If you have been following my journey (or instagram) for awhile, you know I love nature and spending time in the outdoors. As I continually reflect on how I can make a positive impact on our environment, I’d like to share these 3 no-brainer ways to help our Earth as they are easy to incorporate in a busy family lifestyle:
1. Walk or Bike
Consider walking or biking next time you have to run some errands. When your errands are close to home, it really doesn’t take that much more time than jumping in the car, sitting at a red light and having to find a parking spot. Not only is walking or biking better for the environment, it makes you feel so much better too!
One of the ways I literally got back onto my feet after dealing with agonizing back pain was by starting to go for daily walks as part of my physical therapy routine. I love my daily walks now! They provide for so much inspiration for my art! Walking helps me to clear my head and often gives me a new perspective.
I realize not all cities are as well set up as Portland is to bike all over the city, but most places have sidewalks for walking. Take the kids along and use the time to chat with them as you get your errands done the fun way. Some of my favorite walking errands? Picking up a few groceries. Going to the local library. Going to the bank.
Could you do some of your errands by foot or by bike instead of by car?
2. Reuse more
Instead of purchasing everything new and having to go shopping for more stuff, we try to reuse items whenever we can. Especially if you are into crafts and enjoy being creative, you can have fun with this one! Some of the items we regularly reuse are yogurt tubs or small plastic containers for leftovers, gift bags that still look nice and large coffee containers to store art supplies.
Did you know that the lid of a yogurt container makes for a wonderful paint palette? Another idea: we cut off the bottom of an ice cream bucket, poked a couple of holes in the side and wove some string through the holes to hold our dry erase markers. This reuse method has made for an easy way to hang them near the dry erase board. New ipad or tablet? The sturdy tray in which they are packaged can be used as a handy organizer for tights, nylons or other accessories in your closet.
What are your favorite items to reuse? In what handy way are reused items serving your family?
3. Eat vegetarian food more often
My husband gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas. I have wanted to eat more vegetarian food for quite some time and he figured I could use some inspiration! It’s been really fun to try some new recipes. The cookbook is called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, the Revised Edition.
I like how the recipes are explained with clear instructions and expectations on the time needed to prepare them. There are plenty of easy recipes in the book that help you to maximize flavor without adding stress to your busy week.
While we are not 100% vegetarian, I have felt good about making this change to our lifestyle both for health as well as environmental reasons. It’s really not been that difficult either. If you’re interested in reading more about how our food impacts the Earth, here are a couple of interesting articles on the topic:
Has your family tried to include more vegetarian meals? What are your favorite veggie dishes? Would love to hear from you in the comments!