Eco Living Guide (Getting Started)
Try these three simple steps to get you started on your own mindful eco-living journey. These a simple tools to help you create meaningful lifestyle change that suits you and the environment.
This journey for me is very much still fresh and new. Luckily, I have amazing friends and family who have significantly reduced their own carbon footprint, and are very supportive of the small changes I'm making to my lifestyle for the betterment of the environment.
Here's how I got started:
1. Mindful Self-Reflection
To make this eco-living journey sustainable long term, I decided to hone in on my own habits. The simple question I asked myself was "What can I do to reduce the amount of waste I produce at home?"
I reflected on everyday habits that I did which contributed to my (individual carbon footprint), like:
How often did I opt to drive instead of walking around the block?
How often did I eat on the go or eat out?
How often did I take the time to appreciate nature, and plant a plant?
How often did I compost food scraps?
How often did I use or buy single use plastics?
Becoming aware of my own habits that have a negative impact on the environment, highlighted particular areas in my own lifestyle that I could change.
2. Choose One Challenge
A good friend of mine told me that this lifestyle change can all be very overwhelming, especially with the immense amount of plastic products available. The transition for some might be straight forward, but for many (like me) is very challenging.
Her recommendation? Pick one area to implement a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative.
If you live 10 minutes from your work, consider walking, cycling, ride your skate board or scooter.
Eating out often? Take your own tumbler instead of using the disposable cups, or pack your own container, travel cup, and cutlery for unfinished restaurant meals instead of using take away containers. Perhaps you can explore the cafes who offer discounts to customers who BYO coffee cups. Some offer from 20c - 50c off, while others offer a fixed price of $4.50 no matter what size.
My challenge to get started was reducing the number of rubbish our household was sending to landfill, which suited my family and lifestyle.
3. Evaluate, Celebrate and Move on
Evaluate your week or monthly performance by highlighting 3 wins and 3 areas for improvement. For example: I tracked my household's waste production for a month, but reduce our waste I started separating soft-plastics and recycled them (win #1), put our food scraps in a compost bin that we made ourselves (win #2), and bought a reusable cup and bottle (and actually used it) (win #3). For improvement? Take our own containers or tumblers, invest in better alternative to cling wrap, and making more vegetable and fruit snacks to reduce the need for plastic wrapped crackers.
Celebrate! A win is a win, no matter how big or small. If you must, post it on social media or treat yourself to that travel cup you've been wanting.
Move on to the next area or challenge. For me, I want to target our kitchen- particularly by investing in another set of reusable containers and utensils (cups, tumbler and eco-friendly straw) to keep in my bag for whenever we decide to eat out, changing our snack choices to fresh vegetables and fruits reducing the need for plastic packed snacks, and sort our pantry, by replacing our plastic packaged food with refillable container alternatives.
Have a think of these questions to start your Eco Mindful Lifestyle. It doesn't have to be a drastic change. Remember, a small change is better than none.