a bumblebee on a thistle

Living a Sustainable Lifestyle- RefurbishedProducts

Living a sustainable lifestyle is not that difficult because wherever you live, you can make adjustments. If you have read my posts on my natural health site, you will have learned that I love everything natural; nature, moving, food.

There is so much we can do without leaving much waste behind. I buy my vegetables and fruits in an organic shop or market, and I try to purchase only organic meat, knowing where it comes from and how these animals have died. For me, it is essential to know.

But I have to admit that I have also not given a thought to the idea of living healthy and sustainable for years, and still, I love my car driving around, feeling free and independent. I am a free spirit and love traveling and living in other countries; thus, I have often used airplanes and cars. My dream is to be financially free and live in other countries, but I wouldn’t travel for two weeks but like to stay for six months, or even longer. Being on holiday, we love to do sightseeing walking, so this is already something positive.

Living a sustainable lifestyle- refurbished products

We all have to reduce our luxury and live a simpler life; by living simply, we can stop the pollution. The industry depends on our choices and will surely adapt to them if we decide to rethink our options, be a consumer, or enjoy our lives. By this I mean really to enjoy, most people overconsume due to an empty life.

One century ago, people still lived a quieter life at a slow pace, but now it is like people are in a centrifuge; faster,  higher, more. There are no brakes!

It is my impression of life nowadays observing the people in my surrounding. Have you ever consciously reviewed what you possess? Do we need this all? Is quality not more important than quantity?

Living a sustainable lifestyle!

I believe we don’t need to be hippies living a sustainable lifestyle. We need a vision, and everything we add to help our planet is essential. It is impossible to live in caves anymore, and I am sure we can combine modern life with a sustainable lifestyle.

a woman sitting in front of two boxes with peaches, cutting a peachFor example, by helping the bees and insects, we can have more native plants and trees, which allows our bees to survive.

If you want to help the insects, you could leave your garden somewhat wild, with tree trunks and branches where they can hide, as well as in autumn, leaving plants and trees uncut.

There are many possibilities to help animals and insects to increase their population; lastly, they are food for the birds and small mammals.

Fixing insects’ hotels on the housewalls will help them to survive the winter. In my blog about my garden, I have written about the possibilities of creating a fairy garden for the animals, insects, but also you.

There is so much reading material throughout the internet; you will undoubtedly find something to join people from all over the world, helping Mother Earth to recover.

If you would love to do something for your family or yourself, you might look into buying organic vegetables and fruits. There are organic farms and markets in my neighborhood where I can buy everything I need, and it is even cheaper than believing in a supermarket. You will significantly improve your health and your environment and use the waste for your compost.

I love sustainable communities which live a green life, using no pesticides and herbicides, treating their animals well. We need more such communities and people burning for the planet; the only way to adapt to sustainable production is to force the industry. Education is essential, in school, but also via TV, the Internet, and radio.

Newly-Made Products vs. Refurbished Products

Many new products come with many waste and toxins while produced, often leaving a devastating environment behind. Nearly all cheap produced items made in China and other countries intoxicate rivers, forests, oceans, and the people working for our comfort. There is so much rubbish on this planet we can’t handle anymore.

Plastics cover the shores of beautiful beaches or are found in the stomachs of fish or mammals. Microparticles are found in our bodily cells, even in fetuses. There are rivers colored and dead in China and India due to the fashion and furniture industry producing cheap clothes.

Little children are sent into narrow holes of cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to mine the cobalt for the batteries of our smartphones, laptops, and other electrical devices. This is child labor!

Women are exploited in Asian countries, being victims of our greediness in the fashion industry. There is so much going on; we can’t keep looking away because we still want to consume. The industry is earning a lot of money because we are feeding our greediness. If we could be content with less, industry would be forced to stop over-producing and shift from quantity to sustainable quality.

It is our all fault! 

Why not use the waste already present on Earth, recycling, refurbishing, and renewing? I try to reuse secondhand articles, like a refurbished washing machine, or smartphones, laptops. It works fantastic, and I know they are made from used parts of other devices.

It is not important to buy the newest Apple smartphone; I am content with a secondhand product. I do the same for clothes, and they are always still nearly new or not used. But still, we need to stop the over-production of products.

Fortunately, many beautiful people are producing sustainable vegan clothing and accessories, which are beautifully made. More companies join the sustainable movement and sell organic, sustainable clothes, which I welcome very much.

Sustainable Womenswear and Travel Essentials

We have too many items in our wardrobes and houses, so why not stop and stand still, rethinking the value of such things? I think it is an urgent call to enjoy what we already have instead of running around, consuming more than we need, creating more waste. Many companies are producing sustainably due to people’s demands for sustainable products, a trend that is great and necessary.

There is no need for medical materials and medications;  eating healthily and using natural antibiotics is often enough, resulting in fewer antibiotical resistance. We could spare these essential medications for real infections instead of feeding them to sick animals and fish due to the wrong food they receive. All these medications, including the mass production of hormones, are polluting our water supply.

It is time to stand still and rethink, take responsibility for ourselves and our environment, and stop being dependent on doctors and pharmacies for our well-being, who are mainly interested in earning big money, not in our lives.

Nature has so many beneficial plants to heal our bodies. We need to reflect on our roots and natural sources, knowing where we are coming from. If more people would buy refurbished, recycled products, our world might recover.

How to Avoid Plastic Packages?

It is a tricky one; it seems nearly impossible to avoid all the packages. If you go shopping in the supermarket, more than half of your products are wrapped in plastic, especially organic vegetables. Horrible!

I try to purchase a glass or organically made plastic products, which are not burdening the environment or buy vegetables and fruits without using a bag on the organic market, whereas bread is wrapped in paper.

Organic cosmetics are available in sustainable containers made from recycled materials. Containing plastic particles in our bodies and brains signifies that we urgently need to stop plastics, especially regarding our children and grandchildren’s future.

In Germany, people doing the grocery are allowed to leave plastic wraps and bags in the supermarket. It is a great idea to force the supermarkets to rethink their strategy, using fewer plastics for their products.

If more people leave the plastics in the shops, they are forced to pay the price for the daily flood of plastics, not the client. Let us be fully aware of our shopping pollution, avoiding every plastic bag and wraps. There are other ways of shopping, like in former times, maybe using glass or sustainable containers for our groceries.

It is a change we all need to get used to, and we will. Maybe you have some tips and ideas on how we can avoid using plastics. Let us know! 🙂 Together, we will have an impact, possibly leading to a cleaner environment.

Refurbished Electrical Devices- Do You Know?

I already have purchased the second refurbished iPhone, a washing machine, a sewing machine, and television, and I am more than happy because they all work fine. Of course, I could have bought a new product, but why should I do that, knowing that refurbished second-hand devices are perfect ones. They are all quality products for little money. Our furniture is antique; we favor antiques over two centuries old, which were still made from high-quality materials, mainly wood.

an antique cupboardI will recommend to everyone buying refurbished devices, in this manner, we can contribute to less waste production. There are companies here in the Netherlands where you can buy nearly all electrical devices refurbished.

I have no idea how the situation is in other countries, but companies will adapt to recycling and refurbishing articles, even sofas and chairs, if there is enough demand. You can purchase everything recycled and renewed.

There is such a flood of products in second-hand shops; people throw very much away that is not even used. Why should we pay a lot of money if these products are still new and don’t cost much?

The demand creates the market! 

Final Thought

We all can do so much for the planet by being content with our possessions and trying not to be greedy, enjoying instead of consuming. If we refocus on enjoying our lives, we will discover that there is not much necessary to be happy, especially not consuming materials.  A good point is buying quality that sustains for years instead of quantity wasted within some months.

In this manner, we can control the production and waste of products globally, including the avoidance of plastics in supermarkets or other shops. By leaving plastic bags and wraps in the supermarket, we force them and the industry to rethink their environmental pollution and waste. In the end, it is the consuming client who makes the choices and leads the industry in the right way. Sustainability is the new trend, urgently needed, to save the planet, and finally us.

Please let me know how you cope with all the plastic and waste? Do you buy many products only to collect them in your house, or are you thinking about sustainability and buying organic or refurbished renewed products? Let us know by commenting in the comment section below!

All The Best,



  • Deborah L Hannaford

    Hi Sylvie, great article.
    We are also trying to minimize our environmental footprint.

    I grow many of our own vegetables and fruits but I admit I do use the tractor to till the soil, it is a fairly large garden and I just don’t have the time to do it by hand. Machines do have their uses when used responsibly. When I must buy fruits or vegetables I buy local organic as much as possible.

    We also love to travel and nature has managed to force us all to stop travelling so she can heal a bit. Last summer we spent 5 days on our 26′ sailboat and had a great time. To me, there is no better sound than that of the sails filling with wind and the water lapping the boat as we gain speed cutting through the water at 3-4 knots. Knowing that we are using nature’s power to propel us to our next destination is a wonderful feeling. Have you ever tried sailing? If not maybe try renting a boat and getting out even for a day sail you would absolutely love it and it opens up a new way to travel.

    We also use natures’ power at home. We have evacuated tubes on our roof that heat our domestic hot water and in-floor heat during the winter. We also have photo-voltaic panels on the garage and a battery bank that supplies some of our home power. While not enough to be completely off-grid it does reduce how much power we need to buy.

    The one thing our family can’t get away from completely is the need for some pharmaceuticals. We have a type 1 diabetic grandson so require insulin and all the supplies that go with being a type 1. Type 1 differs from type 2 in that it is NOT lifestyle caused. While a healthy diet and regular exercise are effective at helping control blood sugars, type 1 will always require insulin as they no longer produce it themselves. Without it their cells can’t get the nutrients from their food and they would die within a month.

    We have also furnished our home with antiques, I just love them. We recycle and I do compost and use that in the garden.

    Like you, I am bothered by the number of plastics our food is packaged in. I have actually refused to buy certain products because of their packaging.

    I know there is so much more I could do and that is why I love articles such as yours. As I learn more, I can incorporate more sustainable choices into our lives.

    Thank you so much for this article, I now have my mind racing thinking of more ways we can reduce our impact on the earth.

    • Sylvie

      Thank you so much for your comment, Deb!
      I love to read that you are already busy living a sustainable life. I don’t know where you live, but I presume in the States or Canada, where people still have a huge garden which makes me feel jealous.;)
      Here in the Netherlands, most people have a small garden, but there are enough possibilities to grow our own vegetables even then. There is also a possibility to rent a vegetable garden where you can produce your own vegetables and fruits. I tried it several years ago, but the Netherlands is quite wet, so I had an army of snails, eating my cabbage and other vegetables. I need to study how I can prevent snails in my garden. I know that hedgehogs love them, but only the ones with a house. 😉
      You know, your grandson needs his medication, and I am not against medication, but against the overuse of them. Most people need to change their lifestyle; they wouldn’t be so sick, having diseases. I know this because of more than 40 years of experience as a nurse. The preventive use of antibiotics is a crime. If someone needs them, it could be that it is not helping due to resistance. We need a real change in our thinking.
      Deb, I love the idea of sailing. I have never tried it; even I come from the sea, born and raised. Here in the Netherlands, we have so much water, and I think it is a great idea. I will try it! We could even take the train to Portugal and sail from there with a group of experienced people. It is all to be organized. Thank you very much, Deb! Great comment!

  • Matt

    Hi Sylvie,

    It’s true that we can start a new life by using a reusable shopping bags to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, cherishing things we have already instead of be greedy for more stuff, and using refurbished products than new ones.

    Those can be done if we are willing to face the cold hard truth that our planet is dying and we need to review again for our previous wasting lifestyle. I changed my shopping habits three years ago because I need to move out from my old apartment to a new place. It’s the time I realized how many stuff I didn’t use and waste, so I started living a simple & non-wasting lifestyle since then.

    I have curated a few ways to achieve it, and I want to share with you. I hope it helps too.

    -Using shopping bags
    -Renting instead of buying
    -Buying 2nd-hand or refurbished stuff instead of new products
    -Moving into a smaller place(This helps a lot)


    • Sylvie

      Hi Matt, Thank you very much for your comment! You are very right, and I am very thankful for your thoughtful advice. Yes, I think renting is really better than buying, we can even rent tools. It is not necessary to buy everything. And the secondhand shops have so much beautiful and great stuff, like furniture, clothing and lots of other items. I love to have a look around. Your advice about moving to a smaller place is great! I love the tiny house movement. Did you read my blog about tiny houses? I leave you the link, it is a really great trend, and in countries which are overcrowded like the Netherlands it is beautiful to have less house, but more garden. You do it already fantastic!
      Have a beautiful coming week!:)

  • Henk van Dijkhuizen

    Hi Sylvie,
    I think this is a great site and article. You have put your whole heart into your website, trying to improve our environment and planet. Unbelievable noble! I wish there would be more people like you, informing others about the possibilities of living sustainable. I learned a lot reading your article and I am very happy to have found your website, especially because I have searched something different. I will share your site with others. Thank you very much!
    Cheers, Henk

    • Sylvie

      Hi Henk, I am happy you find my site informative. Please share the word! We need to reach lots of people, to inform them of sustainability.
      Thank you very much!:)

  • Haley

    Hi Sylvie,

    You point out a lot of great ideas of what we could be doing to save our Earth. I try to do as much on my part as I can. I live in a city in the US where there is a good amount of litter. I try to pick up some days and as more people are getting vaccinated and are becoming comfortable being in groups, I’d love to form a community group to pick up together one day a week or every other week.

    I don’t often shop in thrift shops only because I’m a curvy girl and it’s hard to find clothes that fit me that also fit my style. But, my girlfriend and I are first time home buyers and are moving into our new home next month and thrift shopping/vintage shopping is something we are both very interested in!

    We are also so excited to grow produce in our backyard and hopefully make friends with the neighbors to be able to share with them as well!

    Something I’ll have to read up on is how to help the insects even though some make my skin crawl haha! But I love the idea of a fairy garden and I’m going to check out your post.

    • Sylvie

      Hi Haley, Thank you so much for your comment!
      Congratulations on your new house! This is a beautiful beginning with an own vegetable garden. You will love it! But first, find out what kind of soil you have; maybe you need to adjust the soil for better produce.
      I love the idea of forming a community group picking up the litter together. In this manner, you do something for the environment, but you also make friends. A great idea!
      I don’t know in the States about the population of insects, but here in the Netherlands, it is a worrying situation. I don’t see many bumblebees and butterflies anymore, and of course, it depends on the area where we live. They have killed so many insects with pesticides and herbicides that are not good. But I am glad that there are always people who follow a sustainable lifestyle and do a lot for the animals and insects.
      I understand that the idea of insects can crawl your skin, especially mosquitos. Haha. I don’t like them too!
      Please check out my post about the fairy garden; it is beautiful! 🙂

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