August 8, 2008
I am very excited that Sharon (owner of the anb Mall, the all natural beauty website, anb portal, and SharAmbrosia) has asked me to write the anb Mall’s monthly Eco Living article series. For over three years I have been writing about all natural skin and hair care, aromatherapy, environmental issues, natural and organic products, and green living on my blog (Solarkat’s Eco Blog) and, for far longer, I have been studying ecological issues and working to preserve this beautiful blue planet we live on. Sharon and I have been corresponding with each other for many years, and I finally had the privilege to meet her in person when she hosted Jeanne Rose’s aromatherapy blending class last year. Sharon is an extraordinary woman and a true green advocate, and I am honored that she thought of me when she revealed her newest endeavor!
In this month’s Eco Living article, I’ll discuss exactly what eco living is, provide a few very easy green living tips, and go over some of the topics I plan to write about in this series.
What Is Eco Living?
You may have heard of the terms ‘eco living’ (short for ‘ecological living’), ‘green living’, ‘environmental friendly lifestyles’, ‘environmental living’, and ‘sustainable living’ but many people may not know exactly what those phrases mean! Most of those expressions are often used interchangeably. People have different definitions of what eco living is but to me eco living is ultimately about responsibility, change, respect, and (for many people) spirituality. Ecological degradation is often caused by factors such as over consumption of resources, habitat damage, or usage of polluting (or what I call ‘eco-unfriendly’) methods and technologies. To alleviate our environmental problems, I believe that it is necessary for us to make major changes in our lifestyles and our actions. Many people are not aware that how they choose to live their daily lives can greatly affect the environment. What you buy, how much you consume, how and what you eat, what decisions you make for yourself and your family, and how you live your life in general can impact the Earth globally.
Eco living is about taking responsibilities for our actions: understanding what impacts our daily lives have on local and global levels, and then making the decision to do something about it. It’s about personal change and the willingness to change: choosing to change the way you live for the betterment of yourself, others, and the Planet.
At times that may mean going without a product or a service because you decide to put your own health and the Planet’s health first. Other times, it means finding a different and better way to do something in a more ‘eco-friendly’ manner that has less of an impact. Green living is about respect for your body, the Earth, and the other inhabitants of the Planet. And for many people environmental living is also about the transformation of the spirit: reconnecting with the Earth and nature, and in turn one’s own soul.
Simple Green Actions You Can Do To Help Preserve The Earth:
Start small and simple. It can be really confusing learning about ecological issues and learning to live in a more eco-friendly manner. Many people also think being ‘green’ is too time consuming or expensive but it doesn’t have to be! My advice is to start with small and easy changes and slowly work your way up to bigger ones. Pretty soon you’ll wonder how you ever lived otherwise! Even small simple changes like recycling (if done by everybody) can have huge impacts!
Educate yourself and others on the issues! Learn as much as you can about an environmental topic that is important to you and then help spread the word!
Start eating eco-friendlier foods. Eat more local and organic foods. Add more vegetarian foods to your diet or at least eat more free range, cage free, hormone free, grass fed, pesticide free, or organic meat and animals products. These foods are not only better for the Planet but also better for you and your family’s health!
Use all natural and natural based cosmetics. I’ve previously mentioned the ecological benefits of using all natural cosmetics on the all natural beauty website (see the article ‘Li’s Quick Eco Tips: Benefits of All Natural Cosmetics’ for more information). Try to use brands that are made with local, organic, fair trade, or ethically wild-harvested ingredients if possible.
Use energy efficient, eco-friendly technologies. If you need to buy new products, try the eco-friendly version. One super simple thing you can do is replace all of your light bulbs with energy efficient ones. They may cost more initially but in the long run they will help preserve the Earth and also save you money (since they use less energy your energy bill will go down and they don’t have to replaced for many years so you don’t have to keep buying new ones).
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce. Probably the most important eco tip you can do is consume less (reduce). If you need to buy something new, try to buy high quality products (so they will last longer) and items that are greener (such as products that are made locally or made with organic materials). If your old items are still in good condition give them a new life: donate them to charity, have a yard sale, or offer them on freecycle’s website. Try to get products that you can reuse rather than disposable products (like reusable water bottles). And if you can’t reduce or reuse, then recycle!
Future Topics of Eco Living articles:
In this monthly Eco Living article series, I will discuss all kinds of eco living and environmental concerns. Some environmental-related topics I plan to write about are all natural cosmetics, organic standards in cosmetics, eco living tips, eco-friendly alternatives, aromatherapy, herbalism, crafting & formulating, the cosmetic & medicinal & spiritual uses of plants, vegetarianism, green house cleaning, and overviews of environmental issues. Many articles will also include aromatherapy and herbal recipes. If there is a subject you’d like me to discuss, please contact me and I will try to address it in a future article. I hope that this article series will give many people ideas on how to implement more eco-friendly changes into their lifestyles.
Link to the all natural beauty website: http://www.allnaturalbeauty.us/
Link to ‘Li’s Quick Eco Tips: Benefits of All Natural Cosmetics’ article on the all natural beauty website: http://www.allnaturalbeauty.us/ani35.htm
Link to freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org/
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and has nearly completed her M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. Her all natural, eco-friendly, vegan cosmetic company will open this fall.
For more information on environmental issues, eco living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkateco.blogspot.com/
If you have any questions on eco living please feel free to contact Li at: