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I am the green sheep of my family
Green, if you are in this path towards having a sustainable lifestyle, you’ve been labelled with this colour too. We are the green sheep of the family, the hippies, the tree huggers, you name it. I actually feel flattered when they call me this because they’re seen in me the person that I want to become, but I’m nowhere near there, I still have a lot to learn.
I care about nature, animals and human beings
We are green because we talk about all the things that we want to change in our lives to be more in tune with nature, whether is eating a plant-based diet, having a zero waste lifestyle, or buying second-hand clothes, everything is associated with green.
The challenge of being “green” around your love ones
But, what happens with those people that surround us? Our families, friends and partners. What happens when they’re not green? and have no intention of being so. This could be a challenge for all the green sheep out there. I say challenge because it’s not an obstacle; it just means bringing the conversation to the table. There is something we have to truly acknowledge to ourselves:
We can only change ourselves
The sooner we get this, the easiest the path will be, because dealing with all the internal transformation to change our external world, it’s more than enough.
Some common phrases and/or situations that we can encounter with these people that are part of our lives:
- “There are proven studies that say that vegan/vegetarian people don’t have a healthy diet“
- “It is impossible to reduce waste, it takes too much time, and what differences does it make if I do it and others don’t“
- “Buying sustainable clothes is way too expensive“
- “Who has the time to DIY at home and in the natural ways, and how do you know it works, if it hasn’t been approved by experts?”
I’ve experienced all of those situations and much more. Don’t stress, or get upset, think about all the process that lead you to question all of those things.
Tips to have a healthy relationship with them whilst you move onto a more sustainable lifestyle
- Listen to them patiently, tell them you are still learning, and even if is little what you or they can do; they are giving their two cents to the world.
- Respect them, perhaps they’ll always be like this, they might never change, and that’s ok. It’s a personal path.
Letting them choose their shade of green
I’ve been with my husband for ten years now, and if I can tell you something about him is that he is a kind person, he believes in taking care of nature and it’s a very conscious human being. However, as most of us, he’s learned a lot from our western society and so he believes in many paradigms, which is why he is not too keen to use my DIY toothpaste and eating fewer animal products hasn’t been quite the walk in the park for him.
You would’ve thought that I get really upset with him right? Wrong! This is what’ve done:
- Give him the chance to choose, whatever makes him feel comfortable, that he doesn’t feel I’m forcing him
- Watch documentaries with him that explain all of this “green” trends, with examples, facts and tangible results
- Make it easier for him (I make him delicious, nutritious and filling vegan meals)
- I like to experiment with everything I can make at home, like the toothpaste and the no poo method for the hair, but I search for brands with sustainable values for him.
Conscious changes have to be made consciously
The results have been incredible, he knows makes more conscious and green decisions, he consumes less meat, thinks before buying anything that comes in plastic, and he is more aware of the brands that are in tune with those values.It’s not about forcing someone to be green, it’s about giving them a chance to get involve as much as they want, it’s about making it easier for them, it’s about making them question Where do my clothes come from? Where does my waste go? What are the consequences of my habits?
“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others” – Jacob M. Braude