Six Practical Ways to Make Modern Sustainability Work
Living a simple life is often not so simple – it takes willpower, time and hard work to take control of the resources you use and make your lifestyle more self-sufficient. Not ready to commit to growing all your own food and biking around town? Here are a few steps you can take to make your household a little more sustainable – and hold on to your day job at the same time:
1. Brush up on the basics. Remember that home ec class you took in high school? Those skills can come in handy for making your household a little more independent. Knowing a basic stitch (no sewing machine required!) will allow you to fix buttons or mend holes – and prevent you from having to pay someone else to do it or throw clothing away and replace it. Also, cooking your own food will help you stop relying on take-out meals and processed foods. Start small by replicating your favorite take-out dish at home, then expand by cooking a new food every week.
- Let the season dictate your diet. In today’s global market, we can get pretty much any type of fresh produce any time of year. But enjoying foods when they’re in season – like asparagus in the spring, berries in the summer, squash in early fall – means that the foods you consume don’t have to travel as far to get to you and have less of an environmental impact to transport, or “food mileage.”
- Reduce waste with compost. Nutrient-rich vegetable peels, fruit rinds, eggshells, fallen leaves and lawn clippings make super-fortified, all-natural (free!) fertilizer for your lawn and garden. Layer this waste with garden soil, then keep the pile moist, turning it over every few weeks until the mixture is fully decomposed.
- Preserve. Whether you’re growing your own produce or purchasing it in season, canning, freezing and drying when fruits, veggies and herbs are plentiful and cheap will save you money and keep “fresh” food on the table all year long.
- Dry naturally. If you have the space – and a few extra minutes – hang your clothes on a clothesline outdoors instead of firing up your electricity-draining clothes dryer. Not only will you save money on your monthly bill, but you’ll also get that fresh-air scent in your clothing for free – no need to purchase dryer sheets to mimic it.
- Use essential oils around the home. Products that contain naturally derived essential oils, like EcoLogic® pest control formulas, are a logical fit for a sustainable household. The naturally derived essential oils are proven effective against listed pests, making them valid alternatives to using conventional pesticides in your home, lawn and yard.