These days it often seems as though the world is technology obsessed. Of course, that is great in many ways – it means that we can express ourselves to each other, like on this blog, and it feels miraculous to be able to communicate with our friends and family on the other side of the world at the click of a button. But at the same time it also feel as though there’s a huge chunk of the world that we’re not paying enough attention to – and that we aren’t leading green enough natural lifestyles. Here are some tips to help you live the natural life that you crave.
We all know that cars are one of the biggest polluters in the world, and yet we still use them every day. Admittedly if you have young kids then they are much quicker and easier than walking or public transport – but if possible, why don’t you try walking as much as you can? Not only is it good for the environment but it will also be great for your health. You will lose a couple of pounds and feel trimmer and stronger. If you have a backache from hunching over a dreaded computer all day, you will find that walking as much as you can will sort you out in no time. Just make sure you use a backpack that is equally weighted on both shoulders instead of a heavy purse.
Update Your Home
If you want to update your home then it is a good idea to make it more environmentally friendly and natural. Use nontoxic paint and do your best to go for furniture made from sustainable sources – you should at least go for recyclable materials like wood and metal as opposed to plastic. Second hand antique furniture is both beautiful and ethical, and you should make sure that you use LED bulbs instead of regular ones to lower the amount of energy you are using in your home. Not only do they last longer but they also use considerably less energy! Other ways to lower your energy bill include opening your curtains and allowing your rooms to be lit by natural sunlight, and making sure that your insulation is great quality and stops heat from escaping. Finally, add rugs to wooden floors for that extra bit of warmth on these wintery nights.
Go For Local Produce
If possible, go for local produce, and frequent your local small grocery stores instead of huge chains. Town butchers, grocers and bakers often have produce that’s of an incredibly high standard – and they’ll also know a whole lot more about the ethics behind it, such as how the animals were treated during their lives. Going for small businesses over huge corporations is great for your local economy, and picking local produce means that it has not worked up an enormous carbon footprint on its way from its birthplace to your mouth.
Cut Down On Water Use
As families, we tend to waste a lot of water these days so it is a good idea to cut down as much as you can. Not everyone can stomach the ‘if it’s yellow then let it mellow’ rule – and you certainly do not have to! However, if you tend to spend a long time in the shower then why not time yourself and hop out after five minutes? A pleasant way to time yourself is to play some music and get out of the shower at the end of the second song. You can also cut down on water very easily by doing things like turning the faucet off while you are brushing your teeth.
Reduce Your Waste
It is easy to start reducing your waste day by day. Recycle containers like glass jars and cardboard, and make sure that you carry cloth bags around with you to put your groceries and other shopping in. Ditch the disposable items and start choosing items with as little packaging as you possibly can. Remember that you can always reuse some of the packaging – we have all seen jam jar cocktails, after all!
Be Careful With Your Products
It is a good idea to try to use as many natural products as you possibly can, from your toiletries to your cleaning products. The no-poo movement sees people starting to use vinegar as shampoo rather than chemicals. People are also using vinegar and other more natural substances, like baking soda, in their homes. If you want to use cleaning products that are good for the earth, visit CleanHappens.com for an example of a brand of environmentally friendly nontoxic cleaning products that are derived from plants. If you love beauty and makeup, ensure that you check the labels to see that they were not tested on animals; PETA has a list of ‘safe’ companies that are completely ethical. Remember that even though Asian skincare and makeup brands are popular now, they often have different animal welfare standards so you should always be careful with buying products from unknown brands and sources. Check out companies like Lush, Nyx and Urban Decay for toiletries and makeup that you do not have to worry about in any way.
Appreciate the Outdoors
As a family, it is important to teach your kids to value the planet and the natural beauty of the world in which they live. If you would like your children to appreciate it more then why don’t you try taking them on more walks and hikes? Not all kids will love camping but you never know; you might turn one of them into the next Bear Grylls. Make sure that you learn plenty about the environment that you are in yourself so that you can answer any questions with sincere interest and knowledge. The best way to interest someone in something you love is by being interested in it yourself. If you still cannot persuade your kids away from the TV and out of the front door then try borrowing a dog from a friend to take on a walk – that usually helps!