I was stalking a few people on Instagram who are big into bullying those who are Conservative or not zero waste – which is a very wide territory they are covering – and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
You see, we live in a time when conversations about environmentalism and climate change are either between people who don’t believe in it or between those who claim the Earth will literally burn to the ground in a decade.
It is almost impossible at times to hear from someone who is not out there scaring everyone but also not taking it lightly. The truth is that we were told our coastal cities would be underground by now 30 years ago and here we are, doing better than predicted.
This is not about the science being wrong, which sometimes it is, but about people who interpret it and who write headlines for the media. And of course, there are politicians who are doing the most so we will leave them in the trash today.
I want to encourage you to start taking the basic steps toward living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
While you may stumble upon people like those I stalked on Instagram earlier today who shame you for not being perfect like they are, obviously, I am not here to treat you similarly.
Yes, it is me. A different type of girl, unlike the rest.
But seriously, there are many of us who are not into perfection and who cheer for everyone who is just starting out. Why? Because we too are just starting out… we all are.
While many love to thrift shop panties and never go to the cinema because they have to throw away the ticket, others just try to do better with every decision we have to make.
We buy fewer chocolates; we don’t use straws; we shop second hand for sweaters and really try to find pants as well; we go for the reusables when able and we certainly never litter. We do what every decent human should do.
That’s why I am not going to judge you for travelling by plane and buying brand new shoes from a store that is not exactly ethical. Because I know we will get there eventually when we find ourselves ready to take the next step.
I am tired of purists who go around judging everyone whom they deem immoral and evil. Mama Earth did not make them God so we certainly shouldn’t let them bully us into thinking we are bad environmentalists for not following their rule book.
Here is how to use less plastic because doing the basics matters and if that is all you do this year, you have done more than billions of people:
- Start with finding the right reusable water bottle.
The first step most people take is investing in a reusable water bottle that will last for decades. I know juices you buy at a store can be delicious but water is what sustains us and having it at hand when we get thirsty will make us less likely to buy a juice box.
Hey, you can still get one every now and then (just try to avoid the ones with straws), but aim for homemade lemonade and freshly squeezed orange juice that you can carry with you.
After a while you will get better at remembering to take your bottle with you, so no worries if you forget it at first.
I bought mine at our local store and it cost me around 10€. I had one before it but I bought it impulsively which was a mistake because it was made out of plastic.
As you will hear me say it all the time: We are all just making progress and that means we are getting better as we try different things.
Search for a bottle that is made out of glass, can hold a reasonable amount of liquid, is practical and does not slip from your hands if slightly wet. Also, buy it in your favorite color to fall in love with it even more.
- Reduce the amount of plastic you use in your day to day life.
The same store that offers a wide variety of reusable bottles also sells reusable mesh produce bags.
They cost around 2€, and I’ve had them for about two years now, more or less. I have several of them and I only forgot it at home about 10 times. I can count on my one hand the amount of plastic bags I used for veggies and fruit since getting these beauties.
You can find them pretty much all over the internet and Amazon has such a nice collection you can choose from.
They are durable, pretty and you can wash them in the washing machine if they get dirty.
It’s the little things that make the most difference. Especially when it comes to tiny plastic bags that we throw away once we get home and put apples in the cupboard.
- Give your teeth what they need.
Our toothbrushes are supposed to be changed every three months.
That means every year you throw in the ocean 4 whole plastic toothbrushes that will probably end up in the throat of a whale or a dolphin. Or in the nose of a beautiful turtle.
Yes, bamboo toothbrushes are a bit pricey and uncomfortable to use at the beginning, but we have to focus on the positives.
Do it for the turtles and dolphins, for trees and earth, for future generations and simply for knowing you are doing a good deed. The quicker society moves in the direction of buying eco-friendly products, the cleaner our planet will be.
If you are a new environmentalist, these three things are the perfect way to start this journey.
Don’t be afraid of trying out different things and searching for the perfect toothbrush if this one doesn’t work, or a better water bottle if the one you bought is too small or too big for your taste.
You are in this for the long run so you better be comfortable with going for the best, no matter what anyone says.
When we invest in sustainable products, we want them to last for a long time and serve us well. Just like with partners and friends, we want to have high standards and find the best of the best.
Go and search. Become interested in environmentalism and spend time looking for that perfect water bottle that you will take everywhere with you and test different eco toothbrushes until you are sure your teeth found the one.
You got this.