So you have decided to take the plunge and leap into changing your life to one that is better for the environment. Firstly, I applaud you for beginning to give a crap about our planet and all life. I am here to give my opinion on what it means to go green and why it is not as simple as buying a new sustainable wardrobe. Going green is fun and rewarding but at the same time, it takes time to get right. I also believe that understanding the importance of taking it slow can help with some eco-anxiety you might have. Here is my views on how to go green and the key is taking it slow.
What is going green?
Going green is understanding the impact your choices have on the planet and then making choices to maintain or improve the ecological balance to better the planet. Some might call it being eco-friendly, sustainable living or environmentally conscious but it is all essentially the betterment of our planet through the way we live. The primary goal is to mitigate any negative impact you have on the planet and the environment and if anything improve the biodiversity and revival of our nature. It is about making conscious decisions not just in regards to us but the entire impact of that decision, may it be an action, a purchase or a message.
Why do you need to take it slow?
Although it is great you are moving to a ”greener” life you will have to take it slow. This is mainly because like everything it takes time to learn and understand something new and this goes for changing your lifestyle. The more you will learn the better job you can do at transitioning to a green life. Unfortunately, it is often not as simple as dumping everything and buying everything a company labels sustainable or green. Unfortunately, this is because they might not be telling the truth or it does not meet truly “green” credentials. For example using recycled plastic in products is great but what happens to it at the end of its life? Can it be recycled again or will it end in landfill? It is important to understand it is not just a label but a whole mindset you need to change. The more you learn the more your perception will change and you will fully understand your impact and how to mitigate it.
Binning is bad:
Now, a huge part of being green is reducing your waste. The waste we create today lasts for hundreds of years, pollutes our space, harms total ecosystems and kills our wildlife and even pets. Therefore, when you first jump to a “Green” life the first thing you want to do is to stop contributing to toxic waste. Another reason you need to take it slow is because replacing everything and binning all your current “toxic” items is bad. There is an important phrase to remember “the most sustainable thing is the thing you already have”. This is not always the case when looking at items that consume power and have an ongoing impact but generally you should use your current items for as long as you can. Once they have degraded beyond their use you can then pick up the eco-friendly alternative. Rember binning or even recycling is a last resort and to first reduce what you use and what you waste.
Why I believe this will help?
This is not a post about eco-anxiety but I believe it is an important part of this post. I believe everything gets on top of you and the media portrayal with constant fear mongering may drive you crazy about being the most perfect eco-warrior you can be. Well it is not a race but it is about getting it right. Taking it slow is arguably better for the environment, it also allows you to learn more and make better decisions. It also doesn’t overwhelm you trying to change everything in your life at once but bit by bit at a steady pace. It is like some famous sayings; “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”, “While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things can be extraordinary.” or “most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambition.”. Start slow, take your time, learn and do it right.
Welcome to your sustainable journey that I hope is as fun and rewarding as it has been for me. Tracking my journey and pushing myself to a “greener” life is the reason I started this blog to support and advise people on their transition. I wanted to write this post to let people know it takes time and you need to take it slow, not only to make sure you do it right but also because I believe it benefits the environment. Remember learning anything is a process and takes time and the longer you keep at it the more you will know and can act upon it. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice when you are going green is to take it slow and not to worry about it. Good luck!