Practical tips on how to welcome the New Norm so you are a part of the Good Change

There is no secret in the simple fact that we are facing an ecological and financial crisis. Together we are living in a world that makes it way too easy to not make a change. Many of us are purely unaware of what we can do to take action and make a difference. We think it’s more complex than it actually is. We think that unless all of us join in – there is no point to start at all.

Realistically, the solution is in simplifying the process of taking that step towards a change in our daily routine that’ll lead to a positive impact. The question is how do we intertwine sustainable living and the lifestyle we enjoy, so that it works in harmony? Where is the line between “being a consumer” and “having a lifestyle?” First and foremost, we cannot know what we don’t know; and we cannot choose options that don’t exist or exist behind the shadows. Here is why the sustainable industry needs to be supported and awareness has to be raised, so don’t act in silence, spread the good word and let others know what you do to contribute to the world’s wellbeing. Little by little our words and actions will inspire and motivate others.

Sustainability is a huge subject that is hard to tackle unless it’s broken down into manageable pieces that have a good potential to turn into momentum in how we consume and act on a daily basis. Let’s look into some ideas on how to amend our individual daily routines and rituals in order to be a part of the good change.

Bring your own takeaway containers and cups

These days, most supermarket chains hold a ban on single-use plastic bags, asking you to bring your own bags or purchase compostable biodegradable bags made from plant starch for instance. At the beginning, we had to go through an adjustment period. It didn’t feel convenient at all but now it’s a part of everyday living.

I suggest going through the same adjustment period with takeaway containers and cups. Whenever you buy a freshly made drink, such as coffee, tea or a smoothie, ask to put it into your own cup that you can then wash and reuse again and again. If you are one of those people who’s rarely able to finish their food, make a habit out of carrying a compact container in your bag, so you can go for guilt-free “doggie bags” when eating out.

Purchase pre-owned vs new

The stereotype goes that you only purchase used items if you cannot afford to buy that item as new. In fact, it is actually responsible to go for a pre-loved item, whether that’s a kitchen supply, a fashion garment, a book, or almost anything else.

Packaging

When shopping, look out for unpackaged products, especially fruits and vegetables. Try your best to avoid plastic, go for materials that are easier to recycle where you live. If there is such an option, choose zero-waste shops where you can come in with your own containers and fill them in with the needed produce.

Practice conscious eating

Vegan and vegetarian lifestyles don’t attract everyone and that is fine. You don’t have to cut animal produce out of your system completely to make a huge impact. Simple cutting down meat consumption to a couple of days a week or less if possible will come as a big helping hand.

Eating local foods is another mindful decision you can be making to consume more sustainably. Importing goods adds to the pollution levels massively, as well as supports large-scale agriculture which tends to be less kind to the Earth compared to local farming.

When it comes to your fruits and vegetables, try eating as seasonally as possible. When our “five a day” are out of season, they are grown in massive greenhouses that use huge amounts of resources. It just takes a little bit of research to find out what’s in season in your area and then research relevant recipes for cooking inspiration.

Travel

If you are fortunate enough to travel, there are ways you can do that with less negative impact. If there is a choice between a train and a plane – pick a train. Once you reach the destination, explore the area on a bike. It’s so tempting to just take taxis wherever you’d like to visit but, chances are, you are going to indulge in the local foods and biking around for a day will shake off those calories you are about to consume.

Speaking of food, plan where to go for food by researching places and pick the ones that are more responsible and sustainable. Support local businesses that care.

Invisible harmful chemicals and microbeads

We constantly choose products for personal hygiene and the cleanliness of our homes. Going for the harmful options doesn’t only affect the environment but distresses yours and your families’ health too. Tiny bits of solid plastic (that aren’t biodegradable by the way) called microbeads and a range of different chemicals make their way into waterways, devastating the environment and ending up in the food chain. They are also harmful for your body in general.

Current trends drive more and more natural and organic products to the shops’ shelves, so we are able to make ‘greener’ choices. Yet, sometimes price differences put such decisions under question. If you are cost sensitive, look into ways of making your own natural products, such as face scrubs, soaps, washing liquids, and much more. There are plenty of blogs and YouTube videos offering ‘step-by-step’ guidance. It’s easy, fun, cheaper and safer.