Last updated on October 10, 2017 by Liza Hawkins
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LuminousWhites #CollectiveBias
Green living doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, you can make a few small changes now and then work towards other goals down the road.
In the grand scheme of things, the idea of “going green” doesn’t seem like it should be terribly difficult to accomplish. The reality is, it’s kind of overwhelming to put a eco-friendly lifestyle into practice. At least that’s how it feels to me.
Especially with kids.
And, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years that’s helped seemingly unattainable ideas become reachable, it’s this: you need to make smart (or S.M.A.R.T.) goals if you’re actually going to achieve them. I apply this process to my day job, to my writing, and even to things like committing to a greener lifestyle! Keep them simple and measurable, make sure they’re attainable and realistic, and create a deadline.
3 Easy Ways to Start Living a Little Greener
No one says that going green has to be an all-or-nothing proposition, but sometimes that’s how it feels. Instead of visions of turning the house upside-down with an organic earth-friendly vengeance, take a smaller more reasonable approach that’s not only simple for your family to embrace, it’s also not as much of a logistical nightmare.
When things get complicated, it’s sometimes easier to wash your hands of it, rather than continue slogging through. Life’s busy enough, without trying to insight a full paradigm shift. Here’s how to get it done with ease!
1. Grow your own herbs and veggies, and consider planting native and heirloom flowers.
I’m no master gardener, that’s for sure. That said, I’ve still rolled up my sleeves for the past few years and attempted to grow a few simple things in my garden bed and containers on the front porch. Food-wise, I’ve succeeded with tomatoes, basil, parsley and peppers. We’ve also planted zinnias and Black-Eyed Susans in our front garden bed, hearty varieties that take no work to maintain and yield stunning, vibrant blossoms from mid-summer through fall until the first freeze. All of seeds are saved seeds, and many are heirloom varieties that my mom has maintained over the years. Did I mention zinnias?
For reference, I’m 5’9″ and these practically dwarf me. It’s like looking into a Dr. Seuss world this time of year in our front lawn!
Besides being beautiful, doing a little native gardening can benefit the local wildlife, too. According to the USDA Forest Service, “Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals.”
2. Use natural products from brands that care about the environment.
A few years ago my sister starting making homemade soap, and that was the last time we bought a bar of regular soap at the grocery store. The ingredients are simple, the scents range from sweet, citrus-y, or musky and everything in-between. While I love supporting my sister’s little side-hustle soap-making business, I don’t really have the desire to make any of my own homemade self-care products. That’s why it’s important to me to have options from brands, like Tom’s of Maine®, that not only work, but also share our values.
Tom’s of Maine® Luminous White™ Toothpaste Clean Mint will give you whiter teeth in 2 weeks* with no artificial colors or preservatives. It’s safe for everyday use, safe on enamel, and tastes great, with that unique fresh minty flavor of theirs I love.
Tom’s of Maine was founded with the belief that “both human beings and nature have inherent worth and deserve our respect.” That’s why caring for the environment is something they’ve focused on since 1970. This value comes to life in the way they select ingredients, their manufacturing practices at their Sanford, Maine plant, and the packaging they use.
I’m a big fan of a healthy smile, both from the food we eat, as well as the products we use.
3. Support local farmers and commit to cooking more meals at home.
There are a lot of ways to help local farmers, but the easiest is to visit your local farmers’ market for as much in-season produce, freshly baked breads, locally raised meats, and even flower bouquets! It may seem like a small thing, but your support means everything to them and it helps keep your community sustainable.
Once you get your hands on those goodies, try making homemade meals with as many real ingredients as possible. If you’re too busy to manage an “every night” home-cooked meal schedule, try picking one or two nights per week and then cook extra so you have leftovers for dinner another night or—my favorite—lunch! I love my Instant Pot for large batch soups, stews and chili, because in less than an hour I can create a meal that tastes like it simmered all day. Mmm…
Once your three simple new green goals become old hat, then you can pick a new set of tasks to bring on board. It’s okay if it takes time, so long as you’re comfortable with the progress.
I purchased my Luminous White a the local Walmart, in the regular toothpaste aisle.
*by removing surface stains vs. regular fluoride toothpaste.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.