Going green. Such a simple concept, yet so difficult to master. And why so? The answer is that humanity has grown complacent in a fixed mindset that small changes on their behalf won’t repair a big problem caused by billions of other people. It’s a feeling of defeat.
But, believing that one person can’t spark a big movement toward positive change is the reason that our fragile environment has become a breeding ground for global-scale crises such as pollution, collapse in ecosystems, species endangerment and global warming.
And for our environment to heal and undergo rehabilitation, fundamental change needs to take place—and that starts with a shift in consciousness. It can begin with one person. It can begin with you.
To go green requires a reorientation of the mindset and modification of lifestyle—being eco-conscious takes effort and daily practice. We must keep reminding ourselves that we are part of something greater. We must constantly remember that we share this planet with other living creatures and that our children will one day inherit our problems if we do not cease today’s environmental vandalism.
SHIFT IN MINDSET
A mindset is a filtered view of the world that’s delicately influenced through a set of experiences. Everyone you’ve encountered, everything you’ve been taught, and everything you’ve seen, has had a part in shaping your mindset.
And although you’ve been “locked” into your current mindset for quite some time, it is possible to modify it. Many people are resistant to change because they fear it, so instead of making of a change, simply look at it as making a modification in thinking.
Simply realizing that you are a part of something greater is the first step in shifting your mindset. Acknowledging that you are a steward of the earth will help you embrace the concept of sustainability and motivate you to make wiser decisions—paving the way to a more sustainable future for you, your family and the environment.
SHIFT IN LIFESTYLE
Lifestyle is defined as a way of living—and it is greatly influenced by the culture that’s shaped us since birth. And often times, our culture fuels the complacency that makes it so difficult to alter a routine. However, once you master a shift in mindset, it becomes easier to incorporate small, but significant changes in lifestyle choices.
Begin by assessing your current lifestyle. Think about what you do each day that might negatively impact the environment. And also think about the good choices that you’ve made and how you can make them more often.
Begin inside the home. The kitchen and bathroom in particular are two living spaces that acquire the most waste. Assess all of the tangible items and determine which ones will forever exist in landfills. What plastic items do you purchase that can easily be swapped out with eco-friendly alternatives? Do you strive to save water and energy on a daily basis? Do you recycle?
Likewise, think about your experience outside of your home. What choices do you make in regards to travel? When you shop, do you take your own reusable bags and make purchase decisions based on need rather than want? Are you brand conscious and boycott environmentally abusive brands? Do you bring a reusable water bottle with you on hikes rather than single use plastic?
These are all great questions to ask yourself.
Once you acknowledge and identity areas of weakness, you can take small baby steps and implement gradual changes—both inside and outside of the home. And luckily, we live in an era where we have accessibility to a large selection of eco-friendly, sustainable, and zero-waste products.
Take a toothbrush, for example. For years, society has become accustomed to buying plastic toothbrushes—which have to be replaced at least every three months. About a billion people use toothbrushes—let that sink in.
Fortunatly, we have the option of swapping plastic for bamboo and other eco-friendly material. In fact, there are a handful of green companies that produce toothbrushes and other everyday products out of material like bamboo, and that’s a good thing—bamboo is durable, sustainable and biodegradable.
Make these kind of swaps all throughout your home, and you’ll make a significant impact on the environment in a positive way.
We have only one earth, and it’s populated with a plethora of living entities that rely on it. If we neglect it, ecosystems will continue to disintegrate, more species will become endangered, and our quality of life will dwindle. Become a good steward and help preserve our home—our children deserve it.
“When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
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