Why should I care about being ‘eco-friendly’?

There’s a scale when it comes to environmentalism stretching from those who completely deny that we have a responsibility for the earth, or deny any human related climate change to those who live their whole lives in pursuit of preserving the Earth.

I think most people are somewhere in the middle. They acknowledge that there is a climate crisis looming but feel powerless to make any significant changes. Life is busy and choosing natural alternatives in the every day involves too much upheaval that they simply don’t have the time, money or head space to explore.

But is being ‘sustainable’ just another cause? Something that’s fine for some to get excited about but others could take it or leave it? Should it be a priority for you to make significant changes in your life?
While, of course there will be those activists and campaigners that are driven by a natural desire to champion a certain cause, I believe that we ALL have a duty to think about the life choices we make and consider how they may affect others.

Here’s 3 reasons why you might like to consider being more ‘eco-friendly’:

It’s better for our health
The subject of whether synthetic chemicals used in our household products can be harmful to health is a controversial one. The debate ranges from those who make radical claims that they may cause serious health conditions to those who assure us it is perfectly safe to use anything we find on sale.
Personally I prefer to err on the side of caution. I feel there is enough evidence, from both scientists and well know organisations to make me sit up and take notice. Do I want to use substances on my children that are known irritants? Even if there is a risk of those products causing a serious illness do I want to take the chance when there is a perfectly adequate natural alternative available?

It is better for the environment
It is now widely acknowledged that we are heading into a ‘climate emergency’. People around the world are already suffering severe hardships and loss of life due to climate change and it is predicted to get much worse.
Of course, many of these issues can only be tackled through policy change, but I also think personal change is necessary and if we all worked to reduce our carbon footprint and manage our consumption and waste significant strides could be made.

It’s cruelty free
When we do our clothes or supermarket shop and buy products just because we have always done so (and that’s what everyone does) we may inadvertently support brands or organisations that put profit over living things. Even a small amount of research shows that many big brands are involved in some horrendous practices including slavery, habitat destruction and animal testing. I recently read this shocking article from the Secret Cleaner about 12 household products that are tested on animals and I can almost guarantee that you have more than one in your home right now (think Lenor, Fairy and Febreeze).
More importantly there is a huge human cost as well. Can you really enjoy your bar of chocolate wondering if child slave labour was used in its production? Or that people were suffering in the production of your clothes?

Now, of course I don’t mean to depress you. The environmental issue is incredibly complex and being ‘eco-friendly’ is not straight forward. It is not possible to do it all or be perfect and if you try to you will likely be overwhelmed. Life is busy and expensive and for the average person it is nearly impossible to be truly ‘eco-friendly’.

However, I don’t believe that is a reason not to try. Not to be considering it, or doing your research and making informed choices.
For the last two years we have been on a journey; completely overhauling the products we use in our home and trying to reduce our consumption, waste and carbon emissions. Yes, we still buy products in plastic, yes we still produce waste, yes we still buy products from big brands BUT it is a lot less than a few years ago, and I continue to be surprised at how easy certain swaps are.

It’s mainly down to a shift in mindset and working towards making better choices. Don’t try to do it all at once, but every step forward is a step in the right direction.

Don’t make the climate crisis someone else’s issue – what can you do today?

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