Collectively, small lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on the environment–and your life. Looking for happiness and health? What’s good for the environment is also, it turns out, great for you. Here’s a collection of tips from the No Impact community.
Do you have a video story from your No Impact Experiment? Share your story below:
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
This post was submitted by Allison .
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.
This post was submitted by Kelsey Alexander.
Cloth napkins in the kitchen, cloth diapers on the baby, cloth hankies for our noses, cloth rags for cleaning. Cloth is better. It is washable and reusable, better on my wallet and healthier for my family. Wool Dryer Balls reduce dryer time and replace fabric softener. Line drying is better, but I don’t always have time to do that. I switched to natural laundry detergent for all our clothes: borax and super washing soda. It is super cheap and cleans our clothes well. You only need two tablespoons per load. Next, how to get rid of trash bags… the answer: cutting down on trash. I have started with a bin for paper and a plastic ice cream bucket for food scraps in the kitchen… We have a dog, so she can eat a lot of the food scraps, which cuts down on buying dog food. We are starting a compost bin this year, and much of our paper trash can be composted. We can recycle cans, but there are no other recycling facilities in our area or within 50 miles, so we will have to find other ways… Any reusable containers can be saved, even bread bags can be reused as sandwich bags for lunches.
This post was submitted by Zleah.
Most of us wash our vegetables, even though we buy organic. It’s just more reassuring, right? Well, instead of wasting all that pure precious water, you can put a basin (or a large pot) under the faucet when you wash the veggies. Even water with “veggie-wash” in it will be okay for plants in small doses. So I use it to water the house plants. Or to simply let dishes soak: which helps use less water to clean them later. The Basin also catches water that you let run to get hot or cold, so we have one for the bathroom sink too. This water can also be used for hand washing clothes, mopping or even flushing toilets. I kind of felt like a fanatic at first, but now when I read about how little fresh water there actually is on our planet, I certainly do sleep better for it!
This post was submitted by Barbara Weber.
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.
This post was submitted by Daniel L. Pelzl.