Hello, friends! I’m pumped to have one of my favorite bloggers sharing some insights over here for all of you. Lately, I’ve been trying to be much more conscious of what I use on (and in) my body. From food choices to cosmetic and everyday products one thing runs common: there are so many choices. And when you’re making lifestyle changes, having too many things to choose from can complicate things quickly[Tweet “Incorporating greener choices in your lifestyle should NOT drive you crazy.”]
But that doesn’t mean that we cannot find small ways to start living well. Today, Jenn from Hello Brio is going to share some easy ways to wade through the “greener” garbage and make some serious changes for the better in our lives!
These days, going green is becoming a larger part of everyday life. You can’t go anywhere without being bombarded by reminders to recycle, even if it’s just by seeing a recycling receptacle next to a trash can out on the streets or seeing an image labeling the whatever you’re using as x% post-consumer content.
Food shopping can also be a taxing experience. Companies are always trying to market their products as being COMPLETELY or COMPLETELY NOT whatever the biggest buzzword is. So, you have your choice between Cage Free Organic Eggs and Gluten Free Popcorn (which is ridiculous, because popcorn and corn in general is inherently gluten free to begin with… anyway, I digress).
A lot of these healthy and green choices may seem like a marketing ploy. Don’t get me wrong: a lot of them are! See a pretty matte SunChips bag with Sundried Tomato flavor next to a greasy shiny looking bag of Ruffles potato chips, and you’d think that the SunChips are a better choice. Well guess what folks, they’re both processed junk foods.
Also, a lot of big ticket eco friendly products may help you feel like you’re doing your part in reducing your carbon footprint, but ultimately they could end up hurting the earth more because of messy manufacturing processes and international shipping all of the cargo.
Okay, So Now What?
Sorry for that depressing intro. I don’t mean to dissuade you from making greener or healthier choices.
The most important takeaway from my rant is this: Always do your own research and always have a healthy skepticism for the choices you make as a consumer.
Small Green Choices to Live By
In a world where a lot of products are greenwashed for marketing’s sake, there are a few rules that will usually help you make smart choices no matter what.
Here are my three best tips on how to make smart consumer choices:
- Buy less. You know the old adage, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? They’re in order for a reason. Too many times we’re tempted to buy the latest and greatest product or stock up on food items only to have these things go to waste. If you reduce the clutter in your life by deciding to purchase less, you’ll be saving your own sanity from having too much stuff and it’ll also be easier to say “no” to buying a multitude of new things. The less things you buy, whether it’s items of clothing, electronic gadgets, or anything else, the less waste you’ll create.
- Just carry (and use) a reusable bag. I always have a reusable bag on me. I have my preferences but I’m not going to try to sway you with my favorites. The important thing is to always have a reusable bag on hand and to use it. You don’t really need that pretty paper bag from your favorite clothing store to carry one pair of jeans home. And even if you forget your entire reusable bag collection to carry your groceries home, having one bag will save you from having to use at least one or two paper or plastic bags at the store.
- Go organic whenever it’s important — where organic is certified and you know what you’re getting (in short, don’t fall for the “natural” or “all-natural” trick. This is a word that marketers are allowed to use to trick you into thinking a product is organic when in fact this word isn’t regulated). Remember also that organic doesn’t only mean healthy, it means that there are no GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), no hormones, and no pesticides. All of these things are good for your environment and your body in the long run. Oh, and make sure to educate yourself on where “organic” really matters; don’t just go spending all your money on organic products willy-nilly.
With all of these in mind, it’s important to also remember that these decisions will also help reduce your carbon footprint in less visible ways. For example, by choosing to use reusable bags, you’re not only saving materials used to make the bag, but you’re also saving the energy used to make the bags and the fuel used to ship and haul the bag to the retailer cross country or overseas.
Again, the important thing to remember here is that if you’re mindful and thoughtful about the decisions you make in your daily life (including keeping yourself well informed), you’ll be making an impact. Don’t ever feel like your efforts are going to waste; no one’s perfect, and a small impact is better than no impact. Everyone’s small efforts add up to something great.