If you’re not yet ad Green as you’d like to be, don’t despair! Whenever we make a lifestyle change, we come face to face with failure. Learning to live in a different way requires a lot of trial and error. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by all the new variables and to fall back into our old habits once in a while. If you’ve done that, don’t beat yourself up! Remember that any effort you make to reduce your carbon footprint and clean up the environment counts, even if it’s just remembering to take your reuseable grocery bags to the store.
It also helps to have a truly realistic idea of just how much Green living is possible in your own particular set of circumstances. For example, most people agree that it’s better for our air to walk or a bike or use public transportation than to drive a car everywhere, but if you live out in a rural area, you may not have a choice. You may want to give up plastic packaging on the items you buy, but what if the stores in your area don’t offer Green alternatives? In cases like these, it helps to focus on what you can do and then really go the extra mile: you may have to drive to work, but maybe you can start composting or taking a day to pick up trash in your neighborhood. You might still have to buy items encased in plastic, but you could invest extra time or money in recycling.
Patience is the key. Take your time and do your homework. Do you really need a dishwasher or can you get by washing things by hand? If buying local and organic food is a strain on your budget, why not choose a few things you really like and leave it at that? Not keen on the idea of reusable feminine hygiene products? Maybe you can buy biodegradable beauty products instead.
Above all, don’t be intimidated by “experts” who never forget to recycle, who never use paper towels, who make all their own baby and pet foods and who have a composting toilet instead of the flushable kind. These folks had to start simply as well. They didn’t get to where they are overnight. Ask them questions instead.
Living Green shouldn’t be a guilt trip. Keep your sense of humor and your sense of perspective and you an find quite a lot of satisfaction in simply knowing that you’re doing the best you can.We’ve all had that feeling: that plastic bottle we threw away instead of recycling it; those filmy grocery bags we used because we forgot to bring the reusable ones; all the organic food we don’t buy because it’s more expensive than the bad old regular kind and the sinking feeling we get when we buy something encased in Styrofoam blocks and we know our local recycling agency won’t take Styrofoam know we could do better, so why don’t we? Is it simple laziness? Do we just not care enough? Are we so self-centered that we’d rather poison our water table than spend an extra three dollars on environmentally friendly dish soap?