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The simplest goal we can ever make is to leave the world a bit better than we found it. Depending on where you live, making eco-friendly choices can be either passive or active. For example, you can make a vegetable garden, or you can simply live without a car. No matter your options, each of us can make some difference in our world.

Create a No Drive Day

Consider setting up a no drive day for you and your family. This may mean attending a religious service online, and it will probably take some organization to cut down on errands that usually get done on the weekend. However, if your little ones are in school all week and you are at work all week, life can get frazzled pretty fast. Try getting the whole family in on it. Make plans to put together a picnic lunch, or to grill outside at home. Walk or ride your bikes to a local park. You can even set up tents in the living room and have a pretend campout. For one day a week, celebrate being home and snuggling in.

Buy Fair Trade

It is hard to buy coffee from local producers in most of the world. If you choose to buy coffee online, do your best to buy from a fair trade seller. Fair trade agricultural products are certified to pay a living wage to all workers in the agricultural process. From those who work the soil to grow the beans, to those who package up your coffee, there is nobody who is getting shorted or cut out of the deal. Not only do you have the chance to buy from organic farmers more often than not, but you can purchase with intention. What a wonderful start to your day!

Buy Second Hand

Another terrific way to reduce the excess packaging that gets discarded each day is to buy second hand items. If you need clothes for next season, start hitting the thrift stores in the late spring or fall. Use the FLAG test to make sure you only take home items that you can use immediately. Ask yourself;

  • Does this FIT well, right now?
  • Do I actually LIKE this item? Or is it just a good price?
  • Is it ACCESSIBLE with my style? If you never iron, do not buy all cotton garments, for example.
  • Does it GO with at least two things, so my wardrobe expands with each garment?

If the item passes the test, you will probably gain full value from it. If not, leave it on the rack for someone else.

Go a Little Vegetarian

The joy of celebrating a meatless Monday may be completely lost on carnivores, so make sure you pair it with a treat of some sort to lessen the discomfort. Another option is to try to go meatless except for one meal per day. For example, you can have toast and a nut butter for breakfast with some fresh fruit. For lunch, try egg salad and crackers, a baked potato with veggies, or a hearty bowl of minestrone soup. Save your meat protein for dinner. In addition to being great for the planet, doing more vegetarian cooking can be really good for your budget.

Buy Local

If you can find a local baker, a farmers market, or even a seasonal produce stand, do your best to buy local rather than trucked in consumables. If you must buy online or from a big box store, try to get items in large containers to lessen the amount of plastic you access on a daily basis. When buying locally, try to also buy from artisans in your area. If you need a new piece of furniture, check around for cabinet makers and other craftspeople. If such a purchase is outside your budget, consider local upcyclers. The act of upcycling is to take a used item and turn it into something else.

Conclusion

There is only one planet for all of us humans, and it is under a lot of pressure. Small daily actions will give us all the chance to leave a better world for everyone who will come after us. If you think moving house is hard, imagine trying to find another planet!

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