By: Guest Contributor – Ang Horn, Mostly Mindful
Are you keen to do your part for the planet but feel overwhelmed by where to start? That’s where we come in! Let’s dive into the seven top green lifestyle trends shaping your tomorrow.
They’re not just good for Mother Earth. They’re good for you too. Easy to adopt and beneficial in the long run, these trends promise a sustainable future for individuals and society as a whole.
It’s time to step up, go green, live alternatively, and shape a better tomorrow. Ready to embark on this eco-friendly journey? Let’s get started!
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7 Green Lifestyle Trends Worth Trying
As we strive to make our future sustainable, it’s clear that adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is more than a trend. It’s an urgent need. Fortunately, it’s also entirely within reach.
By adopting even one of these ideas, you could be part of the change the world needs right now. Oh, and don’t worry, you won’t have to move into a yurt and start tie-dying your clothes unless you want to!
Before I dive in, here’s a quick primer on a term we’ve all heard but don’t necessarily get: Carbon footprint.
In his fascinating book The Carbon Footprint of Everything (which, somewhat ironically, isn’t available on Kindle), Mike Berners-Lee, a professor at Lancaster University’s Environment Center, says it’s “the sum total of all the greenhouse gas emissions that had to take place in order for a product to be produced or for an activity to take place.”
For those of us in the developed world, this means things like transport, food, household energy, and the things we fill our homes with, such as kitchen appliances, furniture, clothes, and whatnot.
Right, back to those green lifestyle ideas.
1. Live a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Living a zero-waste lifestyle has taken off in recent years, with hardcore advocates producing less than a jar of waste yearly.
While quite an achievement, most of us aren’t ready to go that far. Not because we don’t want to but simply because it’s such a daunting endeavor.
While China generates the most MSW (municipal solid waste) worldwide, the United States holds the top spot for daily per capita MWS, with Canada and Australia taking second and third place.
Statistics like that make it hard not to stick our heads in the sand and pretend as if nothing’s wrong. The thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about stepping up with small changes.
Start by reducing single-use plastics in your life:
- Swap plastic bags for reusable ones
- Invest in a sturdy, refillable water bottle instead of buying disposable ones
- Aim to buy local, seasonal, and package-free food when possible
Composting is another excellent method to reduce food waste and nourish your garden. If you live in an apartment, bokashi composting is the way to go. You only need a sealable bucket and a bag of bokashi bran to get started.
Add your kitchen scraps to the bucket, add a layer of bokashi, and put the lid back on. Rinse and repeat until the bucket is full. The only caveat is that you’ll need to find a community garden to offload your fermented kitchen scraps.
2. Green Your Transport
Numerous green transport options are available today to help reduce our carbon footprint.
If you have the means, consider trading your gas guzzler for a hybrid or fully electric car. You could also invest in an electric scooter if you live in the city.
Using public transport offers numerous benefits, too. Not only will you help lessen traffic congestion, but riding on buses and trains means you’re sharing the energy expenditure with others.
For shorter distances, consider cycling or walking. Not only will you lessen your environmental impact, but you’ll also squeeze in some daily exercise. Beyond a midrange bicycle or a decent pair of walking shoes, they don’t cost much either.
Start today: Commit to using green transport one day a week. Take the bus, carpool, walk, cycle, or whatever, just don’t use your car.
3. Eat a Plant-Based Diet
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the most effective ways to make a difference to the planet and adopt a green lifestyle. Producing meat and dairy products requires extensive land and water resources while producing high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
In contrast, plant foods require fewer resources, produce less waste, and are generally more sustainable. Choosing any of these over meat and dairy can significantly decrease your carbon and water footprints.
- Whole grains
And the good news? Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you must say goodbye to delicious food! There are countless tasty recipes out there that exclude meat and dairy while being rich in flavor and nutrients.
My current favorite is Rainbow Rainbow Plant Life. Nisha’s recipes tick all the boxes: easy, delicious, nutritious, and not too hard on the budget. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel, as she’s also super entertaining.
As someone who’s been eating this way for over a decade, I can attest to the benefits of the green lifestyle. But I also remember how challenging it was in the beginning. The best advice I can offer is to take it slow.
While many have made the switch overnight, I’m not sure that’s sustainable in the long run. Start by watching Knives Over Forks (you can stream it for free) to gain insight into a plant-based diet’s health benefits.
Next, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and read through their guide: The Beginner’s Guide to a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet. It’s packed with all the information you need to embark on this new way of eating.
Oh, and be prepared for the vegan questions because you’ll get many of them. Fortunately, Vegan.com has compiled a list of answers to reassure well-meaning family members that you won’t fade away due to a lack of red meat.
Start today: Schedule a Forks Over Knives watch party. If nobody wants to join you, have a party on your own!
4. Make Remote Working a Permanent Thing
Remote working drastically reduces the need for commuting, leading to fewer cars on the road and less air pollution.
Virtual meetings save time and the physical resources needed to conduct face-to-face meetings. A permanent shift in this direction could have a profound impact on our personal carbon footprints.
Consider streamlining your work-from-home routine to include energy-saving measures such as utilizing natural light and becoming an advocate for digital rather than physical paperwork in your company.
Start today: If you’re not already working remotely, petition your boss to let everyone have at least one Pyjama Jeans day a week.
5. Slow Your Fashion
Fashion is an integral part of our lives, but it’s one of the world’s most polluting industries. Fast fashion, in particular, contributes to numerous environmental challenges, including excessive waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and water pollution.
Adopting a slow fashion lifestyle means supporting ethical brands, shopping second-hand, or creating your own clothes. Try to upcycle as much as possible. The internet has creative ideas to breathe new life into old clothes.
- Patch, dye, or embroider new life into a worn pair of jeans
- T-shirts past their sell-by date work great as cleaning clothes
- Turn that old sweater into a handbag
Renting clothes for special occasions, buying high-quality items that last longer, and mending rather than discarding worn-out clothes are all great ways to embrace slow fashion.
Start today: Search for thrift shops in your area and plan a Saturday adventure with your besties. Plan to enjoy lunch together afterward to show off your spoils.
6. Reuse and Repurpose
Reusing and repurposing items is another way to live a greener lifestyle. It’s all about maximizing the lifespan of the things we own and reducing the demand for new items.
Upcycle or creatively repurpose your items to give them a new lease of life. Broken furniture can be repaired, old clothes can be transformed into new designs, and jars can be used for storage or as vases.
It may take a bit of creativity and DIY, but it’s worth it. Not only are you preventing items from ending up in landfills, but you’re also creating unique and personalized pieces for your home.
Remember, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so consider swapping or selling items you no longer need.
Start today: Go through your house to find old things, broken, in need of repairs, etc., and see how you can give them a second lease on life.
7. Reduce Your Food Waste
Practice mindful shopping by planning meals in advance, making a shopping list, and sticking to it. This reduces the chance of impulse buying and purchasing food you don’t need.
Learn how to properly store your produce to extend its shelf life, and get creative with your leftovers. Even scraps like vegetable peels and coffee grounds can be used in gardening, beauty treatments, or composting.
Remember, “best before” dates are often conservative estimates, and many foods are safe to eat past these dates. Use your senses to determine if the food is still good rather than automatically throwing it out when the date passes.
If unavoidable waste occurs, consider whether it can be composted instead of thrown in the trash. This helps to return nutrients back to the soil, lessening the need for chemical fertilizers and reducing landfill waste.
Start today: Use up everything in your fridge. Even if it means some slightly odd meals. Next, plan out your menu for the week ahead and create a shopping list based on that. Resist the urge to deviate from the list!
What Does Green Living Actually Mean?
Living green means making conscious choices in our everyday lives that prioritize the health of our planet. This begins with recognizing our individual impact and taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint.
‘Greening’ your life isn’t about perfection but creating a sustainable cycle that future generations can follow. This involves respect for resources, reducing consumption, reusing where you can, or recycling when you can’t.
It also means creating a home and community that supports sustainability. It involves supporting local businesses, buying from companies with ethical practices, and engaging in activities that help to conserve our environment.
Living a green lifestyle goes beyond personal habits and choices. It extends to advocacy and educating others about the importance of sustainable living. By sharing your commitment to a green lifestyle, you can inspire others to make similar changes in their own lives.
How Can Going Green Benefit You (and the Planet)?
Going green offers numerous benefits, both for you and the planet. For starters, it promotes a healthier lifestyle. Many environmentally friendly practices, such as consuming organic, local produce and reducing meat consumption, can positively affect your physical well-being.
It can also lead to cost savings. Energy-efficient appliances, monitoring and reducing heating and cooling in the home, reducing water usage, and reusing items instead of buying new ones can all save you money in the long run.
For the planet, eco-friendly living helps reduce pollution, curb climate change, and conserve natural resources. It can improve the quality of our air and water, protect ecosystems, and promote biodiversity.
Perhaps most importantly, adopting green practices encourages a culture of respect for the environment. It sends a powerful message to companies, policymakers, and future generations about our societal values.
In the journey towards a sustainable future, every little effort counts. If we make small changes to our daily habits, we can collectively make a significant difference. While it may seem initially challenging, living an eco-conscious lifestyle can become second nature.
From rethinking our fashion choices to reducing food waste and embracing solar energy, there are numerous ways to incorporate earth-friendly practices into our everyday lives. Remember, it’s not about achieving perfection but about consistent and conscious efforts to preserve our planet.
Finally, it’s vital to share your green journey and inspire others. More than a trend, sustainable living is a necessary shift towards creating a healthier relationship with our environment. Let’s work together to protect our planet for future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is meant by green lifestyle?
Living a green lifestyle means making conscious choices to reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability. It involves everything from reducing waste to opting for eco-friendly transport.
What is an example of a green lifestyle?
A green lifestyle example is someone who bikes to work, uses energy-efficient appliances, and shops with reusable bags. They opt for local, organic food, recycling, and compost waste. They may also work remotely to save energy.
How do I start a green lifestyle?
Start by reducing waste: use reusable bags, bottles, and containers. Opt for public transport or biking over driving. Buy local, organic food and start recycling and composting.
What is a green minimalist?
A green minimalist focuses on owning fewer things and making eco-friendly choices. They aim to reduce waste, consume less, and live more sustainably.
What is the most eco-friendly lifestyle?
The most eco-friendly lifestyle minimizes waste, carbon footprint, and resource use. It includes zero-waste living, plant-based eating, and using renewable energy sources.
What is the difference between green and sustainable living?
“Green” focuses on reducing environmental harm. “Sustainable” aims for long-term balance between environmental, social, and economic factors. Both prioritize eco-friendly choices.
Why is green lifestyle important?
A green lifestyle helps reduce pollution, conserve resources, and combat climate change. It promotes a healthier planet and can also lead to personal health and cost benefits.
Author Bio | Ang Horn
Ang is on a mission to declutter the world, one misplaced Tupperware lid at a time. She loves coffee, her wife Sporty, Miles the pudding cat, and peanut butter smoothies. The order varies depending on current caffeine levels. Learn more at Mostly Mindful