Sustainable Living: How to Find the Time

One of the reasons that people often give for not living in a more sustainable way is that they just don’t have the time. But I have definitely discovered over the past few years that thinking just a little differently can mean that you can ‘find’ more time for sustainable projects and tasks than you may have imagined.

Those who have read my posts for a while will likely know that I work long hours as a permaculture designer, sustainability consultant and writer, running my own freelance business. On weekends my husband and I work (slowly) on our long-term eco barn conversion project. And I grow as much food as I can on our 1/3 acre property. I completely understand that time can be limited – it is certainly one of our biggest challenges here.

This weekend, I have harvested potatoes and some other crops, done a little weeding and prepped some beds for winter crops, done a little pruning, and done a lot more clay plastering in the barn…

There are always ways to find time for the things you are really passionate about, and really thinking about how you spend your days can help you re-balance your life and find the time for the sustainable projects you would like to take on.

I have been asked on a surprising number of occasions how I find the time…

How do I find the time?

  • I spend more time in my garden (and processing/preserving the produce I grow) – but that means I don’t need to spend as much time going to a store. I also bulk-buy basics (flour, pulses, cereals) which also saves time on shopping.
  • I’ve streamlined a number of garden and home systems for efficiency (with layout and planning).
  • I’ve switched to simplicity when it comes to cleaning my home, and my own cleaning routine, using simple natural products and not stressing about the small stuff…

Of course, everyone has different calls on their time and energy. But in my case, the major switch came when I stopped seeing sustainable projects as something extra I had to find the time for, and they just became a normal part of my daily life. Often, you don’t need extra time – you just need to use what time you do have a little bit differently…

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