Austin has a plethora of green, eco-friendly businesses. So, it can be easy for Austinites to be green in our eating, cleaning and living. Yet, even we have a hard time staying motivated to make better eco choices. Sometimes, life just gets downright busy and we might take the ‘easy’ route. We forget our grocery bags, use unsafe chemicals to make cleaning easier or grab fast food because that’s all we think we have time to do.
So how can one get or stay motivated to consistently make greener decisions?
Go ahead, think of yourself first! Really consider what you’re breathing into your lungs, absorbing through your skin and the toxins your organs might be processing from the foods you eat. Does that national chain care? Or is there a local, quick option for food if you’re pressed for time? When you feel rushed, just stop for a second, breathe deeply and look around you. You might see better options and lower your blood pressure at the same time.
Think of Others
Not really the selfish type? Think of others. I once had a co-worker who seemed to actually refuse to toss a can into the recycle right next to the garbage. He actually said, “What do I care? I’ll be dead before we ruin the planet.” He has kids. I told him I was recycling for his children. 🙂 What about your kids? Or any of your young relatives. Don’t have kids? What about your pets? I first started green cleaning because I saw my cat licking floor cleaner off of his paw. Ew. Sometimes it’s easier to do something for other people than to do it for ourselves.
Using Your Religion
I know not everyone believes in a ‘higher power’, but if you do, it can be a great motivator. What are you doing to the planet that was created for you (or that you might return to, depending on your belief system) ? And if you don’t subscribe to a faith, then aren’t you responsible for your own ethics? Whatever you believe, believe me, you can find motivation within your own convictions!
Whatever you do, don’t be too hard on yourself! That can flag motivation in a short time. If you try to do it all at once, it can become overwhelming. Take baby steps and take them one at a time. This month, try to remember your shopping bags. Next month, take a look at the produce you’re buying and see where it came from and whether or not it has pesticides sprayed all over it. Later, you can incorporate more green practices like eating less meat, cleaning without chemicals and driving less. You can make a difference without disrupting your whole life and obsessively thinking about eco choices. Doing it slowly will form life-long habits that become second nature.