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Simple Green Living

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I wanted to write up some environmental (green) simple living thoughts.  It is possible to get crazy and stressed out in so many ways in life and this is another one that gets some people. Lets apply minimalist living principles to green living.

The environment is a big deal and saving it is very important, but stressing out and killing myself/yourself isn’t the best way to do it.

I listed to a book last summer called Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution and the main message was that the environment was in big trouble, and what we are doing currently, even if we get everyone to do it, won’t do enough good to save the planet.  Kind of a downer, but honest and full of good information.   What I took away from it was that carrying my own water bottle or using my own fabric bags is nice, but even if everyone did it, it wouldn’t make much of a difference.  … don’t hate me …

I believe that government and big business spend all kinds of money pushing these little ‘feel good’ differences to make us feel like small change on our part can save the world.  It can’t.

It is the big lifestyle issues that we have gotten used to that are draining the planet dry at an every increasing rate.

  1. Consumerism
  2. Bigger houses spread out
  3. Animal  product consumption – Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World  This book is incredibly well researched and presented and proves this point clearly.
  4. Bigger cars and more driving
  5. Processing of everything we use

These are big issues that are affecting our world much more than water bottles, shopping bags or recycling.  I am not saying that these aren’t good.  I am saying that they aren’t near good enough.  I think lots of the push for recycling is to make us feel better about purchasing more and more.  Energy was used to make the original bottle, gas was spent to move it to where you could get it, gas is spent getting it to recycling center, energy is used to ‘re-make’ the bottle again and the cycle goes on.  There is still tons of energy and waste in that picture.

It is the big 5 noted above that need to be worked on… and it isn’t easy or pretty.  However, all can fit into a simple, happy and intentional life.

  1. Don’t buy stuff, especially junk that needs to be replaced all the time.
  2. Don’t have so much stuff that you need a big space to store it and live in communities that let you share green space.
  3. Eat less animal products.
  4. Buy cars that get good gas mileage, and walk when you can.
  5. Make your own food and don’t buy stuff (redundant I know, but it makes a difference on several levels:)).

Probably these changes are still not enough to really turn the environmental problems around, but they can make a much bigger difference.   These are lifestyle habits that help us realize that life isn’t about stuff and only our well-being.  They can actually create more time, more peace, and more happiness.

But this is a simple post, about simple living and making all these changes at once isn’t simple.  Maybe there are some of these that are easier to accept and others that are harder.  Instead of guilt or beating yourself up about not saving the world, how about trying to focus on getting better at one or two of these.   And don’t feel guilty about the smaller green programs when you forget your water bottle or your re-usable bags.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Just out today, check out the Loving Simple Living Free E-book


  1. I like how you worded “animal product” because I almost wonder if we’re even eating the actual animal at all anymore. Case in point “cheese product” or “processed cheese food”; sugar free brown sugar (yes I found this in a store); and you really don’t want to read the hot dog labels (no that’s not a joke).

    • no joke. That is true. Gross, but true 🙂

  2. Along the lines of cars that get good mileage, slower acceleration will do huge wonders for getting better MPGs if you drive around town a lot. Just let that car in front of you get a little farther ahead when the light turns green. You won’t sacrifice much, if any, drive time.

    • yes, good point. I was actually playing with that yesterday when I was driving around town. Lots better for the soul not to always be in a rush as well 🙂

  3. Kari Kari

    Good points Lorilee. It’s so helpful to keep the bigger picture in mind. I’ve always wondered if it takes more energy to produce a reusable bag than a plastic one. I know it’s still less in the landfill, but I still wondered…

    And as one of your “omnivorous” readers…if you do eat or use animal products, purchase them from SMALL, local farmers and not big feed lots!! 😎

    • Yes, thank 🙂

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