How Do You Practice Conservation?
One of the biggest benefits, to me, about this new shift towards an edited life is the opportunity to protect our earth’s resources. Purchasing only clothes I will wear frequently, searching out vintage pieces, reupholstering furniture instead of replacing it, shopping small, using what I already have–all this adds up, slowly but surely, into reducing our personal footprint and reducing waste. The sheer amount of energy, material, water that goes into making “fast fashion,” or cheap furniture made out of particleboard, is astounding. And a lot of it is really terrible for the environment. When we were purchasing a bed for our little one, we were trying to track down a reasonably priced mattress that could grow from preschool years to teenaged years. It was so difficult to find a mattress that didn’t include fiberglass, and nearly impossible to find a bedframe that didn’t have a California Prop 65 warning. (We chose this mattress*, this foundation*, this bedframe*, and this headboard*, by the way, and are extremely happy with our selection!) Although it took a long time to research, we feel so much better knowing that we aren’t contributing as much to chemical pollution and we are also not bringing dangerous toxins into our home.
Although I don’t speak about it often, my exposure to outdoor spaces–National Parks, landscape conservatories, state parks–has had a huge impact on my life. Going to Boulder, conservation was a part of daily life–refillable water bottles, only organic, free-range, grass-fed food, etc. in the dining halls, an emphasis on the outdoors. And I’ve tried to internalize my effect on the world around me, too, and keep it as impact-less as possible.
One of the ways I’m doing this is by no longer using plastic water bottles. We see a lot of bloggers and influencers touting the merits of the Stanley tumbler, which seems great, but impractical for me. While I generally work from home, my schedule nowadays involves driving to school for drop-off and pick-up. I want something that I can carry with me that won’t spill, so I really like the Yeti and Tervis tumblers we already have, depending on what I’m bringing with me. Water is such a precious resource–the most precious, in my opinion–so if I can reduce waste by bringing my water with me in a reusable bottle, well, every small bit helps.
I’m trying to make conservation less of a passive part of my life and more of an active part–actively choosing to shop small at our local antique shops for furniture, if needed, instead of ordering something new; walking down the street to our amazing local bookstore for my book club book of the month, instead of having something delivered; meal planning to reduce food waste. And I feel like not only is it my duty as a member of the human race, it’s also beneficial to our family–I, for one, feel better when there isn’t waste.
How do you conserve in your everyday life?