Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother
So, you’ve arrived on this page probably because you are wondering, what does “living sustainable ” mean anyway? Sustainable living is a life style . Wikpedia defines it as:
“Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society‘s use of the Earth‘s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity’s symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.”
Over the past few years, I have been on a personal mission that has been focused on reducing my family’s carbon footprint. In my opinion, it’s a life style choice. Change did not happen over night either, it was small steps at a time, such as using my own travel coffee mug instead of using the cardboard paper cups offered at the takeout shops.
Climate change and global warming are very real, and the impact on human and animal life is devastating. You can help make an impact by reducing your carbon foot print . Why not use public transportation more often? Become more eco-friendly by purchasing your very own coffee travel mug. Simple measures such as these can have a huge impact making our planet cleaner and safer.
Do you want to start practicing sustainable living? It’s really easy, I promise! And you don’t even have to do everything at once, it’s all about baby steps and one small change can make a huge difference. Here are some quick and easy suggestions to live a sustainable life.
Let’s get started!
How to be More Sustainable
1. In the winter time, wear extra layers of clothing instead of turning on the heat. We heat our home with wood and pellet stoves. Heating in Ontario, Canada is very very expensive so wood and pellets are the best heating methods for us.
2. During the day, don’t turn your lights on. Use natural sunlight to light up your house.
3. Hang your clothes to dry either on a drying line or a rack instead of using your dryer. I rarely use our own dryer and this has made a huge impact on our Hydro invoice. To avoid moisture and mold accumulating, keep your windows slightly open where the laundry is air drying.
3. Hand wash your clothes when you only have a few items. I simply put my items in the kitchen sink with a bit of my homemade laundry soap (You can find my recipe and many more in the Do It Yourself section on this blog).
Want to ditch the laundry soap all together and use soap nuts? I always keep them handy in my laundry room.
R.G L. says:
” I was able to zigzag a retractable clothesline in my small screen porch so I can dry clothes with no birds, bugs, or neighbors getting too interested”.
M. N. says:
“I have never owned a clothes dryer and honestly don’t see the need. Foldable clotheshorses, a piece of dowel between windows or even draping big and heavy items like linens over doors, shower railings etc work well for me even in the middle of winter. In summer everyone dries their clothes outside (except for undergarments!) – even in an apartment we have a few communal clotheslines. Air drying helps clothes last longer as well which is an added bonus . And unless the fabric or soiling specifically call for it, never wash clothing items with hot water! It’s an unnecessary use of added electricity’.
4. Time your showers. Our showers are all timed and this has made a huge impact on our heating and propane invoices. Also, invest in a water-saving shower head.
5. Grow your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables!
L. L. says:
“My “small” idea… Growing garlic, parsley, dill, in pots, on my balcony, instead of just-decorative plants and flowers. Cyprus is a hot-hot, dry country, wasting water is not okay here… Next step is growing mint, and rosemary fruit and vegetables even if it’s just a few pots around the house, it all helps!”
6. Shut off all of your your devices when not is use, including your wifi box.
7. Walk, bike, use public transportation whenever it is possible and realistic.
8. Take the stairs whenever possible, skip the elevator.
9. Use your own recyclable grocery bags at the check out when you go to the stores. Remember to wash them frequently so bacteria does not collect.
10. Buy local as much as you can. I love buying local produce and fresh eggs from our local farmers and farmers markets. You can also join your local co-op.
11. If you are still purchasing bottled water, stop now! I keep plenty of reusable water bottles around the house and fill them up each time before leaving the house.
12. Buy second hand clothing and household items whenever you can. I love garage sales, and local second hand shops.
13. Instead of receiving paper notices in the mail, opt for digital options. I have many of my monthly statements emailed to me now. Think of how many trees you will save!
14. If you have not already, switch to cloth diapers.
15. I reuse reuse reuse all of my glass jars! I emphasize the word reuse. They are great for storing my husbands homemade spaghetti sauces!
15. Use cold water when washing your dishes.
16. Instead of using paper towels, use cloths whenever possible.
17. Shut off the water while brushing your teeth. Only turn water on to rinse your toothbrush.
18. Make as many homemade products as you can. For ideas and recipes, check out my Do It Yourself section on my blog.
19. Save all gift bags and recycle for future birthday parties and gift giving.
20. Use rechargeable batteries whenever you can.
21. Ready to purchase new devices? Why not donate your old devices to schools and charities.
22. Borrow books from your local library instead of purchasing them. This has saved us tons of money. I even subscribed to our local newspaper digitally.
23. We love preparing home cooked meals and we store leftovers in glass containers.
24. Reduce or avoid disposable cutlery, paper plates and cups.
25. And of course, don’t forget to recycle everything that you can!
What choices and changes have you made to live a more sustainable lifestyle?