For me, making lasting sustainable changes to my lifestyle has meant implementing small shifts over time rather than attempting a big overhaul. It’s a lot of pressure to aim for “perfection” in one fell swoop and, in actuality, most people work up toward habit adjustments rather than changing everything all at once.
When it comes to bettering the environment, it’s important to remember that large companies will need to make significant changes of their own. But I believe it’s also well worth adjusting our individual habits in our daily lives.
I’ve made tweaks to my cooking process.
Because I’ve been cooking off the cuff more often these days, I now feel comfortable turning leftovers into an entirely new meal. We have a system for leftovers and dedicated containers for storing food which means there’s rarely a reason to throw anything away. I also freeze vegetable scraps to use in the future when I make stock for soup, which I learned from the book An Everlasting Meal. Additionally, I keep the rind of cheese to flavor future dishes. It’s been an evolution in terms of how we approach cooking and food waste in our household as a whole.
We’ve adjusted what we typically eat.
Joe and I have both switched to a mostly vegetarian diet. Right now, we tend to have animal protein in the form of fish about once a week. Most of what we eat now is minimally processed whole foods, which we’ve found is generally better for our health and the environment.
I often buy secondhand.
While I don’t shop this way all the time, buying secondhand goods has long been a part of my shopping process. Secondhand shopping extends the lifecycle of goods and, in terms of decor, tends to bring more character to our home. I often search antique stores and thrift stores for previously loved decor pieces and hosting items like plates and glassware. I also often buy kids’ clothes and toys secondhand.
I’m taking better care of the clothes I have.
I started taking a mending class this year. The goal is to become proficient in mending our family’s clothes myself rather than donating things as often. I have yet to fully exercise this practice but I intend to start soon. I also have a dedicated station to remove stains and dirt from our family’s clothes. It’s stocked with my go-to stain removal products: Dawn soap, hydrogen peroxide, and The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar. I’ve been taking better care of what we have so the lifecycle of our clothing can be extended.
What sustainable practices have you implemented in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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BY Kate Arends - April 22, 2022
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.