Many of us have already incorporated green initiatives into our lives. We recycle, ride our bikes to work, source out local produce stores, and try to remember our cloth shopping bags. Yet, when we turn on the news or drive by our local landfill, we are reminded that our planet is still suffering and that we have daily opportunities to re-evaluate and further integrate plant power into our lifestyle.
In order to create a plant-powered lifestyle, we must first bring an awareness to our non-plant-powered habits. What ingredients are in our cleaning products? What types of fabrics are in our living room, bedroom, and bathroom? As we unload groceries, what do we notice about packaging? From here, we can explore natural alternatives and take action to create a plant-powered lifestyle for ourselves and the health of our earth.
Consider organic natural plant fibers for bedsheets, towels, tablecloths, or cushion covers. Unlike synthetic or manmade, natural plant fibers are typically chemical free, environmentally sustainable, and biodegradable. For example:
Linen: Made from the flax plant. Highly absorbent, lightweight, and breathable.
Hemp: Made from the cannabis plant. Durable, absorbent, becomes softer with wear, and hypoallergenic.
Purify the air in your home with indoor plants. For example:
Spider Plant: Easy to grow, removes benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from the air.
Peace Lily: Produces beautiful white flowers, fights off formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
Scent your home with eco-friendly candles (i.e. beeswax, soy, or coconut).
Did you know…that many scented candles are made from paraffin wax, a petroleum waste product that produces fumes comparable to a diesel engine?
Choose items with simple ingredient lists and avoid ingredients such as petrochemical solvents, phosphates, sulfates, or synthetic fragrance.
For example: Back to Earth’s Green Clean Dish Soap is made with five, natural ingredients and pure essential oils.
Try making your own cleaning agents using Vinegar, Baking Soda (i.e. window, toilet, or oven cleaner) and Castile Soap (i.e. dishwashing liquid or multi-purpose cleaner).
Toilet Cleaner: Fill spray bottle with 250ml distilled white vinegar (option to add a few drops of essential oil). Liberally spray toilet seat, lid, and bowl. Leave for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda on bowl and scrub with toilet brush. Use damp cloth to wipe the vinegar spray from the seat and lid.
Try non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning tools.
Instead of using a plastic toilet brush, use a wooden handle brush made with natural, biodegradable bristles.
Designate a period of time to note everything you throw away.
Did you throw away frozen fruit bags? Try purchasing fresh fruit and freezing it yourself in reusable containers.
Research alternatives to plastic packaging: Are there stores where you live that allow you to bring your own containers for refilling? Do other brands sell the same item in recyclable packaging? Can you buy the ingredients and make it yourself?
Support a mindful wardrobe.
Get to know the stores where you buy your clothes and determine whether they adhere to ethical business practices. Ask:Where are the clothes made? Are factory workers being exploited? What are the clothes made from? If natural fibers, can the retailer confirm that no chemicals were used at any stage?
Look for locally made clothing and shop second hand or vintage.
Take care of your clothes by washing with natural cleaning products, hanging to dry, and learning how to mend them yourself.
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