There’s nothing magical about this. But when you track your steps/distance, and keep a running log of how much you walk (or jog, or run, or skip), you both walk more and use your vehicle less. So: you’ll be healthier, and the air will be just a little less emission-filled. And you’ll be spending just a bit less on gas.
I love to live small and recently moved into a loft with my boyfriend in downtown Portland. We’ve been really trying to reduce our impact and lead healthier lives. Some things we do:
-Live in a LEED certified building–all of our appliances are high efficiency
-Live within walking distance to work and only use our car about once a week
-Got rid of our cable (we have more time and money!)
-Make our own cleaning products using vinegar, borax and Dr. Bronners. (we put our soap in foaming bottles–it makes it go a long way!)
-Buy local produce when we can as we are in walking distance to farmers market
-Try not to buy packaged food and when we do–reuse the containers to store food or grow plants
-Reuse bags for bulk products
-Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper towels
-Don’t use garbage bags–use small bins instead
-Growing herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries on our patio
-lots of natural light so we don’t need to turn on lights during the day
-rarely eat out at restaurants
-Buy a lot of our furniture and some clothes secondhand
-Carefully consider new purchases
-Do not have microwave
Some Things we want to do:
-make our own laundry detergent
-Grow more foods and see what we can grow indoors during the colder months
-Eat less meat
-Drink less or no coffee (that’s a tough one for me!)
-Cut down even more on buying packaged foods
-Find natural or make my own good hair products (haven’t had much luck yet :/ )
-Use fewer and ALL natural beauty products
-Use less water
-Buy more local foods like meat and eggs (it gets pricey though!)
-Not take the elevator
We got rid of so much of our stuff and are trying hard not to replace with new stuff. I love being able to clean in a short time so we have more time to do fun things! I love not worrying about a ton of belongings and realized I only use a fraction of what I own anyways. We feel healthier by not eating packaged foods. Eating what’s in season has allowed us to try new recipes and has been really fun. I love our simple and small way of life 🙂
I’ve started making my own deodorant. In thinking about how to cut back on consumption and waste, this seemed like an easy way to buy less plastic and keep that same plastic out of the landfill…I use a recipe from the book Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. All you need is olive oil, beeswax, and a few essential oils to make it smell nice – better for your body (no harmful aluminum), better for the environment, better for your bank account. That, my friends, is a triple threat.
Using a bread machine to process whole wheat flour into bread replaces other uses of flour with excess sugar and fat– cookies, cakes, etc.
I do not find 100% whole wheat bread without unneeded additives available.
Only 25% whole wheat content is needed to legally call it whole wheat bread.
Eager to help others because good people are what makes the world go around.
I started growing my own organic herbs on the patio. It’s better for the environment because it’s as local and as organic as you can get plus it encourages me to cook at home instead of eating out! The herbs are staring at me through the window practically begging to be cut off and used in some delicious eco-friendly dish!
I did a TV reality show 10 years ago where I took my family back to live in 1900 for 3 months. 24/7 living like my great grandparents. It was an amazing experience and now in 2010 I am still living like my Nana’s. I make all my own household cleaning products, my beauty and body care products and organic garden sprays. I have an organic garden with compost bins and a worm farm. Next on the list is chickens.
I op shop for clothes and furniture and have the most wonderful collection and each has a story. I make all my jewelery from buttons and the pieces are stunning. I support a local charity by being the op-shop face in their marketing – in the newspapers and life size on the side of a truck.
This lifestyle is creative and satisfying and I manage to fit it around working a 9-5 job. Now I am teaching others to live the same way, taking classes through my local city council and a recycling center.
I think I have the best of both era’s now and I love my life.Every day I try to pass it forward by teaching others how to make their lives richer by having less impact.
The greener my lifestyle gets, the more glaring the “un-green” practices around me seem. So lately, I’ve taken to writing emails whenever I notice something green that should be commended or something “brown” that could easily be made greener.
To my utter surprise, I’ve been able to actually have some effect with remarkably little effort!
First… I was participating in a pilot compost program for the city of Denver, but due to funding concerns they were going to discontinue it. This was really heart breaking to me as the program, small as it was, had succeeded hugely in both raising awareness and keeping tons of organic materials out of landfills.
So, I sent an email out to all of my gardening buddies, and then somebody started a petition, and we all emailed our city council representatives and explained how the compost program would really save the city money in the long run. Lo and behold… they’ve miraculously found a way to keep it going! Woo Hoo!
Then, I noticed a bag of locally grown organic whole wheat flour in my local chain grocery store, so I wrote them an email to thank them for carrying it, and told them that I’d shop there more often if they carried more products that were organic and local. Holy Moly! The store manager called me and I’m now putting together a list of suggested items that I’d like them to carry!
Just think how much could change if everybody did these things!
I have decided to compost my food scraps this last year. I have a small area in the back of the apartment. I have buried all my apple cores, orange peels, etc.
I grew a garden there last year. My worm population has really increased. I use and old shovel I found. I collect the scraps and keep them in old coffee cans in the fridge. I reuse the cans and when I get three I have to do my garden chore.
I even buried the scraps all winter. I am anxious to plant again this next year. My garden was a huge success last year. I asked the landlord and he was excited about the garden last year. I gave him tomatoes. He says I can plant more this year. I grew $500 worth of food last year. I was so excited about how well everything grew.
The compost will only help. Why do we have to throw out the scraps when they will make any small garden really blast off? Composting has been fun. I am more connect to the earth because of it. There is no reason to throw out vegtable scraps and have the garbarge truck burn fuel to haul them off.