Living better – not living right

It seems as though today there are too many barriers to living ‘right’. Modern society just does not make it easy to do the right thing. How often have you, for example, checked ingredients to be sure that what you are buying is gelatine-free, only to find palm oil listed? (For the vegetarians.)

There are so many battles to fight, and so many attitudes that need to shift if society as a whole supports a more ethical way of living. But until then, each individual can play their part. And it doesn’t have to be difficult.

While some people reading this may already be way ahead of me on the staircase to a more ethical lifestyle, others may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of issues, for example: reducing your water or energy usage, reducing your waste, avoiding harsh chemicals in cleaning or beauty products, reducing or eliminating your intake of animal products… all of which ultimately reduce your personal carbon footprint. But how can you tackle all of these? There simply doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day!

Though some of you may disagree, I strongly believe (and advise) that it is – for most people – unachievable, and perhaps even foolish, to try to do everything at once.

What is the point, for example, of ridding your house of plastic, before any items you have already purchased have reached the end of their lifespan?

So, I propose we all start the same way: with one step. Make one change at a time, and leave as much time as you need in between steps to make sure that each change can stick. If you try for too many things in one go, I see it ending in one of two ways: it is too exhausting and you give up, or you alienate your loved ones with your zealousness. If you make one small change at a time, and make it as easy as possible for your loved ones to fall in step with you, chances are in the long term, it will stick, and those you are encouraging on your journey with you will understand, appreciate and support your reasons for engaging in a more ethical lifestyle.

I’ve decided to start this blog to share my personal journey towards a more ethical lifestyle. While some of the steps I will write about I took long ago, I know there are many more that I wish to take. I hope that you will find my words a source of support, encouragement, perhaps inspiration at times and hopefully appreciate the healthy dose of reality every now and then.

I will tag each post so that you can search previous posts for particular categories, for example, at your stage in your journey you may be looking at ways to reduce waste (#towardszerowaste) or natural, home-made cleaning products (#cleaningproducts). Or, you may like to look at things room by room (#bathroom).

Whatever stage you are on – whether at the beginning or somewhere along the way – I encourage you to keep foremost in your mind your reasons for beginning and continuing on this journey. If things feel too hard, take a moment – or perhaps a day or two – to think carefully about why it mattered to you so much that you tried to enact a change in the first place. Was your motivation about our planet’s health? Were you concerned about the health of you and your family? Were you bothered by the harsh realities of the meat and animal product industries?

Whatever your reasons, if you feel like giving up, think back to your primary motivation. I hope this will give you the strength to try again – maybe with smaller steps.

We all need to do our bit to ensure a healthy future for our world. Start living better today!