4 Don’ts of Eco-conscious Living (and 4 Dos)

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!

Four common missteps of eco-conscious living and how to overcome them

4. Don’t… get rid of/donate all your unsustainables

This can be a really big temptation for people just starting out on their ethical lifestyle, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed. So take a deep breath and put all those bags of clothes back in your house. Yes, you want to be aware of what you’re buying now, but that doesn’t mean throwing everything out you had before.

Do… keep track of current items

Take inventory of your things. Make a list. What maybe needs to be put in a “repair” pile? What can be donated to a friend or family member? If there’s a repair you don’t think you can do, then consider taking it to a recycling center or offering it to someone who might want it. One person’s junk is another’s treasure, after all.

3. Don’t… tempt yourself with shopping trips even with friends

I know this from working at a retail store for multiple months. It was so tempting looking at all the gadgets and gizmos to buy something to treat yourself for working six to nine hours. Or just because. So don’t plan or go on shopping trips, even with a group of your closest friends. Unless you know exactly what stores in your area are eco-conscious and ethical or carry brands that are, don’t tempt yourself and save your wallet from the hit.

Do… shop at thrift stores and flea markets

Instead, if you’re really looking for new items or want to plan a shopping trip, look for your local thrift stores, flea markets, and consignment stores. These are the best places to find clothes that won’t negatively impact the environment the same way brand new clothes will and to find clothes that aren’t going to drain your bank account either.

2. Don’t… make constant stops at convenient stores

This is a hard one since there’s one of these on pretty much every street corner. But the reality is, most of even the “organic” snacks there aren’t very healthy, the tempting soda wall isn’t good for you, and the packaging leads to greater pollution. Unless you find yourself in an emergency, avoid the convenience stores even for that cup of coffee in the morning.

Do… carry snacks and use reusable travel mugs and bottles

Make a habit of packing snacks like carrots, pretzels, nuts, fruit, and even cheese if you’re not going vegan. Try to avoid using plastic bags, and switch to plastic or steel containers. For beverages, make sure to use a washable travel mug or water bottle. You can find sustainable versions of these products through a simple Google search.

1. Don’t… beat yourself up over mistakes

Every person on their journey to sustainable living makes mistakes. You, me, even biggest eco bloggers and advocates. Everyone on the journey makes at least one mistake at some point. Whether that’s not doing enough research to really wanting that mass-produced donut or candy bar. Nobody is born with the sense of what is best for the environment or always has the power to resist temptation. So don’t get mad or beat yourself up over the smaller mistakes. We all make them.

Do… keep going and keep learning

Every mistake is a learning experience. Just because you’ve made one or two or even five doesn’t mean you’re not fit for a sustainable lifestyle. Maybe this means you need to find a new method of research or a new, healthier snack to crave. We all have something that’s hard to let go of when we start the eco-conscious journey, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. So keep going and keep learning.

And those are my top dos and don’ts for starting out an eco-conscious lifestyle. What are some dos and don’ts you’ve learned as you take your journey. Let me know in the comments!

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