You’ve made the decision to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, good on you. With all the contrasting and conflicting information on the net, coupled with the impassioned opinions of your earth-conscious loved ones, it is perfectly understandable that you might feel overwhelmed with the inundation of information. But educating yourself is important if you want to get this green living thing right.
Luckily, I was in a similar place not too long ago. A combination of health complications and my deep connection with Mother Nature inspired me to take a hard look at my lifestyle. Now, I have ditched plastic, nurture a flourishing veggie patch, live in a minimalist space with a streamlined closet, use natural (often homemade) cosmetics, and – while I still eat meat – ensure that is has been locally and ethically sourced. It sounds drastic. Believe me, when I started, I thought it was too. Other eco warriors will agree that if you take micro-steps, you’ll look back in a few months and be astounded by your progress.
So let’s get clued up. Here are four (page) flipping AWESOME books inspired by my changes that you can read which will help you in your journey to conscious living:
FOR CLEARING THE CLUTTER:
THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP by MARIE KONDO
Two years ago, I was one porcelain figurine away from becoming a hoarder. My living space told a worrisome tale through uncompleted design projects, stockpiled face cream tubs I was going to repurpose, and useless holiday souvenirs I didn’t want to get rid of. It wasn’t until a friend introduced me to the wonderment that is KonMari that I was really confronted by the junk I’d accumulated over the years.
As I delved into the Japanese organisational guru’s readings, I began to understand the correlation between mess and mental health. While I briefly touched on minimalist living in my post about simplifying your home, this book will really help you appreciate that clutter is visual noise and a space full of ‘stuff’ makes it difficult to concentrate or find peace.
FOR ZERO-WASTE LIVING:
A ZERO WASTE LIFE IN THIRTY DAYS by ANITA VANDYKE
This practical book will prove that by living with less you can gain so much more time, money and happiness. Anita commits to helping you reduce your waste by 80% in a month through behavioural changes like bin audits and ‘eat me first’ boxes.
Like me, this Austrailian lifestyle influencer, is weary of manufactured cleaning products and cosmetics. I’m sure you’ve heard me say that if I won’t put it into my body, it’s not going onto my body. The masks and scrubs we use on our skin (largest human organ) or washing liquid we use to clean things we eat with often contain ingredients we cannot pronounce and that tells me that there are chemicals in them that will do more harm than good. Anita promotes DIY in this regard.
For more actionable advice, you’ll have to purchase the book to find out.
THE ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE: LIVE WELL BY THROWING AWAY LESS by AMY KORST
In 2009, Amy and her significant other started The Green Garbage Project where they endeavored to live trash-free for an entire year. This book is full of tips and tricks they picked up from the experience.
If like me, you’re a little bit squeamish, starting a worm bin for composting might be a little too. That can easily be remedied by taking the worms out of the equation and just utilising a compost bin.
Did you know that you can grow your own loofah? The American author and teacher will show you that you can live a happier, healthier life by making critical adjustments to your everyday routine.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
AN EATER’S MANIFESTO by MICHAEL POLLAN
“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” the academic succinctly puts. In his manifesto, Michael acknowledges the paradox between our growing desire to eat healthier as the food industry becomes increasingly saturated with nutrient-deficient food. This is why we need to return to buying local produce if we aren’t growing the food ourselves in subsistent amounts.
The New York Times best seller also wrote Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules, and Cooked which are al worth a read too.
*SPECIAL MENTION: A MOVIE*
VEGUCATED by MARISA MILLER WOLFSON and BRIAN FLEGEL
While I urge you all to watch Earthlings, What The Health, and Fed Up, this particular documentary is an unpretentious look at a growing food and sustainability trend. Veganism was shunned not too long ago. I remember people rolling their eyes at me during dinner parties because I couldn’t eat 75% of the offerings. I had gone plant-based for a year, and that was back in 2014. Now, only five years later, the community has grown by leaps and bounds, spreading its influence across the entire globe.
The documentary is incredibly educational but not in a herald on a soapbox type of way. There are moments of humour as well as great insight.