Small Changes Get You Started
It’s true! Even small changes can make a big difference! We all know that we need to move to a more sustainable way of living. While many changes affecting global sustainability will have to be enacted by law (since it’s primarily big companies doing most of the damage), there are still plenty of things we can do on an individual level, too. While it might not seem like it, the little changes we make can yield large benefits, both immediately and in the long-term. You’ll be reducing your impact, and also setting an example for other people, too. Below, we take a look at our top five small changes anybody can enact.
Tip #1: Put the Car Keys Down
You’ll, of course, need to drive sometimes. The world is set up that you really can’t do without a vehicle, at least not in most areas of the country. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use your car every single time you leave the front door. So take a look — is there a way you can reduce the amount of time you spend behind the wheel? There could be public transportation options to wherever you need to go, or you could go by bicycle, and get healthy at the same time. Try not to get caught up in every errand outside of your home being for a single purpose. Consolidating your trips in a way that allows you to do multiple things each time you choose to drive is not only more productive, but decreases your carbon footprint, and increases your useful extra time.
Tip #2: Reusing and Upcycling
When we need something, our first thought is to check out the stores and then go buy it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every new item will have an impact on the world’s resources, sometimes significantly. So why not look at the possibility of buying some things second hand… when it makes sense? Most items preserve their value, so it’s not like you’ll be missing out on anything, and, in some cases, they’re even better than new items, such as in the case of up-cycled furniture. Also, take a moment before you throw away an item that you think is broken as most goods, especially electronics, can usually be repaired.
Also, upcycling is kinda our thing. We have an entire upcycle section here at Craft Your Happiness. Check out a few of them below!
Tip #3: Your Purchase Decisions
Whenever you buy something, it’s worthwhile looking at the ethos behind the company that has manufactured or is selling the product. Remember, your dollars are your votes! Your purchase decisions directly reflect the kind of world you want to live in. For virtually every item you could think of, there is a sustainable option available. This applies to food and drink, and longer-lasting goods. For your veggies, you can look at a farmer’s market; for your water, you can look at Waiakea Water, which has been certified carbon neutral. Even for things like smartphones, there are sustainable options — the Fairphone, for example, uses many less resources than the iPhone.
Tip #4: Veggie Options
You’ve probably heard that transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, but of course, for some people, that will be difficult. Instead of seeing it as a black vs. white, veggie or meat eater scenario, look at simply reducing your meat intake. Even cutting out meat a couple of days a week will make a big difference. After all, it’s not about you being forced to morally or politically choose one thing over another, but rather the concept that using moderation in as many things as you can is a smart and sustainable way of living in the world.
My favorite way to get a huge amount of live green veggies into my body is making green drinks with our Green Smoothie Recipe. I’ve drank these for years. A full quart in the morning and they are delicious! Adding one of these to your day will do wonders!
Tip #5: Mindful Consumption
Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that everything you consume will have a footprint, but some will be much lower than others. Whether you’re using electricity, buying goods, or driving around town, just keep in mind how much energy you’re using. How much space you’re heating or cooling. Popular culture invites us all to look at trends towards “right-sizing” instead of always “down-sizing.” Life’s not always about having the biggest and the best, being the fastest, or keeping up with the neighbors. It’s all about our choices. And that’s why we have minds in the first place!