The idea of starting to live an eco-friendly lifestyle often hits us during the month of April, thanks to Earth Day. But then again, with the kind of environment we have now, we need to figure out how to green up our lives every single day.
Have you noticed how the progress of the society towards a sustainable future seems inadequate? Looking back, it is so easy to put blame on our governments and corporations. Luckily, people of today’s generation have become more sensitive about environmental issues. But the road to an overall greener and healthier life could be expensive, frustrating and overwhelming especially if done without concrete plans and strong will. We asked some people about the toughest challenges they faced when they made the big switch - of living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
- That feeling of “self-sacrifice”. From the start, living a sustainable lifestyle made them feel that they are doing better than the others. Like when they prefer to eat organic foods, do recycling and even when they ride bicycles instead of using their car when they go to work. But when they realised that other people around them continue to live in relative luxury while they are receiving a very little remarkable impact. That’s when the feeling of self-sacrifice creeps in— it is the toughest challenge.
- Lack of complete information. What they should do to live a green lifestyle are very obvious. However, there are still some questions that often confuse them. Example: which form of hand drying has the least lifecycle environmental impact? Using disposable paper towels, washable towels or using an electric hand drying? Biodegradable plastic shopping bags are often recommended if a person wants to be “green” but then again, manufacturing these biodegradable bags used more amounts of energy compared to ordinary plastic shopping bags which, somehow, can still be reformed back into useable energy or recycled. Yes, they can always refer to the Internet but being completely informed about everything with regards to sustainability will make the switch much easier.
- Facing the cycle of guilt and shame. Once in their life they painted their house with VOCs and they risked the health of their family and the environment. And then some know-it-all people gave them a couple of other things they have done in the past that could have caused damage to the environment. And there was the cycle of guilt and shame— as a result, they just got exhausted. But then again, they realised it should not stop them from living an eco-friendly lifestyle this time around.
- Dropping everything and starting from scratch. At least now they know this should not be the case. Aiming to live an eco-friendly lifestyle does not need to be done all at once. As said earlier, it can be overwhelming. One should start from small steps at a time.
Nobody say it was easy converting to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Thankfully, people now can learn from others’ mistakes without experiencing it themselves. Skip these four challenges, make your way to easier “green” transition and soon it will just become a part of your life.