Simple living is not just about decluttering our cupboards, saying no to extra committments and learning to live with less. For me, one key element of living a simpler life is also learning to tread more lightly on our planet. To be good stewards of the earth.
This means learning to live green when and where we can.
I know a statement like that is often met with eye rolls and exasperation. Not only are we bombarded with the message that we need to be doing more to 'save our planet' every day, but you already have enough to do without adding something else to the list. Right?
But the easiest place to start living green? It's in your home. And it takes much less time and effort than you would imagine.
And starting is as simple as:
Replacing one of your household cleaners with a homemade green cleaning alternative.
Next time you are at the grocery shop, pick up these four things:
- an empty spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle
- a bottle of white vinegar
- a box of baking soda
- a tub of citric acid
You can then use a combination of these to clean most surfaces in your home:
- kitchen bench
- coffee machine
- blocked drains
- shower – glass and tiles
- glass doors
Add some essential oils (lavender, tea tree and clove are all I use) and you have an entire green cleaning kit for your home.
The reality is, you do not need a cupboard full of expensive, dangerous chemicals to keep your home clean. A handful of natural, non-toxic alternatives is all you need.
It's all I've used for 3 years, and as far as I can tell, my house isn't a nest of filth and mould. It's simple, it's green, it's easy and it works.
For example, to clean the kitchen sink and benchtops:
- Sprinkle the surface lightly with bicarb soda and spray with white vinegar.
- Leave for a few moments, then using a clean damp cloth, scrub the surfaces that require deep cleaning. The bicarb acts as a scouring agent and will lift stains off your benchtops and stainless steel sink, while the vinegar helps to remove bacteria.
- Rinse with a clean cloth and wipe dry.
(Of course, always test on an inconspicuous surface to ensure there are no problems.)
If you're looking for more recipes and suggestions, check out the Ultimate Guide to Green Cleaning.
Other Simple Ways to Live Green:
Reduce Household Waste:
- compost your food scraps
- buy chickens
- buy only what you need
- eat leftovers
- reduce plastic waste by buying in bulk
- purchase reusable produce bags
- do you need it?
- will it last?
- have a 30-day buy list
Use Your Resources:
- line dry your laundry
- use ceiling fans instead of air con
- use window coverings to regulate heat and cold
Make Your Own:
- household cleaners
- laundry liquid
What is the best green living tip you've received? Do you have an amazing homemade stain remover recipe? (Because I really need one!) Let me know in the comments below…