There is so much focus this day in age on the environment and becoming Eco friendly. But how exactly does one do that? While still learning about how to become more Eco friendly, my husband and I created our rules to live by to make our lives and home more Eco friendly.
All Products Must be Cruelty-Free
So this first one doesn’t have a direct correlation to more sustainable living but it is very important. Any product that comes into our home must be cruelty-free. There are so many reasons that cruelty-free is important. I could definitely go on a long rant, but I won’t at this time. But let’s list the top reason – no animals were made to suffer in the production of any of the products.
There is an indirect correlation to green living when purchasing cruelty-free products. Many of these products tend to be more Eco friendly just because they tend to use better natural ingredients.
I want to take a moment to note that it is really hard to find medications that are cruelty-free, but I wont stop looking. If we really need something for our health and well being we will use it, but we try to find a cruelty-free option if possible.
Thrift Or Garage Sale First
People are constantly cleaning out their homes and trying to find new homes for all of their stuff. I find the best deals at garage sales and thrift stores. I often search there first before I would consider purchasing something at a store. Reuse is a main principle of sustainable living because it isn’t contributing to the demand for new product.
Try DIY First
Try to make what you need before purchasing it ready made. This could be really complex like a piece of furniture to something simple like that pan of lasagna instead of the freezer section one. You develop skills as a craftsmen, as well as have a sense of pride in your creation!
Purchase Things That You Need
There is so much advertising out there trying to get you to purchase their products. It is really easy to just start buying random items. However, it is important to stop and think “Do I really need this?” In most cases, you don’t. While this is an Eco friendly rule it is also good for your budget.
Purchase Quality Over Quantity
When making a purchase, I often spend a little more on something I know is going to last over something that I will have to replace soon. So many things are designed cheap just to toss out later on. I try really hard to find things with long lifespans in order to reduce buying new again.
All Clothing Must be at Least 80% Cotton Or Other Natural Material
Have you ever heard of micro plastics? They are tiny pieces of plastic that have completely invaded our environment on every level. One of the main ways they enter our environment is from washing our plastic-based clothing, i.e. polyester. During the washing cycle, these materials shed tiny pieces of themselves and work their way into the air and water. By wearing clothing that is made from natural fibers, you will not be adding to the micro plastics via laundry.
Purchase The Plastic Free Alternative
There are so many plastic products out there, but there are a growing number of alternatives being put on the market. Instead of grabbing that plastic jar of pasta sauce, reach for the glass one. Instead of getting the plastic laundry bin, grab a wicker one. You might be surprised how many plastic alternatives there are out there. Try to reduce plastic when ever possible. Make simple swaps for things made with natural materials. That includes things made of wood, grasses, wicker, glass, and paper.
Grow It If You Can
While having a big garden is a dream of mine, it’s not a reality right now. But even growing my own herbs in the window sill can have a positive effect. A small action like this can reduce your plastic waste by not having to buy the fresh herbs from the grocery store or the dried herbs in the spice section. There is also all the energy that it takes to move the products to the store. By having it right at home you cut out all the transportation needed to get the product to its (usually far flung) destination.
Walk/Bike Whenever You Can Instead Of Taking The Car
To cut down on emissions from the car, walk or bike whenever it’s possible. Public transportation is also a better option. Something that just breaks my heart every day is having to drive to work. I work just a couple of miles from my home and could easily bike, but I need my car for work so I have to bring it with. I wish I this wasn’t so. My husband drives 30 miles to work and we recently purchased him a new car that has a much higher MPG, so every little bit helps no matter your mode of transportation.
Say No To Single Use Items
Straws, plastic silverware, cling wrap, plastic bottles, produce bags, chip bags, the list goes on and on. It’s simple – say no to things that are used once and then thrown away!
You have power in your vote! Make it known to your representatives that the environment is a priority. Support people who believe the same thing as you. Get out there and vote and encourage everyone you know to vote, too! There are many people who go out for the big elections (2020, for example) but voting on your more local positions are just as important. A perfect example of this is voting for city council members who would support and encourage green buildings and businesses in your town.
Hang Dry Clothes
Why turn on the dryer and use unneeded electricity or gas when you can hang dry clothing? Whether it’s outside or on a clothes line or racks inside, it is easy to air dry clothes. Now that we have our own home it is easy to have drying racks right there in the laundry room. Honestly, I have flashbacks to my college dorm room when my roommate and I shared a drying rack. It seemed like we always had it set up in a corner of our small shared room, but it worked well!
Use Renewable Energy Resources
Whenever possible, use renewable energy. An obvious way to do this is to have solar panels on or near your home. While great, they may not be feasible for every family. There are other ways to use solar, though. Try solar lights or investing in a solar garden through the electric company. Check out your community – you may be surprised what resources are out there.
Reuse, Refuse, Recycle, Rot and Reduce
Know and use the five R’s. Reuse products, refuse single use items/plastics, recycle whatever you can, compost (rot) what you can (see my post about composting here), and reduce waste in whatever part of your lifestyle you can.
Make Your Own Cleaners
Instead of purchasing bottle after bottle of toxic cleaners, try making our own. They often work just as well, if not better, than the store bought products. They are also way cheaper.
So those are my Eco friendly rules to live by. My family and I are not perfect, but by following these guidelines it has helped us drastically reduce our waste and become more Eco conscious consumers and people.
What do you think of these Eco friendly rules to live by? Do have anything to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!