Have you wanted to be better at eco living?

But let me guess?

You feel turned off because it just takes too much effort, its expensive, or means no more shopping?

Well, what if I told you it’s the complete opposite?

Living sustainably or eco living actually makes life easier, is cheaper, and means shopping for luxe things (none of the cheap stuff for me).

As someone who’s been living sustainably for the past 10 years, let me bust those common myths.

Let me bust these 5 common myths. 

  1. Shopping sustainably is more expensive
  2. Eco living means depriving myself
  3. Green living takes too much effort
  4. You need to DIY everything you use! 
  5. One person alone can’t make a difference.

Myth 1: Shopping sustainably is more expensive.

We’ll be breaking out the calculator on this.

For all you who hate maths, we’ll break this down.

In the Philippines, where l am from, bottled water costs just $0.20, but every day for a year that adds up to over $73 a year.

Whereas, buying a reusable water bottle is just $20.

That means you saved $53 just for buying a reusable water bottle.

Therefore, that ‘buying’ is actually investing in a reusable bottle.

Plus they are SO useful during any travels as outlined here.

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What about sustainable clothes?

It’s supposed to be more expensive than their fast fashion counterpart.

Well this is one big lie!

Because the most sustainable clothes you can ever own costs zero.

How so?

Shop your closet not another shop.

My Global Muse

The truth is, the most sustainable thing you can own is the one already in your closet.

Truth:

Embracing the green lifestyle helps you save your dollars.

Myth 2: Eco living means depriving myself

I almost fell for this one.

Sustainable doesn’t mean no more shopping, it means buying well made things that’s built to last.

Since embracing this lifestyle, I feel so luxe.

As this TEDx Talk outlines, the art of sustainable living isn’t mean you can’t still feel and live with abundance.

Giving up the marked-down cheap products and replacing it with quality stuff ended up giving me luxurious experiences. I’ve been buying top of the line products packed with features instead of scrimping on cheaper ones that I have to upgrade every 2 years.

For example, I bought the more expensive robot cleaner that vacuums and mops up the floor.

I chose it over the cheaper model that does only vacuuming.

I knew sooner or later, I would upgrade to a robot with both vacuuming and mopping features. So at the outset I already saved up for the top of the line that does both. 

This is especially true in my travels.

Being an eco traveler doesn’t mean giving up travel but it means picking hotels or resorts that’s green.

These tips by WellnessTravelled show just how easy it is.

I get the royal treatment staying in eco-resorts here in Asia. I swear these eco-resorts truly make vacations feel luxurious.

From the organic food, the natural ingredients used during your spa you get the 5-star treatment.  

Truth:

Choosing the sustainable life makes everyday living feel luxe.

Myth 3: Eco living takes too much effort

Ok, green living takes too much effort if you make things complicated.

There are hacks that makes sustainability run on auto-pilot in your life. 

Less is more – including being less dependent on plastic bottles

For example, wiping up a spill with a dishcloth instead of paper towels takes just as much effort. And you just pop it in the washing machine afterward, that can’t take too much effort can it?

And so disposable bottles?

Well, it takes the same effort to buy bottled water as bringing a reusable water bottle.

Let me break it down.

When you buy bottled water, you grab it off the shelf, pay for it and pack it in your bag.

When you bring a reusable bottle, you grab it off the kitchen counter and put it in your bag.

Same effort really, no?

The only things interchanged is the location.

For the bottled water, you grabbed it in a store. For the reusable bottle, you grabbed it at home.

What takes a lot of effort is getting into the habit of bringing your reusable stuff. But fear not, there is a hack that will make it auto-pilot.

Why not, designate a place near your front door for your re-usable stuff.

The night before, you place your re-usables there so its as convenient as grabbing it to go.  

Truth:

Green living takes as much effort as regular living

Myth 4: You need to DIY (DO-It-Yourself) everything you use!

There is no need to DIY everything.

In fact doing so leads to the exact opposite of sustainability.

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When you DIY, you waste the raw materials you can’t use up. Since you won’t be whipping up many batches of that lipbalm anyway, you’ll probably end up with spoiled ingredients.

You actually end up creating more waste.

To say no to plastic really isn’t hard as you might think, as PurpleTurtle shows.

So just buy store-bought? Not exactly. It’s smarter to just buy the stuff you don’t use often. And just DIY the things you use often.

For instance, that lip balm, or lotion or craft beer, since you can’t use these up fast enough to create several batches in a year, your raw materials/ingredients might reach their shelf life.

So for these things, leave it to the expert and just buy them from eco-friendly brands.

You should DIY things you use often.

Things like kitchen cleaners (assuming, you clean your kitchen everyday), pasta sauce, that craft beer (if you have a party with beer loving friends every week).

You usually whip up several batches of these because you use it up often. 

Truth:

Green living isn’t all about the DIY life.
You only need to DIY things you use daily and buy things you don’t use often.

Myth 5: One person can’t make a difference

No one is 100% green but every change you make in the direction of sustainability leads to a result.

Even something as simple as switching to a reusable water bottle, that one action alone will divert 365 water bottles (or a year’s worth of drinking one bottle of water a day) from the landfill.

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Pretty impressive results from just one action. At the end of the day, each action will have a corresponding consequence.

Just read this post on using red solo cups sustainably!

Whether that consequence will be for or against Mother Earth, that all depends on our individual actions. 

Truth:

One person’s action is enough to help Mother Earth.

Takeaways

Now that I’ve busted those common myths, it’s time to try sustainable living and see how it fits your life.

Just remember, you just have to start, and the rest will follow.

Try one sustainable habit every week. If it doesn’t work for you, discard it and keep the ones that do. 

For example, if you’re expat, then you should try these habits!

At the end of the day, sustainability is about caring for the Earth you live in.

If you care, just do the best you can and move from there.

It would surprise you that a year into this lifestyle, you’ve already done a lot for Mother Earth easily and effortlessly.

Share how you plan to change with a comment.

Author

  • Jean Ong is the founder of Ecolover United, a movement that makes it easier for people to live sustainably and in style. She graduated with a degree in Business Management (Marketing) and works as a store manager by day and Earth Hero at night. She’s a keen nature lover, as the prophetic nature her Chinese name, Lin, means forest or grove of trees. Jean believes that: if it’s good for Mother Earth, it’s good for you.


Jean Ong

Jean Ong is the founder of Ecolover United, a movement that makes it easier for people to live sustainably and in style. She graduated with a degree in Business Management (Marketing) and works as a store manager by day and Earth Hero at night. She’s a keen nature lover, as the prophetic nature her Chinese name, Lin, means forest or grove of trees. Jean believes that: if it’s good for Mother Earth, it’s good for you.

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