Make Small Steps in Rethinking Your Lifestyle and About Climate Change
Welcome to the second part of our series on the 7 Rs (Refuse, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose/Repair, Reduce, Rot, Rethink). The “R” that fuels our transformation into an ethical consumer is “Rethink.” All this talk about climate change, environmentalism, and lifestyle change can be a bit overwhelming. So let us talk about how you can ease yourself into all this and still make an impact.
Start Small: Research About Climate Change
The first thing you can do is to research. For some, the word “research” provokes excitement. For others, it evokes dread. We recommend that you research things you like. Do not focus solely on the negative articles about climate change, but find the reports that show you how you can tangibly make a difference today. There is so much news about climate change, forest fires, pollution levels, etc.
However, there are equally as many articles about the small steps you can take to change how you consume goods, purchase goods, and look at your impact on the environment.
There is hope, and you can be a part of the movement to rethink and change the relationship you have with the environment. This blog is a great place to start.
Write an e-mail or make a phone call.
Rethinking also means rethinking how we make an impact. It is not just about changing your consumption. It is also about asking the companies that we buy from to change their methods. Contact your favorite companies and ask them to change their packaging for their products or start using different materials for their products.
If enough of us ask, they will listen.
Ask yourself what you can tweak in your life to be friendlier to the environment. You can do what they call a “waste audit.”
Your waste audit can ask questions like:
- What do I throw away the most?
- Is it food waste? Then maybe I can start composting. (Check out our previous post on Rot)
- Is it possible to recycle this item?
- Can I repurpose this item?
- Can I get this fixed instead of throwing it out?
- What can I do about all the packaging and wrappings I use and throw away?
- Find grocery stores that sell their products without packaging or environmentally friendly packaging. There are eco-friendly packaging alternatives like bee’s wax wrap instead of plastic wrap.
- Buy zip-lock pouches instead of the one time use zip lock bags. You can make them yourself, or you can buy them. They are more expensive, but these products are reusable.
- Can I give this away to someone else, like a friend or someone on Facebook Marketplace?
- Is there a way that I can reduce my emissions?
- Can I carpool with a friend or colleague?
- Can I walk or bicycle to work instead of driving? As long as you live in a place where the weather permits walking or bicycling, it is a great way to get your work out and help lower your emissions.
- Do I turn off my electronics and lights when I am not using them?
- When I buy a new car, should I buy an electric or hybrid?
- What can I do the next time I need new clothes and accessories?
- Consider a fun clothes swap party with friends.
- Buy from companies that have made an effort to look at their impact on climate change.
- Check out your local second-hand store, online second-hand sources, or Goodwill.
Ask yourself what you can do differently? It is as simple as that.
What does it mean to be an ethical consumer?
Life is already busy. Some days it feels like you can barely manage the lifestyle you have, let alone trying to change it. You want to make a difference in the fight against climate change, but sometimes it feels overwhelming, and you do not know where to start.
Luckily Lao Tzu tells us that “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”