Sustainability has become something of a buzzword. Kermit the Frog once bemoaned that it wasn’t easy being green. But if many high-profile personalities are to be believed, it is a lot easier than he thought. Everyone talks about being eco-friendly, staying sustainable, going green. They all swear their next car will be electric. Their swimming pool is heated by solar panels. And they have no less than 5 recycle bins in and around their home. Green is the new black.
That said, there is a big difference between talking a green game and playing it to win. Talk is cheap. And so are those “Honk if you love the earth” bumper stickers. You didn’t save the planet when you slapped that sticker on your Jeep. Part of being green is being sustainable. That is more than a slogan; it is a lifestyle. You have to be sustainable when you are at home, at work, and on vacation. Be sustainable when you get dressed, eat out, and lie down for a good night’s sleep. It is easy to talk the talk. Here are some things you can do to better walk the walk:
Rethink Your Health Products
Skincare products are notoriously wasteful. The packaging, alone, accounts for large swaths of landfills. There are options for zero waste skincare. Obviously, you cannot control every element of how products are made. But you can read the labels and choose the ones that are not wasteful of animal life or planetary resources.
There is also another element to packaging to be considered. How much skin cream do you throw away because it is just too difficult to completely empty the bottle, or the tube, or the jar? It is easy to choose convenience over sustainability. It is much harder to make a truly sustainable choice.
It is not just skincare. All health-related products have issues. Sometimes, it feels like you don’t have a choice in the matter. You just have to find the product that works the best regardless of the waste. It is true that your health is the priority. But you have a lot more healthy choices than you realize.
It takes a little more time. And you might have to pay a little more money. That is true of a lot of things that make a difference. Sustainable solutions don’t always have the economics of scale in their favor. You can make a real difference by making a sustainable choice.
Make It a Family Affair
Sustainability is for the whole family. If it is just something that you do by yourself, your family will mistake it for another one of those projects like needlepoint. They might be curious about what you are doing and still dismiss it as something unimportant and not really for them. You can do better than that. You can make it important by making it a family affair. It doesn’t have to be a sermon they have to endure. It can also be something fun they will want to do.
Many lessons can be taught through something as simple as arts and crafts. Gardening and growing your own veggies is not only fun but incredibly useful. From such skills, your family can learn that not everything they want has to come from a store. That is one of the first and most important lessons when passing on sustainability as a family value.
Love Your Wardrobe Longer
There was a time when a person was lucky to have more than one dress at a time. It had to last. People of that time became experts at making clothes last. That is something of a lost art, and one that is not particularly valued. We love shopping for the new rather than keeping the old items in top condition.
You don’t have to be a professional seamstress to keep clothing in top condition. Most of the time, it is just a matter of following washing suggestions. You can keep those jeans looking like new for a long time just by turning them inside out before placing them in the wash.
True sustainability is a long game. You will not master it in a day. But you can take little steps until you get there. Start by reevaluating your healthcare products. Make it a family affair. And don’t be so quick to buy new when the old is still salvageable.