It is possible to comfortably reshape your life to live as a caretaker instead of as an exploiter of the earth. What better way to live? All it takes is building in one new step at a time.
Choose one new step you plan to take to live a more natural life today:
1. If you have room for a garden, or can join a public garden, grow some of your own food using organic methods.
2. Buy organic, recycled and other Earth-friendly products instead of conventional ones, even when they cost more.
3. Set the heat 10 degrees cooler and the air conditioning 10 degrees warmer, replace high-wattage light bulbs with efficient ones, and make a habit of turning off anything that doesn’t actually need to be on.
4. Improve your home’s heat efficiency by adding insulation, installing insulated window coverings, weather-stripping doors, and putting gaskets behind electrical outlets.
5. Put flow restrictors on your faucets and showerhead to save water. If you can’t replace existing toilets with a low-flow version, place a half-gallon jug full of water in the toilet tank to reduce the amount used in each flush.
6. Never buy anything on impulse. If you think you want something, wait at least 24 hours and see if you still want it then.
7. Plant trees whenever and wherever you can, and tend and water them until they can survive on their own.
8. Take a hard look at the electric or gas-powered devices you own. How many could you replace with low-tech equivalents, or simply get rid of? Gather up any that can be replaced or discarded and donate them to charity.
9. Contact your local water, electricity, and heating fuel utilities to find out what conservation programs, rebates, and incentives they offer, and make use of them.
10. Shop at a local farmers’ market or join a community-supported agriculture program.
11. Learn how to entertain yourself and your family and friends instead of letting an energy-wasting machine do it for you. Television and computer games are no substitute for life!
12. Instead of a grass lawn, landscape with plant species which are native to your area. Local conservation groups can tell you which plants support native butterflies and birds.
13. Whenever you possibly can, walk, bicycle, carpool, or take public transit instead of driving a car.
14. Replace chemical cleansers, laundry detergents, and garden compounds with natural or biodegradable equivalents.
15. Take care of as much of your everyday health care needs as you can using natural methods. Modern medicine is among the most wasteful and polluting of all industries.
16. Live as close as possible to work or school so that you minimize the time and energy wasted in commuting.
17. If you’re building a home, include as many Earth-friendly elements in its design and construction as you can.
18. Compost all your yard waste and vegetable kitchen scraps in a composter or worm bin, and return the compost to the soil.
19. Recycle everything you possibly can.
20. Donate old clothes, housewares, and appliances to charity, or find other uses for them instead of throwing them away.
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