It used to be hip to purchase green products, drink kale smoothies, shop at thrift stores, ride a bike to a concert festival, or substitute meat for veggies one day a week.
In all of the eco-friendly movements, efforts, research, rallies, green businesses and environmental solutions, an important shift is occurring. It’s no longer just a cool thing to do—collectively, we are setting conscious intentions and taking mindful actions to create a better future for ourselves, each other and our planet.
As a society, we have shifted from going green because it’s cool, to going green for the sake of survival.
Nearly 98% (and growing) of scientists agree that climate change is not only happening, but it’s happening quickly. Ice caps are melting, which is causing sea levels to rise, species to die and temperatures to change—in some places drastically. We are using our resources faster than the planet can offer them. Remember that Earth Overshoot Day occurred in August this year. That means our yearly allowance for natural resources are gone and we are now using reserves.
What happens when it’s gone?
While some may continue to live wastefully, enough of us have banded together to start taking action. We have come to the point in our journey of humanity where we have woken up to the realization that our actions matter. It is time to pull together to stop—and even reverse—the effects of climate change, pollution and laziness in our daily habits and consumerism.
All changes start with one person—me.
We each need to take some reflection time and take a very serious, deep look at what we are doing with our lives. Going green isn’t just about throwing out some chemicals, planting a few plants and setting up a recycling bin, though these are good starting points! Living a green, eco-minded lifestyle requires thoughtfulness, planning, heart and intention. It requires purposeful decisions on how to conduct every day activities. And it means peeling back layers of plastic water bottles and processed foods to re-discover authentic ways to drink, eat, sleep, communicate, work, breathe, purchase goods and navigate our way through life.
By slowing down enough to take personal inventory of our habits and decisions, rather than taking the easy route, we can each individually discover our own ways to help heal our planet.
The next step is to inspire our families and local communities.
We each live and love each other differently. That is part of the beauty of humanity—our uniqueness. Likewise, we can each find our unique ways to love our communities and our natural earth-given resources.
There is no one way to go green. There are no ten steps to take to achieve a green lifestyle.
When each of us finds something we can grab ahold of and really take ownership of, we can begin to inspire change within our families and communities. We can start with something that speaks to us on a personal level so that our actions are fueled by heart and authenticity.
Just one inspired action—planting and harvesting our own food, giving it away, starting community recycling projects, inspiring creative conservation endeavors, re-connecting with our neighbors (like actually knowing their names!), picking up trash on our blocks, starting or joining community projects, visiting local shops and farmer’s markets, or even walking barefoot for a day—these actions greatly inspire an interest to work together and our desire to protect and care for our resources and our environment.
Once we feel alive and connected, we naturally want to take more steps in caring for what we have been given.
Soon, people close to us are inspired to do the same. This is the beauty of taking inspired action and building from there.
On a global level, we can continue to inspire mindful living. The recent climate talks have united an intention to live more consciously. This is helpful because leaders across borders, cultures, religions and languages have all come to agree that we all need to work together.
Now it’s time to act.
If we each make a change, the entire planet will feel it. It doesn’t have to be the same action across the planet. It just has to be the same conscious decision each day to create a healthier environment than before.
By taking small actions to initiate change, we never know how far an idea can spread. Likely, the ripple effects of conscious living will echo across the planet for years to come.
One person and one idea can make a big difference.
How do we inspire people to go green? We pay attention. We look within and ask ourselves how we can solve a problem that we feel drawn to solving.
And we act.
One person’s actions can reverberate around the world. And even if it doesn’t, your little corner of the planet will thank you as it thrives from your own decision to mindfully live more consciously and intentionally.
Author: Autumn Morgan
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Photo: Author’s own / Unsplash