I just want to share my thoughts on green living after reading an article: It’s hip being green! Seriously, that made me laugh. I find it a bit shallow and it's comical and sad at the same time. But hey, we're all entitled to our own opinions so I better start talking now.
On sustainable beauty
I’ve read an interesting blog post about the “paraben-cancer issue”. If you’ve been into organic skincare products for some time now, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m not the type of person who jumps into fads, cos for one, I hate following the crowd. But four years ago, I jumped into the organic skincare bandwagon and have never looked back. Well, I have my reasons and it’s not about cancer. I have sensitive skin and my skin reacts well to organic and natural products. Before, I had little knowledge about locally produced organic skincare products. I bought my skincare products in malls but then four years ago, I discovered the wonders of online shopping. When you buy locally produced products, you’re supporting our local entrepreneurs, helping local farmers and laborers make a living. Our locally produced organic skincare products are world class and way cheaper. It’s not purely superficial; it’s also about helping and being environmentally aware.
Organic, Free Range and DIYs
If you like salads, choose organic salad greens, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, et cetera as much as you can because they are usually eaten raw. Its okay if you can’t buy organically farmed vegetables and root crops (that you still have to cook and peel) on a regular basis because the ones sold in grocery stores are ridiculously overpriced. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove excess bug juice. If you have a small garden space at home, make your own vegetable garden. There are lots of vegetables that are easy to grow. Take your pick from tomatoes to chilli peppers.
If you’re not a vegetarian, (if you can) choose free-range meat and make sure your meat shop has a reliable and clean slaughterhouse system. Buy from reputable meat shops and avoid buying in bulk. It’s bad enough that it’s a dead animal and worse if you store it in your fridge for a long period of time.
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Try to buy natural household cleansers. Choose the ones that are labelled biodegradable and packaged in recycled plastic or recyclable PET bottles (a favourite local brand of mine is Messy Bessy). If they’re a bit steep for your budget, concoct your own cleansers! You’ll be amazed by the wonders of baking soda and vinegar or our local calamansi. You can buy essential oils like tea tree, lavender, lemon and orange that you can add to your concoctions. It’s safer and it’s fun to do especially if you’re a DIY-kind of person. And your house will smell oh so heavenly!
And on being wise: Reducing your waste output
Examine your closet methodically and start removing clothes you haven’t worn in a long time and keep the keepers. Buy clothes with natural fibres like cotton, wool and silk. Avoid following trends. Really invest in your wardrobe and stick with the classics that you can wear again and again. Learn to accessorize so you can avoid buying tons of clothes that’ll just gather dust in your closet.
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Plan and prepare your meals ahead. If you’re tired of the office cafeteria menu, make time to cook your own meals; it could be a gourmet sandwich, a pasta dish, a simple rice meal, the possibilities are endless. If you can’t finish it, you can always share with a colleague or a friend. You get to save money, eat healthily and you avoid food spillage (plus the fact that sharing makes your heart swell).
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Stop buying stuff you don’t actually need. Realize that there’s a big difference between necessity and desire. If you can, choose to live modestly.
But then again, to each his own! Trying to live in an environmentally-aware household is a matter of personal choice, not because it’s hip to be green nowadays. Honestly, it can be tedious and expensive but it’s a lifestyle choice we have chosen to follow, fad or not.