These days, when you look at blogs that advocate ethical and sustainable living, you see a lot of people from the same ideologies. The vast majority of bloggers fall into the stereotypical environmentalist: white, left-leaning, vegan, climate change advocate, live in a big city, and middle class. A few break the mold in terms of ethnicity and location, but their ideologies are generally the same. The problem is most of the world doesn’t fall into these categories. And I don’t think we all should be following the same ideologies either.
When you’re first getting into the eco-conscious lifestyle, it can be easy to make mistakes even with the best intentions. But that should never stop you from doing the right thing. So I’ve compiled a few common don’ts of eco-conscious living and added a few dos to help you stay on track. Let’s get into it!
One of the biggest hurdles of the ethical fashion movement, and ethical goods over all, is price. If you go to any of the well known ethical fashion brands, you’ll see price tags of anywhere from 60 to 400 or more. Prices drop a little when it comes to fair trade, but not by much. And in today’s economy, saving money is still a big deal. Millennials and Generation Z show a lot of cynicism when it comes to spending money due to the 2008 housing crisis and the following depression. But not wanting to spend money shouldn’t lead away from a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, saving money can even point towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle.
Now that we've covered what sustainability is, let's go over how to start a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability isn't just about focusing on green living. It can be about human rights, animal cruelty, organic and recycling, or a combination. It all depends on what you want to focus on. I don't think there's one right way to start living an ethical lifestyle. Which is why I'm giving you four basic tips to get you started living sustainably.
Tip 1: Choose Your Focus
What are you looking to accomplish through sustainable living? Do you want to live greener and focus on recycling and natural, organic products? Do you want to support justice causes like human rights or animal cruelty? Or are you looking to just live more ethically overall? It's important to figure out your starting goal so you can focus your efforts later. And you can always shift or add a new focus at any point.
What is Sustainability?
What does it mean to live a sustainable, ethical lifestyle? Bloggers, writers, and retailers throw these words around so often that they’ve become buzzwords. Even the sustainable lifestyle community is divided on what sustainability is. So how do you figure out which is the “right” definition?
Well, first we can look at their definitions. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word sustainable means either:
- “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged sustainable techniques sustainable agriculture”
- “of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods sustainable society”
We’ll be focusing more on the latter, but both work for defining a sustainable lifestyle. Next we can look at the word ethical. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, ethical means: