Many people assume that becoming more eco-friendly is just about the environment. While a huge part of it is about taking care of the place we call home, there are so many other amazing benefits in it for you.
What are they you might ask? Well let me explain...
I started years ago, without even realizing it- around the age of 12. I had hit the golden year every pre-teen who isn't allowed to punch a time clock looks forward to-the year you can start babysitting! That year was big for me in many ways. I had earned myself some money, and along with money, came a bit of freedom. For me, freedom came in the form of thrift stores. I could take what little money I had and leave with a bag full of treasures. My mom and I could never agree on clothes so this was a great way to express my personality on a budget. It soon became one of my favourite things to do, I couldn't believe all of the amazing things I would find for a fraction of the price.
To this day, 95% of what my kids and I wear is thrifted. This saves me thousands of dollars per year, makes me feel like a rock star for spending $2 on a shirt instead of $30, and keeps piles of clothing out of landfills. If you haven't given thrift stores a shot-you are missing out!
Moving on to my late twenties, I found myself surrounded by children and piles of stuff. My world felt like complete chaos and I was desperate for change. I would run myself ragged trying to pick up toys and clothing that my kids mindlessly threw about without a second thought. Most of the stuff we had accumulated was for them so why couldn't they take care of it?! I began to realize that all of the "things" we buy our children isn't what actually makes them happy, so I purged. I donated, gave away, or threw out basically anything that wasn't bolted down. I purged so much it became a ritual, even my husband worried he was next.
The point is, it's amazing what happens when you create space in your home. My kids actually started PLAYING with the toys they had, I was less stressed out trying to keep everything clean, and I actually think I heard my house breathe a sigh of relief! I have become ruthless with what enters my home. Free bag of clothes the kids don't need? I'm good. Box of "goodies" from Great Aunt Tracy? No thanks. Samples of the next best thing at the drug store? Bye Felicia! The more mindful I become about what enters the house the less I consume on a daily basis, and the better everyone feels.
One of my favourite benefits of reducing waste is getting to have fun with DIY! I have loved the creativity of doing it yourself forever. If I saw a picture of something and liked it, I probably tried to make it. This has come in handy many times over, but especially now. I make my own laundry detergent, all purpose cleaners, and even toothpaste. It isn't only to save money, it's a great way of reducing waste by using every day items that are already in the pantry. It's keeping packaging out of landfills and gives me creative licensing with different ingredients and scents to try. Making my own products also had made me more aware of what I am putting in or around mine and my children's bodies.
Being more mindful of what I'm consuming has allowed me to see what really matters-connection with ourselves, eachother, and our planet. It has rewired my brain into knowing that less truly is more and freedom comes from less consumption. Reducing waste in my own life has lead to a healthier body, a happier home, and a thicker wallet. Who could say no to that?
Written by Sarah
Photo cred Jayme