Eight Easy Goals for 2018
by Rachel Jesson
in Blogs

A new year is a time for creating new habits and by doing things ourselves we achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

It reminds us that we are still able to do tasks without relying on others or machines to do it for us. That in and of itself is rewarding. These eight simple goals are not only nourishing our soul but they actually save you money, take care of the environment and keep you healthy. So here are some brilliant habits to pick up on this 2018.

1. Grow your own food

Most people think that growing your own food is difficult and overwhelming. It really isn’t rocket science and it’s superbly therapeutic after a busy day at the office. Watching new, little shoots sprout from your efforts is a remarkable feeling. It allows for a massive smile that’s incredibly soothing to the soul and is utterly priceless.

So here are a few super simple things to grow to get you started. Most of them are self-seeding which means if you leave them in the ground after you have picked what you need, they will regrow. They all require minimal effort and grow well on their own without you interfering too much. If this style of gardening is for you, then go and get a little dirty with a little effort but a lot of productivity and simultaneously find some solid peace in your life! Here are the super simple plants to begin with: arugula, snap peas, beans, radish (you can juice the greens so you end up using the whole plant!), tomatoes, rhubarb, chives, garlic, thyme, rosemary and mint.

2. Fermenting your own food

Preserving your own food actually enhances the nutritional value of the food. Ferments are rich in live probiotics and in nourishing enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are mostly easy to make and are very cheap. However, purchasing them is fairly pricey. In our book Wholesome Nutrition, we have recipes for sauerkraut and dairy kefir. Other fermented options are water kefir, yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, amazi and sourdough breads (breads can be fairly challenging though).

3. Homemade toiletries

Most toiletries are chemically laden and have been linked to chronic disease and various disorders. Making your own is much cheaper, ‘cleaner’ for your body, made from natural ingredients, and it’s actually quite fun. Not only will you save money and your health but the environmental impact will be lessened through less packaging and reduced reliance on petroleum products. Examples include coconut oil that can be used as a hair mask, face and body cream, mouth wash and for yeast infections. Pure shea butter is great for hair and skin. Colloidal silver can be mixed with magnesium oil and an essential oil for a spray deodorant. The list of natural alternatives is endless.

4. Homemade cleaning products

Many of the cleaning chemicals we are using in our homes also have negative consequences for our health, including respiratory issues with the fumes these products generate. There are a number of natural products we can use to keep our homes sanitary and sparkling. Try a salt and bicarb solution with water to scrub burnt pots, stoves and ovens, salt and vinegar to remove stains from white crockery, or a box of bicarb or half a chopped onion for bad smells in the fridge or freezer.

5. Recycling

It costs less than R110.00 a month to recycle all your household items with Kabusha Recycling. They take everything from tin foil, cans, various plastics, polystyrene, you name it. You don’t even need a million bins in your kitchen as they don’t require you to separate items, they sort it all for you. And they supply you with bags to put it all in. A real worthy cause that we should all be supporting for the good of Mother Earth, especially at that price!

6. Building your soil or garden

If you plan to grow some wholesome foods, it only makes perfect sense to nourish your soil. So all those food scraps from the kitchen, such as peelings, cutting tops off veggies, egg shells, nut shells, cores and pips should all go into a small bin on your kitchen counter. Once this bin is full, transfer it into a Bokashi recycling bin for some liquid gold. These bins, along with the bran, speed up the decomposition of the food scraps and the result is a beautifully rich and dense liquid that gets poured over your growing veg as a type of compost to ‘feed’ your plants. They tend to grow very well with your recycled scraps and the nutritional density of your crops is truly enhanced. For the greater garden enthusiast, building a compost heap is super fun and creating piles of dried dead leaves in the winter also does wonders for your soil, so even if you don’t grow your own veg, your garden will be thanking you for this nourishment. The leaves decompose all on their own, no effort from you other than keeping them in a pile at the very beginning. So let’s get out there and obtain some much needed vitamin D that most of us seem to lack these days. Not only are we taking care of ourselves in more ways than one but we are also certainly giving back to the earth.

7. Repurposing Items

Did you know that an old pair of laddered ladies tights makes a wonderful tool for preserving your onions, ginger and garlic? Rather than leaving these items out in the open on a counter top, placing them in some old tights extends their life by protecting them from little creatures. Flower bulbs can also be stored in old tights.

Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning hard-to-reach corners, behind the taps and the sliding doors of showers.

Unfinished small soap bars make a wonderful addition to getting washing clean by putting them directly into the machine.

Old boxer shorts work well as rags.

Recycle your glass jars by using them as storage containers.

There are so many more ways you can reuse items. Remember to donate old clothing and shoes, you’ll feel like a million bucks by doing so!

8. Conserving water

It’s time we do our best to conserve our fresh water and while turning off the tap as we brush our teeth is a good thing, there are many other ways that we can conserve water. If you’re growing your own food, cover your soil with bark chips or nut shells to prevent evaporation as this will reduce the amount of watering required. Gray water from washing the dishes, bathing, rinsing glass, boiling/steaming, buckets in your shower can all be used to water household plants or lawns. Try adding plastic buckets outside to catch rainwater near a gutter that will channel it. Use this to fill the pool or water the plants at a later stage. Get creative and start saving water!

A little initiative, a dollop of creativity and a spoonful of DIY can have a profound impact on us, our communities and the environment. Any of these pursuits are a worthy investment of time and effort. And the outcomes are something to be proud of! Here’s to 2018!