Every year we all make resolutions or plan some goals that we barely achieve for one reason to another. Year after year I wanted to make changes in my habits that I felt were not consistent with my way of thinking about the issues of environmental protection… but I didn’t know where to start. In the past years, after hearing a lot of apocalyptic news and others wake up calls I’ve gotten, I decided to start making changes not only for my health and own life but something significant to make a good impact on our planet and future generations. So I came up with this ambitious resolution: ‘To be part of the change and live a more sustainable life to save our planet’ so this meant doing many changes in my lifestyle. I’m conscious that there is a lot to do and sounds overwhelming, but I believe in everyday actions. I’m convinced that every action matters, so here is how I started all this journey and I want to share with you four small steps to begin:
1. Start questioning our habits
We are an overpopulated world with 7.6 billion human inhabitants on a planet with finite resources. We are very used to blame the government and the big industries for producing all this mess, but although they have the economic and political power, we also have part of this responsibility. We are all part of the problem, but the good news is that we can all be part of the solution. It is true that monopoly industries and even society have made us all believe that it is reasonable to do “certain things” or act in “certain ways,” but we DO have the power to make our own decisions in our daily acts. It is in our hands to make the difference with some adjustments in our habits, like stop consuming indiscriminately, rejecting disposable products, protecting our natural resources, start eating less meat, etc.
2. Be conscious of what we consume
Usually, we don’t think about the enormous impact that our purchase decisions have on the planet. But behind our consumption habits, significant problems are affecting the environment and life on earth. So we need to be aware of what issues we are promoting or what kind of practices we are financing, because all the unconscious consumption we make, make us part of this indiscriminate industry. Here are three industry examples which we should check carefully:
- Disposable Plastic Industry: Our dependence on plastic packaging make us part of the oil exploitation and make us responsible for the deterioration of our oceans — “9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year”.
- Fast Fashion: Our clothing collection to stay up-to-date with the latest trends every 52 ‘micro-seasons’ not even knowing who made our clothes — “The Fashion Industry is one of the most polluting industries causing environmental and human rights abuses.”
- Meat consumption: Our uncontrolled appetite is causing animals being treated as objects for their massive exploitation — “Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing the planet today.”
3. Analyze and reduce our waste
Everything we consume generates a waste, be it organic, recyclable, or reusable, or worst case scenario, a material that last to biodegrade itself some hundreds of years. We are so accustomed to thinking that generating waste is normal that the idea of a zero waste life seems idealistic. Right now, there is garbage everywhere, even if we can’t see it around us, thanks to the effective garbage collection system of the cities that makes us feel that all the waste we place in a plastic bag will magically disappear. But it’s not like that; the garbage stays on our planet for a very long time; probably on landfills, or worse, in the ocean and rivers, or even worst, in the stomachs and the bodies of animals. So we can analyze our trash by asking ourselves:
- Where does it come from?
- How can we avoid it?
- Where will it end up?
Starting to make the waste matter more responsible, will make us question the amount and type of waste we generate and we will be more critical in every act of consumption. We need to make our trash our responsibility, and not because we throw it away it will be someone else’s responsibility.
4. Spread the word
There is a lot of lack of information about sustainable living and environmental issues, so to share information about taking care of our planet is a simple and effective way to multiply our positive impact. Communicate everything we learn about the earth and what changes we are making to protect it. Sharing those experiences encourages other people and help to promote these initiatives making the Sustainable Lifestyle Movement stronger.
“If there is awareness we can find the solution.”
I think it is in everyone’s hands to start changing the fateful course of our planet earth. So it’s time to question every decision we make, wonder our habits and take action in every aspect of our lifestyle. We need to stop treating the planet as if we had a spare one. Let’s not make our world a place where we can barely survive, but a world where we can progress and prosper. And we can do it with the power of the collective movement, it means, all synchronized by the same cause! Save our planet earth!