May 2021 bring you joy, fresh beginnings and create treasured memories forever! And why not consider helping the planet along a little?
You do not need to be an eco-warrior and give up anything you love, however you can make a difference with of few small changes and altering your personal impact on the planet.
Plenty of online material is avalible to inspire and inform you of the basic principles of an eco-conscious lifestyle, permit me to simplify and introduce you to changes I ve made.
REDUCE: this applies not only to buying less fast-fashion but also avoiding food waste, water waste and energy waste.
When buying an item, take a moment and ask yourself how and where this is made and what of an impact it has on the planet and whether to not you need it.
Look for eco-friendly technology when it comes time to replace your washing machine or fridge if not repairable.
Switch off and conserve energy when possible. NO you don’t ve to sit in the dark and cold but we are all guilty of leaving the lights on.
We know today parts of our population has no access to clean water and more are to follow, so let’s conserve what we can and not waste it.
REUSE: this is about before you chuck it, think if can you reuse it? I am very guilty of throwing things out for lack of space really. This I apply by borrowing things I am looking for versus 1. buying something I will only use once and 2. something I may chuck in a few years. Buying and using vintage pieces is a big favourite of mine anyway.
RECYCLE: this come at an eco-cost as well but it can go beyond recycling your glass bottles and plastics. Look for opportunities to buy items made from recycled items, even in fashion and home decorations plenty is available.
REFUSE: Difficult to handle always tactful to refuse a darling friend bringing you a cup of coffee in a disposable cup, or a fruit basket with non-seasonal, non-local products. But consider how you can refuse being part of the destruction of the planet and make eco-conscious choices.
ROT: I ve tried several ways to make this work for me and my tiny urban garden and must say the worm-compost-layered-bin has turned out the best solution and by rotting my food, and the lovely worms who enjoy lending a mouth, I ve beautiful organic growing juice for my plants, herbs flowers and vegetables.
HOW TO START
- Read and learn all about how you can make a difference, plenty website, blogs and books help you along. Check out my articles here.
- Analyse your trash. That’s how I began, what do I throw away and is there an alternative for my waste contribution? Zero-waste or fit a whole years waste in a jar, that’s never going to be me but I have reduced my trash by 70% without much effort. Most my trash were single use plastics like bottles of water, ziplock bags and packaging.
- Tackle one area of your home at time. I stared with the kitchen and saw it as a treasure hunt for opportunities to do better.
5 ECO – TIPS for the KITCHEN:
- Buy local when possible. Sniff out farmers markets or shops and learn what is in season now, check my articles here. Learn about organic product alternatives.
- Eat seasonal as those ingredients are not only budget-friendlier but have less an impact on the environment as no extra heating, cooling or pesticides are needed.
- Go for a plant-based diet and eat less meat.
- Don’t waste food, buy what you need only.
- Buy package free and buy bulk. Take your jar, container or thermos to the store.
5 ECO – TIPS for the HOME:
- Switch off the lights or electronics not in use.
- Use natural products to clean your home and clothes. I ve switched out all my cleaning and washing products as well I changed all my make-up to 100% cruelty free products.
- Choose cloth over paper like napkins and dishcloths.
- Break up with single-use plastics, read more here.
- Buy soy wax candles and make your own decorations.
5 ECO – TIPS for the GARDEN:
- Grow without pesticides and learn about company-planting. Certain plant combos naturally fight disease and bug infestations.
- Compost kitchen scraps in a pile or in a worm-bin and use the gorgeous results to fertilise your earth.
- Encourage wildlife in your garden. We can’t live with our bees and birds, so give them a helping hand way planting gorgeous scented flowers.
- Collect rain water and water your plants in summer. This is on my list for 2021 in my urban garden.
- Grown your own vegetables and herbs, nothing beats eating what you yourself ve sown and cared for. Even in my north-east facing urban garden I manage to grow a few veg and plenty of herbs. Read more here.
Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial agreements.