When it comes to the greener life, ‘Re-‘ certainly has an important role to play. Some of the good things we all need to do more of in the year to come is Re-duce, Re-use, Re-cycle. But if you find yourself digging in your heels in response to all the inevitable Re-solutions hype at this time of year, you might want rather to think about making small, easy changes that are actually impactful sustainable solutions that not only benefit you and your health, but the earth too.
We all know the story well – we start off with good intentions of how we can be and do better in the New Year, but by the end of January, the vast majority of us are feeling guilty and hopeless for having fallen by the wayside already.
With climate change high on the global agenda and extinctions always on the rise, many South Africans are increasingly taking an interest in what they can do to live a greener life in 2017. According to Robyn Smith, founder of Faithful to Nature, there are many small changes we can make that really do make the difference in leading us towards a healthier, more fulfilling and more sustainable life.
“My top New Year’s Solutions for 2017 are all incredibly easy changes to implement,” she says, “Big sweeping changes are much harder to make, and it’s important to remember that many people making small changes results in a very big impact.”
#1 New Year’s Food Solutions – Think Waste-Free
Move yourself, your family and your colleagues towards waste-free solutions when it comes to food consumption, preparation and storage. “One of the greatest issues here is to reduce our use of plastics and the so-called ‘disposable’ food and drink containers that just end up clogging our water and land with more and more plastic,” says Robyn.
Stream straws – Ditch plastic straws for good. They’re always in the top 10 list of items found in marine and beach clean-ups, and even if you only use plastic straws twice a week, you’ll add over 7000 straws in an average lifetime. Hand crafted from borosilicate glass, each trendy Stream Straw is unique and incredibly durable, as well as lovely to use and easy to clean.
Ecoffee Cups – Coffee lovers, join the #stopthe100billion movement. Let 2017 be different and play a part in reducing the 100 billion ‘disposable’ coffee cups that end up on landfills across the world. Natural and reusable, the Ecoffee Cup is made from sustainably sourced bamboo, and is BPA and phthalate free.
#2 New Year’s Water Solutions – Become a Water Collector
Most of us have long stopped leaving the tap running while we brush our teeth or shave, but there are other small ways we let good water run down the drain which add up to significant waste.
Use a washbowl for hands – Fill up an eco-sudsy bowl in the kitchen and let everyone wash their hands in it instead of individually washing hands under running water. When the water gets grubby, use it to water plants and then refresh your washbowl.
Use a bucket in the sink – Too often when we turn on a tap we let it run while we wait for the water to cool down or warm up. Put a bucket or basin in your sink to catch this unused water before it goes down the plughole. You can use this as your washbowl or to water plants.
Save your cooking water – Instead of pouring it down the drain, collect and cool water used to cook pasta or vegetables. Use it to water your garden or houseplants.
Harvest rainwater – There are a variety of ways to collect rainwater off your roof, from your drainpipes or in the garden. This is an investment that keeps paying through a supply of unrestricted, free water that can be used to water plants, wash cars or clean windows at any time.
#3 New Year’s Health Solutions – Explore a plant-based diet
If you and your family haven’t yet embraced ‘meat-free Mondays’, it’s a good year to start. And you don’t have to stop at Mondays! Meat-free meals don’t have to be an unappealing sacrifice. On the contrary, many who have set out on this path discover that introducing plant-based, organic and vegan dishes into their diet is not just healthier for them and better for the planet, but utterly delicious too and kinder to the wallet! Here are some recipes to inspire you: http://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/natural-organic-blog/topics/organic-food-recipes
#4 New Year’s Body/ Beauty Solutions – Choose Cruelty-Free and Multi-Use
Goddess Cup – Reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health. The Goddess Cup provides you with completely waste-free and safe, perfectly comfortable and discreet sanitary protection. It’s a small change that’s good for you, your body and the earth.
Mineral Make-up – Your skin and your face are precious. Change to a natural, high quality, dermatologist approved cosmetic range that is free of animal testing, petrochemicals and other harmful additives. You deserve this treat!
#5 New Year’s Home Solutions – Commit to Eco Cleaning Products
Get started this year as a green domestic goddess. There’s probably no better way to improve the health of your home than by using earth- and people-friendly cleaning products. Natural and biodegradable ingredients ensure water-savings and kind greywater use.
“So many of us have entered into this particular New Year with hearts hungry for change,” says Robyn, “These are simple, but sticky lifestyle changes that are easy to love as you’re using powerful and natural ways to improve your health, home and happiness. With these solutions, rather than resolutions, you become part of the collective effort to make 2017 the year of impact for the earth and our generations to come.”
Visit Faithful to Nature to find more solutions that will help you on your green journey!