Let’s talk about Eco-Judgment. I’ve noticed it quite a bit since I started talking about sustainable living. Some can be quite loud about what they do and why others ‘should do it my way’.
In my opinion, judging someone who doesn’t make the same environmental changes as others is incredibly counter-productive and feel this level of eco-judgment is really unnecessary.
I consider myself as an imperfect environmentalist, I try to do what I can when I can. I care about the environment and I always say – start small, do what you can, build from there.
You’ll look at something and wonder ‘Is it eco conscious’ or ‘What is an eco-conscious lifestyle?’ This looks different for everyone, there is no right or wrong. For many, it is linked to finances but there are other barriers to sustainable living.
We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly – Anne Marie BonneauTweet
Let’s Ditch The Eco-Judgment & Work Together For A Better Planet
When you’ve been doing something one way for a very long time, it’s learned behaviour and to change this, your brain needs to re-learn and adopt the new way. There are some who can wake up in the morning and say to themselves ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ and they don’t. I really admire anyone who has the ability to do this, but for a lot of people, this isn’t that easy.
I’ve read somewhere that it could take about a month to break an old habit and learn a new one. A month is a long time.
I mentioned this at the start. There are many sustainable products on the market but they come with a price tag, which can really take a chunk out of your monthly finances. Judgement needs to be left at the door.
I’ve seen myself that a glass jar of mayonnaise will likely be more expensive than the single-use plastic bottle or a tube of toothpaste will be cheaper than toothpaste tabs. There’s no need for any eco-judgement here. You can only do what you can do.
There are going to be some areas that don’t offer the products / facilities as other areas.
At the end of last year, my family and I moved from the South East of England to the East Midlands. Where we used to live, all residents were provided with a food caddy where food waste could be stored and taken away on a weekly basis. My new district council do not offer this facility. I assumed this collection would have been the same up and down the country, that’s not the case. Because of this, I have started to compost some food (there are things you can’t put in your compost) and the rest of the food waste ends up in the refuse bin.
I’m doing what I can, that’s the point. Eco-Judgment shouldn’t be a factor when it’s out of your control.
Ignore the Eco-Judgment and do things your way
I like being different and it’s something I embrace. I’ve had friends and family look at me at times and wonder whether I’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic and it makes me laugh.
Let’s look at some examples.
I have worn the same dress to three different weddings. It didn’t matter to me that people have seen it before. It’s a lovely dress and I love wearing it. I’m going to another wedding next year and many of the same people at previous weddings will be there too. I’ve seen trends where people are now re-wearing an outfit to a wedding more than once. There tends to be quite a bit of judgement around this and I don’t understand why; it’s cheaper, it’s better for the environment (less consumption) and you get to wear a dress you love over and over again. Even celebrities re-wear outfits.
Another thing I do that makes people raise their eyebrows is wearing odd socks. The reason is that if one sock has a hole in it and can’t be repaired, the other one is discarded even though it still does its job – which is a waste. Does it really matter if you’re wearing matching socks?
Some people think wearing odd socks is good luck (I haven’t found this) but something that is important is that International Down Syndrome Day is celebrated by wearing odd socks.
Maybe you could wear odd socks for Down Syndrome Day 2024 and show your support.
Start somewhere and ignore the eco-judgement
There is something we can do all and you need to find what works for your situation.
You can also have conversations with friends and family to see what they do, that could give you some inspiration and potentially adopting that practice into your lifestyle. You may be surprised at how many people buy second-hand.
If you’d like to practise self-care the eco way, check out this download.
It feels that we just need to be kinder to each other and forget about the eco-judgment. After all, we are all working towards the same goal, just in different ways.