Tips To Live Simply- How I Simplified My Life
I recently taught a DIY zero-waste home products workshop and this seriously got me thinking about the amount of both household and body products the average person uses. It seems like there is a specific product for EVERYTHING.
Reflecting on my habits I realized how far I had come and that I have greatly simplified the number of products I buy and use.
So today I wanted to talk about simplifying your life and how this is sustainable.
But first, what is simplicity? I feel that the "simple life" can look different for everyone-but the most common answer (and what most minimalist will say) is that living simply means that you chip away at the things in your life that fill up unnecessary space or time, and replacing/ eliminating them so that you have more time, money, and space to fill your life with the things that make you happy.
Why is simplicity good for the environment?
Buying what you need, buying products that serve more then one function is an amazing way to lesion ones impact on the environment. Removing non essential items can also extend to buying decisions such as: rather then buying a single use bottle of water, you have a reusable one and fill it. Another example of this thought is using items you currently have rather then go out and buy more.
The Most Sustainable Thing You Can Do Is Buy Nothing.
Here are the ways I have simplified.
These tips obviously won't work for everyone but they have worked for me and my lifestyle. I went from living the average American consumerist lifestyle to being mindful of the impact I make. Here's how I did it:
- I have two bars of soap: One for washing my hair- this is the one we sell at ZippNada (link in the description) the other is a face bar that I use to wash my face AND body.
- I use a spray bottle with diluted apple cider vinegar for my conditioner
- Hair oil to keep my hair shiny and smooth.
- I fluctuate between making my toothpaste and using the tooth tabs ZippNada sells- both work great (my recipe in the links below)
- I don't buy lotion- instead, I use coconut oil, I use this for a variety of things such as
- Oil pulling (I will also use sesame seed oil)
- Hair mask
- Massage oil
- Makeup remover
- I use white vinegar and baking soda for all my cleaning (find my recopies here)
- I reduce the amount of clutter so I spend less time cleaning and less mindless consumption.
- I minimize my makeup routine to only a few components which save me time, money, and space. I also minimized the number of occasions I wear makeup, choosing to go more natural and saving it for special events, which significantly simplifies my morning routine.
- I avoid online browsing to reduce the temptation of buying cheap and poorly made products.
- I only buy second hand clothing-and as of recent, have not purchased any clothing as I host sessional community clothing swaps and am regularly gifted with hand-me-downs.
- When I am on my menstrual cycle I use reusable cloth pads and period underwear- I never have to worry about running out and having to go to the store.
- My meals are very simple, consisting of protein (plant or animal), veggies, and a starch/ grain. For breakfast, I keep it extremely simple by eating eggs or oatmeal as the base. I always know what I am eating and then I can mix it up a bit. By planning my meals this way I can reduce food waste and time spent on meal planning.
- I limit my social media: I put time restrictions, delete apps when not using, and shut my phone off at night.
- I do some form of free movement: yoga, dance, a walk, online workout classes- and work on the ranch- no expensive gym memberships.
- I don't have a TV or online streaming service- when I do watch tv it is with friends or family.
- I live rurally, so this will vary on location: I sleep with my blinds up to wake up naturally when the sun is about to come up.
- I reuse everything I can, for as long as I can.
- I only check my email twice a day, and delete emails every day.
Those are just a few of the ways in which I simplified. I am not saying you should follow everything I did, but rather take inspiration from what works for me and find ways you can simplify your own life. I found that a few key products work for many things- and now I push myself to be more creative before I run out and buy something I ask myself- can I make it? Do I need it? Will it serve multiple purposes?
We live in a time where ultra consumerism is the norm. The more you are mindful and intentional about the decisions you are making (especially in regards to your purchases) the better and more sustainable decisions you can make.
Keep it simple- you would be surprised at how little you need to thrive.