Like I had mentioned in my previous post, it is the greatest pride of a Domestic Woman to have a warm, nurturing home that she takes care of physically and emotionally. The same then extends to as much of the world as she can, as it is humanity’s home.
In the older days, being eco-friendly was basically the default way of life. Why? Simply because there was less to go around of everything, especially before the 50s. Everything was reused to the last inch. With the Great Depression having affected everyone significantly, as well as the Industrial Age only being a few decades old, the concept of having many things and materials for everyone was a new, mostly unheard of one. Save for the rich.
Now, in today’s most prosperous societies, especially in the West, being eco-friendly is more important than ever since we have become much too used to wastefulness, material abundance and are now suffering economically and environmentally because of it.
Whichever way you swing, the Earth is where we all live and thus every homemaker should be aware of how to care more for our biggest home.
Start with a few of these ideas!
1. Ditch the plastic bags.
Seriously. In Australia, we successfully eliminated almost all usage of plastic bags in major areas of our lives, most famously our supermarkets and many retailers have followed suit, either offering their own reusable bags or reverting to paper bags. It isn’t difficult. They sell them in bookstores, grocery stores and stationery shops.
Get a reusable bag, even a cute one if you like and carry it in your purse at all times. I have one in every handbag and reusable bags in the back of our car. If the reusable bags are fabric, chuck it in the wash every month and recycle the biodegradable ones.
I really like my fabric Van Gogh ones, very colourful and easier on the shoulders than gripping plastic bags with my fingers!
2. Ditch the straws, too.
Yes, straws. Plastic straws are definitely overused and more often than not, end up in landfills and oceans. Opt for steel or glass reusable straws, they can be ordered online or at your local green/health store (I know the hipsters are all over it, just go in and out!). I have one for everyone in our family, with a pouch and they are washed over at the sink every week. If you like the more quirky drinks, remember there are also bubble cup drink straws for pearls!
3. Replace your food wrap.
I feel bad for not even realising this before, however cling wrap is not reusable plastic and can also become waste quickly. Some really smart folks have figured out a waste-free, eco-friendly solution though.
You read that right. These printed, thicker wraps are made from beeswax and completely biodegradable. They seal on their own against basically any container from heat, mainly your hands as you wrap. Once used, just wash with cold water and then use again. They last up to a year if you use them everyday, so chances are if you’re not too heavy on wrap, it can last up to two years. They can be found in eco shops too (see the link on reusable straws, they also have it!).
4. Go digital/library.
It’s a little awkward for me to say this since I am the biggest book nerd around and I have plenty of paper books. However, in the last couple of months, I have compartmentalised my reading needs. While there are certain books (reference for work, mystery novels) that I absolutely need in paper, everything else I have resolved to get digitally. If you are near a modern library, you won’t even need to spend a penny, have a membership and use it on apps such as BookMyne and BorrowBox in order to ‘borrow’ ebooks and audiobooks. Amazing!
5. Grow your own herbs/vegetables.
Even just a little. I’m not proposing go and start a commune farm or clear out your backyard, try a couple of small pots first inside your house. Baby steps and only as much as you can manage. Try one pot of herbs first, then a small section for a vegetable you know you use often. Not only will it save you a bit of money, though in your own little way you are using the Earth and reducing the stress on demand for produce. My grandparents have fruit trees and they often find the very last of their fruits falling in the hands of my friends and their friends!
6. Give away your old technology.
If you are an immigrant like me, chances are you have friends and family in a third world country. If you have old or used technology that you aren’t going to sell, send it back home for the less fortunate to be able to use. Even the accessories too. The last thing we would want is more technology straight to the landfill. If you don’t have any relatives in that context, talk to friends who might. Speak to charity organisations and see how someone else can benefit from your old phone, tablet, etc. Otherwise, you can also give it to younger relatives who are still learning to be responsible with technology and need something that’s not too precious to use.
Give these ideas a try, there will be more posts about this as I continue my more eco-friendly lifestyle, which I am glad to be more aware of now.
They will not only benefit your simple way of living and finances, but also the home of your home will reap the rewards too. Everyone has to do their bit and chip in!