Happy New Year! To get the year started on the right track I thought I would start with a guest post from Ang who blogs at There and Back Again…A Mother’s Tale. She is full to the brim with wonderful ideas about living a more natural life and I truly love her blog. So it is with great pleasure that I am able to share her advice for taking baby steps towards a more natural lifestyle! Heaven knows, I need baby steps!
Taking baby steps towards a more natural lifestyle- Ang Broadbridge
My interest in living a more holistic and natural lifestyle really started when I was at university; I wrote my dissertation about alternative consumerism because I was really interested in what made people actively seek out organic, green and eco produce; what were there motivations? How did they make the transition to living that way?
I was interested in those questions but at a time in my life where I still lived under someone else’s roof (my parents) and felt limited about the changes I could make for myself. In this respect I’ve really started with baby steps to reach a point where I live a reasonably natural lifestyle with my own family. There are still changes to make, but every small change we make has an impact on our eco system. The theme of Organic September this year was ‘change one thing’ and I believe small changes can really motivate us in other areas of our lives too.
This post is all about taking those first baby steps and offers some ideas for areas where you might like to start making some small changes in your home and in your life!
The first step for me, before we starting introducing organic food sources was to ditch processed foods where possible. I say where possible because this was a change we’ve also made gradually. I started out home cooking most of our meals from scratch about five years ago; but the odd supermarket pizza or tub of readymade houmous was still lurking in our fridge. Once I learned to make those things from scratch and realised they were so much cheaper I also saw the impact on our waste – if I buy a pizza there’s a lot of plastic and cardboard to get rid of, if I make pizzas the amount of waste is reduced dramatically, there’s one paper bag from the flour, I make a fresh tomato sauce, so no waste there, and there’s sometimes a small plastic bag from the cheese but more often than not I buy from deli counters where it comes in paper bags which can be easily recycled too.
On the subject of waste, I decided to try baby steps to reduce this further recently. I have started buying more of our fruit and vegetables from our local greengrocer as a) I feel good about putting my money into the local economy, and b) we avoid all those plastic bags and over packaging too (oh, and the service is great too, much more friendly than the faceless supermarkets!). If you decide to change only one thing then ditch the plastic bags, opt for reusable bags instead, this is one small change that will have a big impact on landfill!
Recently I blogged about using natural cleaning products in the home in a two part post . This was a big turning point for me; I’ve always been nervous about the big chemical heavy products, so I wouldn’t use the industrial type caustic oven cleaners for example, but bleach was something I’d always used, on the whole sparingly but used often never the less! I started small, buying a tub of bicarbonate of soda which I used to replace my use of bleach in a few areas, for example scrubbing the sink. We’ve now switched over to using the natural methods I set out in these blog posts, and replaced the other bleach and general home cleaning products with Clean and Fair and Ecover for washing the dishes and clothes for example. Much fewer plastic bottles and sprays are now making their way into our waste and I love how our home smells clean and fresh without the smell of bleach!
Making the switch to natural cleaning products had a big impact on other areas of my life too. I thought about the beauty and skincare products we were using and realised that now I was putting stuff on my hair, face and body that I wouldn’t even use to clean my sink! I’m fortunate to get to review and test some great organic and natural beauty products for my blog but equally there are great natural products you can use and make yourself from home, including my salt scrub and the supermarkets are also offering good value organic, natural and phthalate-free products for great value now too.
I hope this post helps to demonstrate that we can all make very small changes towards a more natural lifestyle which may start us off thinking about other areas of our lives; these changes may seem minimal but if we all do our bit that will have a huge impact on our planet and on the lives of others!
Thanks Ang! This definitely gave me some motivation for making some small changes- it’s small changes that I am more likely to keep going the whole year! And that body scrub looks divine! I’m going to give it a try!
Angela Broadbridge blogs at www.thereandbackagainamotherstale.com she writes a bi-monthly Organic Round Up with eco news and reviews
You can also find her onTwitter @angbroadbridge
Does anyone have any other small changes that they are considering making for 2015?