Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

The Greener the Better: Zero-Waste and Plant-Based Living



Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole, Florida Swamp View With Boardwalk and Alligators + Florida Living
The greener the better, as far as I'm concerned!  The fairies have been influencing a new green movement where people are trying to go as zero-waste as possible and plant-based living for the environment.  It's a movement that happens gradually.  I would say the more technological times get, the more people are returning to simpler, kinder times.

My entire life, even as a small girl, I always cared about the planet.  I had nature-loving parents who would take us out to the desert and teach us respect.  I remember I started brushing my teeth without the water on, long before it became synonymous with helping the planet.

In a way, you could say I was living as waste-free as possible, even then.  When I grew older, I would always never just throw my water out.  I would give it back to the earth, so to speak.  I would pour it on the plants or grass because I wouldn't feel right wasting it.  This was long before I had ever heard of a thing called the zero-waste movement.  A very exciting time is upon us!

Even as an angsty teenager, I would get mad at my friends if they would try to throw their litter out the window.  I guess you could say it was the faery within me.  It was my own personal built-in nature spirit.

In some ways, there's never been a better time to be alive.  I'll be the first to admit that I love my technology, especially Netflix, cell phones, and the internet.  I mean, I am a blogger after all.  But, I'll also admit that I love to strip things back and make for simpler times.  A time where people go to Farmer's market for their organic produce (less runoff into our rivers and oceans), as well as a time more and more people, are becoming vegan, vegetarian, and enjoy plant-based living.

I feel like we are going through some kind of green renaissance.  People are starting to realize that if we don't dial back our use of the planet, then we won't have a planet to exist in the first place.  It's so important to keep informed and to be talking about it.  Co-op with your neighbors, make small changes, and then when you're ready, make big leaps in reducing your carbon footprint too.
A Bridge in Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida in the Park and Nature Preserve

How to Start a Conversation About the Green Movement

It all depends on who you're talking to.  As a blogger, I have a platform I can use where I can speak out about protecting mother nature.  While I'm an environmentalist, I say the best way to spark a conversation about green living is to be a living example.  Protests and carrying banners sometimes have their place in making a political statement to the world.  Being a living, breathing example of your movement makes the boldest statement of them all!

For Living Examples:
  • Pick up trash.  People see you doing that, they'll be curious.  Sometimes, that curiosity leads to sparking a movement.  Soon, other people join in.  If you have kids, they'll join in too.  
  • Be a vegan or a vegetarian.  Eating a plant-based diet promotes healthy eating, protecting animals, and protecting the environment too!
  • Write a blog post about it.  You can even narrow it down to zero-waste movement or reduce, reuse, recycle!  This is another great way to start a conversation about going green.  In addition to that, use social media to give the topic a thorough boost.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.  The neighbors see you doing it they will most likely want to join in on the party!
  • Raise Little Environmentalist.  One of my biggest accomplishment's as a parent is that my kids were raised to live green.  I've even heard them pass it along to their friends and mates, just by being a living example of eco-friendly living!  
Florida Wildlife + Black Painted River Rock on a Bridge in Nature

Getting Started: Zero-Waste and Plant-Based Living

In order to get started with waste-free living, start with the little things in life.  I hate to go with the old "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" saying, but I think it's relevant here.  Yes, we want fast results that aid in cleansing nature.  At the end of the day, we're human, and good habits take time.  

My recommendation is to start with little things that you know you can control right now.  If you're at the store, don't leave the green bags in the car!  Otherwise, it defeats the purpose.  When at the salad bar, reuse the single-use plastic container.  Wash it out and reuse it a few more times, then throw it in the recycle bin.  All these little things add up to bigger and better things!

Yes, be gentle to your environment, but while you're at it, don't forget to be gentle to yourself too.  Take your time.  You'll get there.  I promise.  It takes years of practice to really show nature how much you care.  

Here are a few tips for getting started:
  • Switch to soap bars.  Many stores sell them minus the packaging, which is perfect for the go green notion in you.  This helps with the beginnings of a waste-free movement in your own household!  See what I mean about the little things?  They add up!
  • Grow fruits, veggies, and herbs.  This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but your grocery bill too.  Even if you live in an urban setting, you can use urban container gardens.  Plus, gardening makes you feel so good!  There's nothing like pulling a fresh, organic carrot from the ground that you grew yourself, so you know where it comes from.  
  • Buy Local.  Local is better, as it hasn't had to travel far, which means less mileage on the planet.  Local also means fresh ingredients and organic choices.
  • Use Green Bags, Mesh Bags, and Sacks.  This will aid in reducing waste.  Single-use plastic, for example, is waste.  It's downright wasteful.  Try to avoid it wherever you can.  If you do get caught in a situation where you have to use it, then at least make it have multiple uses then recycle.  
  • Adopt a plant-based diet.  Eat lean and eat green with leafy green vegetables.  You can start small, start with one snack, then one meal, and so on and so forth until you've completely made the green switch.  
  • Wear Vintage and Handmade Clothing.  If you can sew your own frocks then you get brownie points!  Buying from mainstream stores often involves manufactured clothing, which isn't the most green-friendy thing in the world.  Know what I mean?
  • Adopt clean-living products.  This means vegan beauty products and cruelty-free makeup.  This is truly something we should all care about!  Start with one vegan mascara or one cruelty-free makeup remover.  The key is to start!
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle.  This is something you can do on a daily basis using baby steps.  You can reuse a plastic container so that it's no longer single use.  Then recycle it.  You can buy products that have no wrapping.  You can reuse your green bags once they've been worn out to carry your laundry.  You can reuse that planter by filling it with a nifty new air plant.  
There are so many things you can do!  You just have to use your imagination.  Maybe instead of binge-watching a show on Netflix, you buy a stack of used paperback romance books to read.  That will keep you busy for a while.  The point is to work your way up to bigger things.  Those little things you do count and they add up to big things.  Go green, stay calm, and don't you forget it!

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