Once people get to know me and realize I favor a greener and cleaner lifestyle, they always get this overwhelming look on their face. It’s almost as if they feel guilty, and I haven’t said anything! Then they proceed to tell me they don’t even know where to start when it comes to living a greener lifestyle, and it’s just seems too much for them.
Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as people make it. Taking into account how you eat, what you put on your skin, and how you live is a lot simpler than you make it. The truth is, it’s like anything in life, you just have to start. Whether you have been wanting to go to college, stick to a budget, run a marathon or climb that mountain…it all starts with one step. I like to call them “Baby Steps.” Does anyone remember watching What About Bob?? I can still hear Bob Murray saying, “Baby steps to the door, baby steps to the car.” But isn’t that so true about any endeavor in life? It all happens one step at a time.
Well, this couldn’t be any more true for embarking on a greener and cleaner lifestyle. Don’t overwhelm yourself, and try and change your whole lifestyle in a week, or even a month! Your family will likely despise you if you do, and you will end up feeling defeated, because you will realize it can’t be done. I didn’t start out knowing everything there was to know about living green and clean. On the contrary it was a little bit of information here, a little there. A change here and a change there. This sort of change will produce lasting results. Oh and P.S. I still don’t know everything, and NEWSFLASH…I never will!
I ‘m going to share 5 simple tips to help you start living a greener and cleaner lifestyle. Ready or not, here’s to you learning, growing and changing…one baby step at a time!
1. Just eat real food-
I know big one huh? Yeah, it seems like a no brainer, but it’s surprising how for many people it’s not. Instead of having every meal come out of a box, wrapper or value meal, prepare your food. Shopping on the outer aisles of the grocery store, instead of the inner aisles will help you steer clear of so many chemicals and fake food. Yes, I’m calling it fake food, the kind created in a lab and not grown. Think more basic and not so complicated. The scientists these days really have outdone themselves when it comes to creating more chemical laden food for us humans. Really, it’s so simple. Instead of grabbing a granola bar that’s supposedly healthy for a snack, just grab an apple and almond butter. Instead of consuming 20+ ingredients in one little bar (most being chemicals) you can consume 2 ingredients with the apple and almond butter. Your body will thank you! My challenge for you in this area is for one meal a day, choose living food and not packaged food. Take note of how much better you feel, and I promise in no time you will start to crave the good stuff.
2. Make Your Own Cleaning Products-
This is one that I thoroughly enjoyed doing. I know… I’m weird. But seriously, I’m obsessed with having a clean house, and I really do like to clean. So if your like me switching out your chemical laden cleaning products might not be such a chore. This is so important, especially having kiddos around. Who wants to be dealing with toxic products when you have a 3 year old? Not me! Cleaning products you use all the time too, so it’s important to switch out to cleaner options. Don’t risk exposing yourself to constant chemicals or your family. Did I mention you’ll be saving money too?? Yeah, saving money, and saving your family from all those toxins…sounds like a win to me! My challenge to you is to remove one cleaning product a month that’s mainstream, and replace it with a healthy alternative. For full details on switching over to greener cleaning products, check out my post on DIY Natural Cleaning 101.
3. Switch Out Your Beauty Products-
This one can be daunting and again overwhelming for people. But again, it’s baby steps and not a sprint. Beauty products can include anything from what you put on for makeup, to the lotion you lather on your body, to the deodorant you use. It all goes in your body, because it’s all touching your skin. Your skin absorbs over 60% of whatever you put on it. The face absorbs even more and your underarms even more than your face. Crazy huh?! Unfortunately, most products these days are full of junk, and lots of it. I like to think of junk as things you don’t need, and that’s exactly what’s in beauty products. They put a lot of stuff you don’t need in there. These products cause a lot of issues people aren’t even aware of, from hormonal issues, allergies, skin flare ups and cancer… just to name a few. My challenge for you is to replace one product a month. Whether you start using a cleaner body lotion or better yet just make your own, the goal is just to start.
4. Educate Yourself-
This is probably the best piece of advice I could give you, and the thing I want you to take away with you, if it’s the only thing you remember. Why?? Because if you determine to never stop learning about living a cleaner and greener lifestyle, then you will definitely always be changing. Isn’t it crazy the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Educating yourself not only helps you stay current, but forces you to know why you are living a greener and cleaner lifestyle. Instead of a marketer telling you what’s good for you, you’ll know what’s good for you. My challenge to you is to learn something new once a month. It could be reading a blog (kudos, you already are) listening to a podcast, or reading a book. As they say, knowledge is power!
5. Invest in a Quality Water Filter-
They say you can survive 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. That proves how important water is for our body. Not only is it vital to drink enough water everyday, but even more vital that it’s filtered properly. So whatever is in the water everyday is also going in your body everyday. Yikes! Which brings me to the next question…what’s in our water? Well, bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine and fluoride…just to name a few. Drinking these contaminants day in, and day out is only a recipe for problems. Do yourself and your family a favor by investing in a quality water filter. The one I recommend is the Berkey Filter. This baby will remove basically everything in your water, even fluoride. This is more of an investment, but if there’s anything you should invest in it’s your health and your families. My challenge to you is to save X amount of dollars a month towards a water filter. Everyone is in different stages in life, and it might take a little longer to buy a filtration system. However, the reward far outweighs the investment.
Don’t forget it’s all about baby steps, take the first step, and accept the challenges today! What’s one challenge that will be hard for you, and one that will come easier?? Leave me a comment. Would love to hear your feedback!