Sometimes I drive a car, throw things in the rubbish and buy things in plastic… there, I said it, confession over.
I work in sustainability, and people sometimes have certain expectations of me. People have assumed I have a house cow, wear only hemp, and weave my own footwear. While all of those things are awesome, they just don’t really fit with my lifestyle and where I’m at.
Through my own journey to live more lightly on the planet, I’ve learned that change needs to be easy and feel good. It’s about making switches that fit with my lifestyle, otherwise, they’re not going to stick – simple as that.
What has been a massive help, is to let go of trying to be perfect, and instead, embrace the mantra of ‘better’. If I have a mindset of constantly doing things a little bit better, then it feels way more achievable and keeps me heading in the right direction.
Here are a few of the ways I’ve rolled with ‘better’:
On yer bike: I wanted to start riding my bike to work, but I’m what you would call a ‘fair-weather cyclist’ – I only like to ride if it’s not too cold, too wet, too rainy, or too hot! It all got a bit hard so I never got around to doing it. But then I changed my mindset and thought about how I could do things just a little bit ‘better’. I started riding my bike to work 1 day a week – a day when the weather was good. It felt so much more do-able!
Riding my bike to work 1 day a week isn’t perfect, but it is fundamentally better than not riding my bike at all.
Let it grow: I have romantic notions of strolling in my backyard with a wicker basket and gathering an abundance of produce from my garden (whilst wearing a large floppy hat and floaty dress). In reality, I am an average to poor gardener, and for years, I never got around to growing anything. Now with my mindset of ‘better’, I aim to grow one thing every season.Maybe it’s mint in a pot, strawberries in the front garden, or a year-round supply of iceberg lettuce. Most of the time I plant several things, but if I commit to 1 thing it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.
Cheeky treats: I have kids. They like treats (who doesn’t?!?). On a hot summer afternoon when they’re begging to go to the dairy for something cold, sometimes I grab some bananas out of the freezer and blend them up for a quick snack. But, sometimes we don’t have any frozen bananas or I just can’t be bothered and we go to the shop. The deal is that my kids have to choose an ice cream in a cone (to skip the packaging waste) and everyone is happy!
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to living lightly – it’s all about small changes that work for you and where you’re at. If we all focused on just doing a little better by the planet – man, how awesome would that be?!?