Merry ECO Christmas! 10 green gift ideas for home and travel.

That time of year is upon us again! Giving a gift to a loved one can be a beautiful way to demonstrate your feelings… or a stressful and expensive exercise in consumerism. The season of giving should be about thoughtfulness and gratitude, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. This guide will help you to find meaningful, useful and environmentally aware gifts for anyone in your life who would appreciate it. Continue reading “Merry ECO Christmas! 10 green gift ideas for home and travel.”

Green is not a dirty word! How to deal with negativity towards your lifestyle choices.

Have you tried to make changes to live in a more eco-friendly manner, and been met with eye-rolling, opposition, or even hostility? Been called a ‘hippy’ or ‘tree-hugger’ or ‘conspiracy theorist’ perhaps?

Maybe it has happened to you in another circumstance, when you were trying to better yourself or do something different to the accepted norm around you.

This negativity commonly happens to anyone who is making a change for the better. It is frustrating and I know it can be so discouraging that you want to give up. Here I want to offer you some support, so you know you’re not alone and you have the strength to keep going despite the reactions of others. This is how I deal with it, as I have now had a bit of practice!

Step one

First it helps me to step away from the nay-sayer. If I feel myself getting defensive or angry, it’s best to walk away so I can be calm and think clearly. Mostly I can laugh it off and walk away now, as arguing isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Sometimes I can’t though, and it really is best to remove myself from the situation and deal with my reaction.

Step two

Secondly, it helps me to remember why others react in a negative way. Usually, it’s because you are challenging their way of doing things, “the way it’s always been done”. I truly hate this concept, but until you know for yourself how damaging it is, it’s a pretty standard belief. Challenging the status quo means showing up where others are not questioning life for themselves, and perhaps not being responsible for their actions. And this brings out defensive behaviour directed at you, as you are daring to step up.

Albert Einstein quote

Once I remember this I can feel compassion for where they are at, and I can forget about being right or trying to change their minds. Putting pressure on them and forcing them to see what I see and change because I am changing, is not going to inspire anyone. It is only going to make them run in the opposite direction! Stepping up to more conscious living is my decision, and I can only change myself.

Step three

After that, I just go ahead with my change and let them be wherever they are at. Being a model of living in a different way requires confidence in yourself, not approval from others. And as the pressure is off others to change too, and you are demonstrating that it’s not really hard to make a change, often they are inspired anyway.

What if it doesn’t work?

And if your change doesn’t work out, or you’re laughed at, or yelled at, or thought of as a crazy person? (all has happened to me) It’s really ok. It can hurt a bit at the time, but it’s not the end of the world. It is normal actually, for people who dare to be different. I have learned to care less and less about what others think of me, and I wouldn’t trade that for all the popularity in the world.

As the Dalai Lama says:

“Never give up, not matter what is going on around you.”

Words like this inspire me to keep going. And the more I do, the less criticism I receive. The more I do, the more people I inspire. The more I do, the more confident I get. The more I do, the more changes get made.

You can do it too. I believe in you, and others are also waiting for you to step up. You will inspire others in one way, and you might just give them the strength to make a change that then inspires you too. Go for it!

Drink your coffee…without guilt or waste

Drinking coffee is a luxury we easily take for granted. It is so accessible that it doesn’t require any thought about the consequences of our actions. We don’t really mean to be wasteful; we just want a drink, and we don’t want to think about whether our cup is recyclable or how the coffee is grown. We have enough problems of our own to think about. Perhaps that’s the whole issue there: we are so busy leading our complex lives that it’s hard to slow down enough to think about the impact each choice is having. And we need more coffee just to make it through the day! But the consequences of our love affair with coffee are too big to ignore. There are 4 main problems: Continue reading “Drink your coffee…without guilt or waste”

I quit being a slave to cosmetics

About a year ago, I started questioning why I had been faithfully buying facial moisturiser for half of my life. I’d been using it daily since I was a teenager, and I very much ‘needed’ to apply it every time after my face got wet. But why wasn’t I able to create moisture in my face? The rest of my body could. And my kids and Anthony and some of my friends didn’t need to apply external moisture each day. So why did I need to buy something to feel normal? Continue reading “I quit being a slave to cosmetics”