Living a sustainable lifestyle means living a lifestyle that aims to reduce one’s environmental impact. While sustainable living has similarity with the zero-waste movement (primarily the end-goal to meet our present needs without compromising the needs of future generations) the principles can be very different. Sustainable living means a global shift of attitude, more than a reduction of the amount of waste one can generate.
To reduce your environmental impact this April, follow these few tips:
Start composting at home
Building your own compost heap is not as complicated as it might appear. You need a container (which the bottom of should be aired), a spot in the shade, a few branches and twigs that you will put at the bottom of the container. Break your waste into small bits before you put them in the container. Bury the food and aerate the compost often. As it is a way of composting without worms, do not add meat, dairy or bread, and avoid processed food.
The sunny days are coming, take this opportunity to further reduce your carbon footprint: sun out, bike out. Use a green search engine. Switch to a green bank. You can calculate your average carbon footprint using this website: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx.
Easter; but make it sustainable
Did you know that you could paint your eggs with onion skins, instead of store-bough food colouring? Here’s the method for 5 eggs:
- Boil 1.25 liters of water
- Add the skin of 5 large onions (red or white)
- 100 ml of red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of coarse salt
- Take the eggs out of the fridge in advance (this will reduce the chance of the shells breaking because of thermal shock). For the dye to give a stronger colour, gently wash the eggs with soap and water.
- Pour the water, onion skins and vinegar in a pot, then add salt (adding salt to the water can also help prevent the eggs from breaking). Wait until the water boils.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes before removing the pot.
- Let the pot’s content cool for about 15 minutes.
- Dip the eggs into the dye.
- Put the pot on the heat again and turn to medium.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes, longer if you want a stronger colour (up to several hours out of the heat).
- Once you remove the eggs from the pot, let them dry without touching them. If you want to glaze the eggs, use olive oil: add some oil on a towel and rub the eggs until they are shiny. The colour you will get depends on how many onion skins you have used, how much water you have poured to boil the skins, the colour of the eggs and how long the egg has remained in the dye.
- Using the same technique, you can use red cabbage for a blue colour, grape juice for lavender, and paprika for pink or red.
- To make patterns of the shells, use sticks of tape.
Decorate permanent eggs
If you are vegan, wooden egg might be the solution.
Don’t decorate with plastic
Ditch the plastic grass, the little plastic chicken, and the plastic decoration you put around the eggs and create your own decorations for a fraction of the price.