When you start to learn about what is happening to our planet and the species we share it with, it can be more than a little overwhelming. This can lead to the ostrich effect, where you enter a state of denial and stick your head in the sand, choosing to remain in blissful ignorance or being paralysed into inaction. In reality, we all need to get involved in positive action, as climate change affects every single one of us. We will all feel the impacts of it and therefore we all need to come together to work to resolve it. So, if you’re feeling a little lost as to what you can do, here’s a beginners guide to being more eco-friendly!
It is essential that you expose yourself to information which educates you on what is happening and the reality of our situation. Let’s be honest, it is a pretty huge calamity which will directly affect us, our children and our grandchildren – and we are the ones with the power to stop climate change in its tracks.
We are currently heading towards environmental catastrophe within the next 30-50 years, and the UK parliament actually just became the first to declare a climate emergency. By continually reading and learning about climate change it will raise your consciousness of the impacts of your lifestyle. It will make you aware that every action we take has a consequence and everything we purchase uses resources in its production. This allows you to become a more conscious consumer and develop deeper motivation to work towards positive action.
Don’t be afraid of being afraid, embrace the fear and use it as motivation.
2. Take Individual Action
This is the stuff you hear about a lot online – taking action to support the planet such as “sustainable swaps” and “eco-friendly switches”. We all need to take these daily actions as every little thing we do adds up and either contributes to supporting positive change or continuing on our current (rather disastrous) trajectory.
I have many articles and videos explaining ways you can take individual action – but here’s some basics:
Switch to a renewable energy supplier. Eat a plant-based diet. Use public transport. Wash your clothes on 30. Use less water. Invest in reusable products. Shop local. Support sustainable brands. Buy fewer clothes. Consume fewer products. Recycle like a boss. Use eco-friendly cleaning products. Have shorter showers. Waste less food. Compost. Pick up trash. Clean a beach. Plant wildflowers. Fix things, don’t throw them away.
3. Create A Ripple Effect
Creating a wider change is hugely important. Every single one of us has the power to influence so many others. For example, by taking your reusable coffee cup to work you could inspire those on your desk to get one too or by eating more plant-based meals your partner may develop a taste for tofu! Simply lead by example, making sustainable swaps with pride, and answer any questions from those around you who are intrigued. Share your swaps on social media, talk to your family about what you’re doing, ask your friends to get involved and discuss your learnings with your partner. You never know, just starting a conversation could lead to them making a significant lifestyle change.
4. Let’s Get Political
This is a biggie. Individual action is essential, it shows politicians we can and want to change. However, we also need to be a part of direct political action too. If policies change then that leads to larger scale positive impacts to support the planet – huge corporations who produce most of our waste and pollution have to make switches and become more responsible for their actions.
Getting involved politically can be as simple as signing a petition and sharing it on social media. Take it up a level by going to a protest or writing to your local MP. You can get involved in changes in your local area such as supporting campaigns to introduce composting bins (and if there isn’t a campaign … start one!). This political action also includes willingness to change, so if your local council suggest something which supports the planet but perhaps isn’t super pretty (such as wind turbines) or is a pain (having 5 different recycling bins) – support the change and embrace the inconvenience.
Every single one of us needs to take positive action, as time is rapidly running out. Please don’t be scared into inaction for fear of not being perfect, just start somewhere. In reality, we need billions of people doing something imperfectly, rather than 100 people living 100% perfect eco-friendly lives.
If you want to read more on all things sustainability, have a look at the articles within my resources pages. If you want to feel part of a tribe who encourage and support each other to make lifestyle changes, please join the Living Consciously Crew facebook page. This is a judgment-free safe-place where individuals share resources, ask questions and provide support.
Don’t be afraid to start small, what matters is that you start at all.