As with any lifestyle changes, whether it be greener living or diet and exercise, it is important to start small. Just as you would probably not run a marathon without training, you cannot wake up one morning and suddenly live a green lifestyle. It takes time to incorporate new practices and habits.
1. Understand that Small Things Matter
The most common thing that people who don’t care about living green will tell you is “How can my tiny efforts make any difference?”. This negative way of looking at things sucks and doesn’t help anyone. Your effort does matter, because what you do has an influence on people around you. If you don’t understand and believe this, you might as well give up right away. However, when you are ready to start making changes toward a greener lifestyle, the best way to do it is by focusing on one small thing first. Why? Because small things matter and they do have an impact.
2. Pick a Change and Make it Your Habit
Think about one change you want to make that is the most important or easiest. Starting small will help ensure that the changes will become habits, and you will stick with them. If you try to do too much too soon, it will be harder to make the changes stick.
One easy way to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is to recycle. Many areas include weekly recycling pickup with garbage services, so all it takes is separating out your recyclables and setting them on the curb on the right day. Some areas may have rules for recycling, such as rinsing everything or using certain containers, so be sure to contact your garbage service to find out what you need to do.
If you want to focus on green living for your body, a good way to get started is to shop the outsides of the grocery store. The fresh foods are along the outside of the grocery store, while the “easy” meal solutions like boxed dinners are found in the interior aisles. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned. Buy bread and rolls from the bakery instead of packaged. Not only will you feel better by eating healthier, but these foods are more natural, so they are better for your body. The closer your foods are to the way they are found in nature, the better they are for you.
Once you make one or two changes, stick with them until they become habit.
3. Keep Adding Tiny Changes One at a Time
When you are comfortable with those changes, it is time to add something else to your green lifestyle. Keep adding habits, little by little, and before you know it, you will be living a healthy, green lifestyle, and you will have trouble remembering when you did not eat organic foods or compost in your backyard.
However, remember to give yourself time to let the changes become habits before adding something else. The amount of time will vary based on how complicated the change is, but do not rush into the next habit. All it takes is one step at a time to be a green you.