A Practical Approach to Sustainable Living


For years, we have all been hearing about the ways the planet is suffering—climate change, loss of biodiversity, depletion of resources, and so on. The list goes on and on. So much so that many people almost feel defeated. ‘Well, what can I do? I’m only one person.’ And with this feeling of defeat comes inaction when what we really need is action!

I believe every person can make a difference in helping shift the tide of our current environmental struggles; they just need to feel comfortable and empowered enough to know that what they are doing matters and is sustainable. Not everyone wants or is able to grow their own organic food, or live off-grid, or adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. And not everyone can afford to replace all the appliances in their home right away with more energy-efficient ones—that can be quite expensive! But there are literally hundreds of small things people can do that will make positive, long-lasting impacts.

My approach to sustainable living started about twenty years ago when I realized that eating more organic foods might help my special needs daughter improve her functionality. From there, I started examining the products I was using in my home, and it all just grew from there. The more I learned and researched, the more I realized that I could make changes not just for my family, but for the planet as well.

So now, I look at sustainable living from several perspectives: how I can minimize the carbon footprint of my home (gas, water, electric), how I can recycle more and make changes in the types of products I use in my home, and how I can make my property a more biodiverse place for life to thrive.

Minimizing the carbon footprint in our homes is about being more intentional: turning off our lights when we don’t need them, not running the water when brushing our teeth—basically, all the things our parents told us every day of our childhoods! Thankfully, most of our larger appliances in our homes are becoming more and more energy-efficient, so that is also a huge help.

Recycling is something that most of us do on a regular basis. The most important thing is to prepare the items so they can be recycled. Plastics and glass that haven’t been cleaned will not be recycled and will eventually end up in a landfill. More plastics in a landfill is something we don’t need!

When I started paying attention to the products I was using in my home, I was flabbergasted by the number of chemicals and toxins in many of our daily use items: soap, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, detergent, fabric softener, cleaning products—the list is endless! So, I have been slowly swapping out all these products for safer, more sustainable ones.

I am a gardener, and I grow several different food crops every year. I also help a friend with a small farmstead. This has allowed me to reduce the amount of produce I have to buy. Additionally, I plant mostly native plants and various types of pollinator flowers all over my yard. For those who don’t have a green thumb, there are still many things you can do to help improve local ecosystems and biodiversity: minimize the amount of chemicals in your lawn, use amber lightbulbs outside so insect life doesn’t get harmed. Our insects are literally the key to life on earth; we must protect them.

In the coming months, I will be sharing more ideas on how you can make simple, practical changes in your day-to-day life that will have a positive impact on your home and the environment. I hope you will find some of them doable and try them out. One person really can make a difference!

Sustainably Yours.
Kim Moore

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