While most people assume becoming green means making major changes in their own life this is not always the case. It does not have to be disruptive or difficult. To many peoples surprise becoming green is easier than they might expect.
The longer humans repeat a pattern the more we are locked into it – on some levels it simply becomes automatic. To start your own greening, you must become aware of these human patterns. Just because something feels automatic does not mean it is – it can be changed. You can always make the conscious decision to change for the better. This applies to even the most deep-rooted patterns.
For many people where and what they purchase has already become fairly automatic. It's easy to make small changes in this particular pattern to benefit the earth. By choosing to make green purchases you can reduce your impact on the environment.
What may surprise some people is the large volume of green products that are already on the market today. Some common misconceptions are that green products will be hard to find and always expensive. The green industry is already estimated to be a $ 230 billion dollar market – and growing between 20-30% annually. For consumers this means they can find more retailers and more products at competitive prices. It is estimated that over 13,000 green only retailers already exist today.
Shopping green can happen anywhere. Many traditional retailers have begun to tap the green market by integrating safer, natural and sustainable alternatives into their more traditional product offerings. If your only option is to shop at conventional retailers then try to focus on lower impact product choices. If your favorite retailer has joined in the green movement they may already have a green section waiting for you to discover. If not then the easiest way is to focus on products that are locally produced, from renewable materials and can easily be recycled at the end of their life span. If that seems confusing then keep it simple and try to look for products marked with the blue Energy Star logo.
When shopping green at more conventional retailers it's important to be wary of greenwashed products. Conventional retailers are more susceptible to greenwashing. Many companies try to represent their products as "Earth Friendly" or greenwash for marketing purposes only. Always stay vigilant for greenwashing because many of the terms used to market products are undefined and unregulated.
Here is a short list of undefined and unregulated words that are sometimes used by greenwashers:
- Chemical Free
Some common words that are defined but are still unregulated are:
There may be a period of adjustment for some, but the good news is we already have many green products and technologies that can provide benefit the earth while still providing the same quality of life. By taking your own personal greening in steps you can minimize any stress and make manageable adjustments.