Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that I’m kind of a weird environmentalist. Not in the fact that environmentalists are weird, but in the fact that I don’t believe in zero-waste living (but I do believe in low-waste living). I drive a truck, I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. But! Like, Bill Nye, I look to save the world in other ways. So, I’ve decided to start a blog series on the Eco-Living for the Everyday.
Here, you will find tips on how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle that you can slowly add into your current lifestyle. Yeah, if you’re chartering a yacht and riding around in a G-Wagon all day, you need to change a LOT of things. But, for the average person, there are so many easy changes you can make in your life to ease up on the planet and get you living a greener lifestyle.
I want people to know that they don’t have to change absolutely everything about themselves to live a green life. Yes, it will definitely help, but not everyone is going to do this, and that’s okay. Because, people are allowed to make their own decisions. The goal of this is to show the average joe that being green isn’t hard, at least when it comes to most changes.
This is a series for those who aren’t looking to join Greenpeace, for those who can’t fathom living in a 500 square foot Tiny Home with their three children. It’s a series for those who will – most likely – never become vegan, who want to change certain parts of their home, who don’t want migraines or headaches from bleached-out cleaning products. This is the eco-living series for the everyday person.
Living an eco-friendly life requires changes, but it doesn’t require you to go full-commune living (unless you’re into that). If everyone changed the small things in their life, there would be so much less waste, less demand for dirty palm oil, less trees.
I know, I know, everyone should stop eating meat and murdering animals and ruining the environment. I get it, I really do. My carbon footprint would shrink and we would all live happily ever after, right?
Except, that’s not how people work. It’s not how I work. I know there are many things in my life I’m not going to change, which may sound like a bold statement made by someone talking about change. But, I understand that there are many things in other people’s lives that they aren’t going to change. Humans aren’t built for that. We’re animals existing and surviving in nature (yes, even cities are part of nature), but somewhere along the way, we stopped living in an eco-system and we started tearing it down. The world wasn’t made to have humans over-populate it and live sustainably.
We’re shitty, stubborn people. We don’t change, unless it makes our lives better. You gotta trick yourself into changing. And, there’s the kicker. If something would make our lives better, not on an entire whole (like, you know, planting more trees and taking better care of our environment because we literally need it to live), but better in our own selfish ways, we get excited for change. We yell and dance and march for change. But, it has to be change each individual wants for their own individual needs.
Not eating meat will not make my life better, it’ll make it worse. Could you imagine eating an eggplant for dinner instead of a delightful steak? Yeah, me neither. To bring a fantastic saying back: barf me out the door. But, before you get your panties all in a twist (and a seriously wicked wedgie), I ask you this: could you imagine eating LESS meat?
Yeah, I can, too.
Can you imagine cutting meat out of, at least, one of your meals a day?
Yeah, I can, too.
How about no meat for one full day?
Spoiler, guys: I can, too.
Can you imagine learning about where your meat comes from, what the farmer’s practices are, getting to know the farmer, and buying your meat from a sustainable source that’s local?
Yeah, I can definitely see myself doing that. Because, I already do. The first part is the hardest. Cutting out meat, and especially any animal by-products, is a lot harder than people give vegans and vegetarians credit for. First off: it’s delicious as fuck. Second: it’s in every meal, in so many ways. It’s always going to be hard to not fry up some bacon in the morning or not eat some cajun chicken tacos. But, baby steps take us into the right direction.
And, the whole buying local thing? It’s a no-fucking-brainer, people.
Get to know your farmers. Research and actually UNDERSTAND why they do what they do. And, I don’t mean, just start flipping out because you heard something somewhere from some celebrity. Research, learn, talk to them and understand. If you don’t like the commercial farmer’s actions and practices, DON’T BUY FROM THEM. Or small farmer. People can be terrible no matter the type.
By not supporting those with iffy practices, you’ve already made a simple step in living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. See? It wasn’t very hard, and you know what, you barely changed your habits. If a farmer is really horrible, report them. Know that there is a difference between butchering and animal abuse. Also know that killing an animal is hard, and sometimes something that looks barbaric can still be humane. And honestly, if you couldn’t do it and be okay with it and know that it’s part of the life cycle, then why are you eating meat?
The more you get to know your local farmers, the more you can understand the process of farming. Because, it’s not all bad. There are tons of farmers out there hoping to change the world and bring back a sustainable eco-system of happiness and rainbows. And, yeah, these same farmers butcher animals (or send them to be butchered).
If all of the rainbows and sunshine above doesn’t make you want to switch to local, this will: it tastes better. Legit. You ever have veggies from a farmer’s market? Have a dinner at a hipster joint that buys from local farmers? Yeah, that food is the mother-fucking business. Because it’s local, and hasn’t been flown from who-knows-where and is produced by farmers who give a shit.
Feeling overwhelmed with everything out there to do? Are there really that many changes you have to make in your life to be an eco-warrior? I mean, yeah. There are.
Do you think I do ALL of these things ALL of the time? No. I’m human. I fuck up. Like, a lot. Sometimes, I don’t use a re-useable bag. It happens. But, I use that Darth Vadar bag for cat poop or my bathroom garbage or other fun things. Don’t beat yourself up about it. This isn’t a series for those looking to live a huge tree-hugger lifestyle. There are tons of great people to follow and books to read on that.
This is a series for those looking to start somewhere, anywhere, and grow from there. Once you start making changes and doing them daily, it becomes a habit. And, habits stick. Like, for real. I haven’t been able to ever stop cracking my knuckles. I’ll never stop. It just feels sooooo satisfying. You know what else feelings satisfying? Composting. It now feels super weird NOT to compost. Much like recycling. Throwing something that can be recycled into the garbage is just pointless. Because, there are too many people on this Earth living like it’s disposable, only to grab another plastic cup.
My main point is: don’t stress out over this. Make small changes. I’ll guide you through. And, if you have any tips for a greener life that have worked well for you, let me know in the comments!