4 low-effort steps towards a more eco-friendly life.

Aug 12, 2015

idle_easy_eco_tips Being my mother's daughter, I was basically spoon-fed the importance of respecting nature, animals and other people while going about your life. Growing up however, I always used to hate her eco-friendly lifestyle, since it meant being the weird kid who brought peculiar organic cookies to school. Not that I got really bullied about it or anything. But as child, I just really wanted to be like all the rest.

Now, as a grown-up (yikes!), I am actually very grateful to her for giving me those values. I've noticed that I even try to live by them more and more as I get older. Being a perpetual lazy-bones however doesn't always confirm with being eco- and ethic-minded. Meaning, I just don't see myself maintaining a large organic vegetable garden, nor do I feel like spinning my own wool to knit sweaters because most clothes happen to be made in sweatshop conditions. Luckily I have found some low-effort alternatives to try and maintain a lifestyle that less harmful for the planet and its inhabitants.

1. Shop sustainable

Since shopping for shoes, clothes and handbags is certainly no effort for most of us, how difficult can shopping sustainable really be? I know that might be a little overly optimistic, but it has certainly become much easier for me since I discovered the website rank-a-brand.nl. This organisation ranks brands based on their climate and environmental policies and on the working conditions for the people who make their products. I'm not saying that from now on I'll only be shopping sustainable brands, but I will be more inclined to shop at COS or Monki than say at Mango or Asos.

2. Take your own shopping bag with you

It's kind of a no-brainer, but therefore not less important. On grocery shopping trips I always make sure to bring a reusable (canvas) shopping bag with me and I try to reuse the little plastic bags for fresh fruit and vegtables as much as possible. When shopping for clothes I usually just take a big tote with me instead of a small handbag, though I'll admit, I can't resist saying 'yes' to one of these beautiful paper bags from &Other Stories. But then again, I always reuse those afterwards as well.

3. Use 'green' cleaning products

They work just as fine as the regular ones and come on people, they're really not that expensive. In Belgium you can even pay for them with eco-cheques (you know, the ones that you mostly just forget about until they're expired) in some supermarkets, so you basically get them for free (sort of). Oh, and besides I still think vinegar makes my shower the shiniest and baking soda works perfect to make white laundry just that little tad whiter. No chemicals needed!

4. Buy straight from the farm

 I've already discussed the fact that my beau and I buy our veggies straight from a local organic farm (well actually we just have to pick up our weekly vegetable and fruit parcel in a shop down the street and pay for it monthly by credit transfer), but we every few months we do about the same for our meat supplies. It goes like this: at deeleenkoe.be you can sign up for 10 kg of a cow. Once enough people have ordered so that every single piece of the animal can be processed, sold and used, the cow is slaughtered. A few days later you receive your 10 kg at home, neatly vacuum-packed in seperate portions and ready for the freezer. You can even choose to make your parcel half cow, half pork or even choose for chicken. What I love about this organisation is that it guarantees you that no meat is wasted or thrown away whatsoever, even the skin and bones of the animals are used for the production of respectively leather and glue. Other than that, during their life the cows are treated with respect, they spend most of their time outside and have a diet that mainly consists of grass.

Right, those were my four tips of the day. What are your ways to live more sustainable? Spill it, people!