Little Green Guide: The Kind and Curious Mindset
Being kind to our planet takes small incremental changes. (Not that radical changes aren’t good, they are just rare.) Here is some stuff I have learned from friends that may be useful to people looking to be more green. You are encouraged to interpret these tips however you like and figure out what works for your lifestyle. Being green is not just kind, but cheap (I will explain why) and good for you!
Before you acquire something, think about how you will use it to its full potential and responsibly dispose of (or better yet, compost). If you do not have a way to get rid of it responsibly, look for alternatives. Is this something you can get second-hand? Do-It-Myself? Are there recycling depots for this product? Do you need it at all? Thinking end-to-end allows you to look at your effort more holistically and focus on areas you can contribute the most.
Like moving into a new home and starting a basic kitchen pantry, having a basic set of versatile household ingredients can help you be more green. Look up the many cleaning uses of vinegar, lemon, baking soda, oils, and herbs. You will find that many household products can be replaced by a simple recipe of natural ingredients. Not only is it cheap to buy these ingredients in bulk(depends on where you are), it reduces packaging waste. Apply the same thinking to your closet, office, and rest of the home.
Make, Grow, Eat Your Own
Gardening is a great hobby that compliments many green initiatives. Start with growing from your veggie scraps or herbs. It may seem like you can only garnish your soup or have an occasional salad but let it slowly blossom into a garden that suits your lifestyle. Composting is also a great way to get rid of food residue and paper packaging. If gardening is not your thing, it’s ok! Visit a local market and buy seasonal produce that has a lower carbon footprint.
Be Creative and Resourceful
To be green is to be creative! Be it Do-It-Yourself, cooking, gardening, or woodworking. Exercise your creativity to experiment and try new things. You may find out that your old sweaters make for an amazing cleaning cloth, a broken door can become a tabletop or wine cocks become a floor mat. Think beyond what an item is advertised to do and you may find that you need less than you think.
Education comes in many forms. Whether it’s picking up a skill from a friend, borrowing a tool book, or listening to a podcast, getting educated keeps you inspired and in tune with the world around you. To be green is to be aware. You don’t need to scan through stacks of research papers to know how to be kind to the earth. Take a moment to look at what’s happening around you. Stay curious, and don’t be shy about asking questions.
Go Along Your Lifestyle, Not Against
Being green is not about making life difficult or less enjoyable. We have to acknowledge there are privileges in being able to afford time and money for green practices and products. Don’t measure your success against another person. Start with practices that are easy to incorporate into your life and grow from there. It can be bringing your own cup to a coffee shop or growing green onion from scraps. Create small successes that will lead you to bigger endeavors.