Tips come from my own personal experiences through decades spent looking for better, healthier, or more homemade solutions. | Sponsored by Amazon Dash
Five Ways to Simplify Natural Living
- Take it one step at a time. Swapping out every product or habit in your life overnight would not only be costly and overwhelming - it would be wasteful! One thing I always recommend for people who want to make lifestyle changes is to make those changes one and time. Whether you are switching to a natural beauty routine, cleansing your diet of synthetic food additives, or giving up toxic cleaning products, it can be helpful to replace these things as they run out. This helps keep you moving in the right direction at a realistic pace.
- Keep it Simple. It would be great if every detail of our life was exceptional, but in reality, it's often the simple things that sustain us on a daily basis. When cooking or making homemade beauty or home products, try sticking to recipes that use a small number of steps and ingredients. The quicker and easier a basic product becomes to make at home, the more likely you are the make it a permanent part of your routine. For example, olive oil and lemon juice makes a delicious salad dressing in less than 30 seconds - there's no need to break out the whisk for every homemade salad you prepare.
- Embrace convenience. In a perfect world we could easily hop off the grid and reduce our carbon footprint to zero, but for most people day to day life is a fast-paced hustle with little time to spare. Convenience is often what drives us to make poor choices when it comes to our diets or the products we use in our homes. It feels much easier, and often cheaper to grab a generic brand of detergent at a large grocery store rather than making a special trip to a natural market or remembering to place an order online. However, technology has provided some very handy shortcuts for natural-minded shoppers which can make natural shopping even more convenient than hitting the big-box store on your way home from work. One of my favorite shopping shortcuts is using Amazon Dash Buttons to restock on everyday products. These amazing little Wi-Fi enabled devices reorder everyday essentials with just the press of a button. Amazon Dash Buttons are paired with specific products that you select during the set-up process. Simply press the Dash Button when you are running low and you'll never run out of essentials again!
- Eat local. According to the USDA there were more than nineteen thousand organic farms, ranches and processing facilities counted in the USA during 2016. That means that there's a pretty good chance that a farmer near you has gone organic. Farm-shares provide pre-selected bundles of produce (and sometimes even eggs, meat, and poultry) from local farms. In some places this bounty can even be delivered to your door. Home delivery makes eating local a whole lot easier, but even taking a weekly trip to your local farmer's market can help simplify shopping and foster culinary inspiration by connecting you directly with the people growing your food.
- Grow your own. Gardening is a wonderful way to connect the dots between creation and consumption. Spending time with your hands in the soil can be a very satisfying thing - especially when you are rewarded with a bounty of fresh veggies or colorful flowers. Include pollinator friendly plants in your garden to help encourage good pollination of your plants and help support your local ecosystem. Look for natural and homemade solutions for fertilizers and pest control to support your plants, and consider adding composting to your routine. Compost not only helps support your garden, it also reduces household waste!
- Make it do, or do without. One of the most obvious ways to reduce waste is to simply use what you have instead of buying something new. This is sometimes easier said than done, but with a little flexibility and creative thinking, many items in your home may be re-purposed or refurbished. As usual, practice makes perfect, so it helps to find ways to make re-use into a habit. You can start by picking a night where you feel like there "is nothing to eat" and challenge yourself to make a meal from what is left in the fridge or pantry. The next time you are itching to redecorate a space in your home, see if you can update objects you already own with a fresh coat of paint or a DIY project. Try to give the area a new look without buying anything new. You may be surprised with what you come up with.
Amazon shared a selection of Amazon Dash Buttons for me to try out. With over 250 types of Amazon Dash Buttons to choose from I was almost spoiled for choice. I ended up settling on the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Veeda, and Heavenly Tea. The Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Amazon Dash Button is programmed to delivery dish soap in my favorite scent (lemon verbena) whenever I am running low. I placed on the inside of the cabinet door under my sink so it will be right there when I need it.
My Veeda Amazon Dash Button orders a new box of chemical-free natural cotton tampons whenever I need them, and my Heavenly Tea Amazon Dash Button is stuck right inside my pantry to make sure my daily tea habit is well supplied. In addition to the Amazon Dash Buttons I received for this project, my family has several others around the house. We have become totally hooked on the ordering system and use it to keep stocked up on everything from kitty litter and pet food to vitamins and printer ink.
I have a tendency to forget little things like adding cat food the grocery list, so having these devices handy when I realize we're running low is key. In a family where both parents work around the clock it can really be a pain when we run out of something that we need every day. Our days of making a quick run to the store are over!
There is even a backup plan in place in the event that I misplace one of our Amazon Dash Buttons. The Amazon app on my phone has digital versions of each Amazon Dash Buttons ready to push wherever we might be. This works really well when my spouse shouts out, "Honey! Did you remember to order more probiotics?". I did now. Hehehe.
Oh, and in case you were wondering if my two-year old ever places orders by mistake, the answer is YES. Come on, is there a kid on Earth who can resist pressing buttons? Amazon is smart though, and has made toddler purchases easy to thwart. An automated alert goes to my phone every time an Amazon Dash Button order is placed and I can cancel it in seconds. Thank goodness because I really don't have anywhere to put twenty five packages of recycled toilet paper.
Perhaps the best thing about Amazon Dash Buttons is that they are essentially free. When you order any Amazon Dash Button for $4.99 you'll automatically receive a credit for $4.99 when you use it to make your first purchase. AND right now Amazon is running a special to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Amazon Dash Button. For a limited time you can purchase Amazon Dash Buttons for just $0.99 each and still receive the $4.99 credit on your first purchase. That's an instant savings of $4.00 on your first order!
So, have you tried Amazon Dash Buttons? What are your other favorite ways to make natural living easier? As always, I love hearing from you.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.