I know, like me, you would love to live a more green, sustainable and eco friendly life. I know you care about the health of your loved ones and the the planet. But… it’s really hard, isn’t it. There is so much information out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming.
Eating more plant-based meals is a great place to start and Laura Trotta has all the tips and trick for us.
If this rings true for you… keep reading because you are going to love Laura and how she makes eco-living not only simple but totally achievable.
What does eco-living mean to you and your family?
Living today without harming tomorrow.
Contrary to popular belief, living more sustainably doesn’t mean going without or reducing your quality of life. It’s about valuing quality over quantity and making a series of small changes that significantly reduce the environmental impact of your lifestyle.
Often this means decluttering the stuff that’s cluttering up your head and home and saving heaps of cash along the way – cash that can be diverted to buying more quality products and services, such as organic food!
Why is it important that we all play our part in living more sustainably?
If we all made a heap of small changes to our lifestyle to reduce the sheer volume of products we consume and the waste we produce, our environment (and us!) would be so much healthier.
We’re part of our environment and I think so many of us forget this!
Our environment won’t be saved by one or two people taking big action. It will be saved by many people making a series of small changes.
In our busy modern world, surrounded by stress, frantic pace jobs and fast food many people don’t think they have time for eco-living. Can you share a couple of beginner tips for busy people interested in living more eco-friendly?
Firstly, let’s tackle the issue of time as that’s the biggest barrier.
We all have the same amount of hours in the day – it’s what we choose to do with them that’s the issue.
Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle may take up some more time initially as you learn the ropes and ease into it, and for this reason I encourage my followers to reclaim some time.
How you lead your day is how you lead your life, so if you don’t want to look back on a busy, hectic and crazy life, you really should do something about that now. Learn to say no – to people and situations that don’t serve you, your family and your values, and funnel some of that reclaimed time into making more sustainable lifestyle choices.
Secondly, make the decision to start making some small changes to eco-fy your lifestyle. This may involve you:
- Taking a cut lunch to work each day rather than buying take away
- Enrolling in a cooking class and learning how to make more meals from scratch (to reduce your consumption of processed foods)
- Reducing your consumption of meat and introducing an extra plant-based meal into your family’s diet each week
- Using quality reusable shopping and produce bags rather than accepting the plastic bags on offer
- Carrying a reusable coffee mug with you and declining the disposable cup in your favourite café!
- Planting some fresh herbs in pots so you have homegrown food on hand!
- Buying a compost bin or worm farm and putting your veggie scraps there instead of in the rubbish bin.
- Getting outdoors to connect with nature and improve your health and reduce your stress levels.
Is eco-living more expensive?
Not at all! Living more sustainably has the ability to shave hundreds of dollars off your living expenses each month….all without impacting your lifestyle. This cash is free for you to do what you want – be it eat organic food or save towards your mortgage.
Creating lasting change is always easier if you a connected to a likeminded community. Can you suggest any community organisations or groups people can join to keep motivated and educated?
Most local councils offer programs to help people make the shift to a more sustainable lifestyle.
If you’re after ongoing inspiration, tips and support, join an online community like my Self Sufficiency in the Suburbs. You can get started now for just $19! Or for the month of October 2016 you can get started for only $1!! Click here to join.
In your experience what benefits can people expect to see, personally in their life, after transitioning to a more eco-friendly home?
I’ve seen many of my clients experience benefits like less eczema, asthma, weight loss, clearer skin and improved sleep. Many also report significant cost savings (one client is saving over $500 a month on her grocery bill!) and of course, so many report feeling happy and proud that they’re living more simply and creating a home and lifestyle that aligns with their eco values.
What household or personal care products do you wish everyone knew to avoid?
Commercial deodorants and antiperspirants with aluminium have been linked to conditions such as breast cancer and Alzheimers. Given the skin in our armpits is reported to absorb almost all of any product that is applied to the area, it makes sense to opt for a natural deodorant that will keep body odour at bay without nasty toxins.
Perfume is one of the more toxic personal care products we tend to apply; a typical bottle of perfume can contain hundreds of chemicals, including some which are known endocrine disruptors. Opt for a pure essential oil blend instead.
When it comes to cleaning my pet peeve is chlorine bleach. Sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient in bleach, is a strong oxidiser that can burn skin and cause eye damage, especially when used in concentrated forms. Mixing bleach with other household products can be particularly dangerous (e.g. mixing bleach with an acid can produce toxic chlorine gas). Depending on what application you use chlorine bleach for, there’s many natural, homemade alternatives.
Instead of using chlorine bleach to clean your bathroom, use a 50/50 white vinegar / water solution to clean tiles, sinks, baths, cabinets and soap scum in the shower. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils (e.g. lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree) to cut through the grime and lift your mood.
How would you describe your approach to food?
I really just try to eat real food, produced organically and sourced as locally as possible. In many cases this may come from our own organic vegetable garden or backyard chickens!
How do you get inspired to prepare a meal?
Often I’m inspired by what’s in season or what’s ready to pick in my veggie garden. If I’m stuck for inspiration I’ll browse some of my trusty cookbooks for ideas or check out my favourite blogs.
Laura has shared with us her recipe for home-made liquid hand soap. Yay!!!
LIQUID HAND SOAP (BODY WASH)
Despite what many marketing agencies would have you believe, antibacterial soaps are not necessary. Washing your hands thoroughly with ordinary soap and warm water is one of the most effective ways to ward off infection.
- 140g (5 oz.) bar of pure castile soap (eg Dr Bronners Castile Soap)
- 5 litres filtered or distilled water
- essential oils or vanilla extract, optional
- Grate soap bar using cheese grater or food processor.
- Heat water in a very large pot until water boils. Turn heat down so the water is no longer boiling.
- Stir in the soap until fully dissolved.
- Remove mixture off heat and let it sit for 12 – 24 hours. This mixture will thicken during this time. (Stir occasionally throughout the day, but don’t stress about it.)
- Stir in essential oils or vanilla extract, if using. Start small and put in enough until you get the right amount of “smell” for you.
- Pour mixture into soap dispensers.
- When using pure castile soap there’s no need for the glycerin that so many other recipes call for as castile soap has natural glycerin in it.