We are living in the most exciting and important time of our evolution. The world is rapidly changing, and we must recognize how the way we live impacts our environment. This is the perfect time to make vital changes in order to shift the course we are heading for, and steer it into a sustainable bright tomorrow that future generations may enjoy.
We must ask ourselves real questions, often uncomfortable but important, nonetheless. Where are we headed? What is my involvement? How can I make it better? The environmental problems we face are so big that we shy away from asking these questions and ignore the whole thing. However, we can’t turn a blind eye anymore; it’s time for radical action and courage. Honest and consistent efforts have huge implications. Growing a garden, composting, saving water, carpooling, recycling etc. – whatever you can do is big. There is nothing too small. We can all make small changes that collectively make a big impact on our environment, our communities and our families.
So let’s get to work!
We must recognize that our society has become disposable, practical, all about instant gratification instead of sustainability and environmental integrity.
There are many ways to reduce our waste. Let’s start small. Saving the world starts at home, with our family, with ourselves.
It’s truly a very personal transformation that ripples throughout every aspect of our lives. For example, I realized how easy it is to buy packaged, ready-to-eat food. For me, it was important to shift from consumer to creator. Instead of using packaged food, I started making everything from scratch. This transformation has taken years, and I will continue to fine tune and learn to live completely from what my immediate environment has to offer. Reducing waste means returning to the land. How can I feed my family with local foods and supply their needs with handcrafted products? Visiting the local farmers market is a great way to connect with the community and start buying local products.
Composting is of vital importance for our future. The food that is thrown out is golden! Would you throw away gold? No, of course not. This process goes hand in hand with a garden, which absolutely is a great way to save money and eat really healthy food. Composting food waste instead of throwing it out allows for witnessing the wonderful world of microbial alchemy. Food scraps end up as chicken food and compost to feed our garden. Compost is essential for building soil and growing food. You can read more about composting here ; and there are also wonderful videos and books on composting. The information is at our fingertips. We can all do this, whether on a small scale or on a big family farm scale. We all make a difference.
What about reducing waste of non-food products? I realized how much plastic I continued to buy, so I began making my own shampoo and using apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse. It took a couple weeks for my PH levels to adjust, but now my hair looks shiny, healthy and is chemical free! My teenager girls complained for a little while, but now they, too, have gotten used to it. Radical change can be challenging. It throws us off our comfort zone, and I surely do like my comfort. However, I am willing to sacrifice some practical and comfortable things in order to serve a higher purpose and teach my children the importance of aligning ourselves with nature. These days I avoid plastic like the plague!
· You can reduce waste by buying bulk items and storing them in glass.
· Something we can all do is use cloth bags for groceries. You can make your own or purchase some from a local source.
I live in Southern California and this year our winter consisted sadly of only three days of rain. Still, we have rain barrels to collect rainwater for use in our garden. My roommate started placing a plastic tub in the shower to collect that water for the plants, too! I was so inspired! It seemed like a lot of trouble to take the big tub of shower water from the bathroom, down the stairs and out into the garden. But I saw her do that every day, so now I too am doing it. It just feels good! Every drop counts, especially in this drought!
Another area where we can reduce waste is in beauty products. There are so many recipes for do-it-yourself everything! From body butters, to lip balms, toothpaste, etc. This is so much fun to do with the kids, too. My girls and I have learned how to make herbal salves, laundry detergent, lip balms – even mascara. I will study soap making next. Learning these skills is fun and empowering.
Remember that where we spend our money is where we vote for the world we wish to see. We can reduce waste by supporting thrift stores, buying used instead of new, or buying new things from companies that have a strong sense of environmental ethics. Reducing waste is a creative endeavor that is of vital importance for our future and is personally very rewarding.
What ways do you enjoy reducing waste? I’d love to hear from you.