We, humans, are strange creatures. On one hand, we strive to be happy, while on the other, we persist in doing things that make us miserable. Sometimes, we do it out of convenience, out of pure laziness of thought; other times, we do it by hesitating to act – or even worse, through lack of conscience. The very core of our habits is based on our ready acceptance of quick solutions. More often than not, “quick” does not mean “good.” In Vonnegut’s words, our planet is “being destroyed by manufacturing processes, and what was being manufactured was lousy, by and large.” Not only are we continuously damaging our environment, but we’ve also come to rely on store-bought items too much, not paying nearly enough attention to what they are made of, and by whom.
Increase your awareness
When shopping for food, start looking at labels; learn to read them, so that you’re well-informed about the ingredients. In addition to high sodium levels and high-intensity sweeteners, many products contain harmful additives, some of which are possible or proven carcinogens.
Moreover, an alarming percentage of food packaging materials contain toxic chemicals – not surprisingly, the fast-food packaging is by far the worst. It doesn’t end here: there is a steady increase in the number of allergies worldwide, especially allergic asthma. This is largely due to an unhealthy diet based on processed food with no nutritional value.
Start eating smart
The solution is to go green: start transitioning to organic fruits and veggies, which contain fewer pesticides than their non-organic counterparts. They might be slightly more expensive, but they will provide you with more energy, make you feel better, and increase your lifespan.
If you’re limited in budget, try growing your own veggies, or buy seasonal produce and freeze them for later use. Consider shopping at your local farmer’s market rather than in stores – the selection might be better, and it won’t cost as much. To ensure a healthy, balanced diet and, at the same time, preserve the environment, limit your meat consumption by introducing meat-free days. If largely adopted, this practice would significantly reduce CO2 emissions and water usage, preserve land and prevent deforestation, among other things.
Return to nature
There is a common misconception that artificially-made materials are more durable and resilient than natural ones. In reality, the opposite is true: clothing made of natural fabric lasts longer, feels better, and doesn’t change properties with time.Synthetic fabric cannot compete in quality with natural materials such as cotton, linen, or bamboo. To top it off, it can present a serious health hazard and is extremely eco-unfriendly.
Rid your wardrobe of synthetic clothes and replace it with quality organic clothing; trade your plastic bags for cruelty-free vegan bags; embrace an eco-friendly hygiene routine and switch to reusable pads; buy organic leather shoes instead of fake replicas of famous brands – you will be much happier and healthier. With so many ethical, stylish, and creative fashion brands around, there is no reason to support companies that engage in bad practices and contribute to endangering the environment.
Be naturally beautiful
What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it. As with food, check the labels on cosmetic products for any harmful ingredients – some chemicals may cause irreparable damage to your health.
If you find organic cosmetics too pricey, try making some simpler beauty products at home by using natural ingredients you already have at hand – you don’t need to buy everything.
Say goodbye to plastic
The catchphrase “plastic fantastic” no longer rings true. Plastic pollution has a massive impact on our environment which is impossible to ignore. But you can contribute to solving that problem: for starters, refrain from buying drinks in plastic bottles; instead of wasting money on plastic bags, bring a canvas bag with you when shopping.
Most importantly, be serious about recycling: sort your waste and dispose of it properly.
Other practices you can adopt
One by one, try and implement eco-conscious habits in all spheres of your life. In short, start behaving responsibly. Stop wasting food, electricity, or water; always turn the tap or light off. Don’t take the car if you can go someplace by foot. Wash less dirty clothes by hand, then let it air-dry instead of putting it in a dryer. Also, don’t leave the A/C on for hours – it is as unhealthy as it is wasteful.
Choose the good life
Embracing an organic lifestyle has become more of a necessity than a choice. And it doesn’t have to be a money- and effort-consuming choice, if you go little by little. It is more important to be consistent and stick to your resolutions than to make big, sudden, and short-lived changes.
Start small but start acting now.