by Esmaa Self
We are expanding the farm –and along with that our self-sufficiency*– this spring, thus have been busy away from the computer. Jonell asked me to jot ten things a person could do to begin a green lifestyle. I sat down and thirty came out.
Walk more. There is no better energy to spend than your own.
Wash your hair 4 times a week rather than every day. Commercial shampoos are mostly chemical. So very ew.
Turn off a light and an appliance. ‘Nuff said.
Shop the produce aisle for less packaging and fresher, more nutritious food.
Buy items in simpler, recyclable packaging.
Recycle that packaging… and everything else your local facilities accept.
Eschew one-use items. Do this again and again.
Sell your TV. Spend more time talking, gardening, hiking and reading.
Keep your car. Clunkers are cheaper to insure, sure, but just think of the manufacturing energy saved if you buy one car per decade rather than 2 or 3.
Plan a staycation. While avoiding pat-downs may be one reason to stop flying, wasteful jet engines is higher on my list of reasons.
Just say no. To new drapes, your fortieth pair of shoes, whatever. Do you really need them?
Live within a budget. Less is so much more.
Skip the makeup. If he doesn’t see your beauty without it, he does not deserve you.
Find uses for old things. Give them away, sell them, turn them into something new.
Cook from scratch for better family time, superior nutrition and less production energy per serving.
Don’t get a pet. Pet foods and waste are huge contributors to our environmental woes.
Don’t have another child. 6 billion, ya know?
Grow some of your own food. Dude.
Share seeds. Two can grow for the price of one. Or something like that.
Buy direct from an organic farmer. Cut out the middleman and not only pay the farmer what she’s worth, but purchase a fresher, better product as well.
Plant a shade tree. Or four; you may have heard about climate change.
Plant edible landscaping. Why water things you cannot eat? Seriously.
Turn your lawn into a garden. Ditto.
Learn to forage wild foods. Eat things you didn’t even water.
Don’t take antibiotics for a cold or sinusitis. Irrigate irritated sinuses with saline and wait out a cold. Then determine to eat well, exercise, wash your hands, and stop licking public restroom doorknobs and you won’t even miss the drugs.
Learn about homeopathic remedies. Willow tree bark can relieve pain. Yellow dock root can purge your lymph system. Motherwort can calm your nerves, instantly.
Use unscented toilet paper and tissues. Reduce the chemicals you swipe onto sensitive areas.
Use cloth napkins rather than paper. You knew this.
Flush with less. Put an 8-16 oz sand-filled bottle in the tank of your older toilet to reduce water use with each flush.
Gather ‘round. Spend evenings in one room. Together. What a concept!
* Here’s what we’re doing: growing more medicinal and culinary herbs (added motherwort, anise, black cumin, meadowsweet, borage, burdock, common thyme, goat’s rue, chamomile and two spearmint varieties to complement our already wide assortment of wild and cultivated herbs); installing two bee hives (can you just imagine the pleasure of one’s own honey?); raising our own chickens (three-day-old broilers and layers arrived yesterday!); farming fish (what can be so wonderful as one’s own responsibly farmed seafood?); growing more intensively in the greenhouse and expanding the outside gardens, which is where we grow tomatoes, squash, peppers, corn and potatoes. In addition we are selling a few extra tilapia fingerlings and potted plants. We are struggling to fit in workouts, sleep and at-the-table meals between all this activity, and usually not getting to the social media portion of life. This, too, shall pass. Eventually.