Happy, healthy, fun.
These are three words I’ve come to associate with an environmentally friendly lifestyle since I’ve decided to take my journey, about three months ago. But firstly, what does being eco-friendly really mean?
A lot of the times it is put side by side with ‘sustainable’ and ‘green’. I personally think that the principle of all three is to live a life by taking actions that don’t damage the environment, or at least do less damage than other options. They mean living in harmony with the world, its environment but also its people. We live on a beautiful planet, with such a diverse nature: gorgeous forests, lakes, mountains, all in every shade of blue, green, brown, red, yellow, pretty much all the colours! And don’t get me started on the animals, so many unique, cute, bizarre, sometimes scary, wonderful creatures! Why are we trying to destroy it?
Have you ever found yourself just staring out into the ocean, or from the top of a cliff, or into a dense forest of trees and just stood there, out of breath, thinking wow, how is this even possible? I know I have! Quite a few times.
Unfortunately a lot of the times I’ve also found myself contributing by buying products and doing things which I didn’t think or know how harmful they were to the planet and to the people as well. When I decided to go more eco-friendly I started researching and was overwhelmed by the amount of things I owned in my room, kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe, that played part in destroying forests, harming animals and polluting oceans.
Since I’ve starting taking more care in what I buy and do (like buying local produce, walking everywhere, reducing plastic,) I’ve definitely noticed some positive changes that have affected me. I can say that these are three results of going eco-friendly:
I genuinely leave the farmer’s market with a super mega smile on my face. Knowing that I supported a local farmer and seeing all that fresh produce, just lying there, all naturally pretty saying ‘look at me! No plastic wrapping!’ just puts me in a good mood.
After I bought my very first canvas bag I might have jumped around like a little excited puppy?
I have also started buying more fair trade products, and knowing that I'm trying to not contribute to someone’s 1$ a day wage, is sort of making me more proud of my choices.
This comes without saying, ditching the car and bus and taking up biking and walking is definitely going to give you those leg muscles!
You also get to observe and admire the city or town you live in and notice things you hadn't before. While walking I love looking up at the buildings (while making sure I don’t bump into anything!) There are so many beautiful details that I would not have noticed if I was on a bus or in a car.
I currently do not buy organic produce, but that would be ideal! Organic vegetables are grown without the pesticides and fertilizers that can be harmful to us and to animals, so going organic would also be giving a healthy treat to our bodies.
Buying food from the maker is a lot more fun than buying anonymous products at the supermarket. You can smile and get a smile back, have a chat, compliment that baker because his pain au chocolat is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Even work on your French skills when you do so! Merci beaucoup, ils sont tellement bons! Or improve on your Italian when thanking the market ladies for that delicious focaccia. You may even receive a compliment from the farmer’s boy for re-using those little brown paper bags (yes this actually happened!)
It’s also fun to go on quests: for that palm oil-free peanut butter, for those zucchinis without plastic wrapping, for those dried apricots in a recyclable bag (still searching for those!) It gets you out and about, where you discover shops and places in your town that you didn't even know were there. Whole Foods in Canterbury? Whaaat?