The Beginner's Guide To Making Earth-Friendly Change

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Are you interested in living a more earth-friendly lifestyle?

There’s lots of talk lately about the environment, ecosystems, and how humans contribute to the overall health of the planet. As we find micro-plastics in more places, climate change forecasts are increasingly bleak, and many forms of life on our planet suffer, interest in living a “green” lifestyle has grown.

Making change can be overwhelming

If making a lifestyle change is easy for you, I applaud you. When I first started looking for an alternative to kitchen sponges, I was so overwhelmed by the options, the cost, the impact each option has on the environment, and trying to figure out how to actually use something other than a sponge, that it took me three years to actually stop using sponges.

Three years. Ridiculous, right?

I doubt you suffer from such excessive decision paralysis, but just in case figuring out how to sort through it all is difficult for you too, here’s three ways to help you start making eco-positive changes today.

1. One thing at a time

Look around. What’s the thing that comes to mind most often when you think about making an environmentally-friendly change in your life? It could be something small, like lowering the thermostat by one degree. It could be huge, like selling off your car and deciding to use public transportation from now on. Maybe it’s even bigger. Or maybe it’s simply reminding the kids to turn the lights off when they leave a room.

All of that is good. Any of those places are a perfect starting point. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, because forward motion is what we’re going for here. So pick one thing to do. Maybe you aren’t ready to invest in solar panels right now, but you can start start walking the kids five blocks to school. Awesome!

2. Make it easy

We gravitate toward easy, right? So set yourself up for success by making this as easy to do as possible. Maybe you need to get some reusable bags for shopping the bulk bin section of your favorite grocery store (like these), if you’re wanting to minimize the amount of single-use plastic coming through your door. Or, if you want to eat more plants and less animal products, set aside time each week to make several servings of salad, or wash and cut up vegetables to make them easy to eat on the go.

3. Involve your family members

It’s likely other people will be impacted by your new way of doing things. Ideally, they’ll be excited about the change and cooperate. If there’s resistance, communication can go a long way. Identify their objections and provide them with an acceptable solution, and you may be able to win them over.

For example: your teenager thinks dishcloths are gross and full of germs, and doesn’t want to give up kitchen sponges. So you explain how easy to launder they are, and as a result, much less germ-infested than a sponge. Try asking them for help in finding ways to make switching from sponges to dishcloths easier for everyone.

Need inspiration?

Don’t know where to start? Here’s some questions to get you thinking:

  • Check your garbage bin. What lands there unnecessarily? Recyclable items? Uneaten food? Packaging from items ordered online, when you could’ve purchased those things locally?

  • Get out of the car. Where can you walk/bike/use public transportation to get to instead of driving? Could you carpool? Can you find other ways to minimize your time behind the wheel?

  • Watch the water. How can you lessen the amount of water your family uses? Do you take long showers? Leave the faucet on when you’re brushing your teeth? Do you let the water run while you wash dishes?

  • Consume less. I’m not just talking about what you eat. What could you cut back on and still meet all of your needs? Maybe skip the disposable cup at the coffee drive-thru and bring your own? Or shop for gently used clothes instead of buying new? Take a look at what and how much you buy and do a little trimming.

  • Go outside. I often get my best ideas when I’m outdoors, and falling in love with nature is likely to foster a desire to protect it. So grab the kids and get out there. See what ideas you come up with as a family. Maybe you’ll find yard work, when done together, doesn’t require as many herbicides and pesticides as you once thought. Perhaps your science-minded kid would love to start composting. Or, before you head out on a walk, grab something to put trash in so you can collect any garbage you see along your route.

Still stuck for ideas? Email me and we’ll find somewhere for you to start!

What have you decided to do?

I’d love to hear what eco-positive change you’ve decided to make, so send me an email and let me know!

Kitchen Sponge Alternatives: The Dishcloth