Each and every one of us needs to play a part in slowing down the Climate Crisis, from individuals, business owners to governments. What feel like small, insignificant changes can collectively have a significant impact, think “the compound effect”. Adopting daily eco-friendly practices is essential to tackle the Climate Crisis, but what happens when you feel like you’re not doing enough? when you’re struck with green guilt! here’s at look at green guilt, the what, why and the how to deal with it in a positive and constructive way…
What’s Green Guilt?
Fuelled by freak weather, devastation, hard scientific facts and tireless activism, the last few years have been somewhat transformative. There has been a global shift and much needed awakening to the Climate Crisis, that we all face. We are entering the “New Green Revolution” where we must rethink our food sources, energy supplies and systems to combat civilisations biggest threat. This cultural revolution has brought with it “green guilt” a term that refers to a feeling of environmental guilt, the feeling that we should be doing more to preserve the environment. It is said that the number of Americans who admit that they suffer from environmentally related “green guilt” has more than doubled in the past three years. Let’s take a look at a few positive ways to deal with green guilt…
Progress Not Perfection!
Remember progress not perfection! You’re not striving to be the greenest, slowest living, consciences, most ethical, sustainable, zero-waste, chemical-free guru on the Planet. Yes, you are responsible for your own actions, but that does not mean you need to be perfect 100% of the time. Give yourself credit for the changes you have made and vow to continue. If you’re at the train station and desperately need water and there’s nothing else on offer but a plastic bottle, it’s ok. Try to make as many positive changes as you can to how you consume, recycle and your actions, but don’t burden yourself with guilt. Remember, making more conscious green choices is a process, you are striving for progress not perfection.
Slow and Steady
This leads me on to my next point, you can’t change everything overnight. Sure it would be nice to be able to switch out all of your household products, clothing and consumables to be eco-friendly and compostable, but that’s not real life. Slow and steady is o.k. Gradually change the items that you consume. For example, as you use up your face cream or your plastic bottle of tomato ketchup, start to think about how you can replace then with a more environmentally friendly option. Gradually make more conscious decisions about the products that you buy and allow into your home. Think about the lifespan of that product and where it will end up. Will it end up floating in the Ocean? or can it be recycled? is it compostable? Making lasting changes gradually.
Lead by Example
Be the change you wish to see. As with anything in life, stepping out of the norm and making changes can feel uncomfortable. You might be at risk of being mocked, but the best way to influence change is to live it. What might seem like small actions and changes can have a ripple effect. Say, for example you start taking glass Tupperware to work instead of plastic, then your work colleagues notice and thus the ripple effect begins. Feeling like you are not doing enough for the environment can cause “green guilt” but it is much more productive to use your energy showing others the way, leading by example and encouraging those around you to make changes. We are all in this together.
Make Lots of Small Changes
A small change is better than none. Think about all the small changes you have made so far. Be gentle with yourself, even if you have only made one change. Say, you switched your household to green energy, imagine if everyone did that! These seemingly small insignificant changes can have a global impact. There is no shame in starting with small changes, that’s how any major thing begins!
Plan Your Attack
When you’re feeling stuck and that progress is not happening quickly enough, plan! Look around your house and list the products that you could gradually phase out and switch for zero-waste alternatives. Think about green initiatives you could start in your local area, your children’s school or as part of a collective. Making a plan of attack will help to shift your mind from frustration to inspiration.
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