with a touch of mental health & environmentalism

A to Z ideas to be more eco-friendly.

a to z ideas to be more eco-friendly

I love to live my life as an eco-friendly person. It makes my experience of this world a much better one.

We know climate change is a threat to humanity and all living beings, but I wish we cared about nature just because. We evolved with it, we share DNA with trees and all plants… so why are we so disconnected?

I wrote this post, A to Z ideas to be more eco-friendly because I want to encourage you to do more for our planet. All of us must do more but we have to start somewhere. Anywhere.

In order to create long-lasting sustainable change in how we live, we have to focus on what is doable. The small steps we can take towards a brighter future. 

We rely on each other to act more, moan less, and take responsibility. 

Choose a few and decide to start your journey as an environmentalist. I promise it will be one of the most fulfilling things you will ever do. 

Here are A to Z ideas to be more eco-friendly:

  • A is for Animals.

I want you to think of all the individuals who are losing their homes due to climate change and human interference. 

Polar bears are dying, bees are going extinct and rats are taking over major cities. This is not a coincidence. This is the result of humans destroying their habitats by just being human.

Focus on animal rights activism because it is interconnected with environmentalism. Here are 12 ideas to start.

  • B is for Babies.

Listen, I have to go there, okay?

Give women contraception! Give women the right to choose what to do with their bodies and wombs. 

We can all pretend that it is Europeans who should stop having children but it is actually women in poorer countries who are having 10 babies.

Women in certain African and Middle Eastern countries have absolutely zero control over their own lives. They cannot choose what to do with their bodies. That is a major problem if you haven’t noticed.

The truth is, the problem is not overpopulation but the way we are living. We consume too much and take more than is available. The Earth cannot possibly handle this anymore.

If we want to stop overconsumption, we need to stop having so many babies. That starts by adopting instead of birthing kids and fighting for women’s rights across the world.

  • C is for Climate change.

Of course, climate change is the main topic of this conversation but it is larger than that. We must keep learning about it and continue gaining knowledge that we can share.

Read books and listen to podcasts. Grow your awareness about what is happening to our planet and around us. The more you know, the more you can do about it.

  • D is for Determination.

You have got to be determined and willing to work hard. Work hard on helping Mother Earth with talents and gifts only you possess. 

Your uniqueness and mix of capabilities can bring the long-awaited change. But it will only happen if you put your heart out and do more than is expected of you.

  • E is for Environmentalism.

If you care about nature and are working towards living more and more sustainably, then you are an environmentalist.

Environmentalism is caring for our planet; the desire to save it from destruction; a need to give back to what sustains us. Environmentalism is the deep love of being of service to Earth.

Drop perfection and only take with you the willingness to make better choices as you go. This is not about perfection. It’s about sustainability.

  • F is for the Future.

Where do you want your children to live? Where do you want your grandchildren to live? Fuck, where do you want to live?

Everything you do now will affect the future of those you love, yourself included. Every single thing, no matter how small, has consequences. All of them. 

Start with small steps and continue with big leaps. Begin with using a reusable glass water bottle and the next thing you know you are driving an electric vehicle. 

  • G is for Government.

Please vote. I am begging you to vote whenever you are called to do so by your government. 

I know it is difficult to believe that anything will change but this is your chance to express what you want. You get to put people in the office that can potentially make a difference.

The easiest thing is to not vote and then complain when the person you disliked wins. It gives you zero right to be angry as you did nothing to stop it from happening.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

  • H is for Homo sapiens.

We are animals. Mammals. I know this is something many want to deny but it is empowering.

The fact that we share our genes with monkeys, lizards, squids and worms is a beautiful manifestation of life. We are cousins, evolved from the same cell. Life is inside all of us.

Eco, not ego, is a powerful statement often used at various climate justice protests. I agree with it deeply. 

We are fighting climate change and implementing ideas to be more eco-friendly because it affects us as well. All animals will suffer, from whales to humans. So we must embrace our cousins and fight for all of us, not just one species.

  • I is for Innovation.

Companies like Tesla have completely transformed the way we look at electric vehicles. That is innovation.

But not everyone is going to create large companies that are worth billions. That is okay. But it doesn’t mean you cannot be innovative and create things that were previously not there or were not popular.

What can be your own Tesla? What can you bring to the table? How can you change the narrative? I know you have ideas. 

Now execute. Do the work.

  • J is for Journey.

What we are doing is going to be a long journey with no clear destination. We will not stop climate change nor will we save billions who will die from it.

But what we can do is embark upon a journey towards sustainability.

The focus must be on progress, not a single goal that cannot be achieved – like stopping global warming. The future consists of people living more consciously, not in a perfect world that was created by those before them.

Our planet will go through major changes, and we will pay the price, but just because it is not solvable doesn’t make it impossible to improve.

  • K is for Kindness.

We are all trying our best.

If you look around at the people who are making eco-friendly decisions, they are just doing their fucking best. So be kind.

Reach out to your fellow environmentalists and offer a shoulder or a hand. Let’s be there for each other because progress is made by groups, tribes and communities, not single individuals.

  • L is for Listening.

Listen to those you disagree with as they probably have something valuable to offer.

If you are familiar with my work, then you know I am constantly talking about working on solving worlds issues together. Despite all our differences, most of us have similar values and visions.

But we cannot get to a place where we are making this planet a better place if we do not communicate. We are failing at doing it, though.

The only thing we are good at is pointing fingers and calling each other nasty names. That’s where we thrive as humans. At disrespecting those whom we deem bad simply for having a different opinion – not even a dangerous one, just different.

For the sake of our future, listen. Read more about this topic here.

  • M is for Money.

Every time I go to a store or a shop, I think of my purchases as investments. Now, I am not always happy with my choices but that’s how I learn how I spend my money.

When I buy something that does not bring me value, I later learn from it and do better next time. But it’s all just investing. Either it goes well, or I  made a mistake, but it’s not just throwing money at an item or service.

I would much rather invest in the book The Joyful Vegan than purchase yet another phone case that will break within a month. When we start seeing our spendings as investments, we will become more aware of them.

What are we investing in? What are we voting for? Which corporations and companies do we support? All of these questions can be answered if we look at our investments.

  • N is for Natural.

Not everything that is natural is good, but there are a lot of natural things that are good for us. Sadly, we are not using them due to our addiction to technology.

For example, people should walk more. Instead of using your car for a 3-minute ride, walk. It’s good for you and the environment… it’s also good for your mental and physical health.

People should also stop being obsessed with brands and find alternatives in nature. I’m talking about natural face and body scrubs, hair masks, workout equipment. The simple things.

Use nature and what we already have available.

  • O is for Optimism.

What do you think about the future? Are you an optimist, pessimist or a realist? Somewhere in the middle?

I think we all experience these feelings in seasons, but when it comes to environmentalism, optimism is the key. Not blind optimism where you trust that things will magically improve.

But a way of activism where we have faith in humanity. Faith in ourselves. Faith in our capabilities and in the value of our work.

Practise being more optimistic by consuming positive news. Find people who are sharing what is going well in our world, what is working.

It will do you good.

  • P is for Patience.

Progress takes time. It takes patience.

No matter how hard we work and how many of us are out there doing the job, it will take time. Nothing happens overnight, at least not things that matter.

That is why you need to practise patience. Take a deep long breath and let time do its thing. Eventually, we will look back and see how far we’ve come.

  • Q is for Quantity.

One way to feel productive and helpful is to be active as an environmentalist.

I know we often say that quality is more important than quantity, and that is true, but perhaps we should do differently here. Maybe we should be imperfect and stop chasing the unattainable.

Do whatever you can to protect our Earth, no matter how small it may seem to be. The world will be changed by billions of people taking small steps, rather than a handful of individuals making giant leaps.

  • R is for Reuse.

What do you own that can be reused instead of thrown out? What can be rebranded, changed?

Think of all the waste out there in our oceans simply because we ditch things that we don’t like anymore. We are addicted to purchasing new stuff. It’s like we crave the smell of new, fresh, pure.

How about we try something different now? What if today, we stop seeing things as just things and look at them as investments?

I talk a lot about investing because I find it more motivational when changing our habits. We invest in ourselves when we change. We invest in our future. We invest in our vision.

When we reuse, we are investing in a greener world. We are investing in collective wellbeing.

  • S is for Selfless.

While environmentalism is going to benefit us, it is also a way to practise selflessness. 

There are millions of people right now who are feeling the effects of climate change. Millions of people lost their homes, livelihood and loved ones. People who are lost in this vast world that thrives on greed.

I’m not a saviour but I do want to save lives. I’m not a martyr but I am willing to sacrifice some aspects of my happiness for the greater good. I am not always selfless, but I aim to be helpful.

The world belongs to everyone and no one at the same time. It’s on me and you to take care of it, and everyone who shares it with us. 

  • T is for Teaching.

You do not have to have a high IQ or a PhD to teach others what you know. There is a difference between sharing what we know and pretending to be an authority on the issue.

I love teaching. I love sharing what I have learnt with others, especially if I feel that I understand the issue well. When I don’t feel confident, or I don’t understand it anymore, I stop.

We coexist on this planet. The reason why we are still here, living and breathing, is because we worked together to figure out this thing we call life. We exchanged tips. We taught each other.

So contribute what only you can. Show us the world through your eyes. Teach us.

  • U is for Universal.

Climate change is affecting everyone. Whether you live in Namibia, Slovenia, Canada or Argentina, you will feel the consequences. You probably already do. 

We are not living in a bubble. You cannot just move away from the problem or think it will affect them, not you. This shit is universal. It is global. 

Think of this little fact when you are putting in the work. Remember that we all depend upon each other to do what is right. Have a community mindset and you will feel more inspired and motivated.

  • V is for Value.

Everything that you do must bring value to someone. You must look at your work as being of service to the greater good.

Think about how you can improve your content, or whatever it is that you do as an activist. How can you be and do better? You already know where you are lacking the confidence to go all in.

Be honest with yourself as I know you can be much grander than you already are. You are capable of bringing value to everyone whom you wish to touch. 

You got this.

  • W is for World.

I would die for this planet. Dramatic, I know, but I really would. There is so much love in my heart for Earth and the nature we are surrounded with.

This is my reason for waking up and doing the job. My job.

Your reason might be the same or something completely different. That is completely up to you and I cannot choose your inspirations. You can do that and if you dig deep, you will find your own why.

Your why is your everything.

  • Y is for You.

Humans seek pleasure. All animals seek pleasure. Everyone is seeking what makes us feel good, it’s why we are so selfish.

At the core of everything we do is that it makes us feel good. This is actually rooted in us and not just my opinion. You can call it pleasure or happiness, the point is we want to feel good.

So we do good.

We eat good food, have sex, donate money, help the elderly, save non-human animals and wear comfortable shoes.

That doesn’t mean we never do selfless things or sacrifice our well-being and pleasure for others. Of course, we are constantly helping others and even babies have been shown to be empathetic.

What I am trying to point out, is that doing good and helping our environment can make you feel good. It can actually improve your life and bring in more happiness.

  • Z is for Zebra.

I am really reaching with this one but I could not find a good word that starts with the letter Z.

Zebras are black and white. They live with both colours. They move with both colours and here we can creatively find a lesson for all of us.

Accept both, the dark and the light. The good and the bad. Realize that it actually needs to be that way as life is made out of both sides, not just the positive.

Just like zebras, we are capable of carrying both with us.

     How many will you do this week? A lot of these are so easy that you can incorporate them into your life without much thinking. 

I am aware it may be challenging to begin, but you can do this. Not to put pressure on you but the whole world kind of relies on you being eco-friendlier. Your steps affect eternity.

Choose a handful of actions you will do in the next few days. Then when you are done, move on to a new set of ideas. And so on and so on. Do not take more than you can realistically accomplish.

If each person reading this did just one thing from the list, it would make a significant change in the world. No one is just one person, we are all connected.

Do your job, as the Stoics would say. And do not expect applause for something that should be in your blood already.

If you want more tips like these, please make sure you are following me on Pinterest and Instagram.

Tanja

a to z ideas to be more eco-friendly

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