Western society is filled with artificial products and unnatural ingredients — from the fast food we put in our bodies to the toxins our cars put into the air.
But do you ever wonder how to make your environmentally friendly? At times, it can seem like a daunting task. However, there are simple steps that you can take to make your daily life more natural and authentic, without sacrificing the quality of life that you’ve become accustomed to. In time, these steps will become habits, and you’ll begin to wonder how you ever lived without them.
Opt for local foods
When you buy food, especially produce, from the grocery store or other large retailers, the food is usually trucked in from far away. Buying that produce sends money to support the trucks that transport that food, which spew pollutants into the air the whole way.
Not to mention, those fruits and vegetables are typically grown on mega-farms, which often don’t feel any obligation to farm sustainably, to pay their workers fairly, or to avoid using toxic chemicals. Even “organic” foods from mega-farms typically aren’t grown using a sustainable practice.
Instead, practice sustainable and eco-friendly living by purchasing food, especially produce, locally. Farmers markets are a great way to tap into this community, and you can find farmers markets near you whether you live in a rural or urban area.
Alternately, there are some grocery stores that focus on sustainable, local food. One of the most common examples of these are IGA stores, although even here you’ll need to make sure that the produce is actually locally grown.
This is a great natural way of living and eating, simply by changing where you purchase food.
Ditch unnecessary medications for natural solutions
There’s been a lot of talk recently about over diagnosing, especially for children. But you don’t have to be going to a doctor and getting scripts written to be overmedicating yourself.
Because it’s so easy to purchase medicine for even the slightest problems, many people opt for pills instead of more natural solutions to everyday ailments. We use modern medicine to help soothe our achy knees, quiet our coughs, and make us sleepy enough to drift off.
Although modern medicine certainly has its place — and it’s unadvisable to stop prescription or preventive medication without a doctor’s supervision — there are times when more natural solutions would do the trick.
For instance, if you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t head out and buy Z-Quil. Instead, cut out caffeine, start an exercise regimen, or get your partner an anti snoring device to help yourself sleep better naturally.
Use meditation and mindfulness to decrease stress, increase your fruit and vegetable intake to make your vitamin regimen obsolete, and stretch regularly to decrease your joint pain.
Make time to recycle and compost
Few people think about recycling and composting on a regular basis. Instead, they occasionally throw their water bottles in the blue bin instead of the green one, and this makes them feel like they’re participating in a more sustainable trash system.
However, recycling and reusing only truly make a difference if we commit to them on a daily basis.
To make this a reality, implement recycling and composting processes into your daily routine, so that you don’t have to think about them at all.
For composting, set a compost box on your kitchen counter, so that you can easily throw food scraps into the box without needing to go out of your way. If you don’t yet compost, now is the time to start. If you aren’t sure how to compost, take a look at this infographic to get started.
Practice the same habit with recycling by placing a dedicated recycling bin next to your trash bin — this way, it won’t take any extra work to recycle, and you’ll be more likely to recycle on a regular basis.
After you’ve begun to implement these steps, regularly reevaluate your consumption and the daily choices that you make. Living a more natural healthy lifestyle is a process, and you can always make improvements and changes that suit both yourself and the world you live in.