Developing a Green Mindset in a Toxic World

How do you develop a green mindset in a toxic world that is overly concerned with making money, never being inconvenienced, and needing everything as quickly as possible?  While it may initially seem like a difficult task, many people are making the decision to go green and are enjoying the benefits it brings to their life and our world every day.

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SO WHAT IS A GREEN MINDSET?

Mindset is a popular topic these days especially among those talking about self-care, mental health, education, and business/entrepreneurship. 

There are several types of mindsets that you hear a lot of buzz about. For example:

  • Growth mindset
  • Fixed mindset
  • Positive mindset
  • Money mindset
  • Success mindset
  • Abundance mindset

But, what is a green mindset?  

I haven’t really heard others using this term before, but for me, it is a personal way that I view my life and a way to filter the way I make decisions. 

A green mindset, in my opinion, is an established set of attitudes or beliefs about going green or becoming more eco-friendly. Furthermore, adopting a green mindset means you are committed to making decisions that lead to an eco-friendly lifestyle.  

Most of us know that we should be more eco-friendly and conscious of how our actions impact the environment, but many people get caught up in our fast-paced world where we all are striving for the most convenient, glitzy, and high-tech items.  

Let’s consider the decision-making process when you make a new purchase.  What questions do you consider? 

  • How much will it cost? 
  • Will it save me time? 
  • Is it something popular and trendy?
  • Is it highly coveted or well regarded by my friends or colleagues? 
  • How will it make me feel if I buy this? 

Yet, this decision-making process doesn’t really factor into account questions that someone with a green mindset might have.  Did you consider the environmental impact of your purchase?

{Are you ready to start going green and living clean? Get this FREE 3-Day mini workshop. Start today! Perfect for zero waste beginners and busy families! Get the video for Day 1 below!}

HOW I DEVELOPED A GREEN MINDSET IN MY 40s

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I wasn’t always concerned with the environment, and to be honest, I am probably a lot like you – a busy mom who enjoys having a new computer, iPhone, and all the convenience items that make family life a little easier.  

I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and therefore, I didn’t own name-brand clothes or fancy toys as a kid.  We had what we needed, but we didn’t have an unlimited budget.   

So when I started my own career as a young adult, I was excited to buy my first mobile phone at age 22 and began purchasing items that I had dreamed of since I was a kid.  I was now making my own money and wanted to live like my friends and colleagues. Being eco-friendly was not on my radar for several years. 

I really am not quite sure what triggered the change in my mindset as I got older. However, I can say that I’ve always been a pretty conscious and empathetic person. I am a huge animal lover and as a result, became a vegetarian for 15 years and volunteered for several years at a no-kill animal shelter.  

When I feel strongly about something, I put those feelings into action and live a lifestyle that matches my beliefs. So when I started to learn about how harsh chemicals and toxins were negatively affecting my daughters, I again changed my lifestyle to match my desire to keep them safe.  

As I learned more about the benefits of clean living, I realized that “going green” is closely related. The more I researched how to eliminate toxins, the more I learned about the dangers of plastics in our world – both on our health and on our environment.  

I couldn’t help but become instantly drawn into this eco-friendly lifestyle and my mindset shifted from a consumer’s mindset to a green mindset.  

I started to ask myself all sorts of questions, such as: 

  • What products can I buy that are reusable and not single-use?
  • Can I buy something that will last longer than an hour (such as a single-use water bottle)?
  • What products can I buy that won’t harm wildlife in the oceans?  
  • Is there a more sustainable option available?

In other words, what can I do to change the way I’m living to lessen the impact on the environment and my environmental footprint?  

Having a green mindset can give you that filter you need to make more intentional decisions about what you purchase and consume.  

DOES A GREEN MINDSET = TOTAL OVERHAUL OF MY LIFESTYLE?

Definitely not!  It would be too overwhelming to overhaul your lifestyle right away.  I have been on this journey myself for almost 2 years and am not yet achieving a 100% zero waste lifestyle – where I don’t produce almost any waste at all.  

It can be hard to completely revamp your life and live a zero-waste lifestyle, like Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not something you can likely achieve overnight. I do aspire to Bea Johnson and look to her for inspiration.  I admire that she is a down-to-earth mother like me and has gotten her entire family to accomplish a zero waste lifestyle.  

Clearly, she is the epitome of someone with a green mindset. 

As they say, this is a journey and not a destination.  You and I may never achieve a zero-waste lifestyle where, like Bea Johnson, all of our trash for one year fits in one mason jar. Yet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t drastically reduce the amount of trash you produce and your environmental footprint.

3 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING A GREEN MINDSET

Tip #1: Consider how your actions impact the environment

Try not to make purchases impulsively.  Every time you decide to buy something new consider how this will impact the environment.  Determine if it is a sustainable reusable item, or if it is something that will harm our environment and the wildlife.  Will your items end up in a landfill or the ocean in a short time? Ask yourself what alternatives there might be instead.

Tip #2: Modify your decision-making process

Be intentional about your decisions and determine if what you are doing or buying is necessary. These questions can help guide your decisions. 

  1. Do I really need to buy this or can I live without it?
  2. How long will it last – one hour, one year, a lifetime?
  3. Can I reuse it over and over again?
  4. Can I recycle it or does it go in the trash?
  5. Is there a more sustainable option available?

Tip #3: Slow down and live more intentionally

Sometimes we get caught up in the frenzy of events like Black Friday, and we buy gifts just because they are on sale and seem like a good value.  Unfortunately, these items often end up not being a wise purchase and sitting unused, donated or in the trash. 

Try to take a step back and live more intentionally. A simpler, less cluttered life is great for the environment and for you!  Having too much clutter in your home can distract you from focusing and processing simple information, according to Teresa at Living Natural Today. Try to minimize the purchases you make and bring into your home. Evaluate what you really need and what you can live without.

Tip #4: It’s ok to say no

It’s ok to say no to things that don’t align with a green mindset and your goals for your life.  This may sometimes involve saying no to things that your family and friends are accustomed to – and that’s ok! You can be polite but still say, “no thank you.”  

While this may be uncomfortable at times, people who truly care about you will respect your decisions, just like you respect that their lifestyle and goals don’t always align with yours. 

Do Your Part to Save the Planet

Imagine if all 7.8 billion people in this world had a green mindset and together we all drastically reduced the amount of waste we made?  How much healthier and brighter would our world be for future generations?  

In the end, you have to do what’s best for you. Adopting a green mindset and living a more intentional lifestyle will benefit not only our environment, but it can also benefit you and your personal health. Take this journey one step at a time and share your goals with your family. 

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P.S. – Are you ready to start going green and living clean? Get this FREE 3-Day mini workshop. Start today! Perfect for zero waste beginners and busy families! Get the video for Day 1 below!

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