Ever heard "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."?
The same could be said about natural living. "How do you live naturally? One step at a time."
It hasn't happened overnight, but here are some of the changes we've already made.
We don't use paper towels or paper napkins. I have a special stack of cloth towels for cleaning up spills and yet another cloth towel stack for normal hand-drying. I invested in extra washcloths, too. That way I wasn't always washing a load of cloth towels! I wash enough, as is! We made our own cloth napkins. Instead of throwing them in with the towels, we put them in a little container under the sink until wash day! It's perfect!
We replace a lot of package foods with healthier, homemade alternatives. Our alternatives aren't always whole foods, but they are made without a bunch of preservatives and I know every ingredient listed. My oldest has a very severe nut allergy and we recently discovered that we needed to be more careful about what her food comes in contact with. No more "processed on the same equipment" as nuts, either. Our favorite thing to replace are breakfast foods! So long Toaster Strudels, hello homemade sausage biscuits!
We replaced our medicine cabinet with better alternatives! I use essential oils for tummy aches and headaches. Honey and elderberry are staples at our house! And not just for eating. We also don't go to the doctor. We haven't had a reason to go in the last year or two, but I'm not anti-doctor. If the need was truly there, we would go. Most things are treated with a holistic, natural approach.
We replaced our microwave with a toaster oven.
We are working on replacing our plastic with glass. Our tupperware is gone, in its place are mason jars. We're getting rid of the plastic plates/cups/bowls that the kids had been using and replacing them with glass. It helps that my kids are older (4 years and up) and I trust them a little more with glass!
We are working on eliminating dyes. We know they aren't good for us, but they seem to be everywhere. The more and more that I read about the downside to dyes, the more and more that I want to avoid them. I have first hand experience with dyes altering behaviors, too. When we were growing up my brother was a HANDFUL if he consumed something with dyes and other artificial ingredients. However, when he consumed a more natural diet he was simply "just a boy". No hyper-activity, just rough and tumble BOY! I've seen it in my own children. The healthier I feed them, the more controlled they are!
Deodorant, toothpaste, and other items are carefully considered before purchasing. Aluminum free. Fluoride free. Natural ingredients. Choose carefully. When talking about feminine hygiene products, there are reusable, green products like the Diva Cup and products that are chlorine-free or cloth! Be smart about what you use! And try new things!
We make our cleaning products and laundry detergent. My favorite is the all purpose cleaning spray that I add essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint, or even lavender! Nothing is better than making your own non-toxix cleaning supplies and you can rest easy knowing that homemade laundry detergent isn't just economical, it's safer! My favorite recipe combines Fels Naptha soap, washing soda, and Borax! For a more natural approach, try line drying your clothes as often as possible, too.
Other natural living tips
What are some steps you've taken in living a more natural life?