Where to Start: Going Eco-friendly and Green Your Life
If you are just starting your eco-friendly, “Going Green” journey, this is the page for you. I have some great resources here to help you get started, but I think it’s important to first think about “why” you are going green. Understanding your motivation for changing your life will not only help give you direction, but actually help make it happen!
Why live Green? Why be Eco-Friendly?
There are a lot of reasons to “go green” and be more eco-friendly. Think about it: Why are you here? What brought you to this page? What is motivating you to change your life?
For me, it started with consumption, actually my desire to consume less. I wanted to throw away less and to stop contributing to the pollution and poisoning of the earth with my trash. As I started growing in my Christian faith, I started thinking about and better understanding stewardship and my obligation to the gifts I have been given. I also started thinking about food and the way it affects how we feel. I started researching and seeing food more like “medicine” and the opposite, how we can hurt ourselves by making bad food choices. I wanted an answer to the question, “Why eat organic?” Now, as I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis and other health issues, all these reasons have come together and are encouraging me to “double up” and take my green journey more seriously.
Today, I try not to consume/use or buy anything without answering these questions:
- Do I need this item/product? Can I live without it?
- How eco-friendly is it? Is it safe for me, my family, and the environment?
- Is there a better, greener option? Is there a toxin-free option?
- Is it responsibly made or produced? Is it fair-trade and are the people who make it treated/paid fairly?
- What is my budget? What is the greenest option I can afford and/or is it important to wait and save until we can afford it?
- What is the eco-friendly way to dispose of the old product(s)?
Resources and Places to Start:
Here are some of the resources I use to help me answer these questions as well as a few to help you to understand why it’s important to be eco-friendly and “go green.”
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Here you can read what the Church and scripture obligates us to do when it comes to stewardship. In addition to this, there are a lot of great books and resources that explain this further including Catholic Social Teaching on Care for Creation and Stewardship of the Earth and Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’:
- Article: 12 Great Resources to STOP Overconsumption
Here I have compiled 12 additional great resources to help you to reduce consumption.
- The Story of Stuff Project
Here you will find some great short videos that help understand the dangers of consumption and environmental toxins. They seem so simple with stick-figure, animated drawings, but make the truth clear. They are a great place to start.
- Food, Inc*
This documentary was made in 2009. It shows the dark side to the food industry and how commercial food is processed. It’s hard to watch, but worth it. You can stream the full documentary on Amazon.com for $2.99*. You might want to check your streaming sites like Netflix to see if it’s available for free. (*Affiliate Link)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG)
The EWG is a non-profit group dedicated to protecting our health and the environment through education and civic action. They have compiled several helpful guides to help you educate yourself and make informed decisions on everything from food to cosmetics, to light bulbs. I have found their cosmetics guide especially helpful to understand and break down the ingredients in our makeup and personal hygiene products.