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I wax on and on about sustainable, green living on this blog. I talk about making homemade cleaning and hygiene products, as well as how to reduce the trash that we produce. But why? Yes, it is healthier, cheaper, and more sustainable, but what makes it so?
Resources are Limited
It’s no secret that the developed world has a habit of using more than its fair share of natural resources. These are not all renewable, and even many of those that are are being used at a faster rate than they can be replenished. When one lives a sustainable lifestyle, they use less resources in their own life. This is cheaper in the short run, as one does not have to pay for excess resources. More importantly, it is necessary in the long run if we are to preserve these resources for future generations to use.
Sustainability is Simple
It may be more work, but sustainability is more simple in the long run.
To take a superficial example: You go Target to buy some toothpaste. You didn’t like the flavor of your last toothpaste, so you stare at your options. All of the different toothpastes take up an entire side of the aisle. What to pick? It shouldn’t be this hard! It’s just toothpaste! OR you could make your own toothpaste. This time, if you do not like the taste, you may simply add different essential oils.
Or imagine you have run out of a cleaning or hygiene product. Instead of running to the store, you mix together a few ingredients that you always have on hand, or you even use another product! There have been many times in my chemical-free life that I have used the same product for multiple uses, simply because it was easier. For example, once I drank half of a honey and apple cider vinegar drink to soothe my stomach. I then used the rest to wash my hair.
Now apply this to your whole life. Consume less, and choose more sustainable options when you do. You will find not only is your life simpler, but you will be much happier as well.
Simplicity and Sustainability are Stable
What do you have control over in your life? Do you know how you will be affected if there is a problem with your power company, or a port is blocked, or if a certain supplier goes out of business? Take control now. By simplifying your life and making it more sustainable, you no longer have to worry as much about these concerns. When you provide for yourself (garden, solar panels, raise animals, make your own products) and require less to be happy, you life and the lives of your family will be more stable despite ups and downs in the government and economy.
If the end of the world were tomorrow, who would be better off? Something to think about, and something that strongly drives my goals for the future.
Sustainability Breeds Appreciation
What do you value more? The bag of carrots you bought for $2 at the grocery store, of the carrots that you spent all summer growing, caring for, and harvesting from your garden? What do you value more? The bundle of wood you bought, or the tree you cut down, split, and are now using for firewood?
It is a basic instinct of all animals to not poop where you eat. If you live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle, you will appreciate and value what you do have. You will take care of your resources and the planet – and everyone will be better off.
We cannot change the world overnight. We can only become more conscious of our own choices to begin making a better world for our children. Here are more ways that you can help:
- Reduce and reuse, THEN recycle
- Conserve water, electricity, and other forms of energy
- Use green methods of transportation – walking, biking, taking the bus, riding a motorcycle
- Join a CSA or a food buying club
- Make your own products
- Do a spend fast
Detailed explanations of these tips and many more can be found in Sunstainability Starts at Home by Dawn Gifford of Small Footprint Family. This is a great book with a lot of really good information regarding how to get started living a more sustainable lifestyle. I encourage you to check it out!
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