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Sustainable Living

15+ Sustainable Living Ways To Do For Free

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The Sustainable way of living means doing no harm…or just less harm. It’s taking a step back to look at the big picture instead of grasping for the next moment.

The world is constantly whirling and adding one more thing to your plate and expecting you to just continue on with out any issues. But the truth is, humans are tired and overworked. Trends and society are making it impossible to live up to the life you “should” be living. The sustainable way of living takes the idea and says I run my life. And I choose to be intentional. I choose to slow down and thing about the pros and cons before I make the purchase. It’s sad that we feel so pressured to make a decision now before someone buys the last one in stock cause it’s on such a good sale. Making it hard to think through the drawbacks because all you see if the ticking clock in your mind. 

But there is some serious disconnect between those cute, catchy swap lists and practical ways to less a no trace impact. 

It’s not rocket science, although it may feel like one more thing to do. But the truth is actually when you think about the impact you are making, you will find you are choosing alot less. 

The benefits of living more sustainably

Here’s a good reminder or starting point for why you need to start a sustainable living journey. Notice how I said journey, because there will always be changes and new things to do when going green. Keep these benefits as mental motivation or responses when people ask why go sustainable or zero waste. Trust me, you will need a response preloaded so its natural and smooth!

Benefit #1 less of the cheap impulse buys.

Less of the plastic toys or sticking stuffer. All this means less money on meaningless, and more room for quality and usable things. When you start buying with the thought of how long will this be around, and is the impact positive, you will see just how many impulse buys you probably could do without.

Benefit #2 more room and money to buy what you actually need

You can afford paying the extra to buy local and support small businesses or ethically sourced products. You would be amazed at how much you can save by starting to think about every dollar you spend serving a purpose, not just buying meaningless. 

Benefit #3 going green starves the consumer monster

you move from a selfish consuming monster, to a giver. There I said it. Going green makes you a better person because the focus is not in you. But rather how your actions effect others now, but also in the future

Benefit #4 you get back your independence.

When you stop depending on companies to provide for you, their power goes away. Learning to do things for yourself is the BEST way to show the world your warrior side. 

Easy sustainable living you can do for free 

Not a dime has to be spent to when you compare prices, or just think before you do. It’s gonna take some extra effort at first to break old habits and train your mind. But it’s far more worth it to teach yourself and kids to value the things you buy it make the investment in. Because we value what we pay for, but throw away rather repair the things we are unattached or find no value in. 

  1. Live a sustainable life by choosing compostable packaging when making a purchase. Sounds like a no-brainer but this means actually looking for the difference. This can’t start out as just opting for recyclable and actually throwing it in the recycle bin, or taking your stuff a step further and skipping the recycling and opting for paper, cardboard. 
  2. Biodegradable party plates, cups the busy moms friend. You can still have easy options when living green. One example is by choosing disposable plates/cups that aren’t plastic or plastic coated but instead are bamboo, cardboard or corn-based. These material breakdown within a few months so you can rest assured knowing your party was easy to clean up for you and the environment.
  3. Opt for cardboard instead of plastic when you can. Power detergent versus liquid in plastic is my favorite example. But there are other options like bars of soap wrapped in the cardboard box versus the plastic. Or really butter in the boxes not the plastic imitation in plastic.
  4. Use up what you have – don’t just throw it out to be zero waste. So many wills tart diets or eating differently and throw out “now bad” stuff. But before you toss out the fabric softener, or the plastic bottles of xxx use them up and recycle them. It’s far better to be responsible about how you got to your goals, or become more sustainable than just throwing everything out cold turkey. Now there is sometimes a place for going cold turkey but you won’t feel good about your journey if you start it off by adding to the landfill. 
  5. Reuse. Reuse. Reuse like your grandma did. If you take a look at some of the habits our grandparents did you can see they were doing sustainable living long before it was cool. They reused flour sacks for clothes. Reused the paper bags from grocery shopping to cover their school books so they could pass them down the next grade. Canning and using glass jars for lunches, storing or organizing was a staple. People saw what they bought as an investment that served a purpose. Not an impulse buys that gave them the high of buying something but never actually using it. 
  6. Donate your old clothes…it makes more of a difference than you know. Our local thrift store is open because they run an overseas orphanage off the profits from the store. So I donate everything there. My kids clothes. My clothes and shoes. Book or furniture. 
  7. Shop local – instead of supporting the big time retailers, shop small businesses. They take the extra effort to make your shopping experience special by wrapping your items in cute bags with tissue paper. Or just talk to you as you figure out of that dining room table is what your home needs.
  8. Recycle your old broken cellphone for cash.
  9. Join TerraCycle and make recycling so easy you can mail it in.
  10. Grow your own food from seeds you probably have in your fridge. 
  11. Shred that junk mail into gift fluff.
  12. Make seed bombs with scrap paper to keep bees in your yard 
  13.  Make compost tea instead of waiting for a compost pile to mature 
  14. Buy the compostable trash bags most major stores have instead of the stretchy “flex” ones with the drawstring…it’s literally a swap for swap on cost.
  15. Take your reusable produce bags to skip the plastic bags. Or just load all produce on a reusable grocery bag and ring it up, then add back to the bag. 
  16.  Make some reusable paper towels from your old towels, fabric scraps or flannel shirts.
  17. Recycle your clothes, worn out sheets and shoes in a recycle bin found near TJ Maxx, grocery store parking lots or next to donation bins.
  18. Reuse gift wrapping supplies or opt for natural alternatives! When buying wrapping paper, skip the waxed coated ones and opt for brown craft paper rolls and have the kids personalize! They will love this, and the brown paper will break down a lot faster.

Make a sustainable living plan you can actually keep

Alot of burnout happens when you take on too much too fast. Whether it be diets, chores, exercise or any new habit. Trying to live clean, like eating clean is a slow progress. There are a few who can cold turkey make  changes. But the fact is the messy middle is where eco-friendly homes loose traction. Busy moms opt for snack bags, or individual sized items when packing lunches, cause who wants to do dishes? And kids have enough to do and shouldn’t be expected to take those reusable bags home all rinsed out. But there is SO many other ways no one is talking about to do less waste. 

I am here to tell you SMALL CHANGES MATTER!! 

Imma say it again – EVERY BIT COUNTS. 

got it? 

Okay good. 

It matters when you move from plastic to cardboard packing. Because now the earth can breakdown that packaging and turn it into compost which is how plants grow. It matters that you cut down consumption of single use paper towels because you are taking care of your households needs without depending on a factory or company. 

Take back your independence and learn how to make it do. One of the most inspiring saying Ive heard is this: use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

How cool is that? The bible says to be willing to work with your hands, and live a quiet life. So you can win the respect of the others by what you DO.  Not by what you say. 

A sustainable living plan could be as simple as being more conscious and actually taking your to-go cup for Starbucks coffee.

 Or, you can go complex and aim for a zero waste challenge

In the more intense zeronwaste challenge your goal is to create no trail of your daily living. Thay means everything you buy can be broken down, decomposed and in a timely manner. 

But of you are somewhere in the messy middle here are some ideas for making your sustainable living plan 

  1. Swap our your plastic, stained or bubbled lunch containers for glass. Recycle the plastic ones but never have to think about recycling again! 
  2. Consider starting a small space container garden to grow one thing you use the most. This can be a vegetable, herb or even a loofah for scrubbing the natural way. 
  3. Starting looking for a local butcher or shop the meat counter and ask for your meat to be wrapped in paper. This cuts out the plastic and foam meat tray waste. 
  4. Make your own unpaper towel copycat version using my tutorial. There’s a no-sew option 
  5. Try these monthly subscription boxes that mail sustainable living swaps and supplies mailed right to your door.

The best plan I made for a sustainable way of of living is actually pretty silly it makes me laugh 

In an effort to decide what to give up, or change I was feeling even more restricted and ready to ditch the eco-friendly living. After all who wants to live back in the stone ages when we made modern advanced for a reason??? Give up my coffee?

Stop using cleaners to keep germs away? No thank you , I wan to actually love my life. So there you are stuck in the messy middle of wanting to do better, but lacking the know how.

Well, I decided to change my thinking from the messy middle to the happy medium. The place where I am shifting my mindset from what I don’t have, to what I do have. To keep me on track…I started a gratitude journal. Yup. My Sustainable way of living started by being thank for what I do have. I was grateful for modern conveniences like ac, plumbing and cleaners. When you shift to a grateful mindset you notice that good things tend to pop up more.

You’ll see more opportunities and be more open minded to new changed like finding a company that support green living and did the work to change their recipes for products so they are less harmful, not loaded with dyes or chemicals and be be safe for the Earth.

I encourage you to make a sustainable living plan by starting with you, and your mindset by tracking your gratitude. This is never disappoint or go out of style because it’s something we all need to be reminded of and to encourage one another to do. 

Try this gratitude journal with sunflowers to keep you positive and motivated. Sustainable living starts with being grateful for what you have! Grab you copy here

You don’t have to buy a journal or invest in anything to write in. Just use what you have and start being more positive! Don’t worry about what so and so is doing. Just be where you are, at this point in time!

Living a sustainable lifestyle means doing your best to do no harm. Leaving behind only a small trail that time will erase in a healthy manner. Hopefully you are encouraged seeing these free ways to be more sustainable. Let’s squash that bug of healthy, green or sustainable living is more expensive by making it mainstream! 

One Comment

  • Laura

    Using our old flannel shirts as hand towels is my favorite part of this article. Thank you for so many ideas and for encouraging us to continue to make a difference

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