Simple Living

Published on September 17th, 2011 | by Lynn Fang


Simplify Your Green Living

Mr. Clean Vinegar

Going green is no easy business. There are twists and turns, hurdles and humps, and quite a bit of eco-sinning in the process of mastering the basic skills.

So what can you do to help make this process a bit smoother and less sinful?

My motto is simplify, simplify, simplify.

I’ve adopted a few tips to help ease my process, maybe they can help you too.

1. Use only one all-natural soap bar for all your showering needs.
Do you really need both shampoo and conditioner? It depends on your hair type – maybe you do, and maybe you need other specialty items. But if you don’t have big problems with your hair, it’s good to re-assess. I went from conventional shampoo and conditioner to a baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse. But eventually I grew tired of making them all the time. So I tried an experiment: one all-natural organic soap bar for all my showering needs: body, hair, and shaving. So far, so good. My hair is shiny and smooth and my body is too. Give it a try and see if you like it. There are no commitments to be made, so you can always go back if your hair freaks out.

2. Make simple meals.
Making your own food from local, organic ingredients is the most eco-friendly way to eat. But sometimes it can be a real pain to cook. The trick is to keep it simple, but make it full of flavor. Don’t forget to savor the natural flavor of whole foods.

  • A small salad with nuts and fruit
  • Mixed vegetables with rice, quinoa, or couscous
  • Oatmeal with honey and raisins
  • Fresh or grilled veggies in a sandwich or wrap
  • Flatbread pizza
  • Pasta with steamed broccoli, kale, collard, or other greens. Serve with feta if you eat cheese, otherwise use nutritional yeast.
  • Sautéed greens with a side of rice or potatoes

Season these up with pepper, dressing, miso, or other spices.

3. Make your homemade cleaning agents with a maximum of 3-5 ingredients.
Soapnuts, baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, borax, lemon juice, salt, essential oils. You can use an awful lot of ingredients in your homemade cleansers. Keep it simple with just a few basics. I stick with soapnuts, baking soda, vinegar, and lavender essential oil. I can clean just about everything with just these 4 ingredients. Some days I use only baking soda for laundry, and it works!

4. Reduce: Go without.
What can you live without? Removing a need from your life makes it more green. I removed deodorant and makeup from my life, so I don’t even have to worry about them. The even better thing is, I don’t miss them one bit! I spend less time worrying about which organic mineral makeup is best, applying it and fixing it, and wondering whether it’s really looking right. In return I have more mental sanity and free time.

It’s a win-win situation.

How have you simplified your green living process? Do you have any tips to add?

[CC Image by elycefeliz via Flickr]

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About the Author

is a compost consultant and educator, eco-conscious writer, and intuitive artist. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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