Earth Day 2015: Sustainable Practices

Earth Day 2015

Earth Day 2015

Sustainable Practices

What does Earth Day mean to you? For me it’s a time to contemplate lifestyle choices, consider if I’ve struck a balance between personal comfort and consumption of global resources. I strive to be a good steward of the planet and my version of that includes being mindful of the resources I use like gas, electricity, and water. Beyond that I try to contribute as little as possible to landfills by reducing, reusing and recycling, and avoid using or consuming unnecessary and/or harmful chemicals.  I’m very passionate about eating whole foods and maintain a vegetable garden.  I also make many cleaning and beauty products.  Being self-reliant in as many ways possible is very satisfying.

But, sometimes it’s difficult to be 100% self-reliant in modern times.  I work 40-hours per week at a job that I commute to/from an hour each way.  I live in a suburban area with zoning restrictions preventing me from legally keeping chickens or bees.  And while I believe it’s worthwhile to make as much as I can for myself, I also have to recognize that some things are just not worth my time or effort to make at home.

I like to know I’m making a difference, so I keep a running list of green activities that I practice or have tried.  Not all of the activities have stuck – like making laundry detergent. But, this list has a lot of triumphs too – like peppermint scented soap and wool dryer balls.

Below you can see the sustainable practices I do, the new ones I attempted since Earth Day last year, and the ones that were discontinued. Every year I try to add at least 5 more sustainable practices to my lifestyle.  Some day I’d like to collect rainwater for garden watering and have solar panels to live off the grid, but I don’t think family cloth will ever be on my list of sustainable practices.

How far are you willing to take your green living practices?

Sustainable PracticeNew in 2014Discontinued
body moisturizerx
carpoolx
cloth "sponges"
cloth napkins
composting
deodorantxx
dishwasher soapxx
face moisturizer
hard lotion barsxx
Italian sausagex
kahluax
ketchupx
laundry detergentxx
marinara saucex
mayonnaisex
milk kefirxx
recycling
ricotta cheesex
seedlingsx
soapx
soda streamx
sourdough breadxx
toothpaste
vegetable gardeningx
vermicompostingx
wool dryer balls

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