Living a cleaner lifestyle seems like an easily attainable goal, but it will likely be a huge change for the average American. Almost every part of daily life is steeped in using products that are heavily processed or made with unsustainable means. Even something as simple as plastic harms the environment, yet the annual global production of the most common plastic is around 80 million tons. When you want to cut all of this excess and waste out of your life, where do you even begin?
People who live green didn’t make the change overnight. It takes time and effort to change each of your habits. Let’s take a look at some of the most important shifts you can make to uphold a clean way of living.
Visit a farmers market once a week
One of the best ways to start going green is to focus on one of the staples in your life: food. Try replacing a few of your daily or weekly grocery items with natural alternatives you find at your local farmers market. You could start with picking up fresh fruits and vegetables, choosing free-range or organic eggs, or focusing on olive oil and coconut oil that doesn’t go through a chemical extraction process.
By buying these items from local producers at a farmers market, you’re also investing in your area’s economy. A family in your community will directly receive the money from your purchase and you will have the comfort of knowing from where your food came. You will also be helping reduce greenhouse gases by avoiding the food that requires traveling miles from a different state or country.
Read the ingredients
For the foods that you still buy from the grocery store, try to be more aware of the ingredients on the package labels. Many of the food items that line the shelves have been stripped of natural fats and replaced with sugars that are meant to make them last longer.
This awareness is especially important when you’re making a meal with a lot of ingredients, such as soup. Americans consume over 10 billion bowls of soup every year, but they likely don’t know exactly what is in the various elements of every single serving. To eat a meal completely free of additives, you will need to pay attention to every part of it.
Shift your toiletries and cosmetics one-by-one
While focusing on your food will make a major difference in your way of living, there are other areas you can focus on as well. Products you use every day, from toothpaste to foundation, are often full of unnatural toxins. Switching them all at once, however, will cause much more stress than you need in your life. Replace items as they run out so that you don’t overwhelm yourself or your budget.
When you’re shifting these products, you’ll want to look at the ingredient list over any labels or claims on the front of the package. Government agencies don’t regulate cosmetics and toiletries as closely as they do food products, so a label that claims something is “organic” or “cruelty-free” doesn’t always mean what it should. Even a toothpaste that claims to rid plaque before it turns into tartar in the first 24 to 72 hours may be false. Always research a product beforehand so that you know you’re buying something that will actually make your lifestyle cleaner.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
As excited as you may be to start an organic or cleaner lifestyle, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do it perfectly. If you’re aiming to cut out caffeine, recognize that many products contain it when you may not expect it and you haven’t failed if you consume a small amount. Green tea, for instance, contains just 20 to 45 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup. That doesn’t mean you have to cut green tea out of your diet. It’s essential to take baby steps during this process and focus on changes that will make the most impact.
By applying these tips to your life, you can start embracing a more organic way of living. Make sure that you get the whole family in on the effort as well. This way you won’t feel like you’re trying to make the change all on your own and that you’re in it together. Soon enough, you can start feeling a difference in your day-to-day life and building on the experience together.