We all know the awesome stuff about being green. It saves us loads of cash, clears our homes of unnecessary clutter, gives us a sense of fulfilment and helps us lead long and healthy lives. But what about the downside of being green? I’m sure that at times, you’ve thought that being green is tough and not that easy. Right?
I’m not explicitly talking about the extra planning and time that goes into living more sustainably, although that alone can get annoying at times. I’m more referring to the isolation that can sometimes accompany green living.
Have you ever noticed eyes glazing over and sensed the thought “oh no, here she goes again….” when you start sharing your latest green discovery with family or friends?
Do you feel “different” when you’re the only one in your mother’s group using cloth nappies, making your own baby food,breastfeeding longer than the norm, or simply living with less?
Have you ever noticed friends hiding their less-sustainable choices for fear of being judged – by you?!
How do you feel when you’re visiting a friend’s house and the clothes dryer is spinning, heater cranked up and too many lights are on? Uncomfortable? Wish you could say something but just can’t find the right words to make you sound non-judgemental when you just want your friend to realise how wasteful they are?
Going green doesn’t mean ditching your family and friends and hanging out only with other green-minded people. Although that would be easier sometimes!
I’m sure you have friends of different racial backgrounds, sexual orientation and religions right? Then being green shouldn’t be any different.
Some of my closest friends are self-confessed shopaholics and I’m okay with that. Many of my friends and relatives still think cloth nappies require pins. Forget about even mentioning cloth breast or sanitary pads or, low and behold, menstrual cups! Some of them just don’t want to know. They are just not in that space. And I respect that.
If any of the points above are familiar to you, or if you find that your “unconventional” green choices are not being respected by family and friends it might help to recognise that not everyone has a burning eco force. Being green can be lonely and isolating at times but it is important to stay true to yourself and your beliefs.
You’re onto a good thing by living sustainably. By continuing on your green journey and quietly influencing through your example, you may soon find that many of your family and friends discover over time that it’s easy enough being green after all!
I’d love you to share the aspects of green living that you struggle with sometimes. Feel free to comment below.
About the Author: Laura Trotta is an environmental engineer, eco mum and founder of Sustainababy. She is passionate about helping parents lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Laura lives in regional South Australia with her husband and two young sons.
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