Written by Grace Previte
They seem easy enough. So why are people so hesitant to make them?
“I’m too old to make changes,” or “I’m too busy to change my way of living.” We’ve heard it all before, and I want to get to the bottom of this stubborn mindset.
David Attenborough states, “How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was coming and did nothing?” This is one of the harsh realities that we could face in the future if we do nothing. However, having that mindset isn’t going to get us anywhere.
I hope that through educating people, we can encourage people to reflect on their actions.
Making lifestyle changes has been one of the best things I have done, and I want others to reap the rewards too. So, why are some people so hesitant to make even the smallest of changes? Some may say they don’t want to change their routine and habits, but isn’t that just being single minded? Making a ‘small’ change isn’t going to hinder your current lifestyle. It could be as small as choosing a more eco-friendly cleaning product, or changing your loo paper to a more sustainable brand. Surely your bum isn’t going to complain about this!
I am going to outline some simple ways in which you can start to make changes.
- Start off small; this will make it easier to change one thing at a time
- Set a realistic long-term goal and even involve a friend or family member; this will help keep you motivated
- Always ask for support; social media is full of tips and advice to help you on your eco journey. I am always happy to give friendly advice to any of my followers on Instagram, and I love hearing from them. You can find me on Instagram @gracefullygreener
Once you have implemented some small changes, the bigger ones that may seem more challenging, will become surprisingly easier. Research outlines the different stages you go through on this journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle. If we can all make these shifts in our mindset, this will result in a healthier and happier planet. Here is an example of one:
- Realisation – I’m eating meat every day of the week, where is it coming from?
- Reflection – Could I switch to buying organic grass-fed meat, or if that is too expensive, could I eat less of it?
- Preparation – Find a local farm shop or delivery service where I can source sustainable meat and veg.
- Action – Start to cut down my meat intake and experiment with more vegetarian meals each week.
- Maintenance – Find a rhythm that works for me. Start to think about how I can implement other changes like these in my life.
If a 99-year-old can happily change the way that they think and live, then can it be that difficult?
Ann Evers changed her lifestyle habits at the age of 95, to benefit her personal health as well as the environment. She now consumes a completely plant-based diet, wanting to do her bit for the environment. Ann credits her granddaughter for helping her make these changes. Perhaps you could inspire this kind of change in someone you know? You can find out more about Ann and her lifestyle on her Instagram @anneeversfraser.
If you are contemplating making these changes, then consider the positive impact these could have on your future children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. Together, we can collectively help repair our planet, in our lifetime and for future generations to come.
- Publishing, H., 2012. Why behavior change is hard – and why you should keep trying – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/why-behavior-change-is-hard-and-why-you-should-keep-trying> [Accessed 30 January 2021].
- Brooks, N., 2018. Meet the 96-Year-Old Grandma Who Went Vegan to Protect Animals and Is Inspiring Others to Do the Same (PHOTOS). [online] One Green Planet. Available at: <https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/ninty-six-year-old-grandma-went-vegan/> [Accessed 30 January 2021].
- A Perfect Planet. 2021. [Documentary] United Kingdom: BBC.