Simple Steps To Live More Consciously
It can often feel like living in modern society is completely at odds with living an ethical lifestyle. Fast fashion is everywhere, the food supply chain is getting murkier by the day, and everywhere you look there are big businesses hunting for profits at any expense.
When we think about living a conscious lifestyle, many people have the belief that this is an all or nothing stance. You’re either in, or out. You either care about the planet and the well-being of the people on it, or you don’t.
Fortunately, nothing in life is this black and white, and there is always room to maneuver if you’re willing to work for it. Rather than resigning yourself to the idea that living an ethical lifestyle is too difficult, try these baby steps towards a more conscious lifestyle.
1. Understand the origins of your purchases
All too often, we make purchases without thinking about the value of them. We’re in a hurry during the day and grab a sandwich for lunch. Or it’s your friend’s child’s birthday and you forgot to get them a gift so you pick up a toy from the store on the way to the party. This works for companies that have built their business model around convenience, but it doesn’t work for communities or the environment.
Next time you are making a purchase, consider the origins of the materials and how it came to be. Is there an alternative available? Could you make it yourself? Do you even really need it? Once you start to think about how far each of your purchases has traveled to make it to the shelf in front of you, you will soon find yourself making smarter purchases.
2. Go organic
When it comes to purchasing food, choosing organic produce is a great way to vote with your dollars while also improving your health. The organic produce is more likely to be seasonal, so you can be assured it is also likely to be local. Seeking out your local farmers’ markets is not only a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, but it will also do wonderful things for your health as your body rids itself of the toxins found in non-organic food.
Many people think that living an ethical lifestyle means they have to abide by a vegetarian or even vegan diet, but there are even different levels of ethical animal produce. If you go for the locally-sourced, free-range meat products, you will likely pay a little more and eat these foods less often.
3. Give back to your community
Volunteering in your community is one of the best ways to give back in some meaningful way. If you are skilled in a certain area, such as cooking or accounting, there will be plenty of charities in desperate need of your skills. Ask your employer if they allow workers to complete pro bono hours for charities so that you don’t have to think of volunteering as something you do only in the evenings or on the weekends.
There are many other ways to give back to your community, and it’s all about using your skills in the right way. If you have experience in child care, you could foster a child while those with experience in business management might want to think about mentoring.
4. Pledge to produce less waste
The next big threat to our planet is the abundance of plastic waste making its way into our waterways. You can help mitigate this impact by being mindful of your own personal waste. Want to inspire your family to go packaging free? Try these family challenges:
Pledge to go without packaging for one week.
Aim to reduce your family waste by a certain amount every day.
Place a “tax” on any item thrown away that can’t be recycled to help your family make smarter choices. Make it a challenge and see who can amass the least “taxes” in a month.
What steps would you recommend for someone hoping to live a more ethical lifestyle?