How to Find Balance as an Eco-Conscious Urbanite

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Sustainable Living | 0 comments

eco-consciousBeing an eco-conscious urbanite it tough.

Fish are disappearing from our oceans. Global warming is on the rise. One million species are at risk of extinction. Plastic pollution is out of control. 

It’s a hot mess. 

In the face of such overwhelming challenges, it can sometimes feel like the only answer is to build an off-the-grid cob house and grow your own food.

But while that might sound like an idyllic lifestyle, it’s not a feasible solution for most people.

Been there, done that, threw away the hemp t-shirt.

The majority of us have lives in the city that we either can’t leave behind or simply don’t want to. It’s where we earn a living, raise our families and caffeinate ourselves.

Everyone needs coffee, even eco-conscious urbanites.

We might not want to live elsewhere, but at the same time we’re acutely aware that our urbanite carbon footprint dwarfs that of our yurt-dwelling counterparts.

Humans tend to be an all or nothing lot. We either deny the evidence in front of us or we try to do everything in our power to make a difference. 

Unfortunately, doing everything isn’t an option. Finding balance as an eco-conscious urbanite is key. It’s about doing your best, rather than striving for perfection. How do you do that?

Choose Your #1 Eco-Conscious Cause

Sporty and I have been eating a plant-based diet for almost eight years now. Not harming animals is our number one priority. We might compromise in other areas, but not this one.

What’s most important for you? It could be living a zero-waste lifestyle, eating locally grown, organic food or whatever.

Identify something you can do unfailingly. Knowing you’re doing one thing perfectly (or close to) will help you feel better about the fact that you can’t do everything.

Take a Hard Line When It Matters

With some things, you have to take a hard line no matter what. They’re the kinds of issues that you can’t compromise on.

You might enjoy pampering yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to use products that have been tested on animals.

You might like wearing nice clothes, but that doesn’t mean you have to contribute to the fast fashion industry.

You might eat meat, eggs and dairy, but that doesn’t mean you have to support factory farming.

There’s always a sustainable alternative. It might not be as readily available and it could cost more, but it’s better than indulging your desires at the expense of another living being.

Compromise When It Counts

Living plastic-free is an ongoing mission in our house. We’re nowhere near where we’d like to be, but we’re doing our best.

Recently, we discovered that a local plant-based food brand, supports Sea Shepherd, a non-profit, marine conservation organization fighting to protect our oceans.

We’ve always loved Fry’s Foods, but stopped buying it because of the packaging. When we heard about their efforts to make a difference, we decided a compromise was in order. Rather than just toss the packaging in the trash, we’ll be making eco-bricks with our non-recyclables.

We believe it’s important to support businesses that are making an effort to be eco-conscious. It’s not always easy, as they have investors to placate and staff to pay. In spite of this, they still try.

A powerful way to protest the things we don’t like (factory farming, manufacturing of single-use plastic, etc.) is with our pockets. We need to support the businesses that are making a difference and ignore the ones that are contributing to the problem.

Find a Balance That Works for You

As eco-conscious urbanites, our approaches will differ from person to person. What holds true for all of us, however, is our belief that we can leave the world a better place.

Focus on the things you can do and don’t worry so much about the rest.

That may be easier said than done when you’re constantly being bombarded with bad news, but it’s important to try. Instead of getting down about the way things are, go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

It’s also helpful to go on a news fast every now and then.

“I’m too busy making a difference to watch the news,” said every eco-conscious warrior ever.

36 Reusable Products to Change the World

Finally, I’ll leave you with this super helpful infographic from EcoFreek. If you like what you see, be sure to take a look at Viktorija’s definitive list of 100 everyday reusable items. It pretty much leaves one with no excuse not to be an eco-conscious urbanite.

reusable items

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Minimalism is an all-encompassing lifestyle that extends way beyond decluttering your stuff. Check out Ang’s TEDx Talk, take a look at our About page and grab a free copy of Eating a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners.

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