Today’s post comes from Tiffany Kresinksi, a blogger and reader who shared with me some easy ways she’s found to live more sustainably.
I’m continuously modifying my own lifestyle to make it more sustainable and I love to share my discoveries with other people who really care. If that’s you, check out my list of ways to get in touch with the natural world and reduce your impact on the environment:
1. Become a regular at your local farmer’s market
Chances are, there is a farmer’s market near you that is held regularly. Buying your groceries there means that you are supporting your local family farms and some small businesses, enriching your own neighborhood, and helping to build a strong, close community.
You also get to eat the freshest and tastiest food around.
At the farmer’s market you can actually talk to the people who raise the animals and grow the plants that you eat, so you know exactly where your food comes from and understand exactly how it was prepared.
I can usually find great organic farmers who care about what they do and are committed to providing healthy food free of any additives. (Watch why sustainable food systems like these matter.)
2. Read up and spread the word
There are tons of groups, organizations and businesses out there that are looking for ways to create a more sustainable future, becoming more involved in specialized sustainability certification programs, and making strides to improve the way goods are produced.
A major challenge they face, however, is being able to get the word out about the more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives that exist. You can lend a hand by doing some research and learning about the different projects going on now. There’s always something more we can do to reduce our personal footprint on the planet.
By reducing what we use and what we waste, we support the sustainability movement with much more than just talk, actually making practical steps towards building a smarter, more ecologically-friendly society.
I’ve read up on some different ways leaders in the industry have been making a positive impact:
- Begley’s Best – a brand of eco-cleaners created by actor Ed Begley Jr. A long-time advocate for sustainable initiatives, his home is powered by solar and wind energy. Ed has also written a guide to sustainable living.
- Cradle-to-Cradle – It’s a program that improves the way products are made, and I suggest checking it out. It was developed by a green architect named William McDonough, and gives guidance to product designers and manufacturers that want to create environmentally sound products.
- OrganicARCHITECT – an alternative to traditional design, designed by Eric Corey Freed, organicARCHITECT helps architects, builders and homeowners use sustainable methods to improve the overall design quality. The program basically improves the design and operations of buildings to make them more efficient and is definitely a game changer in the way we plan for the future of our environment.
- The 11th Hour – a documentary about the impact of humans on the environment, narrated, written and co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. He has also hosted a sustainability series, “Planet Green’s Eco-Town” which focused on the rebuilding of a town in Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado.
3. Consider wild foods
It doesn’t get much more natural than finding and eating wild foods, which are usually much better for us than even organically grown food. Instead of paying for the growing, shipping, packaging, and selling of food, you can get a lot of your food from foraging on your own or with friends.
Remember, when you pay for food you’re supporting the entire industry that is built around that food.
Did you know that you can eat dandelion leaves and flowers, for example? They’re full of beta-carotene, and are perfect for salads. Pick them while they’re young, because they start to get bitter as they mature.
4. Decrease your paper towel use
This might sound odd, but you’re most likely using paper towels wrong, and it’s hurting the environment. Joe Smith can teach you how to use them correctly, however. There is a proper technique to drying your hands completely, using far fewer paper towels in the process.
If everyone in America reduced their paper towel use by just one per day for a year, we’d save over half a billion pounds of paper towels. It’s a simple change that can have a huge impact.
Even someone with the busiest of schedules can lend a hand to help the environment. Above are only a few of the simple steps we can take to improve the way we use products and resources.