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.
Well I started a compost box outside but how to get the organics from the kitchen outside. Last summer we had a nice hatch of brown flies. Couldn’t keep it coming fast enough.
First there was the trader joes coffee can…
Then there was the can with the plastic sac… Yes I know the plastic sac of doom. The sacs would pile up outside next to the compost box.
Then there was that blue ceramic mix bowl that had that nasty crack in it.
Now we just fill the bowl and take it outside. Find a ceramic bowl at the thrift store if you don’t have one.
Nice cracked blue bowl. Skip the bag, just rinse.
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.
In our continued quest to educate ourselves and our kids about environmental responsibility, we recently undertook another experiment or “project” if you will. Indoor worm composting! Doesn’t that sound like fun? Well it sure did to our 2 young children. “We get to keep worms in the house? Cool!”
Well its true, we filled a rubbermaid tub with dirt from bags of potting soil left in the backyard shed and a kilo of red wiggler worms we bought from Earth’s General Store on Whyte Avenue (Edmonton). From here, over the last 8 weeks we have been keeping some of our kitchen scraps in a small plastic container after each meal and feeding it to the worms every 2-3 days.
1. Reduce trash/garbage output and burden on the city’s waste system
2. Generate a nutrient rich soil compost for our backyard garden this summer
3. Teach the kids about environmental responsibilty and that alternatives exist for many things we take for granted today
I have been able to estimate that each time we dig a hole in the worm bin and fill it with food scraps stored in our ice cream pale we keep 2 lbs of waste from going to the curb. In the 8 weeks our kids have been enjoying this it would work out to be about 25-50 lbs of garbage (or 2 good sized full bags of garbage). Taking this one step forward, it would 300 lbs annually.
Its not expensive, its educational, it creates a great gardening compost, and its fun!
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!