I am by no means a “greenie” or an environmentalist. I’ve seen organizations do both good and bad under these titles. Instead, I believe in being a good steward of the earth.
Genesis 1:28 says, “And God blessed them (Adam and Eve) and said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.” (Amplified version) God created man originally to be a gardener. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:15, “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.” (AMP) I love that God’s original plan for us was to be gardeners.
There are so many ways to be a good steward of the earth. The hubby and I have been making changes in our life over the years to become better and better stewards. Each change we make is to lessen the damage we do and to help heal the earth.
4 Ways to Be a Good Steward of the Earth
Compost Your Waste
Composting is a great way to reduce what goes in landfills. Not only does it keep your garbage bill down, but composting will help build your soil, adding nutrients and minerals to your garden. Read how and what you can compost and get started today. And no need to worry about a stink!
Care for what You Already Have, Reuse, and Recycle
America has such a “use it until it breaks and toss it” mentality, and it drives me crazy. What happened to the good ol’ days of caring for the things you own and fixing things when they break? Now its “just throw it out and buy a new one.” Instead of filling the landfills with things that still have so much life in them, fix them!
Have stuff you just don’t want anymore? Have a garage sale, sell it online, take it to a thrift store, or recycle it! There are a lot more options than just throwing it away.
The average American meal travels 1500 miles before you eat it for dinner. That’s a lot of time, gas, energy… Try eating local! Not only will the food be more fresh, but it will be healthier, tastier, and more sustainable! The hubby and I have been buying a pig from a local farmer every year for a couple years now and we love it! Pork has never been my favorite food. But after having fresh porkchops and homemade bacon, I’m hooked. These porkchops taste NOTHING like the ones you get in the store!
Worried about expense? We’ve actually discovered that we save money in the long run. It’s a big up front cost, but then we’re not buying any meat for the rest of the year. (We also hunt and fish, which is about as local as you can get…) Check out your local farmers markets, find a roadside farmstand, find a local CSA, check out Craig’s List or local farm groups on Facebook. Eating local doesn’t have to be difficult.
What if you want to eat organic, but don’t have that option locally? Know your farmer. They may not be certified organic, but find out their growing practices and you just might be surprised. Read more HERE.
Need some help in the journey to eating healthy and eating local? Check out this great Empowered Eating e-course!
Reduce How Much Trash You Create
I love hearing about people who strive to create less trash, but some don’t always do it right. A while back I heard about a family who only had a baggie of trash after a whole year, but after listening to their story, turns out that wasn’t quite correct. They talked about buying things at the store, and then taking whatever it was out of the packaging and throwing the packaging away at the store. That’s not creating less trash – that’s making someone else pay for your trash service.
My goal is to ACTUALLY create less trash. Stop using plastic bags for groceries; get some handy reusable bags. Buy food in bulk so there’s less packaging to deal with (I want to sew some small reusable “baggies” to fill at the store. Cuts down on those little plastic bags!) Stop putting your produce in plastic baggies at the store. What’s the point? You’ll be washing those fruit and veg when you get home. Sew some sandwich bags instead of using ziplock baggies or wash the plastic ones out and reuse them. Have your local coffee shop fill your travel mug instead of using disposable cups. Reuse glass jars for storage. The hubby and I invested in some Pyrex storage containers a while back and I love them! We no longer use plastic for leftovers.
I admit, I never thought about being a “zero-waste” person until I saw this video clip (below). It totally changed the way I looked at a lot of things, how we shopped, what is in our pantry and fridge, how much garbage we produce…
Plastic doesn’t go away. Its not biodegradable. Perhaps its time to stop creating more and find other things to use. It may take some creativity, but its not that hard. The hardest part is changing your mind frame, changing your habits, but stick with it and it will soon become second nature.
Now I’ll admit, we are not a zero-waste house. Not yet. But I’ve found in all things homesteading, its best to start small – take it one step at a time. If you try to do it all at once, you’ll get burned out and stop all together.
Find more on sustainable homesteading and living below!
Sustainable Habits that Our Visitors Find Weird (We’ve been there! People find some of the things we do fascinating (or crazy, but I choose to think fascinating).)