6 Quick Tips on Going Sustainable
January is fast approaching and so it’s time to be thinking about your New Year's Resolutions again. A great resolution idea is to make your life sustainable, or more sustainable than it already is. Going green is growing more and more popular, so this year it’ll be easier than ever to do, but how do you actually go about and keep your resolution? We’re here to give 6 quick and easy tips on how to make your life a little more eco-friendly.
The first tip for keeping your sustainable New Year’s resolution is to keep it small. Trying to implement a big change all at once can work for some people, but for most of us it leaves us overwhelmed. For example, instead of going straight into veganism, try meatless Monday. Or instead of switching straight away into a slow fashion wardrobe, just try thrifting for a shirt at a time as needed. Or instead of giving up all plastic, just switch to a reusable coffee cup for now. It never feels like these small changes matter, but if everyone is collectively doing a small change then big progress happens. So don’t feel like you’re not doing enough if you’re only changing one small thing at a time, and know that these small changes make for a big change overall.
Consistency is King
The next step is to stay consistent. A key part of the starting small strategy is to keep doing it until it’s a habit. It’s not difficult to refuse a straw or to carry a reusable water bottle, the trick is just to keep doing it. Make the sustainable choice a part of your routine. If you can force yourself to do one small change for about a week, that small change turns into a lifelong habit and pretty soon carrying the reusable coffee mug or shopping at the farmers market on Sundays will feel as natural as remembering your car keys.
Detox Your Social Media
So we’ve all heard of various detox trends, but what does detoxing your social media mean? It means taking a day to unfollow any fast fashion influencers on your instagram, unsubscribing to a bunch of email chains, and unliking non-sustainable brands on facebook that you forgot you followed. Being sustainable involves supporting sustainable brands when you need a new item, not impulse buying or chasing trends. Think of it like changing your diet to a healthier pattern; your gonna get nowhere if your constantly seeing McDonalds ads everywhere. So unfollow the people you see promoting fast fashion and other unsustainable brands, and instead follow brands like Reformation, Rust & Fray, and Tonle or the people who wear those brands, so that when you do need to shop it’ll be for a brand that supports the values you support.
Find a Community
Similarly, finding a community of other people going sustainable will really help you in your journey. Whether it’s people you know in real life or online groups such as the Switch to Sustainable Facebook Group or the NYC Fair Trade Coalition Instagram page, being around people who are similarly driven towards sustainable goals will help you achieve yours. Between bouncing ideas, seeing the satisfaction of the people who’ve made big changes, and having a support group will be invaluable to you. Plus, if you find a community in real life, you can easily get a clothes swap going.
Keeping up to date on all the latest information about sustainability is a continuous process. It’s one thing to know that switching to a more sustainable lifestyle is better for the planet, but knowing just what an impact your choices will really help those changes sink in. Knowing that microplastics are a problem might not make you remember to put the cora ball into your washing machine, but after you read that it is literally raining plastic in the Rockies you may never forget that Cora ball again. Our brains think in stories, and so being able to see the problems first hand and to hear about the successes and failures of individual environmental struggles will allow you to truly understand the impact that your choices have.
And finally, make sure to have fun with it all. Despite the seriousness of the crisis, if everything environmental is doom and gloom you’ll never want to make the time or put in the effort needed to make a change. If your goal is to slowly switch to organic products, why not start with wine and candles? If your goal is to introduce vegan options into your diet, why not find the coolest vegan recipes you can and make a game out of it? Sure, eventually going green will mean shopping for organic t shirts and other not-so-exciting stuff, but for starters you want to condition yourself to associate going green with fun and happy memories. That way every time you’re successful with your going green changes, you’ll be happy with your accomplishments and also you'll be wanting more.
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