While it’s difficult enough to live sustainably on your own, it’s even more difficult when folks around you don’t understand, judge, or simply dismiss your efforts to save the earth. Perhaps you still live at home and don’t go grocery shopping, or perhaps your pals give you strange glances when you use your reusable straw. When everyone around you doesn’t understand what you’re fighting for, it might feel incredibly lonely. While it might be difficult, it is not impossible. Below, we have listed some tips that will make you feel confident about what you are doing.
Drive less, drive green
Modifying your driving habits can help you cut your carbon impact significantly. Whenever possible, walk, cycle, carpool, or take public transportation. Combine errands to save time and money. Participate in or organize car-free days in your neighborhood. Regular tune-ups and tire inflations are also vital to keep your car in good shape. Tune-ups can improve your fuel mileage by 4% to 40%, and if every American kept their tires properly inflated, gas consumption would drop by 2% nationwide.
Maybe your family’s dislike for the subject stems from a lack of understanding. You can’t presume your family understands ethical fashion and ecological living just because you learned about them. Politely clarify why you’re so passionate about it, as well as some simple methods they may assist you or even start their adventure. The last thing you want to do is bring it up in a harsh tone and make them feel bad for not following your lead.
Green your home
Maintaining your home in shape increases your energy efficiency in the same way that keeping your car in shape improves your fuel efficiency. Make sure your home is well-insulated and has energy-efficient windows, and use a programmed thermostat for more effective heating and cooling–as well as energy-saving lightbulbs. Many states now provide low-or no-cost incentives to help you green your house or rental. Check with your energy provider to see whether they conduct free energy audits or if they know of someone who does.
Use your voice and vote
Getting politically engaged in your town and at the national level is one of the best things you can do for animals and the environment today and in the future. Candidates with a strong environmental platform should receive their vote. Demand that your lawmakers pass stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, conserve wildlife and public lands, and support reproductive health care access. Better education and access to family-planning services help children and wildlife thrive by reducing family size and our overall carbon footprint. Sign and share action alerts, attend events, and spread the word about endangered species protection and the need to address human population growth and overconsumption to your friends.
Find an online community
If you’re feeling lonely on your path to sustainability, it is recommended that you join an online group of like-minded people. There are Facebook groups dedicated to those who wish to live more sustainably and are learning how to do so. It’s critical to have like-minded folks you can chat to and get suggestions and ideas from if you want to keep going on this trip.
Think twice before shopping
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” may sound like a cliche, but it’s just as relevant today as it was when it was originally coined. From the materials needed to make it to the pollution generated during manufacture to the packaging that ends up in landfills, everything we buy has an environmental footprint. So, before you go out and buy something, consider whether you truly need it. If you do, look for gently used items rather than new ones, and look for minimum packaging and delivery.
Look after your electronic appliances
The Restart Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving our connection with electricity and gadgets. Regular cleaning, according to cofounder Janet Gunter, is the first step in extending the life of household appliances. “You can extend the life of your white goods, laptop, or smartphone by simply cleaning and maintaining them.” Restart organizes a statewide network of skill-sharing workshops and promotes a London-based list of commercial repair possibilities. “These appliances will be thrown away if we don’t have access to spare parts,” Gunter adds, “which has a big carbon impact.”
Purchase from thrift stores
One of the simplest ways to buy responsibly is to go vintage or secondhand, but while some aficionados may praise the advantages of rummaging through massive warehouses, this technique is not for everyone. There are, thankfully, alternatives. Smaller shops with a carefully picked collection may not have the same deals as a car boot sale, but they are less scary. Many have websites, such as Paper Dress Vintage or Cow.
Leave the bottled water at home. Although tap water is free and much city water has won quality and taste tests versus name-brand water, bottled water firms strive to discredit it. Furthermore, water extraction and the creation of all those plastic bottles are known to be damaging to people and wildlife. Water preservation is also vital, particularly as our nation’s population grows and we confront severe droughts. Shorter showers, fixing leaky toilets, and low-flow and low-water appliance options are all ways to save water. Contemplate xeriscaping your yard, a landscaping approach that uses native, drought-tolerant plants to provide habitat and food for birds and bees while requiring less water and upkeep over time.
When it comes to taking care of the world, you will not be exempt from stares, comments, and even outright condemnation from others. It can be difficult, especially when you feel alone and people make it sound as though you believe you’re better than them for saving the environment. You have to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing when you come across these events and people. Then simply keep doing what you’re doing. Recognize that, while your actions may seem insignificant, they are part of something larger that will benefit those around you. Even those who believe what you’re doing is strange.