Step-By-Step Sustainability Series: #1 An Intro to Sustainable Living and Taking Your First Step

Are you all the more often hearing that you should be moving towards a “sustainable lifestyle”?

It’s true, the need for people to make changes in their lives is getting stronger every day that we continue to neglect our planet.

No one can be blamed for not considering sustainability sooner. Not when for so long our lives were unconcerned with the seemingly small impact we were having on the planet.

However, now things have changed. The science is undeniable. We are having a hugely adverse effect on our planet’s health and its wildlife.

We all need to make changes.

Whether that’s driving less, eating food with fewer food miles or opting for a plant-based diet. Any change is progress and the more people who make small changes, the greater the overall impact will be.

Chances are, if you are reading this article, you already know this and you’re interested in progressing or even just getting started on your sustainable journey.

For those of you who are just getting going let’s begin with a definition of what sustainable living is.

Sustainable Living Definition

“Sustainable Living” is a practical way of living which aims to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

This typically reduces the use of the earth’s natural resources and lessens our impact on the environment as individuals.

Our Step-By-Step Sustainability Series

We know that moving to a fully “sustainable lifestyle” is an enormous ask of anyone.

It may even be impossible in the present-day world. However, this doesn’t mean we should give up or not try at all.

Almost all aspects of our lives can be tweaked to be more sustainable.

The trick is to not strive for perfect sustainable living (or “eco-perfectionism”), then, suddenly, the move seems less overwhelming as you’re attempting to deal with less change all at once.

This is why we’ve created this ‘Step-by-step Sustainability’ series, to guide you on your journey to sustainable living and help you stay motivated along the way.

In this series we’ll break down your transition to a sustainable life into easy to manage, bitesize steps which you can feasibly take without having to upend your entire life (or break the bank in doing so!)

You can decide to put these tips and swaps into action whenever you like; once a day, once a week, even just when we release each article.

It’s all completely up to you.

Just remember, it’s not about making a 360 degree change overnight, it’s about ensuring your transition to sustainable living is sustainable in itself.

Making too many changes early on can be overwhelming and leads many people to give up in the early stages of their mission.

This is why nurturing your journey to sustainability is so vital for staying motivated, enabling you to love every step of the way.

One great way to achieve this is by focusing on making small, lasting changes to your life so that, overtime, the sum of your efforts has a significant impact.

Breaking Down Sustainable Living

For most of us we do the majority of our living at home. Thus, the home is one of the most logical places to start when it comes to trying to live a greener lifestyle.

“You want me to start by making my whole house sustainable?”

God, no!

We’re breaking it down further for you.

In this series we’ll be looking at how to make your home green by working through each room of the house. And even then, we’ll only ask you to make small changes at a time.

There are changes you can make in almost any part of the home, whether that’s the bathroom, utility room, living room, bedroom, kitchen or garden.

We’ll work through them all together and take it slow.

Taking Your First Step

Today is all about acting.

It’s not about learning of every step you need to take, it’s just about taking a step.

All the details for every aspect of your transition to sustainable living will follow in upcoming posts.

So, don’t fret.

For now, check out one of these posts for a few options for your first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle:

10 Ways To Go Green On A Low Budge

15 Tips For Reducing Your Everyday Energy Consumption

Easy At-Home Eco Swaps from Eco-conscious Creators

Take just one step, and see how it goes! You might be surprised by how it makes you feel.

Final Tips to Help You on Your Way

Now you’ve chosen the swap or action you’ll be taking next, we thought we’d finish up by providing a few bulleted tips for ensuring you stay on track and love every step of the way.

#1 Keep Motivations in Mind

Before taking on anything new, whether it’s for your mental or physical health, for your career or for the wellbeing of our eco-systems and climate, it’s vitally important to continually remind yourself of the reasons why you’re doing it.

Your reasoning is what drove you towards these changes in the first place and by keeping this in mind you’ll stay motivated and ultimately have a better chance of progressing towards your goal.

#2 Conscious Information Consumption

Numerous psychological studies will tell you this is because of how our brains are wired. They take fragmented information and piece them together like a jigsaw to create a more congruent and understandable picture of what’s before you.

Therefore, if you spend all day long reading articles which tell you how we’re all doomed then you’ll eventually start to believe it. Conversely if you spend all day reading about all the solutions and progress we’re making then you’ll be more likely to believe we stand a chance of overcoming this hurdle.

An incredibly useful tactic for overcoming these cognitive biases is to make sure you balance out the good and bad news you consume by not only clicking on negatively titled content.

#3 Starting Small

As with anything new, how you act in the early stages of your journey will play a huge role in deciding whether or not you achieve your goals. Piling on too much pressure or overloading your goals too soon is a sure-fire way of getting demotivated.

Thus, it’s hugely important you pay close attention to motivation early on in your journey. 

One great way to start small is to breakdown larger tasks into bitesize chunks to make the overall effort seem smaller.

(Literally the whole of this series is based around this single tactic!)

To learn more about our motivation pathways and the best practices for achieving your goals check out this post.

#4 Be Mindful

Being mindful of the impact your habit and lifestyle changes are having after you’ve done them is so important for reminding yourself why you’re doing what you are and the positive results it’s having.  

Close

We hope you found this post useful as an introduction to sustainable living, and that it has inspired you to take your first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

We’d love to know, what was your first sustainable swap and how did it make you feel?

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