Heal Your World In Order To Heal Yourself – Why And How To Live A Little Greener
My 4 year-old: Can I throw my wrapper on the ground, mom? There’s no garbage.
Me: No, Babe, hold onto it til we find a garbage.
My 4 year-old: Why mom?
Me: This is our planet. It’s where we live. If you throw garbage on the ground, it gets into the air we breathe and makes us sick. It also gets into the soil and makes our fruits and vegetables not as healthy for us. It also gets into the water and makes our drinking water yucky.
My 4 year-old: What?! We better not throw garbage on the ground, Mom!
“When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves.” – Bobby McLeod (Aboriginal Activist & Poet)
4 Of The Many Reasons To Live A Little Greener
- Cleaner air to breathe, less circulatory and lung-related disease, such as cancer
- More nutritious soil to grow food
- Purer water to drink, less water-borne disease, such as typhoid and diarrheal diseases
- Fewer chemicals to inhale and/or ingest which leads to less type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, neurological disease, and premature death.
11 Ways To Live A Little Greener
- Use less animal products. Believe it or not, livestock, particularly those that are industrial-raised, put off a lot of greenhouse gases. In fact, livestock, as a whole, account for 51% of greenhouse gases!
- Cut back on your use of plastic, including bottled water. Reusable shopping bags and water bottles go a long way. Save glass jars and use them for storing food and things. I save and wash any and all jars. It’s cheaper than Tupperware, and better for the environment.
These caught my eye as I was browsing the toy section of a store with my kids one day. They are made using recycled materials.
On average, every pound of recycled plastic used to make Green Toys saves enough energy to run a laptop computer for a month or a TV for 3 weeks!
- Plant a garden. I planted my first garden this year. I live in an apartment, but I have two container gardens and two hanging plants on my balcony. Composting at home is also great. For people who can’t do it at home, work with your city or town to start this type of project.
I mentioned my mom’s green thumb in the post about container gardens. This is one of her many gardens.
- Eat your food, don’t waste it. If you’re constantly throwing food away, you’re probably buying too much. Cut back. You’re wallet will thank you. Don’t be in a hurry to rush to the grocery store while your fridge and pantry are still well-stocked. I literally wait until my fridge and pantry are so bare I can see through to the back on every shelf. This helps me waste less food because I can see it and eat it. There’s no rotten surprises growing in the back that ultimately need to be thrown away because nobody knew they were there.
- Cut back on single-serve items, or any items that come with a lot of packaging. Single serve means there is most likely wasteful packaging around each serving. It’s cheaper to buy in larger quantities, and it’s so much better for the environment.
- Don’t waste so much water. I’m guilty of taking daily showers. My mom tried her best to raise me to shower every other day, but I just can’t do it. However, I try to be quick and not linger, even though the hot water feels amazing running down your body! I just try to remember how important it is not to waste water. When you brush your teeth, turn it off until you’re ready to rinse. There are a lot of eco friendly appliances, including washing machines and dishwashers. Because I also believe in being frugal, I am not going to recommend purchasing one of these if you have perfectly good ones already. They are just a great idea to keep in mind when you are on the market for new ones.
- Walk or ride your bike. It’s great exercise anyway! Sometimes it’s raining, and sometimes you have to commute kind of far. I get it. However, how many times do you drive around the corner or down the block on a beautiful day? Seriously, it adds pollution to the air, deprives you of great exercise, vitamin D, and a great energy and mood boost. Get outside and enjoy the sun! Save the miles on your car. Keep the gas money in your pocket.
- Use less energy. As with water, there are some great energy-saving appliances. They are a great option for when you are on the market for new electronics. In the meantime, don’t leave lights on when no one is in the room. Turn off the TV when no one is watching (an maybe watch less because it’s better for you).
- Get crafty. One man’s trash is a creative person’s treasure. Pinterest and other sites are full of great ideas to reuse things. I learned to make plarn from old plastic bags from a link on Pinterest. I’ve been knitting with it, using my knitting loom. Very fun! I made a fairy house for my mom for Christmas almost entirely from things I found on the ground, including a beer bottle and an egg carton. The finished product looked like something you would buy. It was beautiful! I’ll have to get a picture for y’all. I’m making a wreath using old toilet paper rolls. There are so many ideas. There’s a blog I follow, http://dadojodest.com/ and she posts some brilliant ways to reuse things, all supporting the environment and living frugally at the same time.
- Donate, don’t trash. Sometimes, you’re cleaning, and you just want to get rid of the junk. Yes, tossing it is the quick and easy way to go. BUT, if you were to have a yard sale, you might make a little money. OR, you could help someone out by donating or giving it to a friend. There are a lot of people in need.
- Recycle. Check here to see where you can go to recycle.
Start with small changes, as they are easier to sustain. We are all in different places on our journeys to healthy living. I know I have areas to improve. Don’t dive in and try to tackle all of these at once. Pick one or two areas that you know you could improve on and just go for it. Just dive in! I would love comments with other ideas or things your doing to live a little greener.