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Just Start with One Thing (you don't have to do *everything* to be an Environmentalist)

By Tara McKenna



I have a love/hate relationship with sustainable living. It’s not so much the lifestyle that’s off-putting, but the narratives and conversations around the lifestyle that bother me sometimes.


I get a bit tired of the expectations that environmentalists must live perfectly eco-friendly lives, otherwise they’re hypocrites.


I get a bit tired of advocates in the movement also making the lifestyle seem and feel so out of reach.


I also get a bit tired of the assumption is that the lifestyle is so hard.


The truth is, we’re all putting too much pressure on ourselves. Too much pressure to do too much to be perfect. That’s why, in my opinion, people give up or don’t even get started living more sustainably in the first place.


That’s why, sometimes, I just want to sit in a corner, curled up, where no one can find me, and BE SO TRASHY.


It’s probably the equivalent of people struggling with weight loss - the journey can get so tiring to be perfect ALL THE TIME (eating right, exercising, etc.), so sometimes, they may want to curl up in the corner, where no one can see them, and eat all the junk food and say “f*ck it, today I’m just gonna eat crap and not exercise.” Let’s be honest, most of us have these moments.


Instead of all this pressure, let’s take a deep breath and let it all out. Let all the expectations go. Then, just do one thing that’s a bit more eco-friendly. And if you feel like it, add another more eco-friendly lifestyle layer to your life, and then another if you’re super keen.


Don’t worry about labels for your lifestyle, just make the changes you love and keep living your best life.


Here are some super simple low-waste changes you can make in your everyday life that don’t require a hard stance on eco-friendly living:


Drink tap water in your own reusable water bottle

If you have access to clean drinking water, make it a habit to start drinking tap water (filter it if you prefer!) in your own water bottle.


Bring a litterless lunch to work

Use the food containers you have at home and make a yummy lunch for work.


Swap to shampoo and conditioner bars

Ditch the shampoo and conditioner bottles in the bathroom and use bars instead.


Clean with concentrated cleaning products

Instead of buying bottle after bottle of your cleaning supplies, buy concentrated tablets for all your cleaning needs, reuse the bottles you already have, and just add water.


Refill at home

There are more and more options these days to refill your favourite cleaning supplies and personal care products at the store or at home.


Most of the eco-friendly and low-waste swaps out there are not that hard at all. It’s simply a matter of learning what your options are and giving them a try!


"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou