“Climate change is the single biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it.” Bill McKibben
I’ve learnt a lot on my journey to becoming more environmentally aware/conscious… It started from a place of desperation- realising I wasn’t doing enough to help the planet and I wanted to change immediately. I think a lot of people can relate to this, so please let me know in the comments if this is something that sounds familiar to you?
However, 2 years in and some things have come to light which I wish I’d known before starting and I’m going to write them here to hopefully help others who are looking to make drastic changes in life to help both the environment and themselves.
1. Think POSITIVE
This is literally so important, I started off my journey from a place of depression & sadness. This mindset thing was not good, it sort of made me spiral into a black hole of realising there was so much more to be done and that I still wasn’t doing enough. Add that with all of the negative headlines we see in the news regarding “climate crisis” “environmental emergency” etc and you can actually end up feeling really quite helpless and depressed if you’re prone to those sorts of thoughts anyway. It’s taken a few years, a year of travelling and lots of motivational videos on YouTube etc for me to realise this is just not the right way to go about making a fundamental lifestyle change.
You need to go in with a positive mindset, of course there’s always more to be done, but even just starting out is amazing. That first tiny decision you make e.g. buying the organic version of something, choosing a plant based meal over a meat one or anything is SO important and you should be proud of yourself. Think positive and don’t let people tell you you aren’t doing enough, which leads me onto the next point.
2. Stay in your own lane
What I mean by this is that don’t take any notice of what others might say about you. Yes, look to others for inspiration and motivation but remember you’re not where they are on their journey, and they’re not where you are. When I first started out I was constantly comparing myself to others and this just isn’t the way to go about things. Stay on your on path, and whenever you feel yourself drifting away remember why you started in the first place (see point 3 for an expansion on that).
I made the above YouTube video on this recently (5 Affordable Ways to be Eco-Friendly) – I feel like it can be overwhelming with all of the information out there on how we can reduce our environmental impact. That’s why I made the video, to show that even the smallest things we do can help. Here are the tips in written format:
1. Opt for an eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush
Use a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. My personal favourite brand is the Humble Co. They are a Scandanavian based company and all of their products are eco-friendly and mostly recyclable. The bristles on this toothbrush are made of natural products and the whole bamboo part biodegrades quickly plus it isn’t harmful to the environment. You can get them in loads of different colours so I would really recommend getting one!
2. Take less than 5 minute showers!
Spend less time in the shower in the morning! I aim for 5 minutes or less. I know in the winter this can be challenging but just think of the people who don’t even get to have daily showers/or don’t have access to clean or hot water! It’s a privilege and we should use it wisely.
3. Shop in thrift shops (avoid fast fashion)
Buy your clothes from thrift or charity shops when possible! You can find some great bargains there. I know it’s nice to buy new things every so often, or for things like gym clothes where you wouldn’t really want to be wearing someone’s old stuff. But just have a look, you can find things which have hardly been worn and save an absolute fortune!
4. Reuse jars//plastic containers!
Keep jars and containers to reuse & fill up with things from the supermarket e.g. oats, nuts, muesli. I haven’t fully explored supermarkets in the UK since coming back but I know in Australia and New Zealand some of the supermarkets have areas where you can fill up your own containers. This means less waste for you to have to deal with and you’re really making an impact on the energy going into the recycling process of these products.
5. Buy bamboo cotton buds instead of plastic!
Buy bamboo cotton buds instead of plastic ones! Again the Humble Co. sell these. The middle part of a cotton bud is plastic and to think one of our cotton buds could outlive us is a scary thought. It’s a really easy swap to make but you’re making such a difference by doing so!
If you’re interested in other ways to be more eco-friendly or sustainable check out some of my other posts:
So there you go – 5 affordable ways to be eco-friendly, almost everyone I know can do this and even though it may require a bit of extra effort in the beginning soon these things will just be a habit! xxx