Going green is not difficult

Eliminate everything related to plastic (plastic); choose only products made from wood and leaves; or show extreme attitude to someone who still drinks animal milk, eats meat… That’s not green lifestyle. If you’re that extreme, then chances are, you’ll die soon because there’s nothing left to use!

Plastic is the bad guy?

Plastic is the most well-known character in the conflict between those who care about the environment and those who care for convenience. Straw pieces cause agonizing deaths in marine animals, nylon pieces remain in the ground for hundreds of years, and microplastics have snuck into food and water…

But keep in mind that many medical equipment is made of plastic. This also contributes to lower product prices, making your life easier. Cutting down trees for paper bags, and deforestation for sugarcane and banana plantations – materials for “healthy” packaging – is just as brutal as pumping oil to obtain plastic. Glass is likewise a tough substance to decompose, and iron is a fossil material.

Plastic isn’t all bad. The true villain is the greed of mankind. Instead of going out to dine, we prefer food delivery. Instead of being satisfied with just enough clothes, we like to keep up with fashion. We are greedy for both convenience and the environment.

Going green is not difficult

It is to help us to be aware that the only way to live green is for each individual to limit their greed. To do so, simply recall the four easy reminders listed below, which everyone can accomplish.

Always think about the journey of waste

Always think about the journey of waste before using it. Is the material dangerous to anyone? Tomato skins may disintegrate in soil, check. The bagasse box is compostable, check. Plastic bags, on the other hand, can end up in a landfill, drip into the sea, go into the stomach of a turtle, kill the turtle, and then decompose… into the stomach of another dolphin. Imagine having a bag like that in your stomach, unable to eat or go to the hospital and forced to die in agony. With this material, think twice before making a decision.

You can be proactive to think about waste’s journey. Those predictions will cause you to pause before recklessly consuming.

Give yourself a chance

Many people who are new to green living or who “enjoy convenience” (throw wherever convenient, use whatever convenient) find it very difficult to keep this lifestyle. Forcing themselves to carry their own water bottles and plastic containers… purchasing food is too sloppy; if they refuse to take the seller’s plastic bag, they will feel “odd”… When you fail a few times, you will start to think that you’re not suitable, so you stop changing, even if your heart is a little unsettled.

The key here is to always give yourself a second opportunity. If you forget your bag this time, you can say no to plastic bags next time. Even if you are a “star in the green lifestyle’s community,” no one has the right to condemn you if you “accidentally” use a plastic bag. Giving yourself a chance to change without harshly judging yourself can help you relieve the strain of following this new lifestyle.

Cut back on demand

This is the most difficult task, particularly for people who are shopping addicts.

You already had that shirt, but… because it comes in different color so you want to buy it? Do you search for discounts every day and enjoy purchasing cheap items?

No, simply business strategies are to boost your spending as much as possible. Sometimes you buy stuff that after three years of purchasing it is still brand-new.

So, before you buy something, ask yourself if you truly need it or not? Is it possible to substitute another available item that you can request, or rent it? Where does the item go if you don’t use it anymore?

If absolutely needed, prioritize local retailers to decrease fossil fuel emissions; choose products with the same function that use ecologically friendly manufacturing processes and decompose quickly.

Reusing more

Reuse is a way we often use to cover up purchases. In fact, no matter how many times you reuse them, they will ultimately survive and wind up in a landfill, remaining inert plastic for centuries. Being out of sight does not mean disappearing. But, in any case, reuse still has its benefits.

Old clothes can be repurposed as rags, rugs, or sofa coverings… or they can be posted in groups to be given away. One recommendation is that the Freecycle community for donation is accessible in each locality, such as Freecycle Saigon/Binh Duong/Hai Phong… This is an efficient, transparent, and safe donation group due to its strict regulations.

Finally, the advice is to focus on what you can accomplish rather than on everyone else. Sometimes you may feel discouraging when you notice colleagues’ lunches is a pile of styrofoam boxes, plastic utensils, bags, single-use cups… You consider your effort to be a drop in the ocean. But do you feel proud that your contribution has helped to drop a similar stack of unnecessary waste every lunch?

“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of the good people” (Napoléon Bonaparte), engrave this quote in your mind to help you steadily step on the path of going green!

Phat Nguyen

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