. Go on the hunt for some like minded folks and have monthly meetings (or whenever you want), to share ideas, swap things, like clothes, coupons, gardening tools, seeds, handmade goods, etc. This has the potential to be all kinds of awesome!

10. Share the Goodness - Tell others about information you've learned on how to save money, as well as how to live greener and healthier. Perhaps, volunteer to help loved ones, a school, a local non profit, your church, etc., go green. Helping other people discover a sustainable way of living, helps communities at large become more conscious, mindful and helpful to our environment. Share the green goodness!

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