Regardless of your political affliliations, it benefits mankind when we do our best to be good stewards of God’s creation. It is good to make lifestyle and dietary decisions that promote the health of the planet and all living things. The term “green living” refers to intentionally making decisions for food, lifestyle, etc., that have the least amount of negative impact possible on the environment and people. For instance, people who belong to the “Green Party” politically typically support use of natural products over plastic. However, they also stand in agreement against violence, racism and other issues that are considered detrimental to the overall population. Starting the new year out with some green living tips is a good idea, no matter what your state in life happens to be.
This week, throughout the United States and beyond, millions of people will be thinking about the new year. Many people will be making lists and writing their thoughts in journals. They’ll be setting goals, both in their personal lives and careers. While no one is saying you must or should join “The Green Party,” politically-speaking, it might not be a bad idea to implement a few tips for “greener living,” to help make our country and the world a better place. The thing is — even the smallest changes or “baby steps” in a positive direction have a powerful impact on the overall state of a family, community and world.
Think about how you purchase food when you’re thinking about green living tips
Do you buy a lot of pre-packaged food that is filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce? If so, you might want one of your green living tips for 2022 to be that you’ll strive to purchase “loose” food and shop locally, more often. Think “farmers’ markets,” “local gardeners,” and “community food co-ops.” Buying loose food in bulk is helpful in several ways. For one, you’re not using a lot of plastic products, which are terrible for our ecosystems. You’re also helping to support your local economy when you buy food from farmers and gardeners in your area.
Remember that you can freeze a lot of different kinds of produce. In fact, dicing up veggies and freezing them ahead of time makes it super easy to whip up a meal of soup, stew or other recipe. If you have had a busy day, it makes cooking much more convenient to grab some already chopped, sliced or diced veggies from your freezer. This means that you can buy large portions of produce locally, and it won’t go bad before you use it if you freeze it!
Grow your own food to promote green living tips in the new year
Everyone should try grow some food at home. Whether you have an entire garden of vegetables, edible flowers and more, or you simply pot a few herb plants to keep on a windowsill inside, make it a goal to try to grow something this year. It’s good for your health, especially if you choose foods that boost and strengthen your immune system, like kale, spinach, basil, oregano, etc. You don’t have to be an expert on gardening to help a few plants thrive. Their needs are basic: healthy soil, sunlight and water. That’s it!
Long ago, most families grew their own food. It was far more uncommon NOT to do so, than it was to have a garden. Parents and children worked right alongside one another to tend the crops. Big family dinners with homegrown food were par of the course. Getting back to some of these traditions would not only promote green living, it would also strengthen family life in America.
Start a compost pile in your backyard
It’s easy to start a compost pile. Not only will you be throwing less waste away to pile up in a landfill somewhere, you can also use your compost to amend the soil in that garden you’re going to plant! Any sort of kitchen scraps, like carrot or apple peels, egg shells, etc., are ideal items to add to a compost pile. You’ll also need some things from nature, such as dried grass or leaves. You can find many videos on YouTube that will teach you all about composting, like this one.
You have permission to do less laundry this year
Americans are often obsessed with perfume-y scents, convincing themselves that such a scent means the item in question is clean. This is especially true for laundry. Seriously, there are some people walking around out there who are “detectable” before they even enter your sight. They smell like they dove head-first into a bottle of Gain detergent or have been covered in a blanket of fabric softener sheets (which, by the way, are highly toxic)! The fact is that we don’t need to wash clothes nearly as often as we do. When green living tips are a goal, be conscious of how often you do laundry. Try to do less.
It’s perfectly okay to wear a sweater or pair of jeans and put them back into your closet or drawer without laundering them first. You can spot clean, as necessary. If you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll smell bad if you wear something twice, you can make a deodorizing spritz out of diluted vodka or lemon juice or essential oils. Doing laundry is a massive energy sucker! Washing clothes less often is much better for the environment. If you want to take your green living to a whole new level, hang your laundry out to dry on a line, the old-fashioned way!
Make it a goal to educate others
If you’re incorporating a lot of green living goals in 2022, that’s great. It can be even better if you teach others how to do the same. Especially if you have children, make it a point to discuss these topics as a family and to get the kids in on the action! If you have space in your yard, consider starting a community garden where other families can plant and help tend the crops. (You can donate some of your harvest to people in need!)
Also, talk your children about kindness. It really DOES go a long way. There’s far too much violence and hatred in the world today, especially in the United States. Consider it part of your green living plan to try to be more mindful of the things you say and do in 2022. If we all care about each other and work together to take care of our families and the beautiful world God has made for us, we can have the best year yet!