From the beginning of my green and natural living journey, I have always believed that making small changes to my lifestyle would have a big impact on my home and family, and also on the world around me. And that those small changes would add up to greater overall lifestyle change over time. Then, the small steps I took would add together with the small steps I was encouraging other people and families to take, and together we could change the world.
While that might seem like a lofty goal, I can already see the impact of the choices we are making. Green and natural cleaning and personal care products are becoming more widely available at local and national stores, food companies are removing harmful ingredients from their products, and companies are choosing more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging materials.
Over the past few weeks, I participated in a challenge from Tetra Pak to encourage me to make daily choices toward living a more conscious, renewable lifestyle. And recent studies have shown what I’ve realized to be true, that adopting simple, renewable lifestyle behaviors can actually make us happier while also saving the earth’s resources!
By changing just one simple habit, you too can make a big impact on your life and the world around you! Whether we change the products we use to clean our homes, or we make different choices at the grocery store, changing our habits can make a difference. Here are the habits I’ve been working on changing over the past few weeks.
Choosing food and beverage products with renewable packaging, like cartons
I had noticed over the past few years the increasing availability of food in cartons at the grocery store, but I didn’t realize that these cartons were actually a more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging option! Most of us already understand the importance of recycling product packaging, like glass, aluminum, and plastic, but it’s also important to understand what the packaging is made of and how the material is sourced.
I recently learned about how Tetra Pak carton packaging helps protect our planet’s limited supply of natural resources because Tetra Pak cartons are mainly made from paper, a renewable resource that can be naturally replenished. So, I’ve begun to pay closer attention when shopping and try to choose products packaged in cartons whenever possible.
I want to encourage you to think about the type of material your food is packaged in, and look around at your grocery store for more sustainable packaging options like cartons. It may take you a few weeks to get into the groove and replace your old standards with sustainably packed items, but once you do, this step will be something you do automatically during your weekly or monthly grocery shopping trips!
Taking shorter showers
I have been conscious of our family’s water consumption for several years now, but I had never actually timed my showers to try to take shorter showers. As a busy wife and mom, a shower can be some of the only quiet minutes I get in a day, so I didn’t really welcome the idea of cutting that time down. The main way I conserve water is by not showering every day, but I guess that might not have a big impact if I take super long showers when I do shower.
So, I decided to time my showers and was surprised to find that I can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes in the shower. I do think it is worth cutting that time down a bit and trying to keep my maximum at 10 minutes. My next goal is to get a clock for the shower, so I can pay closer attention to the time. A clock in the shower will keep me (and my husband!) accountable to taking shorter showers and being more aware of how much time we are actually spending in the shower.
Have you ever timed yourself in the shower? I want to encourage you to give it a try and see if you can come up with a way to cut back on your shower time and conserve water.
Using cloth instead of paper in the kitchen
I’ll admit that this one wasn’t really a challenge for me. I have been using cloth instead of paper in the kitchen, and all around our home, for many years. In fact, it was one of the very first changes I made on my green living journey along with green and natural cleaning.
If you haven’t made the switch to cloth instead of paper in the kitchen yet, the first thing I want to encourage you to do is to invest in a stash of good quality cloths and find a convenient place to store them. Then put your paper towels in an inconvenient, out of reach place. When you would normally reach for a paper towel, reach for a cloth instead. Make it a goal to see how long your roll of paper towels can last because you’re only using them in the most desperate, and dirty, of situations!
Swaping paper coffee cups for a mug
Most days I drink my coffee at home out of a mug, so this is not a challenge that applies to me every day. And I will say, that when I do go to the drive through for a coffee, I rarely remember to bring my own mug. But when I did remember, I was surprised at how easy it is to ask the barista to make my drink in my reusable mug instead of their paper cups. I just let them know when I order that I have my own mug and give it to them when I get up to the window. It may take an extra minute or two, but it’s really not an incovenience, and I feel good knowing that I saved a paper cup for the day!
Bring your own mug the next time you’re out getting coffee and try it for yourself. Or if you regularly drink coffee out of paper or styrofoam cups at the office, put your mug with your bag the night before so you remember to take it in to work with you!
Taking the Tetra Pak Happiness Quiz
Find out more about how green and natural living lifestyle choices can contribute to your happiness by taking the Tetra Pak Happiness Quiz. March 20 is International Happiness Day, and I just love the fact that we can lead happier lives by making simple renewable lifestyle changes while also protecting our earth!
Green living is a journey, one that starts with small changes and simple steps. What changes can you make today, this week, or this month that will lead to a big impact on your life and the environment over time?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.