Whether considered a fad or a deeply rooted durable way of life, green living is trendy these days and as such, much discussed. Considered, even, by some. Yet, most people just stop there. What is the turn off? What hurdle(s) one must go past to engage on a green life journey?
The first step is to understand what you are dealing with, and if you are still interested after realizing that green living is much more than a passing eco chic fashion trend, chances are, huge mental blocks are next. And unfortunately, they are largely relayed so the only way in is to acknowledge, trust and accept the following 3 founding principles:
- No change is too small to be meaningful. Small steps do make a difference, and all actions do add up for an even bigger, longer-term positive impact. So do not second-guess yourself thinking one tiny change is not worth it. You will benefit from it, and from there, so will everybody else.
- It is easy to be green. Why? Because there is no code to follow, no requirements regarding quantity and type of actions, speed, order, or frequency. There are as many ways to green up a life as there are people. It is your life and you are free to alter it in your own way, on your own terms, and at your own pace, to create your own greenness. Don’t look for a code, just build yours, little by little, try a lot of things, see what works for you, adapt, adopt and keep going. And do share your ideas!
- It is not more expensive to live green. This enduring legend is mostly driven by the idea of organic food costing more than conventional food, yet this is simply not true: living off of prepared packaged meals and processed foods or regularly eating out (like the majority of the US population does) is not only financially more expensive than cooking simple dishes, but it will also add up to a short to mid-term hefty health price, driven by bad food habits. Coupons exist in the organic world and so do savvy shopping and tips to get things for less! A dedicated post will follow soon.
While we are at it and now that the most common mental barriers are down, let’s tackle the #1 action stopper: “How can I get started?” you may ask. There are 2 types of changes for you to pick from:
The intuitive changes. Like incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, replacing sodas with water, exercising, not wasting food (or anything else, for that matter), recycling, not buying what you don’t need, supporting small, local businesses whenever you can…. The list goes on… You know the better way to everything, but it is work to unlearn old habits. For these changes, the first step is all on you: You have the knowledge so you decide when and how to approach it. Either step by step, or cold turkey style. The good news is, you are ready to go now.
The changes requiring external guidance via education. There are things you could (possibly easily) alter, the problem is, you don’t know they are dangerous (to your health, or to the environment). Fortunately, a lot of resources are readily available to empower you to takeover and design your own path to a greener life. Find one or several sources you can relate to, make your own mix, and get in the habit to regularly read and learn from them. Social media make these sources easily available and information comes right to you. To name a few, Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman are two healthy eating expert journalists with lots of easy to read books, Robyn O’Brien became famous for her fight against High Fructose Corn Syrup and GMOs (dedicated posts coming soon on both topics) after dealing with major sudden allergies in her family, Beth Terry is the expert at living a plastic-free life… etc. And many sites, like La Vie En Green, strive to become your overall unique and convenient destination and source of green living inspiration, so you get everything you need from one sender!
Hopefully you now have the necessary tools to assess your appropriate next steps and actually start your green journey. Like, right now. Because it is that easy. All greenies learn daily, because in all fields, whether health, nutrition, or environment, new discoveries, research studies and other trusted bits of data bring new knowledge into light and make us refine what, how, where or when to do certain things.
Now be good to yourself and get on the green path, because today is always the best day to make a change and start something new!