One of the things that we’ve talked about a lot here at Simple Organic, is baby steps. We see ourselves as on a journey, always moving farther along the natural living spectrum.
As I was pondering the changes I’ve made in my own life, I realized that certain steps stand out as having made more of a positive impact than others on my daily life.
Here are the most impactful changes I’ve made toward a greener, more natural life for myself and my family.
This was the first step I took towards a greener lifestyle, and it has remained one of the most important to me. The products I put on my body, and on the family members’ bodies have been simplified drastically over the years. I’ve gone from someone with a conventional collection of bottles galore to some simple standards.
Within this category, I have done a lot of baby stepping, but a few changes have been the most monumental:
- The Oil Cleansing Method– I can’t say enough good things about the OCM. I love how it feels, how well it works and have no proof, but I imagine that rubbing oil on my face a few times a week can’t hurt in the preventing wrinkles realm.
- Makeup– In high school, I think I had an eyeliner in every color. I would dig through my Mary-Poppins-esque makeup bag to find just the right hue to match my outfit. I still like makeup, but I have a simple collection of mineral makeup that I stick to now, and to be honest, I don’t even wear it everyday– probably half the time, even less in the summer.
- Sunscreen– For someone who spends a lot of time in the sun and water, this category was a big one. Every year I feel like I’m learning more and more about the ingredients in my personal care products, and specifically in my sunscreen. I now look for products that are mostly Zinc, with Titanium Dioxide-based products as a runner-up in safety and effectiveness. Even in the summer, I rarely use sunscreen before 10am or after about 4pm.
- Cloth Diapers– I’m not a 100% cloth diaperer, but I feel like every cloth diaper I use saves the landfill from something particularly yucky and not very biodegradable. Cloth diapering has also served as a gateway of sorts to more and more natural parenting steps… And, the more I’ve done it, the more I’ve grown to love the look of a fluffy baby bum.
I wouldn’t call myself a gardener yet, but I’m definitely a composter. Between that and recycling, our amount of trash is significantly lower that what it could be.
We’re no waste-free family, but it’s amazing how much of our waste is actually compostable. I’ve tried my hand at vermicomposting (with worms) and now have a stackable composter in our yard. I can’t wait to see how our compost finishes up so we can we use it on our future garden.
I learned so much when I interviewed my good friend and master composter last year for our Compost Q&A series, and I feel confident now about filling that bin up with all sorts of “junk.”
Food, Not Food-Like Substances
My family is still a ways away from being completely “real food”… I’ve yet to try some some of the staples, like lacto-fermenting, sprouting grains or water kefir. But I’m really happy with where we are in this category.
In the last couple of years we have transitioned to eating whole fat dairy, lots of types of natural sweeteners (and very little refined white sugar), more and more whole wheat flour, new grains (and some soaking), more variety of produce (thanks to our CSA), free range chicken and eggs, grass-fed meat when possible, healthy fats like coconut oil, EVOO and butter, and maybe most importantly, much less processed food.
I’ve learned to make some of our “staples” from scratch (bread, yogurt, granola bars, ice cream), and while I don’t do all of these regularly, I enjoy having the skills in my arsenal.
These three areas have been foundational in my natural living journey, spurring me along as I’ve explored more homemade alternatives and natural remedies. I still have lots to learn, but looking back, I can be thankful for the monumental changes I’ve made, knowing how beneficial they’ve been to my family and me, and the environment.
What are the most monumental changes you’ve made in your natural living journey?