If you’ve been wanting to live a more natural and eco-friendly life it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Take a look at some natural living ideas for everyday living. By taking small steps you and your family can start living a more natural life with ease.
So you want to live a more natural life but maybe you don’t know exactly what it is or where to start. This post will answer all of that and more plus share some great resources to give you the natural living basics.
What is natural living?
I truly believe that there’s a scale to follow or who you ask. There are many different opinions out there. Without going too overboard natural living is about living a more natural and eco-friendly life. There are a few changes to make in order to waste less and create more sustainable life habits.
People who follow a more natural living lifestyle are more conscious of the environment and make choices with the food they eat, clean products they use, and make more at home.
Natural living changes you can make
There are simple changes you can make in order to live a more natural life. When we started this lifestyle change I thought it was going to be hard. I was surprised how simple it was.
We started wasting less, saving money, and became healthier and happier. Let’s look at a few things you can start to implement in your home.
Focus on real food
I don’t share food on my blog but that doesn’t mean I’m not in the kitchen everyday cooking up something for my family. We typically eat at home 99% of the time.
We follow a whole foods diet. I grow a lot of our food and what we don’t eat fresh we eat later from the freezer or from a mason jar (canning). Obviously, this did take time for me to transition to but here’s my list of natural living things you can start doing when it comes to food:
- Buy natural and unprocessed foods – That’s more fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, and meat that hasn’t been processed (like deli meats, hot dogs, etc.)
- Avoid junk foods – When you are at the grocery store stay away from the processed foods and limit your trip to the perimeter of the store. That’s where most of the whole foods are stored. Not only will this help you live more naturally but save you money!
- Buy local – Buy your groceries from a local grocery store. A lot of the time those stores have relationships with local farmers so your food is fresher and took less energy to produce.
- Eat foods in season – Using foods that are in season will allow you to eat the freshest foods possible giving you more vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Chances are that the foods you are eating are locally sourced too.
Other natural living food-related changes you can make
- Go for organic – When possible, organic is best. Reducing your footprint will mean using fewer pesticides. Harmful pesticides aren’t healthy for you so this is a smart choice. If your budget doesn’t allow purchasing 100% organic, make sure to stick to the dirty dozen.
- Farmer’s market – Shop at your local farmers market or even sign up for a CSA and have weekly boxes of fresh food ready for you. This is a wonderful way to lower your carbon footprint and eat healthily.
- Grow your own – This might not be an option but if you can, grow your own food. Start small with an indoor herb garden or a container garden. If you’ve got room for a garden, grow things like lettuce, carrots, and kale. These are easy veggies to grow.
- Cook your own meals – Cooking at home will be the best way to live naturally. Plan out a weekly menu and if you’re worried about having enough time to cook, using a crockpot will help you save time.
- Bake at home – I love to bake and I can’t believe how much money that has saved us! I now make my own tasty treats, bread for sandwiches, and I even tough myself to make sourdough bread!
- Sustainable food storage – Reduce the amount of plastic you use is key. Use sustainable food storage like glass food storage containers, reusable food wraps, and reusable food bags are very helpful.
Natural and non-toxic products
Using natural and non-toxic products will not only allow you to live more naturally but you’ll also become healthier. This too won’t happen overnight but if you can change your household over to natural products you’ll save money and live healthier.
- Wood, metal, and glass options – Reduce your dependence on plastic is key. Look for wood, metal, and glass options. Invest in a metal water bottle or use a fun mason jar like me. Find bamboo scrubbers for dishes and cleaning. Make the switch to glass spray bottles and pump bottles.
- Cast iron and stainless steel – Non-stick coatings might be nice but they have been linked to different toxins. I love my cast iron pans, they clean up really easily.
- Natural fibers – When you are looking to replace bedding or towels around the house look for fabrics made from organic cotton, bamboo, or wool.
- Natural beauty – Go for cruelty-free cosmetics, and make sure your products are safe and clean. Ditch anything with artificial fragrances, sulfates, or parabens. You can also make your own natural beauty items.
- Cleaning supplies – I made this switch years ago when I learned how to make laundry detergent. Then I started making all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dryer sheets, disinfectant wipes, and other household cleaning supplies.
- Cloth rags – Ditch paper napkins, paper towels, and any other disposable paper products around the house. These produce a lot of waste and it’s easy enough to switch to cloth napkins, towels, and dish rags. Below are what I use in our home:
Become more eco-friendly
Natural living does mean to become more eco-friendly. Here are some more ways to become more eco-friendly and allow you to become a natural living family!
- Reuse as much as possible – This goes for food and items around the house. If you have leftover pasta try to repurpose it and maybe make a casserole instead.
- Conserve water – Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dishes. Switch out the shower heads for low flow, install a low flow toilet kit to reduce the amount of water you use.
- Reduce energy – Use a programmable thermostat, timer on lights, switch lightbulbs to LED, and add weather stripping to leaky doors and windows.
- Repurpose – whenever possible items around the house. You can turn an old t-shirt into a rag, a spaghetti sauce jar can store dried beans. Use your imagination so you’re creating less waste.
- Do without – Ask yourself if you really need that item that you’re about to buy. This will cut down on the amount of clutter in your home, save you money, and help you reduce waste.
- Compost – Use a bin or pale lined with a compostable bag and add food scraps to your bin or pale. When you’ve filled it up, add it to your yard waste bin or create your own compost pile to make your own soil.
- Recycle – If you do use plastic make sure you’re able to recycle it. Any paper, cardboard, and glass that you use all can be recycled.
- Buy in bulk – Buying pantry staples can be purchased in bulk. They are easily stored in glass containers to stay fresh. This will also save you money and reduce your waste.
Other ways to live naturally
- Walk, bike, and limit trips – Reduce the amount of driving you do is key. Try to limit trips and when you do have a trip to make try to do more than just 1 place. So if you need to go to the bank, grocery store, and a big box store try to do that in one trip so you’re being more efficient with your travel. If possible you can walk or bike.
- Declutter junk – Reduct the amount of junk, broken items, and clutter from your home. Doing regular decluttering sessions will help you stay on top of that.
- Buy second hand – To really live naturally start buying items second hand. Things like clothes, books, and toys can be purchased second hand.
- Buy items that last – When you go to replace something make sure you’re buying something that will last. Instead of spending a couple of fewer dollars upgrade for the item that will last.
By making a few changes around the house you too can follow a natural living lifestyle. You’ll save money, live healthier, and become eco-friendly.