Photo by Chris F:

Sustainable Habits (2022)

Living sustainably is a process of continuous change, growth, and effort. It cannot be accomplished and checked off a list; it is a journey. Each year I learn new skills, read more books, and incorporate various habits in the name of sustainability. I’ve found that by focusing on making small changes over time I have accomplished more good than I would have if I were trying to “live sustainably” without a plan in place. Here are some of the new habits I developed in 2022.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:
  • I focused more on mending and repurposing than I have in the past.
  • I started keeping a bucket for scrap metal under the kitchen sink. Now small pieces of metal like loose screws, bottle tops, lids from cans of beans, etc are collected and taken to scrap metal recycling twice a year. It all adds up!
  • I have committed to reading at least 5 books on sustainable topics each year. I’m learning more and staying inspired.
  • Whenever I have a 20-30 minute window between appointments, I head to a thrift store or consignment shop and check for items I have written down on a list- items I don’t need immediately but would like to have. Because of this I’ve been able to find reusable snack bags, various kitchen gadgets, clothes, shoes, etc. as well as small wooden boxes and square scarves to use as reusable gift wrap.
    • I started reverse meal planning. Instead of picking recipes and seeing if I could buy some of the items package free and/or local, I planned recipes based on what I knew I could get from local growers, small businesses and/or package free shops.
    • I focused on seasonal and local eating. I bought quite a bit more local produce than I have in the past and focused on preserving it via water bath canning, pickling, fermenting, and freezing.
    • I started cooking with the tops of vegetables. Beets, radishes, carrots, etc were purchased with their tops, which were thoroughly washed and immediately used. They were added to pestos, fresh salads, tacos, etc as a colorful and flavorful addition.
Photo by Chris F:

These are some new habits I’ve adopted this year. Next I’ll talk about how my sustainable journey started, and different habits I’ve implemented throughout the years.