Monday, July 7, 2008

Simple Living

I am simplifying and going green at the same time. A lot of it is simply lifestyle changes one step at a time. A lot of people try to go gungho and do everything at once and then end up quitting because it is too hard. If you can change one thing and work it into your daily routine and then add another soon it will become second nature.

I try buying used when I can. We as Americans really need to get out of the "keeping up with the Jones" mindset. Really- do you have to have everything new?

I am conserving gas by making a list of everything that needs done in town for that week and then making one trip do it all instead of making mini trips several times a week.

I am making my own homemade cleaners. They are cheap, non toxic (fumes) and safe for the environment and for anyone worried about the clean home smell. I use essential oils in my cleaners that smell wonderful.

We are also growing a large vegetable garden and are canning and freezing the produce from it. We also go berry picking and apple picking also putting up the fruit. ( this helps on your budget as well as the environment- think no plastic bags or plastic containers to carry fruit home from the store plus you get to reuse your jars which keeps them out of the landfill) Canning is really simple to do and there are a lot of websites that give great canning information.

I am learning to take my time and enjoy what I have instead of running the rat race everyday in order to just buy more and more.

I am cooking a lot more from scratch and not going out to eat in the restaurants. Cooking from home can become a hobby by trying out new recipes. Place a tablecloth over the table use the fancy dishes, light a candle, serve locally made wine with your dinner and your family will never want to dine out again! Even hot dogs can be served in style! This saves gas from going to the restaurant and also save the landfill from styrofoam containers if you order takeout.

I am learning a lot from my elders. I am in my 30's and all my life I have watched them reuse, make do, repair or do without. Not because they couldn't afford it but because they were raised that way. I am learning to sew and repair a lot of items that I would have threw out 10 years ago without a second thought.

Conserve water- don't leave the facet on when brushing your teeth! Water is a precious commodity that other countries and right here in our own United States are fighting over today! My Grammy used to have a wash basin that held water and instead of running the water to wash your hands everyone washed up from the basin. When the water got pretty dirty it was recycled into watering the plants in the garden!

Hang your clothes out on the clothesline- this saves energy and gives to time to think and enjoy the outdoors while your doing it. Your dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home next to the water heater. Nothing smells better than clothes dried on the line. - Don't complain about the clothes being stiff either. Quit using fabric softener and start using vinegar. It will help get the soap out of the water and will also soften the clothes better than fabric softener. Give the clothes a good shake before you hang them up. This helps in 3 ways- getting the wrinkles out, helping in the softening process, and getting all your frustrations out!

Make it from scratch- Just about anything you purchase can usually be made from scratch with better quality, cheaper and less waste. Toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cleaners, clothes etc.

Look to the internet for help. There are some wonderful websites that have tutorials on how to make things and will give you some great ideas in simplifying and going green.


Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Love reading your reflections on simplicity. It is so encouraging for me to keep on the path we've begun one small step at a time.


Becky said...

Thank you for stopping by Becky's Farm Life. I have a blog here too on blogger, but it does not have tabs. Here it's Jordan's Farm. I like your blog, and will be back to read more. Have a great week. Becky

Nancy M. said...

Some great ideas. I am learning more and more as I go.