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Getting Inspired to Go Green

18 June 2021

By Eleni Michopoulou, Network Homes Resident 

As a Network Homes resident, I wanted to share my experience of living a zero-waste lifestyle for the past two years including sharing some green tips to help you get started with making a change. We are bombarded with reports and news stories about pollution, wildlife declines, climate change, and other environmental concerns. But as individuals, we can often feel daunted and helpless about what we can do. However, with small changes, everyone (if they want to) can do their bit in small but meaningful ways and often save money.

How to get started?

The best way to start your green journey is to know why you are doing it! The best way to know that is by travelling and seeing the world (I know it’s a little difficult with the ongoing covid pandemic and travel restrictions).

We cannot all afford to take two years out of our lives to travel the world and document the effects our current lifestyle has on it like Leonardo Di Caprio did as part of his role as the U.N. messenger of peace for the climate. Luckily though there are many different groups of people out there who over the past few years have come together to travel, research, and document their journeys of discovery.

Discovery of what is going on out there is important. Just because our rubbish and waste are collected from homes that doesn’t mean it disappears into thin air it ends up somewhere. Just because we throw our plastic bottles into the recycle bin that doesn’t mean they get recycled. Just because we donate our unwanted clothes to charity shops that doesn’t mean we are not responsible for the fast-fashion problem. I started my zero-waste journey in April 2019, and I’ve since learned a lot about myself and the impact my choices have on the planet. I’ve also learned that zero waste is so much more than just using a reusable water bottle every day.

Top tips for going green!

Eleni Michopoulou Going Green Sustainability Blog

There are few things to keep in mind being green requires time and effort, you need to constantly educate yourself on matters you never thought you would be interested in before and you will not get everything right the first or the third time around. At the end of the day, it’s a very fulfilling journey and everyone’s effort to help deliver a more sustainable future has an impact.

Eleni Michopoulou, Network Homes Resident

Don’t forget as consumers we hold the power. We should not simply wait for companies to act; we can start acting and they will not but have to adjust their businesses to what the consumer wants. If you are looking for something to devote your time and energy to in 2021 that can be to start your zero-waste journey.

We should have a biocentric, rather than anthropocentric, worldview. This cannot happen if we don’t change our daily habits. The thing though about change is that you get excited at the beginning and are committed to your goal than life kicks in and you forget all about it. I was afraid this would happen to me as well.

So, I thought how could I get convinced that there is no alternative but completely changing my everyday habits, as I’ve known them to be for as long as I have been on this planet? The answer is to see the end result and I had to review the end result of my current lifestyle. I sat myself down, did some research online, and gathered some documentaries to watch. And indeed, it worked. Since then, there has been no turning back, because I cannot forget what I have learned from these documentaries. Just because the worst of it is somewhere far away from me that doesn’t mean I should pretend like nothing is happening.

To all of you who are semi convinced that you should do something but not sure how to get the ball rolling, I suggest you start by watching the following documentaries.

  1. How to Change the World (2015)
  2. Tomorrow (2015)
  3. Before the Flood (2016)
  4. 180° South (2010)
  5. The True Cost (2015)

There are plenty more documentaries to watch, I thought the above cover a broad spectrum of issues, yet the message is the same.

Our current lifestyles are hurting our planet and for the good of our health, our children’s health, and the planet we need to take action now. I’m a person that likes to question things and processes “Why do we do this the way we do it?” “Is there a better way of doing things?” etc and this is the attitude you need to take if you want to change this world for the better and lead a green lifestyle.