To me, a greener lifestyle is not a trend or an aesthetic. It means limiting one’s negative impact on the planet, protecting natural resources and environments, and always being up for learning and growth. The best thing? It doesn’t have to be difficult as there are so many ways to do this.
Limiting fuel consumption by walking or cycling (or public transport), reducing your energy usage by switching light bulbs and making sure everything is switched off when not in use, eating less meat or going vegan, ditching single use plastics, shortening showers – the options are endless! The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to take them all on at once, and you don’t even necessarily have to do them all. Every change helps, and by taking on one new task at a time you can make a world of difference.
But how do you actually set goals for a sustainable lifestyle? How do you choose what to tackle, and how can you make sure it sticks and isn’t just a short lived effort? Don’t worry, today I’m sharing my top tips so you can get started on your greener living journey!
1. Goal Setting
Before you can achieve your goal you have to set it. The first step is actually deciding what is important to you. Ask yourself what you are most passionate about, and go from there!
Are you fired up about animal cruelty? Start by switching your purchasing decisions, buying only cruelty free brands or perhaps changing up your diet.
Does the thought of plastic pollution damaging ecosystems and making its way into the air upset you? Begin to reduce your reliance on plastic packaging and textiles.
Worried about the toxic burden of everyday items? Focus on your health by reducing the amount of synthetic chemicals in beauty, personal care, cleaning, and fashion products.
By targeting one thing at a time you keep things manageable and maintain the passion behind your decisions, and you can use your emotions to drive success!
2. Take It Slow
Want to embrace green living? The best thing you can do is to slow down! This means that you don’t just throw away all those plastic containers you have sitting in the cupboards for new bamboo ones or toss fast fashion pieces to pick out organic fabrics. Not only is this counterintuitive as it contributes to the waste problem, the costs really add up!
It’s important to remember that living sustainably doesn’t need to happen overnight, and in fact I find it helps to take it slow when starting out. My advice is to set a goal and work on that one issue until it feels like a new normal.
Choosing one goal at a time is the best way to make sure your sustainable swap sticks, as you can then take the time to make it a solid habit before working on anything new. You want to feel comfortable with the changes you are making and have them become lifelong habits, so transitioning slowly is actually really beneficial in the long run!
Phase out your old routine, repurpose or upcycle one piece, swap in ethical products as you finish the old ones, show support to small eco-conscious businesses instead of massive corporations – whatever your aim is, take time to really embrace it and to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. By transitioning at a slower pace, you have time to let your goal become a lifelong change rather than a short term fad. Plus, taking it one step at a time really helps your wallet when incorporating planet friendly staples.
Just remember to start small so you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed, and the rest will fall into place!
3. Follow Up To Follow Through
If and when it does come time to buy just do some quick checks based on your personal guidelines. This way, you can rest assured that what you are picking out actually fits in with your sustainable goal!
For example, if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint you can search for pre-loved products locally, or if you are going cruelty free you can check the brand’s website to see if they have an accredited certification or specific information regarding their policies. A simple search will reveal a lot, and it will help you stay on track.
Other things to consider when purchasing new items is if it is available secondhand, where the product is made, where it is shipping from, what worker protections are in place, and where the raw materials are sourced. You can always pop the business a message with your questions, and if the response is vague or ignores your concerns then consider this a red flag. Time to ditch the greenwashing jargon and embrace the truly incredible sustainable brands out there!
Of course there are loads of guides and resources online to help make sustainable shopping as easy as possible, and there are so many people willing to offer advice so don’t be afraid to ask. And remember, it isn’t a matter of who is ‘greenest’ – just do your best and keep at it.
I challenge everyone to make one change this month, and see how it goes – let me know what that goal is, and we can help hold one another accountable for the eco-friendly habits we are trying to make. Best of luck!
Founder of The ecoLogical, Bryanna is a teacher, writer, and advocate for greener living. Her journey began after discovering the impact of PPCPs on the environment and human health. She decided to minimize her personal impact and use her knowledge and experience to inspire others to do the same.
Bryanna is finishing her PhD while also creating weekly content for her blog, working as a content editor, and freelancing for ethical business. She strives to help others achieve positive change through her detailed reviews, guides, DIY ideas, and outreach. Her belief in a holistic approach to sustainability ensures a wide range of topics are represented on The ecoLogical including eco staples, plastic free alternatives, ethical beauty, natural wellbeing, and more.
For more posts from our green living series check out: