Learning, Inspiration, and Encouragement For Your Green Journey

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Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

Green living is such an extensive topic, it can at times be overwhelming.  I loved reading both Stephanie’s post on Natural Living Fatigue, and Nicole’s post Dreaming in Green.  I related so well with both of their views, it is so good to hear from and be inspired by others who are on a similar journey, who understand the choices and changes that my family has made, and who have similar dreams and goals as I do for going even “greener” in the future.

While I definitely connected with Stephanie’s take on getting overloaded and weighed down with green and natural living sometimes, I also loved Nicole’s take on it, that sometimes we need to dream big, and set goals, that can keep us moving in the direction we are trying to go.

I have been on my frugally green journey for over three years now, and while by no means do I think I’ve “arrived,” and I know there are still so many more areas I can make changes in, sometimes I get stuck.  

It’s not so much that I get tired, or want a break, from green living.  It’s more like I just can’t figure out what I should do next, where the next step on my journey should take me.

So while we definitely need to be careful of information overload, as Stephanie talked about, I also think that sometimes we need a little kick in the pants to jump start our dreaming and goal setting, we need some encouragement and inspiration for our journey.

I wanted to share a few ways that I have found new ideas, inspiration, and continued to learn about green and natural living and ways I can incorporate it into my life.

Reading

This is an obvious one, but there are so many great books, blogs, and other resources, out there now with a wealth of information on green an natural living.  Many times I get questions about how I knew how to make a green change in our lifestyle, and really, most of the changes I have made have not been my own ideas, I’ve stolen them by reading about others who have gone before me on the journey of green living.

Here’s a good beginning list of books to read, and here’s a list of other great green bloggers to check out.

What are your favorite green reading resources?

Talk With A Friend

Whether your friend is a fellow natural living junkie, or a green novice, talking with someone else in real life can be extremely helpful. Chatting about changes you are making, changes they are making or want to make, and sharing your experiences can inspire you to think about things in a different way, or see a change you can make that you might not have thought of otherwise.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful friend who is my green kindred spirit, as well as has kids the same age as mine, who understands me when others might think I’m crazy, and who has helped me learn new skills, like canning.  She is a source of both encouragement and inspiration to me as I seek to continue making changes toward a greener and more natural lifestyle.

Research

It can be overwhelming at times when you learn about all of the toxins and chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis.  Sometimes I just want to cover my ears and yell, “I’m not listening!” like my preschooler likes to do to me when she doesn’t like what I’m trying to tell her.

But covering our ears, or burying our heads in the sand is not going help us, our families, or our world.  In order to keep from information overload, and from being overwhelmed, choose one topic at a time in an area that you would like to know more about so you can make the best informed decisions possible and then spend some time researching that topic and finding solutions.  Although it might be a little scary at first, you will probably end up feeling empowered, and have the knowledge to back up the changes you are trying to make.

For me, one of the next things I want to research is plastic use, and move away from using plastic in the kitchen as much as I can.

Watch

My husband and I love to watch documentaries on Netflix.  And while you have to remember that all documentaries have a slant and a point they are trying to get a across, they can also be a great source of ideas and inspiration toward green and natural living.

Here are a few great documentaries we’ve watched recently:
-No Impact Man
-Tapped
-Food Matters

And I recently found this amazing list of green documentaries – this gives me enough to watch for years to come!

Where do you find new ideas, inspiration and encouragement for your green journey?

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About Emily

Like many moms, Emily began her journey toward natural living when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. From cloth diapers to homemade green cleaners, she began making small changes toward a simpler more natural lifestyle. When her husband lost his job a year later, she scrambled to also learn how to live as frugally as possible. She quickly realized that many things that save money also save the earth, and began chronicling her journey toward living "frugally green" at Live Renewed. She is now the proud mama of two little ones, and although her husband sometimes wonders what she has done with the woman he married, she is passionate about helping her family live differently and responsibly as they strive to be a good steward of all of the resources God has provided them with.

Comments

  1. I have been struggling to find the encouragement to continue with our journey to live more sustainably. There have been so many changes for our small family in the past six months and it has been easier to just live a tad more conventionally. Thanks for the links to some very interesting and thought provoking reads/videos. Can’t wait to check them out and get back on track.
    Erin´s latest post: Yarn Along :: September 28

  2. I have to admit that it is easier for me to get discouraged rather than encouraged. It seems like there is always something else I should be doing or someone right around the corner who is a darker shade of green.

    You are right though that covering our ears and ignoring it is NOT the answer. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from a close friend. I also try to recognize that more often than not, I AM the close “green” friend and I need to be careful with my words. Encourage. Not discourage.

    I’m going to have to check out that list of documentaries. I’m a HUGE documentary fan and even try to do mini reviews on my blog from time to time. I loved No Impact Man. The extreme of that family was AMAZING and I loved how the wife truly hated parts of it. It made it more realistic for me.
    Rebekah from Simply Rebekah´s latest post: Happy 2nd Birthday, Grace!

  3. It is so much easier sometimes to just ignore all the things we should be doing as it can be overwhelming. My adult daughter was telling me all about the sodium chloride (I think it is) that is in most toothpastes. It is also in rat poisoning, nerve gas and a whole lot of other things! Okay, wow. Part of me wants to stick my fingers in my ears like you said, but reality is, I need to make a change. And some changes are easier than others. Changing toothpaste will be easier than say going all cloth napkins and paper towels, as that requires a change in habits and behaviors as well.
    Great post!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s latest post: When depression comes knocking at your door

    • I think she may mean sodium fluoride. It is in a lot of different things. Sodium Chloride is also in a lot of products, but its just table salt so I think its OK.

  4. Hey Emily,

    I definitely resonate with the what you wrote about the need of getting a kick in the pants sometimes. I know a lot of things and also I do take some action, but not nearly enough….I felt inspired by the “choose one topic at the time” suggestion, thank you!

    Alison
    Alison´s latest post: Whole Body Cleanse

  5. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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