S is for Sustainable Living

Sustainable.  We all hear the word flying about, but what does it mean?

Merriam -Webster defines SUSTAINABLE as:

1
: capable of being sustained
2
a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>

When I was searching for a name for this blog, I wanted it to go along with my beliefs.  Something that symbolized, growing (both physically and metaphorically) and living in a way that nurtures our soil, our environment, our planet and each other.  Living in a way that leaves a gentle footprint rather than a deep trench.

Walnuts and Pears stems from the old saying,  “Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs.”  In other words planting trees, not for ourselves, but for the generations to come.  In addition, living, conducting our lives, in the same manner.  Or in other words, “living today for tomorrow’s generation”.  Taking care of what we have.  Using only what we need in a responsible manner.  Not depleting our resources, but figuring out ways to use less and give back. Planning and planting for the future.  Living sustainably.

I created a list of things each of us can do to live a more sustainable life.

Steps to Sustainable Living (in no particular order):

  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Lower your thermostat in the colder months
  • Raise your thermostat in the summer months
  • Open windows and use less A/C
  • Take shorter showers
  • Shut-off the water when you’re washing hands and brushing teeth
  • Turn off and unplug what you’re not using (get rid of phantom power usage)
  • Plant a veggie garden
  • Compost
  • Raise chickens
  • Raise bees
  • Plant a tree on the South side of your house to provide shade and help cool your home
  • Plant a tree on the North or Northwest side of your house for protection from winter winds
  • Plant the right tree, shrub or plant in the right location.  Plants that like sun in sun, plants that like shade in shade, plants that like well-drained soil in well-drained soil, etc.  They’ll be happier, healthier and have less risk of insects and diseases, which means they will last longer.
  • Plant a fruit tree for you (or two – most need a buddy for pollination)
  • Plant a fruit tree or shrub (or two) for the birds
  • Learn to work with nature instead of fight her
  • Have less lawn
  • Keep your lawn no shorter than 3″
  • Train your lawn – don’t water daily for 15 minutes it creates shallow roots; instead water once a week until the soil has gotten 1″ of water, this will create deep roots, better ready for drought and ultimately consuming less water
  • Don’t bag ’em! (Leave your grass clippings on your lawn – it’s a natural nitrogen fertilizer)
  • Plant white clover in your lawn – yes, on purpose!  This too is a natural nitrogen fixer and will help keep your lawn healthy
  • Feed your soil, even your lawn with compost
  • Create a rain garden to prevent run-off
  • Mulch your plants – this keeps their roots cool and the soil moist, requiring less frequent watering
  • Compost your leaves
  • Meet your neighbors
  • Share with your neighbors
  • Start or join a community garden
  • Start a Little Free Library
  • Go to the public library
  • Buy less
  • Waste less – water, gas, electricity, packaging, food
  • Repair – repair what you have instead of buying new (Buy from companies that offer this option!)
  • Reuse
  • Repurpose – find a new use for old objects
  • Recycle
  • Buy items in bulk and reuse your own containers
  • Bring reusable shopping bags everywhere you go and use them!
  • Buy a fun water bottle, drink from it and refill it
  • Don’t buy “disposables”
  • Donate what you don’t need
  • Install a rain barrel
  • Use your rain water to water your garden
  • Don’t use pesticides, herbicides in your lawn or garden
  • Bike
  • Walk
  • Run
  • Buy real food
  • Cook from scratch, even if it’s just one day a week
  • Support local businesses and restaurants
  • Buy local as much as possible
  • Buy organic food (organic producers use sustainable methods for growing their food)
  • Eat organic food (it will sustain you)
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) – this provides a direct connection between you and a farmer
  • Clean without chemicals
  • Eliminate toxins from your home, start with fabric softener, bleach and toilet bowl cleaner
  • Eliminate toxins from your health & beauty supplies, start by ditching toothpaste with triclosan
  • Buy from sustainable companies.  What they do effects you.
  • Do a “gut check”.  If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

These are just a starting point.  Please feel free to comment and add to the list.

Kate

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2 Comments to “S is for Sustainable Living”

  1. good steps, I too am trying to live this way. I love the name of your blog, another way to look at it is that they are delicious together 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this list, there were some new ones on it, for me at least.

    Dropping by from A to Z; it’s nice to meet you.

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