Apathy. To me, it’s much more harmful than anger or bigotry.
When we’re apathetic, we don’t care about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. Apathy is a state of deadness, lack of concern, disinterest, and absence of emotion. In fact, apathy is actually the antithesis of love, not hatred. Hatred, at least, still has some kind of emotional investment, unlike apathy.
Looking around at the state of our planet today, it’s clear that apathy (and also ignorance) is a huge issue that we’re struggling with. Our oceans are being over-fished and polluted by our garbage; our land is being poisoned, exploited and stripped of its biodiversity; our animals are being exterminated, poached and abused; our food is full of artificial pollutants and GMO’s; our climates are changing, our virgin forests are dying, our economies are collapsing, our world is becoming overpopulated.
It’s about time for a change. And that change can start with you.
Adopting a more eco-conscious way of living is the only way we can hope to reverse what we’ve done to the earth. Not only that, but eco-conscious living helps you to save money, improves your health and well-being, and inspires others to live more compassionately.
Easy-Peasy Guide to Living an Eco-Conscious Life
This year Sol and I are both aspiring to make more eco-conscious choices. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started if you’re interested in joining the ever-growing movement!
1 Never buy anything on impulse. Set a rule where you wait 24 hours before deciding to purchase something. Procrastination is a virtue when it comes to spending money!
2. Ladies, think about buying menstrual cups and cloth pads instead of disposable tampons and pads. The average woman uses 12,000 to 16,000 pads and tampons throughout her lifetime, contributing to 125 to 150kg of landfill – and that’s individually. Some women get a bit icky about reusable sanitary products (I was too), but not only do they help reduce pollution, they also save you loads of money. I recommend looking on etsy.com for “cloth menstruation pads,” and researching menstruation cup brands like Diva, Juju and EvaCup (try FleurCup if you’re in Europe and excuse the 1990’s website). Menstruation cups and reusable pads can last up to 10 years if taken care of. Yes … you heard me!
3. Recycle everything you possibly can. Plastic, paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard, furniture, utensils, clothing … you name it! Recycle it. Think of it as re-birthing.
4. Whenever possible, try walking, bicycling, carpooling or taking public transport instead of driving a car. Many people find that when they do this, they don’t actually need to own a car at all.
5. Reduce, or if you can, completely abort eating meat and animal products. Did you know that animal agricultural accounts for 51% of ALL worldwide greenhouse gas emissions? Not only that, but going vegetarian or vegan helps to reduce the exploitation of animals, reduces the risk of cancer and other illnesses, improves overall health, and many other benefits. I recommend going slowly, perhaps starting with a vegetarian diet (including dairy and eggs), and then if your body permits it, slowly cut those out. Tips: I found that using a lot of Hemp powder (high in protein) and taking a Vitamin B12 supplement (converts food into energy) at first helped a lot. Not everyone thrives as a vegan, so be gentle with yourself. Cutting out some meat is better than cutting out nothing. Recommended films: Cowspiracy and Earthlings.
6. Replace chemical household cleaners (such as dishwashing liquid, laundry powder/detergent, window cleaner, toilet cleaner, etc.) with eco or biodegradable equivalents. These are friendlier on the environment and the ocean.
7. Support local farmers, especially those who use organic farming methods.
8. Find out what local government rebates and incentives are offered for using water, electricity and heating alternatives.
9. Ladies, buy organic and earth-friendly makeup or body products wherever possible. Avoid companies like Maybelline, Aveeno, Covergirl, Pantene, Almay, Estee Lauder and Revlon that all test on animals (find more unethical companies here). Instead, opt for companies such as Wet’n’Wild, Lush, Dr. Bronner’s and Aubrey Organics (find more here). Alternatively, do what I do and research DIY alternatives!
10. Landscape your garden with local and native plants which help wildlife to thrive, promoting biodiversity.
11. Compost your kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps and return them back to the earth. This saves you the trouble and cost of buying chemical-laded alternatives.
12. Instead of getting paper letters and statements in the mail all the time, sign up for e-letters that are delivered electronically via the internet to you instead. Not only will you save paper, but getting e-letters will make it easier for you to travel!
13. Stop using plastic bags every time you shop. Instead, buy reusable bags. (These often cost $1 each or below.)
14. Save energy by using cold wash, hanging your clothes on a clothesline, changing your light bulbs to energy efficient alternatives and turning off all switches for items you don’t use.
15. As of writing the world has 7.4 billion people, and by 2050 it’s predicted that the population will reach 9.6 billion. Overpopulation is largely responsible for the majority of issues on the earth. So ask yourself, “Do I really want to have another child?” Perhaps adoption is a better alternative.
16. Plant a tree. Trees are such precious gifts to our planet. They purify the air, the land, support our lives and provide homes to millions of species. Make a ritual each year of planting a tree, or support others who can.
My great great grandchildren ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
What did you do when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing?
As the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
~ D. Dellinger (Hieroglyphic Stairway, Love Letter to the Milky Way)
Did I miss out something? I’d love for you to share any eco-conscious ideas you have below!