Adopting a new kind of lifestyle is already hard enough. Add sustainability into the mix, and things can quickly become more challenging. The following are five barriers consumers face when trying to live a sustainable life.
Costs and Pricing
Many people believe that a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is expensive. This is since fresh produce, all-natural cleaning products, energy-efficient appliances, and installation of renewable energy systems cost more than the regular consumer choices. Those who are already struggling find it impractical to change their lifestyle into one that is more eco-friendly.
In reality, one has many options when it comes to adapting sustainability in your life. You don’t necessarily need to invest in the most expensive sustainable alternatives to reduce your environmental impact. Even if you are struggling financially, the following can help you incorporate sustainability into your everyday life.
- Give up water bottles and use a refillable water bottle instead
- Use rechargeable batteries for gadgets and remotes
- Go paperless
- Start washing clothes in cold water and air dry after
- Walk or cycle instead of driving everywhere
- Reduce your meat consumption
- Choose seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables
- Rethink your buying habits
- Buy secondhand if you need to make a purchase
- Start growing your own produce
- Craft your own natural cleaning products
- Fix what you can before choosing to ditch old items
Some people believe everything they see on the internet. Despite the many perks that sustainable living has to offer, many would focus on the negatives. Some easily fall for the misinformation trap where they believe myths and misconceptions related to sustainable living.
The more you educate yourself, the more you will be enticed to live a sustainable lifestyle. So, start reading reliable sources when doing your research. Talk to people who successfully adopted sustainable living and ask for tips and recommendations to make your journey an easier one.
For instance, you are afraid to invest in a renewable energy solution because it is too expensive and out of your budget. With just quick research, you will find companies with solar options. Sometimes, you won’t even have to look far as some installers already offer to finance their customers.
Some consumers let accessibility issues stop them from enjoying a more environment-friendly life. Some would quit sustainable living after having difficulties acquiring eco-friendly options in their area. Others are also unwilling to make the extra effort to access sustainable alternatives.
Like what others always like to say, when there is a will, one can find ways to achieve their desires. All it takes to open your eyes up to opportunities. Some sustainable options are bound to be difficult but never impossible.
For example, you are trying to stay away from fast fashion items. But then, you find it hard to acquire your desired fashion items from your favorite brands. If only you consider other local artisans selling sustainably sourced and hand-made clothes and accessories, you will find these local treasures to be your next go-to brands.
Most consumers are after offers that are convenient to use. Think of single-use plastic containers as an example. Many would not think twice about ordering iced coffee from their favorite coffee shops packed in ready-to-throw cups and straws.
The same goes for store-bought cleaners. When you run out of cleaning solutions for your home, you will unconsciously buy the products you have come to love. Disposing of their empty containers is a no-brainer.
But if we are willing to make a small sacrifice for the sake of sustainability, we can let go of our old habits. For example, a reusable travel cup with a cap for your daily coffee refills. Then there’s the ever-handy eco bag and cool mason jars and reusable glass containers with lids.
Feelings of Shame
Some people are afraid to embrace a lifestyle change because they care too much about what others say. They view change as an unacceptable venture, which can lead to feelings of shame or humiliation. This is especially since some people view sustainable and eco-conscious consumers to be demanding.
Imagine dining with friends and suddenly skipping your favorite steak because red meat consumption is not environment-friendly. So you ask for the organic salad and grilled prawns instead. A bit of teasing can be enough to make you feel ashamed to eating sustainably with your friends who don’t understand and have not accepted sustainability in their lives just yet.
You might feel ashamed when you start your sustainable habits. But choose to look at the bigger picture and focus on your goals. Use this opportunity to introduce sustainable living and explain why you decided to adopt the lifestyle.
Many people want to live a sustainable life. The problem is, many are overwhelmed with such a lifestyle. While many things can make you rethink your new target lifestyle, know that there are far more ways you can overcome these challenges if you put your mind to it.