Food and Cuisine

Published on February 8th, 2011 | by Karen Lee


3 Tips for More Sustainable Living

There are a million different ways to live sustainably and if you think about them all, they can make your head spin. I’m the epitome of ‘Give me the Cliffnotes version!” type of a person. I know there’s a saying, “There are more than one way to skin a cat” but I don’t want all those ways. I just want one. OK, two, tops. That’s it.

So, here are 3 easy ways (out of a million) to live sustainably that will make you and the environment happier. Each week I’ll be giving you 3 more ideas to live a simpler, more sustainable life.

1. Eat sustainably.

This might sound hard but it really isn’t. The best way to eat sustainably is to eat whole foods and cook from scratch. Avoid the middle aisles in the supermarket and shop around the perimeter of the store. The only items you should be buying from the middle of the aisle are organic personal care products, like shampoo, soaps, detergents, and dishwashing liquid. Now if you are a true, die hard, handmade guru, you can make all those items from scratch too. But you’ll still need the ingredients from the middle aisles of a market and the patience of Caroline Ingalls. Oh, and, if you eat more plant based diet, you’ll achieve this goal a lot faster as meat production is a lot more damaging to the environment, not to mention your health.

2. Clean with non-toxic chemicals.

This took a little bit of getting used to when I started but now, non-toxic cleaners are all I use in my house. In addition, they are in every supermarket and are just as cheap and just as effective as those nasty, eye tearing, nose itching, chemical loaded cleaners. Non-toxic cleaners are so much gentler on your skin, not to mention our water ways. Again, you can make your own detergents if you feel adventurous but you don’t have to if you are too busy bringing home the bacon. If nothing else, try using vinegar and baking soda for all your surface cleaning. You’ll be surprised how well they work and how inexpensive they are.

3. Reduce Consumption and create less waste.

Wow. What does this mean? You mean, don’t buy anything? No. It means, weigh the Pro’s and Con’s of what you are buying. Some items are not worth the money and the space they’ll take up in your house. If you see something you like, walk away for ten minutes and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If answer is “Yes”, then, think about it for one more day. If the answer is sill ‘Yes”, then, buy it. And then, when you bring it home, don’t open it, and let it sit in the bag for another day. The chances are, if it’s an impulsive purchase, the impulse decision will now have lost its glitter. Then, you can return the item and get a refund. You’ll leave the store with more cash in your pocket than when you walked in and less clutter in your house. And less waste for the landfills.

There are more tips on its way next week. Stay tuned!

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About the Author

Karen lives a simple, frugal, green life and shares her eco tips and news on ecokaren and is a co-founder of Green Sisterhood, a network of community of green women bloggers, making change. When she's not managing Green Sisterhood or blogging on ecokaren, she is a chauffeur to two greenagers, wife to an accidental recycler, master chef to hungry locavores, seamstress, knitter, and dumpster diver, not necessarily in that order.

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