Leading an Eco friendly life is not always about forming new habits, it’s also about putting an end to old habits.

Replacing bad habits with good ones is probably the hardest challenge most of us have to face. It takes consistent action, which is a considerable effort in itself, but without it, are you really living life to your full potential? Miguel Ruiz said it well in “The Four Agreements”

“Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are. Expressing what you are is taking action.”

It’s easy to fall back into our smartphones or our favorite TV shows instead of spending time working on ourselves. Growing up, my parents taught me their way of life, they showed me what was right and what was wrong.

Most of these ideas and beliefs were molded out of what society had accepted as norm.

These are the rules and laws put into place by others for you to follow. It’s all based on a belief system that we never chose to believe. These beliefs are so strong, that even years later when we are exposed to new concepts and try to make our own decisions, we find that they still control our lives.

Wanting to break free of this is the reason why you’re here, reading this.

You chose that it’s time that you contribute your part in helping the planet shift towards a healthier norm. You know that if we don’t, the consequences will be irreversible.

I’m writing this because I’ve made the same choice as you and while taking action, I pinpointed what I needed to break free of. Helping others take the same path means I have to share my experiences.

For you, I’ve assembled a list of 5 habits I’m progressively phasing out of that set me on a path to sustainable living.

These are the 5 habits I suggest you try to work your way out of

These are the 5 habits I suggest you try to work your way out of

1. Daydream less about the things you want

eco friendly lifestyle, stop daydreaming

By things that you want I mean possessions. They say the happiest people on earth are the ones with the least possessions. Society keeps telling me that buying things will make me happy. Does it really? Buying a new phone will surely be an exciting experience, but the happiness is temporary, what you need to do is focus on your needs. Perhaps spend time learning a new hobby or perhaps a high income skill.

You will find yourself buying a lot less things, hence saving money and time for meaningful things. Depending on your goals, it could be paying off your house faster or putting money aside for your kid’s education.

2. Watch less Television

Eco Friendly Lifestyle, less televison

In my family, I grew up thinking it was perfectly normal to spend the entire evening watching television. The shows we watched portrayed families with TVs in their living room just like ours. It was shown as a norm for society. Some evening we barely talked and just watched tv like a bunch of zombies. I’m actually glad I eventually realized it was unhealthy because many of my friends are still stuck in that loop.

It’s true, I do miss some shows in particular. Looking back, I find most of what I miss are the planet earth documentaries. Wildlife enthusiasts like Steve Irwin, he was my hero. In retrospect, I can attribute some of my current values to what I seen on television. It’s been inspiring but there comes a time where you have to break free and join the fight. As an adult there are so many things we can do to help, let’s carry on Steve Irwin’s legacy!

3. Don’t use your car as much

eco friendly lifestyle, go for a walk

We are all guilty of this, many times we jump into our car and drive somewhere knowing we could have easily opted for different options like taking the bus, walking or biking. Occasionally opting out of driving can bring many benefits to your life, a study by the annals of behavioral medicine showed that people who walked and performed moderate exercises regularly had much lower stress levels than their counterpart. Getting yourself to jump on that bike or simply put on your runners to go for a walk can do you wonders.

It can help:

    • Brighten your mood

    • Spark your creativity

    • Rev your metabolism

    • Live longer (better cardiovascular health)

    • Save you money! (keep that gas tank full!)

    • Maintain good skin (Get your dose of Vitamin D)

    • Connect with others (take your friend with you)

    • Clear your head

  • Unwind to get better sleep at night

Not only will you personally benefit from all of this but so will the environment. Next time you have to get to the groceries to pick up a few things, maybe consider putting down those car keys and go for a walk.

4. Reduce your use of Plastics

eco friendly lifestyle, use less plastic

Plastic can be called a marvel of modern technology but not everything should use plastic. There a plenty of alternatives that are easily accessible these days that will lessen the amount of plastic being thrown into our landfills. Recycling is definitely what you should do with plastics when you’re done with them but they do have to go through a process to be re-used again. That process usually requires a significant amount of energy.

If you want to reduce your impact on the environment and lead an Eco friendly life, start by using less plastic products. This way you can save the energy required to recycle them or simply save them from ending up in the streets or worse, in the ocean. Look into alternatives such as bamboo based products that are durable, organic and biodegradable. Glass containers instead of zip lock bags, metal cups instead of disposable coffee cups, or simply opting out of using straws and drinking straight out of the cup.

To stop using plastics is no easy feat, I found that replacing and focusing one use at a time works best. For the first week, try to avoid using zip lock bags.

5. Stop Eating Fast Food

eco friendly lifestyle, eat less fast food

Did you know that almost half of all the street garbage comes from fast food? I know how tempting it can be to order up with skipthedishes but don’t let yourself do it! Cook at home with your own ingredients, your belly will love you and so will the planet.

Fast food being fast means the majority of the ingredients were prepared ahead of time by processes that use up a whole lot of energy. A Big Mac results in between 1-3.5kgs of CO2 emissions, who would have known? The next time you have the urge to order food, think again and take it as a challenge. Ask yourself, how many days can you go without fast food?

Conclusion

It can be hard to break these habits since they are so ingrained in our society. They have become normal over time. But your choice is made ,now is the time to break free. Take it one step at a time and it will be manageable.

Make yourself a hit list and check off each habit once you have kicked it, or even better, share it with us! The important part to remember here is why you’re doing this. What kind of world would you like your children and grandchildren to live in?

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