I cloth diapered and we use reusable cloth for clean up. We have a backyard garden where we grow veggies and we support our local agriculture by buying what we don't grow at the farmers' market. When the need for the grocery store arises we use reusable canvas bags to tote our food. We make our own Earth-friendly cleaning products and buy 100% organic. Our just-turned-4 year old knows more about the evils of GMOs than most adults and he understands that conventional farming isn't sustainable. Additionally, I use my sewing machine to re-purpose old clothing. We also reuse containers and have minimal waste on trash day, since we recycle and compost.
p.s.- I pinned this give away on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/11047961558741942/ :)
My daughter's birthday is coming up so we are planning a sustainable party based on a "Secret Garden" theme. She hand-made all of the invitations to her guests and she only used materials that we already had in the house. We are also building a secret garden (based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett) in the backyard out of recycled lumber and bamboo we harvested locally and we are simply transplanting plants to the secret garden that we already have in the yard and using seeds we already have. We are even creating a lock and key for the secret garden door out of used hardware and a key-shaped wine opener. We really want to show our daughter how much we can reuse and recycle for projects and events like her birthday party so we can show her how to live more sustainably. I have already liked Oak Meadow and Mothering on FB - thanks for this opportunity!
GREAT LIST!!! Right now, I am really drawn to:
Clean the house in ten minute bursts
Create a sanctuary spot that you know will always be clean, neat, and welcoming
Relax in your sanctuary spot for a little while each day
I find having 4 boys under 7 leaves LITTLE time for tranquility or peaceful, calm me time. Having 1 spot that is a retreat even for a few minutes sounds HEAVENLY!!! And nice for them too!!!!
Most inspiring for me was cleaning in 10 minute bursts. I hate cleaning and feel like if I want to get the whole house really clean that I need to spend hours on it. Doing it in short bursts will help to break up the monotony and help me keep the house significantly neater!
I do lots of these things with my two young children. I'm very low-income, so some of these actions are just the reality of not having money-- to repair furniture, buy new clothes, and so on. Some of these things made me laugh, like "use the wood stove." You realize, those of us who rent can't buy a new stove? And most homes you buy come with stoves; therefore, getting rid of the electric or gas stove and replacing it with a wood stove is a potential landfill burden, unless you can find creative ways to reuse the old stove. Or creating a sanctuary in my tiny home... not possible at this point... Someday...
Anyway, I use cloth napkins, reusable shopping bags, and cloth menstrual pads. Don't buy the kids new toys very often, and we play outside a lot. We have a backyard garden, and the kids will eat fresh vegetables they harvest themselves, while eschewing the store-bought ones as yucky. Ha ha ha. I freeze meals, dry laundry outside when I can, try to get to know my neighbors, and help others as we can.
We use cloth diapers and cloth napkins.I really find all of these tips inspiring. We have never saved our seeds before and I've been mulling it over. Maybe we'll try it soon! Also, getting to know our neighbors since we are moving soon is another great one for us! These are all wonderful tips! I'll be printing this and saving it for sure!
Thank you for this opportunity, I still find homeschooling a bit daunting!
The tips that inspire me most are:
- Enjoy cheap entertainment
We live in a small town and finding joy in simple things, in the company of friends and family, and creativity is very grounding
- Hang laundry to dry
I just find this encouraging, as I often feel so "behind" on laundry that I rush to pop things in the dryer, when our nice dry climate is perfectly suited to hanging clothes to dry!
- Collect a dozen things you no longer need to use to give away
I've place a basket in the baby closet and ours to keep a stash going so when it's full we can take it away for donation or consignment
-Stop everything, make eye contact, and listen
I MUST do this with my husband!
- Take a walk together....
Yes! We just found a new walking trail and no matter how tired I *think* I am after dinner, we need to enjoy it
For my own tip - focus on simple outdoor activities and explore your neighborhood - a simple walk or visit to the park is extra exciting when the day has a theme or you're searching for treasure ;)
- Ask for help when you need it and accept help graciously when offered
I need to be better about giving the gift of receiving
- Make music or art together or dance together
Yay for messy crafts and dance parties!!
- Drop time limits...
So encouraging. No more watching the clock
- Seek out mentoring relationships
Got to work on this
I love all the tips for a simple sustainable home. I like to save veggie scraps in my freezer and use them to make a broth.
I really like all the ideas on the simple living page. I love the quote at the top. As a family we really do a lot of these things. I have patched every knee in my sons jeans multiple times and now they are so far gone the will end up as more patched for more jeans or maybe a purse.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Love the idea of creating a sanctuary spot to go to for respite... We created a "calm down" chair based on an old Mothering article. Daddy & Mommy need a calm down AREA as well! Also hoping for a garden next year...
I love all the ideas posted, we are learning to live simply, partly from necessity and partly from choice. We have been downsizing and donating and consigning things. We have been planting trees, canning, growing our food and joining a CSA. Life is a journey and we are learning to live with a smaller footprint every day.
we do lots of these- making clothes, cloth diapers, hanging laundry, making music together... I'd love to grow some food for us, when my husband can get a garden patch put in!
Married to the love of my life and SAH Mama to my little sweet pea (Sept 2011) and darling baby boy (Dec 2012)
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