Human beings are creatures of habit. Every one of those habits is something we have learnt from someone or somewhere. Living in an eco-friendly way doesn’t have to mean sacrificing anything in your day-to-day life, or mean running into the nearest forest in your birthday suit to embrace a tree. It’s simply about changing our habits. Nothing in this book is radical; it should all be easy enough. But, coming from someone who has had a penchant for cigarettes for more than half of their life, I know that habits are not always so easy to break. Even so, the first step is actually pretty simple, all we have to do is try….
Sustainable living* or anything associated with an organic lifestyle tends to be labelled as elitist. In this sense, having the financial security to make purchases on non-essential items does put us within the richest 6% on the planet. However, that doesn’t mean we necessarily have huge amounts of disposable income.
A trip to your local organic store to browse the insanely expensive vegetables or the fancy lotions and potions in the skincare section might leave you weak at the knees -- even on the verge of a minor heart attack. The reality that most of us exist in day-to-day -- yours, mine, and the working-class’ -- is that we are chalking off the days until the next payday. And when you’re shopping on a shoestring, the last thing on your mind is whether or not your groceries are zero waste, or which country your socks were made in. That’s what it’s like for me anyway, and I know I’m not alone.
But every time we use something once and throw it away, we’re essentially throwing away our own money. Every time we make a repeat purchase on a product or buy something we don’t actually need, the company we purchased from is laughing all the way to the bank with our hard-earned cash.
What if we could change that?
These are some of the ways I do things. I’m not rich, and as much as I aspire to, I can’t fit my yearly waste into a jar. Sometimes I’m dairy-free for environmental reasons, but occasionally I devour a cheeseboard. Generally, I cycle everywhere, but sometimes I take an uber.
Being eco-friendly isn’t about being perfect. It’s about making small changes to your lifestyle -- changes so small that you’ll barely even notice.
But if we all adopt these small changes...
...well, we might just be onto something.
*Sustainable living: to live in a way that interacts positively with nature, while also avoiding the depletion of our natural resources.