Why Absolutely Anybody Can Be Eco
Being more eco is really starting to catch on and the little eco-warrior inside of me is doing a very happy dance about this! But there are still so many more people who could be doing more yet don’t feel they can do due to the way in which being eco is sometimes portrayed. It’s not about being entirely zero waste, you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle, you don’t necessarily need to start growing your own veg and you definitely don’t have to start throwing out all the plastic toys you own. You don’t have to stop driving altogether, you don’t have to turn vegan and you certainly don’t need to live in a log cabin out in the woods!
And I feel I have to say all of this because I have come under scrutiny for almost every single one of these things. Apparently I’m not doing enough, I’m not being ‘perfectly’ eco but I have news for you… It. Does. Not. Matter!! Nobody is perfect anyway, nobody can live completely waste-free in this day and if you wanted to be 100% eco-friendly you would literally have to cut yourself off from the modern world, grow all your own food, never drive again, not use gas or electricity, live off your own land… You get the picture. So, in reality, this isn’t a possibility for the majority of us and there isn’t a huge need for this to happen. The key to being more eco is to simply live more in the moment, to not make as many purchases, not buy food that will go to waste, not overindulge, by reducing as and when you can (plastic, car use, heating, flying etc) and reusing what you already have. And this is precisely why absolutely anybody can be eco, whether that is just a tiny bit or a lot.
I do honestly believe that every single one of you is most probably already taking small steps to become more eco-friendly and even though you may not think they are much, as more and more people start to refuse that plastic bag, that bottled water, that steak dinner or tacky plastic toy from the machine, the change will grow. As one person you may feel insignificant in a massive worldwide problem but as a wider group we CAN make a change.
You don’t need to be an expert
I have listed all of the changes we have made as a family since 2018 in this roundup post here in case you wanted to get a few more ideas and just to give you a bit of reassurance, I started out without the faintest clue. We swapped from disposable nappies to reusable ones and it started a ripple effect. I suddenly started noticing how much plastic we had in our home, I began watching more documentaries on fast fashion, plastic waste, waste in general, climate change and the effect that meat has on our planet. I read articles, I started following eco/zero waste/ethical Instagram accounts and I learnt more and more… And I am still learning. I am no expert, the facts are constantly changing, new ways are always being documented, new research is coming to light every single day, so before anybody jumps on anybody else for not doing enough, what is enough exactly? When the goalposts change so often, what is enough? All you can do is YOUR enough.
Do what your lifestyle allows
Which leads me onto my next point. You can only do what your lifestyle allows. If you can’t get to work each day without your car, you can’t cut back on this. If you don’t have a garden, you can’t grow your own (unless you can afford an allotment). If you don’t have a refill shop nearby, you can’t look into this area of being more eco. Focus on what you CAN do. Start small, switch something like your liquid soap for a bar of soap then move onto the next item– perhaps a shampoo bar, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable wipes… It can be so, so simple. Once you start looking for areas to change they do suddenly begin jumping out at you and the move into the bigger changes, such as going vegetarian/vegan, not flying every year, volunteering with a local conservation group etc may begin to creep in.
It shouldn’t cost the earth
(pardon the pun) Being eco should not cost you a fortune. Yes, there are companies out there right now trying to cash in on this ‘fad’. But it isn’t and shouldn’t be a fad. It is a way of life, it is changing your lifestyle permanently in order to help the environment. The simplest of changes can actually make the biggest impact so forget about buying the fanciest cloths, wooden washing-up brushes, the eco surface cleaner, because you can do most of it yourself. Use old flannels for worktops, cut up old clothing for washing up cloths, make your own surface cleaner, in fact, look up what else you could make from what you already have around the house. Being eco on a budget IS possible and many, many people are doing it this way.
It doesn’t matter where you live
Hey, guys get this. I don’t live in the countryside, growing my own, baking bread from scratch or making homemade jams. Nope, I live in a large town, in a fairly new house, with a small garden (which was a compromise when buying). I am eco even though I live here. I am eco as much as my lifestyle will allow. So, even if you live in a block of flats in London, in a home without a garden, in a busy town, in a mobile home, by the sea or out in the countryside, it does not make a slight bit of difference because you just do what works in your situation. I promise that any of you can make swaps and lifestyle changes that will help you to be more eco-friendly. Those dreamy images on Instagram of eco accounts who spend their days in the woods opposite their home, foraging for food, cooking everything from scratch, who have an oldy worldy kitchen with a Belfast sink and AGA do not define how all eco people need to live. YOU decide how eco you can be, your home has no bearing on this.
I really, REALLY hope this post has helped to remove some of that eco stigma, some of that eco-anxiety we can all feel at times and has maybe made a few more of you begin to think about how you can make more positive changes in your life without feeling the pressure of having to ‘do it all’. As the saying goes, we don’t need one person doing it perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
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2 thoughts on “Why Absolutely Anybody Can Be Eco”
Yesssss! Absolutely love this. Starting with what you can (and want) to do is the beginning of such a fun and unpredictable experience of ethical living – like you say you just don’t know where these choices will take you. I had NO IDEA I’d end up vegan when I started to eat less meat! Brilliant post! xx
Love your article – If everyone did just a tiny little bit more, the earth would be in a much better state!
I myself have started using beeswax wraps and totally replaced clingfilm – got them from here if anybody is interested: https://beehivefoodwraps.com/products/beeswax-food-wrap-pack-of-3