5 Steps To A Sustainable Lifestyle
Perhaps you have heard the terms “Sustainable Lifestyle, or “Self Reliance” going around lately. Maybe it’s even peaked your interest but you weren’t sure how to get started. That’s where I was when I first started looking into it. Transitioning from a consumer driven life to one that is self-reliant can be challenging, but if you take it one step at a time, you can make a rather smooth transition. With the benefits associated with becoming more self-reliant the transition is well worth the effort.
Benefits of Sustainable Living
There are a multitude of benefits of adopting a more sustainable mindset. It’s not only more environmentally responsible, as you reduce waste and use less resources but also has a lot of personal benefits.
Elimination of harsh chemicals from the home– With the elimination of many toxin laden consumer products from the home, you will inevitably be switching to using items that are more natural and chemical free!
Personal Growth – Becoming self-reliant will cause you to increase your skills and knowledge as you learn to do things on your own. As needs arise, you will find yourself researching how to make something or do something you would have previously paid for. This can not only help you to become more free thinking, but can also be beneficial for teaching others.
Saving money – As you learn to make things and to do things on your own, you will find that you are spending less and less than before. You will learn how to use whats on hand rather than rushing out to the store for items that you once thought were “a necessity “. By doing so you will have saved time, money and a lot of frustration. Lets face it, we all could use less frustration.
Simplifying Your Life – As you really start putting some thought into what you can do on your own and what items you can make or do without, you will start to notice a certain simplicity taking place. You will be less overrun with unnecessary stuff and you may even find yourself more content and relaxed as you take on a new outlook on what is actually wants versus needs! Perhaps, you will even choose to downsize, which has it’s own set of benefits associated with it!
5 Easy Sustainable Living To Get You Started
Getting started embracing the self-reliant approach is not all that difficult if tackled in phases. Here are a list of things you can start practicing today. Compare this list against your current practices and challenge yourself to tackle one at a time.
1. Bring your food and beverages
I’m starting with the easiest of the easy! As I have said in other posts, “Stop Buying Convenience Items!” Save your time, money, and resources and pack these items to go! It only takes a few minutes and minimal effort to pack something to take with you and I guarantee it’s a healthier choice!
2. Reuse, Recycle, Re-purpose
What items do you already own that can be reused or re-purposed? Before tossing, ask yourself, can it be used for something else. Here are a few examples:
- use empty containers for storage or packing lunches
- Old T-shirts can be turned to rags when no longer wearable
- Table scraps can can be feed to chickens or put in compost pile to turn into fertilizer for your garden
For items you cannot re-purpose, can they be recycled?
3. Make your own household cleaners
We have been taught to believing we need a separate cleaner for every job in the house. This is not true! We can actually make all our own cleaning products with just a few household items that we usually have on hand. These homemade cleaners are not only less expensive than the store-bought version but are also free of harsh chemicals that should be avoided. Watch for an upcoming post outlining how to make your own.
4. Make your own beauty products
The same holds true for your personal beauty items. Many of these can be made at home with minimal ingredients. Using items, that are not full of chemicals. For example you can make your own homemade lotion with just two to three ingredients. The key is figuring out what you can make yourself versus what is more feasible to buy.
5. Grow your own food
The more food you can grow and preserve at home the more you can increase sustainability. This don’t mean you must have a full-scale farm, but what can you add? Perhaps you can start with a few potted tomato plants on your patio or some herbs in the windowsill.
We have a great local farmers market where I can get fresh local vegetables at a great price and I am able to preserve them for the winter. The key is figuring out what you can do where you are and building from there.
Are you ready to get started or are you a veteran? I would love to hear from you!
If you are starting, what tips are you going to start focusing on first?
For those who are already practicing, what advice would you give?