Aaniin! In lieu of First Nations House Sustainability Series, I thought I would share the ways in which I try to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Adopting environmentally conscious habits is not an impossible feat, we can meet the needs of our current lifestyle without compromising the future of this earth. Sustainability seeks to support all of creation.
Supporting local businesses not only helps the environment but fosters a sense of community. Having recently got my ears pierced, I’ve had a lot of fun looking to local artists for beaded earrings. The pair in the picture above are by HarvestMoon Designs and the wooden moose was carved by my friend’s father in Carcross, Yukon. By shopping local you begin to create connections to those around you.
I’ve began keeping reusable shopping bags and produce bags in my backpack and purse which has been very convenient. I’ve been making an active effort to go to the local fruit stand for my produce and bulk stores so that I can cut down on packaging. In the summer I was growing herbs in the garden, I’ve harvested them by freezing them in ice cubes and putting them in a reusable, freezer-friendly bag. I’m also very fortunate that I have people in my life that make their own jam! Investing in eco-friendly storage doesn’t have to be expensive and there are ways students can do so without breaking the bank! A little research definitely goes a long way.
I’ve started to make the active switch to biodegradable and eco-friendly products bit by bit, and it’s been easier than expected! Living in the city allows me access to affordable AND sustainable products.
I’m in the process of slowly eliminating all plastic bottles and packaging at home, and I’ve found shampoo and conditioner bars to be incredible! When I used to go away for months at a time and knew I would not have access to stores for toiletries, shampoo bars were a great way to control liquid weight and manage space better when packing. I’ve honestly never looked back since making the switch.
By getting a larger water bottle, I’m also motivated to drink more water throughout the day (which may be one of my New Year’s resolutions…)! By making my coffee before I leave in the morning and taking it to go, I find myself less inclined to buy coffee throughout the day. It was hard at first to make the change because as a commuter student my backpack can really get heavy, but I’m starting to get better at packing more efficiently.
If you don’t know there are seed libraries in the city that will allow for the borrowing of seeds and operate on the honour system. I know when spring comes, I’ll definitely be using incredible resources such as the Toronto Seed Library!
First Nations House has planned a series of workshops in which to encourage a more sustainable way of living and they will work in two parts. Much like the upcoming DIY Lip Balm event, the workshops will involve creating a sustainable craft followed by a group discussion.
Becoming eco-friendly has never been more important, as we all benefit from the move towards sustainable habits. An eco-friendly lifestyle can be affordable and isn’t as hard as it may seem and there are many initiatives and ways to get involved on campus! I be-leaf in you!