From little things, big changes come. That’s what we MUST believe and remember this Earth Day, 2014.
When we look at ‘getting healthy’, one of the most wonderful by products of that, is the fact that we begin on work much bigger than ourselves. We actually start saving the planet – whether you start out as an environmental activist, who wants to eat healthier, or someone who wants to eat healthier, becoming environmentally aware, either way, both meet in a very happy medium of consciousness. We’re conscious about what’s going into our bodies and what’s going on with the way we farm / food miles / chemicals…
Here are 20 completely random, mixed subject, little and big things and tips you can start with today, to protect the earth and benefit your life. This is just a starting point. If you have ideas. Add them in the comments!
1. Wear natural fragrance. Black Chicken Oil is my favourite from here if you fancy a starting point. A lot of the synthetic chemicals in fragrances, not only end up on our largest organ – the skin – but they also end up in waterways.
2. Ditch the single use plastics and opt for reusable glass or stainless bottles – that also goes for baby foods. Baby foods are often ‘hot filled’ for their plastic pouches, and this means possible chemicals leaching into the food, so fresh made at home or jars for emergencies are your best options. Do not stress if this takes a while to wean yourself from. Habit breaking and readjusting takes time! I love these bottles here from Shop Naturally. Jo has the largest range I’ve seen and we are spoilt for choice!
3. Swap from grated cheese to block cheese, and avoid the common ‘wood pulp’ ingredient in grated cheese. Yep, it’s true. Wood pulp, last time I checked, isn’t really something I’d consider eating.
Fancy a side of wood pulp with your grated cheese? Didn’t think so!
4. Ditch all artificial colours. Grab the chemical maze app so you can look up which ones are indeed artificial when you’re shopping, but essentially, by doing so, you not only protect yours or your kids health, but you give petroleum one less reason to be used in food. Yes, petroleum is used in food. Colours are the main occurrence of this.
5. Take the time to have your coffee or fresh juice AT THE CAFE – Save your health by not rushing so much and raising stress levels, not to mention you have better digesting power when you’re relaxed while consuming food / liquid rather than on the run! You also save a tonne of single use plastics. Win win win!
6. Buy in bulk – Save your wallet. Save your health by having healthy ingredients to cook with always at hand. Save on packaging for items you regularly use, thereby reducing again single use plastics.
7. Buy second hand clothes – Op shopping is such fun! If buying new, buy clothes that excite you, that stretch your budget while being within in, and that are nicely made. This is a game of buy twice the quality / half the amount. “Fast fashion” is harmful to our planet from the perspective of intensive farming and the amount of water it uses. Then there are the factory conditions and labourer stress or unequal pay between men and women in the 3rd world. Then there are the vast amounts of garments wasted each week from not selling. Do you really need 15 crappy $20 T Shirts that get all bendy and out of shape after a couple of washes? Could you perhaps get 5 really gorgeous quality $60 dollar T Shirts that you care for better because they’re ‘precious’. Same for jewellery, dresses, shoes…
A T shirt that can withstand a hot ma— day and lots of washes. Remember: Cheap will always cost you and most likely those behind the scenes of production.
8. Start making your own stock – Of course you knew this would be on the list. If you didn’t, read here to get an inkling as to why! Essentially stock making says “if I’m going to eat meat, I’m going to respect the animal and use as much of it as possible”.
9. Keep your phone, tablet or laptop until it doesn’t function properly, NOT just because your contract has run out. If your phone’s still working, don’t replace it just yet – This saves cost to you and hugely on e waste levels – Imagine if all phone users could last another couple of months before the all important upgrade!
10. Start composting – less bin wastage means less plastic bin bags, means less landfill, means YAY. Then from the health perspective, composting means amazing soil, which means nutrient rich grow-your-own veggies – Even if it’s a couple of window sill pots like us, or a little balcony garden, or a full blown veggie patch. Whatever you’ve got, it’ll grow better and be more nourishing, with some good compost in the mix. Did you know many local councils subsidise compost bins for homes and apartment blocks alike? Check out your local council for information.
11. Buy more organic stuff. Less pesticides in our water ways, less pesticides in our bodies, less pesticides slowly poisoning little creatures in produce fields from worms to mice… Less pesticides are a good thing. Our body doesn’t know what to do with them and neither does our planet!
(image: deerfield markets website)
12. Save up for a solar energy system, OR if you don’t own your house, consider an energy provider that allows you to opt for green energy.
13. Switch your phone off and leave it at home sometimes. Shock horror! I had to do this to break habit for checking it all the time. Less electromagnetic radiation for you and the planet is a good thing. Phone off at night is important too or on airplane mode when kids playing games / watching movies, not needing internet, is a great EMF reduction tactic too!
14. Pick up litter. The amazing Responsible Runners network started by truly inspirational friend Justin Bonsey, is all about getting a work out in while collecting rubbish. Yes, you can get fit while protecting the oceans from plastics and cigarette butts. LOVE! Maybe you should start one near you?? Get in touch with him if this inspires you.
15. Switch to natural cosmetics. Your skin doesn’t know what to do with all those chemicals and neither does the planet. My favourite natural cosmetic shop is Nourished Life. The luxury brand feel, without the luxury brand price tag or chemicals! Irene is a toxins bull dog (a really beautiful one!) and will simply not even allow a shade of grey into her shop!
16. Cook more and use single ingredients. This avoids weirdness processed foods, it avoids high consumption of vegetable oils used in take aways, excess processed salts, it reduces msg consumption from things like ‘chicken’ salt, it reduces single use plastics, it even reduces tension – turning in circles trying to find a park for the take away place on a busy week night! One more night a week. Start cooking batches… focus on little victories and smarter ways of doing things! You can do it
17. Get curious about origin of foods – the more locally produced and grown, the more nutritious it’s likely to be. You also drastically cut the global carbon emissions by lowering food miles. Once you raise the consciousness on this, it’s kind of weird to buy crackers from France as a staple – keep it to a now and then treat!
18. Quit diet drinks, single serve juices, flavoured milks – All of these are either filled with chemicals or filled with sugar. Our bodies just can’t process them efficiently. You’ll be drastically cutting single use plastics / alumimium and improving your health .
19. Double batch cook as much as possible and freeze for another day! Having a nice full freezer also helps it run more efficiently so it’s good for the planet and good for reducing your time in the kitchen!
20. Set yourself upcycle and reusable challenges with things you’d normally toss. Plenty of Pinterest inspiration in this area.
(image courtesy of theberry.com – upcycling idea. very cute!)
Now over to you. What are your little and big ways / suggestions to create change on this Earth Day, 2014?
Leave your comments here. I’d love to get some inspiration happening!
Here’s to making Earth Day every day! Turns out you and I are pretty darn powderful!