Yay! I am so excited that you’ve found your way to this post and are thinking about changing your lifestyle to be more Eco friendly. Hopefully this post can help you get started on your journey! Below I have some steps for you to consider when getting started with an Eco friendly lifestyle.
Here’s a little background on me – my husband and I have been trying to be more eco conscious for a while now. We’ve incrementally put changes in our lifestyle to be more eco friendly, such as using reusable produce bags and buying in bulk, among others. While we are not like the star zero wasters who only produce 1 mason jar of trash a year (yet), we have definitely cut back substantially.
The first step when switching to a more eco friendly lifestyle is to identify why you want to be more eco friendly. Is it the plastics floating around in the ocean, maybe climate change, your personal health, or energy conservation? Is it all of the above? Maybe other reasons? For example, we are focused on reducing our overall, not just plastic, waste and only using natural and ethical, cruelty free products. We are also focused on composting our organic materials. Related to all this we have some grand plans for gardening and solar panels, but you know how it is with time and money. It’s a journey, right?
Identifying your motivation will go a long way to helping you sustain this lifestyle. If you are jumping on the zero waste band wagon just because it is getting buzz, this is not sustainable behavior for you. Find your motivation – why do you want this? Why does it matter to you? Your motivations can change as you learn more but always having a clear picture will help you meet your goals.
Get connected with resources. Find information that will help you on your journey. Find blogs like this one that can help you reach your goals. Also, be informed about your motivations. If it is plastic waste that is motivating you, research it. It will help you make more responsible choices in the future that may eventually satisfy your thirst for change.
The third step is to take stock of what you have and what you are working with. I have seen so many blog posts about zero waste bathrooms, many featuring a beautiful wooden hair brush with natural fiber bristles. As much as I would like to have a brush like that I already have one. I have had it since high school and it works perfectly fine. I take care of it, and I’ll keep using it. If I throw it out to get a wooden one instead I would just be contributing to plastic waste.
Being eco friendly doesn’t mean that you have to throw out everything you own. Just be intentional about the things that you bring into your home from now on. Replace things once they wear out with more eco friendly versions. For example, I switched to bar shampoo several months ago. But I used up all the liquid shampoo I had left before using the bars, therefore not creating unnecessary waste.
The final step is to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. When making a lifestyle change such as this, it takes time. They say it takes 21 days for a habit to become second nature. The same goes with changing to eco friendly consumer habits. I am constantly learning about new products, clothing lines, new DIY projects and methods – it’s a journey. Set some goals that you would like to work on and keep making progress towards them. Every little bit helps so keep at it!
I wish you luck on your journey and am extremely happy that you are considering changing your lifestyle for the sake of your health and the health of our environment. Let me know if you have any questions or interesting lifestyle changes that you’ve come up with in the comments below!
Check out my tips for Zero Waste Shopping in a Small Town.