Sunday, 4 February 2018

Journey to Green: How to succeed at green living

If you search online for "How to live a green lifestyle" or some equivalent phrase you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and blog posts about all the things you can do to help the environment.  However, Going Green is not always easy and to really succeed the right "Green Mindset" will help enormously.  Let me help you get in the right frame of mind as you head off on your Journey to Green.

Journey to Green

Journey to Green: How to succeed at green living

The first step

  • Research.  Do not rely on anecdotal advice on social media but look for accurate green and sustainable information from reputable sources.
  • Be organised.  How often have I gone shopping and realised my reusable shopping bags are still at home? You will find plenty of other examples as you tread the green path where being organised makes a green lifestyle easier to achieve.
  • Be prepared to be different - although an awareness of green issues is growing fast, those people who live greener lives than average will still perhaps be seen as a bit different, maybe even slightly odd.  Don't let that worry you though.  Be proud to be a pioneer!
  • Do not go "Single Theme" - try not to focus on just one aspect of green living ie living plastic free or eating vegan but try to make every aspect of your life as green as possible.

The next green steps

  • Set yourself goals.  It may be to eat veggie twice a week or take the bus to work every other day. But above all make these goals achievable.  If you set them too high you automatically set yourself up for failure. 
  • Avoid the Greenwashing trap.  Do not fall into the trap of buying something just because it is marketed as "green" etc.  Avoid falling for what is termed Greenwashing
  • Accept that you will make mistakes but learn from them.
  • You cannot completely turn green overnight, it is a journey, so start with what you can realistically achieve and build on that as your green journey progresses.
  • Be prepared to be categorised as any of the following (and a lot of others besides): Earth Mother, Trendy Leftie, Middle class trendie, Tree Hugger, Eco-Warrior, "that odd relative who knits her own nettle fibre undies" ... wear your badge with pride!
  • Be prepared to answer the same questions about your green lifestyle choices time and time again. 
  • Be prepared to reject convenience.  Say no to a coffee on the run and embrace the time relaxing as you sip a real coffee from a real cup.  Stop those impulse online purchases you really do not need.  Delight in the miracle that is a seed turning into a vegetable that you grew.

Preparing for negativity

  • Be prepared for flack.  The world is full of people who revel in knocking people who are different as well as those who simply deny that the world has any environmental problems.  Do not let them steer you off your chose green path.
  • Accept that some people will never change, even to help the planet.  Move on and use your energy where it is better served, on those who are willing to listen and also change.
  • Cost.  People will tell you green living will cost you a lot more.  In fairness some things will cost more ... but others will cost less and as a green lifestyle naturally means you consume and waste less, be that excess food, "stuff" you buy or energy you use then overall you will probably save money.

As time passes ...

  • We live in an imperfect world but your green lifestyle choices do make a difference.  Never forget that.
  • Be prepared to live better with a reduced amount of "stuff".
  • Slow living.  Enjoy a slower pace of life. 
  • Monitor and record.  It is easy to forget how far you have come so find a way to record what you have achieved.
  • Reward yourself.  When you achieve or surpass your goals give yourself a reward - something you normally do not have and something you really enjoy.

I sincerely hope that in years to come people will look back at this time and wonder how on earth I even needed to write this blog post as green living will be the norm.  For now, though, this way of living is a long way off for the majority and for some people the only conscious green steps they take is putting out a bulging recycling bin every week.  But more and more people are also now realising that we need to do far more than this.  So please, use my guide to help set you up in the right frame of mind and then head off on the first step of your Green Journey.  If you need some inspiration for specific ideas please do read these other posts I have written: 365 ways to help you save the planet and The A-Z of Going Green, one step at a time

Have you any other green mindset ideas I should have added to this post?   Or are there any particular stumbling blocks you have come up against?

A Green and Rosie Life


  1. I definitely agree that 'going green' is a journey and it takes time. Research is definitely the key to success though. Every time I make a switch to something more sustainable I feel I'm on the right track. #GoingGreen

  2. Great post thank you! It is also important for people not to try to "convert" others but to lead by example. If people have questions as to why you are doing something, explain. But not in a way that makes them feel bad, or they will just switch off. Saving money, or personal health, are often good ways to explain the reasons behind something you are doing.

  3. I got asked at the weekend if I wanted a cup of tea. I kept refusing despite it being very wet and cold because I knew it would come in a disposable cup and plastic lid. It's not easy being green but the more you get your head round it and decide that's how you want to live your life it becomes much easier.

  4. I really struggle to reduce waste here in Dubai, even when I take my own bags they still pack in the plastic and when i empty into my bags they then just throw them in the bin and if I do end up having to take bags away with me they have knotted the tops together so I can't resue them anyway #goinggreen

  5. Great tips. This is a journey that my family is on, one step at a time. We're making as many little changes as we can to be a greener family. It's hard sometimes but I definitely think it's worth it. #MMBC

  6. Going green is definitely a journey, the more I research the more I cant believe I didn't know before. I've just done the research for my switch to a menstrual cup and I honestly didn't know that you cant flush tampons, I am sure that's what i was taught in school many years ago! Its strange because I found my 'green side' through minimalism and a quest for a slow and simple life. The less things I had, the more I wanted to know about my purchases, and the more I became aware of waste! I really think they do go hand-in-hand

  7. It is so hard to change when you are stuck in your ways! I am taking a little at a time. At the moment I am looking into changing baby wipes for something more environmentally friendly.

  8. I try to be more environmentally friendly where I can but as Vic says, it's so easy to get stuck in the same routine. I like to think we do our little bit as a family.

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC Rosie. Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you Monday!

  9. I find it's a never-ending journey with new challenges as you go.

  10. Great advice Rosie, starting small and building is always a good life tactic. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo - and as you'll see I'm equally as late, mine's all busy at work related, but clawing a little back as and when I can :)