When I talk about simple conscious living, I don’t mean to replace everything you own for ethical, fair trade, natural or non-toxic items. I think it is better to find balance. It is counter sustainable to get into debt to live a more conscious life, don’t you think? I also noticed that being conscious of the environmental impact and the long-term use has a beneficial impact on my finances. The purchases might be more expensive upfront, sometimes, but from a long-term perspective, I spend less money because I don’t replace them as often. This is great for the environment with less pollution but also your wallet. Here are a few changes that make a big difference in the long run.
In the kitchen
Surprisingly, this is the place of our house I noticed so many alternatives and possibilities as well as big savings. As usual, I researched some kitchen accessories online to see what was on the market for sustainable kitchenware. There are lots of option and companies offering alternative products to avoid waste, plastic and single-use products. The one thing I had an issue with is the process to manufacture these products. It is really hard to know how they are made, fair wages, ethically or locally made, given back, etc. At this point in my transition to a more conscious living, I am proud to ask myself these questions and try my best to find the answers. Unfortunately, I also accept that I cannot be 100% ethical with everything I purchase, just yet. I try my best to be and to buy less but I accept to no be perfect. That being said, the biggest difference I noticed is when we slowly replace Ziploc bags, parchment paper, muffin cups and plastic wraps in our kitchen for reusable silicone bags, beeswax wrapping, silicone muffin cups and baking sheet. Some might say silicone is not better than plastic but I like it better than single-use muffin cups and baking sheets. I don’t like washing silicone but I do it (mostly my boyfriend does the dishes) because it is better for the environment and the money we save is significant. With all combined, I’m talking hundreds of dollar a year. We are still using what was purchased before we replace for the eco-friendly products but we have silicone muffin cups, bread pans and baking sheets.
In the bathroom
If you don’t already, make sure the products you use are biodegradable (less impact on the environment). We wash our hands so many times a day, we should make sure the soap is from a natural source and biodegradable. Also, using washcloth, towels (hand and body), and rags can save you lots of money in paper towel use and it can also save the environment the extra paper in the trash. It is easy to replace and wash towels regularly instead of using paper towels. About cleaning products, I would recommend trying to use natural cleaners but sometimes you do need chemical cleaners. So make sure to use them properly and be careful with children and pets around. One thing some people forget is that you can find a shower curtain (inside the shower, not the decorative one) you can wash in a washing machine and let it air dry.
The rests of the house
I noticed the less I have in the house, the less I need to clean. It is a great feeling to have less in our possession yet more space with less organizing and cleaning. That saves a lot of money over time. I started purging our house when I moved in (which is a few years ago now). We are still getting rid of things and selling them on Kijiji. I love that website because it is so easy to use, post your items for sale or even find great items you were looking for at a fraction of the price. I am sure if you look into each room of your home, you will find things you completely forgot you had or probably have not used in years. Summer is a great time to sell things online or at a yard sale. Whatever is left or if you don’t want to spend the time and energy to sell things, you can donate most items to a thrift or charity store. As mentioned in my previous post, second-hand is one of my favourite ways to shop.
So have a look at your home, be creative with what you already have and slowly start to replace things with conscious purchases, let it be new or used. I am working on a full post about alternative so if you have ideas and suggestions, I would love to hear you and include them in that post. As usual, don’t forget to join us on the Facebook page (link at the top right), like the post if you want more and comment below. I hope you enjoyed saving money and simplicity of life. I look forward to seeing you back here on Friday.