Slow It Down

Slow living is a lifestyle emphasizing slower approaches to aspects of everyday life. It has been defined as movement or action at a relaxed or leisurely pace. ... Slow food and slow living are sometimes proposed as solutions to what the green movement sees as the consequences of materialistic and industrial lifestyles.

Who wouldn’t want to live a life focused on slow living?! Best part (other than the low stress lifestyle it creates) is that slow living helps both us and the planet. Yes, you read that right. Living at a leisurely pace helps the people, the planet, and everything in between. Any objections? We’d love to hear them!

To many, this lifestyle may sound nearly impossible. Living in today’s world means a fast-paced, high stress, quick buck lifestyle. Everything is done as quickly and as cheaply as possible (almost always with dire consequences.)

Sharktooth loves living slowly and we’ve developed a few of our own tricks to make this lifestyle not only manageable but realistic and, well, easy! We talked a bit about sustainable clothing in our last piece and mentioned that buying higher end clothing is better. Buying better quality means buying less frequently which results in buying and wasting less. But there are so many other ways to live slowly that don’t require buying anything...including clothing. 

  • Reusing ZipLock bags by washing instead of tossing
  • Reusing plastic grocery bags for yard clean up
  • Reusing vegetable scraps for at-home veggie broth. Read how to here.
  • Reusing lint and toilet paper tubes for fire starters
  • Buying gallon jugs of water instead of individual bottles
  • Making homemade cleaner and laundry detergent
  • Tossing used tea leaves and coffee grounds in plant soil or in bare spots in your yard
  • Composting food scraps
  • Reusing boxes and bags at print shops or stores where purchased
  • Buying goods sold in glass containers rather than plastic for better recycling

 

“As a mama, I often find myself stuck between buying “kid friendly items” and sustainable items. It’s definitely become a challenge in certain areas of life. With the loss of an income and following a tight budget (especially during this pandemic) I find living slowly even more of a challenge. Add in my son’s ever growing list of allergies and it feels nearly impossible at times. But there are a few things I’ve mastered that I can do with a billion dollars or nothing but the two pennies in my pocket. Sure, maybe Walmart is all we can afford right now but that doesn’t have to mean I have to forfeit my ethical and moral responsibilities. I never put my produce in the provided plastic bags at the grocery store. I always opt for glass containers over plastic. If there is no glass option then I choose the plastic that I can reuse that is the least dense (faster to break down). I make homemade cleaners for our floors and countertops and purchase laundry soap that is good for the environment that comes in reusable containers. Buying in bulk is good for our pockets as well as the Earth when we can bring our own jars in to fill them! We also swap clothing sizes with friends and family members and any clothing that has seen better days quickly become rags. Saving small and broken crayons makes for a fun activity of melting them into new shapes that my kids prefer over the original. We also throw our leftover coffee grounds outside to feed our plants- they thrive on this!” (Brey, 2020)

 

There are so many ways to live slowly! It’s a wonder why we didn’t start it sooner. Sometimes slow living means hand-me-downs and dull crayon colors. But if you choose to look at it differently it can mean gifted clothing and rainbow colored pages.

 

“Going zero-waste (or more realistically, low-waste) in your home is a daunting task. It often seems like influencers rub ‘zero-waste’ living in our faces with sustainable, high- priced clothing, over expensive “easy swaps,” and beautifully staged photos that make us feel like we will never achieve household sustainably.

It has become the trend of the privileged “influencer,” not a real movement with common sense swaps and realistic frugality.

We are capable of playing a part in saving this planet. It does not take being an “influencer” to live well, live thoughtfully, and live a wholistic life.” (Justice, 2020)

 


Nothing about slow living has to be expensive. All it takes is a conscience effort to make smart sustainable choices. Thinking bigger than the current moment helps us realize that what we decide today could potentially effect future generations to come. Locally, there are many places that help make a sustainable slow living lifestyle possible! Some of our favorites include Hippie Haven and Breadroot. Breadroot Natural Foods Co-op sources products from local producers and are committed to ethical practices and sustainability. They provide bulk options as well as organic and non-GMO products all while being community centered. Hippie Haven is a zero waste store that is packed with eco friendly products. They also offer recycling drop-off for many items including contact lens, straws, razors, oral care waste, beauty products, printer ink cartridges, and many more! You can get all the recycling information you need on their website here.

The more you do to live a sustainable lifestyle the easier it becomes! You can definitely do this. So go ahead, run along (we really mean walk) and live that slow living lifestyle!