Why are people not doing more to become eco-friendly?

Research shows that 93% of people share a general concern for the environment and 77% of people want to learn how they can become eco-friendly and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Yet so few people are actually taking steps towards becoming more eco-friendly. The majority of us continue to use non-environmentally friendly products on a daily basis.

So if most of us are aware of the problems facing our planet and the majority of us care about the environment, why are we not doing more to help look after it?

Understanding why we’re not making eco-friendly choices is the key to making the change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are the top reasons why people are not doing more to help the environment.

I don’t have enough time to be eco-friendly man holding a save our planet sign

The most common reason that people are not making eco-friendly choices is because of a lack of time. Between work, family, and social commitments, it can be difficult to find even 5 minutes for yourself, let alone the time to help the environment.

Many of us simply don’t have time to research and source sustainable products, grow our own fresh produce or create eco-friendly cleaning products. And this leads us to choosing convenience over eco-friendly.

But becoming more eco-friendly doesn’t have to be time-consuming and inconvenient. In fact, this is one of the biggest misconceptions about eco-friendly living. You really don’t have to change your whole lifestyle to help the environment.

Picking just one of the products you use every day and switching it for an eco-friendly alternative isn’t overwhelming.When it’s a product you use everyday, this one simple action will have a huge impact long term.

Once you’re comfortable with that switch, you can even start looking at other everyday essentials you can swap for eco-friendly alternatives. Before you know it, you’ll be living a sustainable lifestyle without even trying very hard!

Eco-friendly products are too expensive

In the current economic environment, when many people are struggling to make ends meet financially, they have no other option but to buy the cheapest products. While the demand for traditional products still outweighs the demand for environmentally friendly ones, they simply cannot compete in price. Unfortunately, the cost of sourcing sustainable materials and using eco-friendly manufacturing processes is higher than non-sustainable ones.

There’s no denying that eco-friendly products are more expensive to buy. At least initially. However, switching to eco-friendly alternatives is actually much cheaper. In fact, it will even save most people a lot of money in the long run.

For example, you can easily save $1000 a year by using a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic.  By switching from tampons and pads to a menstrual cup the average women will save around $70 per year. When we break it down, it’s quite surprising how much we can save by simply switching a few of our essential items to its eco-friendly alternatives.

What’s more, if we all start to spend our money on eco-friendly products then more shops will want to stock them. And as the demand for environmentally friendly products increases, they’ll become cheaper.

Nothing I could do will make a difference.

Many of us engage in faulty thinking, believing that “the planet is already too messed up, so what’s the point?” and that “nothing I could do will make a difference anyway.” Perhaps we feel that the environmental issues we face are so huge that it’s only governments and big corporations that have the power and resources to make a difference.

When we’re constantly bombarded with negative news about the state of our planet, it’s easy to understand why we feel such despair and hopelessness when it comes to saving it. These limiting beliefs are dangerous, not just for us but also for our planet.

The health of our planet is everyone’s responsibility. And we all have the ability to help in some way. The more of us that start to take responsibility, the more power we have to start turning things around. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.

 

 

“I am only one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller 

Even a small change in your daily routine, such as using plastic-free produce bags or a switching to a bamboo toothbrush, will have a huge impact. With just one simple action you can make a big difference to the amount of single-use plastic you consume, especially in these high impact categories. Every piece of single-use plastic that you don’t use, is one less piece that can end up polluting our oceans.

There are so many other problems to worry about

In addition to the environmental issues, we’re constantly hit with messages about the struggling economy, infectious diseases, rising crime rates and so many other troubling topics. Our brains can only handle so many contesting concerns.

If your partner has just lost their job, or your relative is sick, then understandably, looking after the environment is not going to be at the top of your list. Sometimes the only way for us to cope with the stresses of modern life is to ignore the wider issues. Otherwise we’d be so overwhelmed that we probably wouldn’t be able to leave the house in the morning!

Our brains are also naturally wired to focus on immediate concerns. For most of us, the effects of climate change and plastic pollution don’t affect us personally. Not yet at least. We’ve been evolutionarily programmed to look for danger and most environmental issues don’t quite hit close enough to home for us to prioritise them.

tutle in eco-friendly habitatWhen you visit the beach and the sand is clean, it’s understandable that you’re not concerned about the amount of plastic in the ocean. Or if you look out your window and see beautiful trees and wildflowers you’re not going to be thinking about deforestation.

We prefer problems that we can fix right away. The deteriorating health of our planet is not something that we can easily, or quickly, solve. And as a result, saving the planet just isn’t a priority for most of us.

But looking after the environment doesn’t have to be another problem for you to worry about. Living in a more eco-friendly way is surprisingly simple. Choosing an eco-friendly and plastic-free alternative for an item you use often is an easy way to start living a more sustainable lifestyle.

And if we don’t start living more sustainably then these environmental issues will soon pose such a threat to us personally that we will have no choice but to prioritise them. So the time to make a change is now.

I have no idea how to be eco-friendly

Although we may know and care about the health of our planet, many of us don’t actually know how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Looking after our environment isn’t something we learn at school. Less than 20 years ago, we had no idea how harmful our behaviours were to the planet.

We constantly talk about becoming more eco-friendly, but we forget that not everyone knows exactly what that means or how to go about it. And with an overwhelming amount of eco-friendly products, it’s almost impossible to know where to start.

Simplicity is key when it comes to starting your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We often think that eco-friendly living requires us to make a huge change. But actually the smallest of choices can make a difference. Start by looking at the products you use on a daily basis, is there a more environmentally friendly alternative?

So what can we do to start being eco-friendly?

nature heart shapeBe kind to yourself

There’s no denying that it’s seriously depressing, and often overwhelming, when we really look at the state of our planet. And it’s easy to start feeling guilty about how much damage we have caused. Acknowledge these feelings. But don’t allow yourself to get stuck in them. You won’t be able to achieve anything from a place of despair and shame.

Educate yourself

We encourage you to learn a little more about eco-friendly living. You can’t do better until you know better. Truly understanding the key issues affecting our planet is the only way that we will be able to start turning things around. But don’t try to understand everything, pick an area that you’re most interested in.

There are some fantastic websites, social media accounts and even Netflix documentaries that are full of easy to digest information and useful advice. Make sure you follow our Facebook and Instagram for simple eco-friendly tips and insights.

Start small

You don’t have to change your whole lifestyle to start being eco-friendly. There are many tiny steps you can take that will have a big impact. Starting small is how you get things done and begin moving forwards. By taking small actions in our everyday behaviours and consumption habits we will greatly reduce our individual impact on the environment.

Why not start by switching to eco-friendly alternatives from one of our seven everyday categories? You’ll be surprised how easy it is to start living more sustainably.

Believe you can make a difference

If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference. Ultimately, our beliefs are what create our behaviours. Plus believing that you can make a difference creates a positive ripple that will empower others to feel the same.

Give yourself credit for the things you already do

You’re probably already making some sustainable choices. It’s important that you acknowledge the eco-friendly efforts you’re already making.  For example, refilling your water bottle or bringing your own reusable coffee cup and shopping bags. Even just switching off lights and appliances when you’re not using them. With these actions alone, you’re already helping to look after the environment, whether you realise it or not!

Reconnect with nature

We spend most of our time indoors. With the majority of that time staring at a screen. One of the reasons we’re not doing more to help the environment is because we’ve become so disconnected from it.

So get outside. Reconnect with nature. Fall in love with the earth. Because in the end, we only conserve the things we love.

And lastly, go easy on yourself if you slip up.

As Anne-Marie Bonnaeu, the Zero-Waste Chef says, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

Making eco-friendly living easy

With so many reasons why people aren’t doing more to look after the environment, we’ve made it super simple to start being eco-friendly.

We focus on the seven highest impact every day categories. So by choosing to switch to just one of our eco-friendly products you can make a big difference. Not only are all the products we stock plastic-free but they’re also 100% sustainable, chemical-free and vegan.

Plus each of the brands we’ve selected are supporting innovative projects around the world. From supplying communities with access to clean drinking water to replanting mangroves and cleaning up our oceans.

Which means that you can have the highest impact possible by making one small eco-friendly choice. Not only are you able to dramatically reduce your own single-use plastic consumption but you’re also helping to look after the environment and communities around the world.

We understand that being eco-friendly can feel overwhelming, or even impossible. But even a seemingly insignificant daily action can create the biggest impact. ⁠Our planet will not get better by chance, it will get better by change. ⁠

Start being kind to our environment today.

Ann Suen

Author Ann Suen

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