“In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations”- from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy.
If nothing in your immediate life spurs you to action, does this? Our actions not only impact us, our bodies, our friends, our family, and also people we will never meet. Our impact, especially our environmental impact, will be felt by people in 200 years or more. Wow, right?! We are so small, yet our environmental and ethical footprint is giant.
So, what can we do for those future strangers? Here are six tips, I developed with the assistance of this graphic from Arhaus to help us all live in a more environmentally-friendly way.
Let There Be Light
Whatever happened to mood lighting? I love a good, romantic dim room for dinner parties. I’ve purchased some white, LED string lights and I hung them in my dining room. It’s awesome. It keeps the room feeling warm and special all year long. And, when I’m really trying to impress my husband, I light candles. I love a good taper candle. There’s something so authentic about conversing as a candle melts away. It makes me feel like I’m really living in the moment and not just waiting for the moment to come. To preserve our light and, save our electricity bill, we always, always, always (did I say always?!) turn our lights off when we leave the room. You done in the bathroom? Lights off! Getting in the shower in the morning? You do not need your bedroom light on! Less is always more (money in your pocket!)
Want to nap? I love my Bambeco bed sheets. They are so soft and well made. They are pricey, but they last forever! You can also find furniture options that are made with organic fabrics, like the sectional sofas from Arhaus, which are easier on your skin and the air quality in your home.
Now, I’m going to throw it way back. Ready? Buy cloth napkins! How often do you use a paper napkin during the day? I know for me, for a long time, it was like five times a day. Not anymore! I have some really cute cloth napkins that I use for everything. Cloth napkins + taper candles = awesome dinner party! While you are buying your cloth napkins, buy some cloth dishrags (or, if you got them skillz, crochet them!). These can easily be thrown in the washer after doing a few loads of dishes by hand (yup, ditch the dishwasher!) and they last a long time. Sponges are icky. Say no to sponges!
So Fresh and So Clean
So about this dishwasher thing. I’m serious. Ditch the dishwasher! Someone once told me I do dishes like a European (can a European reader confirm or deny this!?). I have a dish tub in my sink and a drying rack with a drying mat. I fill up my dish tub with my Seventh Generation dish soap, let them soak, then scrub them with my crocheted dish cloth, and let them dry over night in the drying rack. I put them away in the morning. It’s so easy. Try it. I find doing dishes very therapeutic 🙂
Refurbish and Reuse
This is hard, sometimes. My mom is the queen of the refinished table. I’m lucky to have her to make my yard sale finds beautiful. However, and don’t tell her, I recently got a mark on a table and it won’t come off. So I’m going to have to buy some sandpaper and refinish it. Will it be perfect? Probably not. I will have done it though and that is pretty cool. Check your local area because I would bet there are some cool makers out there who are doing fun things with refinishing furniture. Always good to support a local business or take a ask at your local hardware store for some tips on getting started!
Go With the Low-Flow
I rent my apartment. My advice to all renters, and homeowners, but especially renters, is to buy a new shower head. You do not know what people have done and, more often than not, old shower heads are nasty! Get a low flow one with fun settings and your newly massaged scalp will thank you. So will your water bill.
Dry Fewer Clothes
If you own a home, most new dryers have energy saver settings where the dryer runs for longer, but pulls less energy. Love it. It’s the same thing and you have 30 more minutes, I promise. And, many organic clothes ask that you line dry them. I bought a portable drying rack about a year ago and I was shocked by how many things I could actually dry on that rack. I use my dryer much less. If you live in a place where you can put it outside, that’s even better because your clothes will smell like nature. Mmm!
Consider these six steps to making your house more environmentally friendly, but also more budget friendly. Seven generations later will thank you.