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  • Rob Elgar

How to make a difference in 6 simple steps

Updated: Aug 16, 2020



Have you ever wanted to change your lifestyle to be more Eco-friendly but wondered how you could make a difference? With so much information out there it is hard to know exactly which way to start moving in.



These are 6 simple ways for you to make a difference right now.


If you search on google for "how to be more sustainable" you will see thousands of results about, sustainable fashion, eco-products, organic gardening, etc.


All of these things will eventually play a major role in your future life if you are really committed to making a difference.


This article is not to here sell you something (although there are some helpful links to some products), all I want to do is help you simplify the first few steps you can take towards your lifestyle change.


They are easy, cheap, and some of them are even free. You can start changing your life today - it is really easy when you start small.


1. SAY NO


Simply saying "no" to things we don't need is an amazing but simple step into reducing the amount we use.


I like to always think to myself "do I really need this?" and usually my answer is no. "Do I really need that plastic bag?" or "Do I really need to buy that bottle of water right now instead of waiting for somewhere I can refill my own?".


In a society that suffers from overconsumption, we really need to make an impact by buying less. People are constantly fooled by advertisements of "the new best thing" - whatever that thing maybe. Living a simple life can have a huge impact on our surroundings. It is also important to remember that a simple life does not mean a life without pleasures it only means that we reduce what we buy, and take only what we need.


Sometimes getting what we want is in turn what we need in order to add to our lives - just don't be greedy.


Remember to stop and think!

2. BRING YOUR OWN


Why get a new one when you have your own? Bringing your own shopping bag can save HUNDREDS of unnecessary plastic bag uses in a year.


It makes no sense to use something once and then throw it away. There are many types of reusable shopping and produce bags to choose from. You really don't have to look far.

It is not only shopping bags that you can bring yourself. Stainless steel straws and reusable water bottles are some more examples of things we don't need to buy every time we want to use them. Laziness is a major contributor to global pollution as humans have become accustomed to the "easy life". If we want to make a change we need to make the effort. No one is going to do it for us.


3. REUSE EVERYTHING


When I was younger my Grandmother would always tell me how they never use to throw things away. In our fast-moving consumer lifestyle, we have adopted a longing for single-use items. A plastic bottle we use once, a straw and burner phones. Buying things that will last for many years is the key.


Make sure the clothing you buy is good quality, replant seeds, get yourself your own bottle, buy a stainless steel straw. These are simple steps you can make in your journey towards sustainability.


Upcycling is a fantastic way to make sure we reuse products. Don't throw something away when its primary purpose is done. Ask yourself what else you can use it for and how long you can make it last. Stop consuming and start preserving.


4. READ YOUR LABELS


It only takes a moment to turn a product around and read where it comes from or what it is made of. Besides the point of knowing what we are putting in our body for our own health, some products are not grown or produced in sustainable or ethical ways. Palm oil, Cocoa, Cotton, Lab made preservatives, and even animal testing.


If you have already implemented the last 3 ideas then this will probably come naturally to you, as you are paying attention to the impacts of your decisions. Not to mention, when you are buying less you will almost definitely be making sure your products are of good quality.


Being conscious of what we purchase can make a massive difference. Not only to ourselves but to many lives around the planet.



5. BUY LOCAL


Buying local is beneficial for so many obvious reasons that I just had to add it to the list. Supporting small businesses does not only keep money in our communities but also cuts down many environmental factors.


When you buy from a foreign country or even form a farm or shop outside your province you drastically increase the amount of transport needed. This, in turn, may affect the "organic" quality of the products you are buying.


Keeping money in our communities is also an amazing way to support our sustainable lifestyle as it allows a greater spread of wealth and therefore more opportunity for our community to strive. Remember that sustainability is not only about ourselves, but it is also about the generations to come.


6. BUY IN BULK


Sometimes we need to buy things from abroad because of availability or purely because of cost.


This is not avoidable, especially if you are running your own business.


In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your purchase, it is a no brainer to buy in bulk. The fewer orders you make the less transport is needed (not to mention the reduced price).

This can also be true for simple day to day living. Buy your meat and vegetables in bulk. You will reduce the amount of plastic that is used for packaging as well as the consumption of fuel.


BONUS TIP


Start NOW, start with anything you can to make a difference. Remember that no matter how small your action, as long as it is positive, you are doing something good. The longer we all put it off until tomorrow the longer it will be until we can see a change.

CONCLUSION


If you want to make a change in your life it's not that hard. With all the ocean trash, over-consuming, and pure unconsciousness it is our own responsibility to take small steps towards a larger future. I hope that my few tips can help you out to start your journey onto a more wholesome sustainable life.


"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones" - Chinese Proverb


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