The first step to greening your life is the easiest – it requires no time, energy or money. All you have to do is think. You need to become aware. Aware of your lifestyle, your choices, and your impacts. If changing the way you think sounds ominous, rest assured it doesn’t have to be. Start with this simple exercise.
Identify a time in your day when your brain is idle – your drive to work, transit commute, morning shower, etc… Take 5 or 10 minutes during this time, and think about how your life impacts the planet. Try using the following phrases as your starting point: “Where does it come from?” and “Where does it go?”. An example – when you buy a bottle of water. That water was sourced from somewhere – was it an iceberg in Sweden, or a spring in a nearby town. What about the plastic bottle? How was it made? Where did the materials come from? And after you finish drinking it, where will it go? A landfill, a recycling plant? Will it get turned into something else – another bottle, a fleece blanket, a child’s toy?
After a few focused “thinking sessions” like this, you’ll find this perspective starts to infiltrate your thoughts more and more. When you fill your tank with gas, buy groceries, order pizza, shop for clothes. Of course, the next step is to start making changes in your daily life – little ones, that will cumulatively reduce your impact, and in turn improve the planet. As for what those changes should be, stay tuned for future blog posts!