7 signs you’re more eco-conscious than you think

It goes without saying that we should all be eco-conscious and aware of our impact on the planet.

In 2023, everyone needs to take responsibility for their actions and to make sustainable choices at the bare minimum. Truth be told, people should be thinking about ways to be regenerative.

But some people are far more eco-conscious than others. For some people, being eco-conscious is second nature, while others don’t give it a second thought.

If you’re reading this, it shows you’re environmentally conscious. 

What’s more, you’re probably wondering whether you’re really doing all that you could to ‘do your bit’ for the environment… and if there are things you should change.

Find out how environmentally friendly you are with these signs that signal you’re more eco-conscious than you think.

1) You only buy second-hand clothing

The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters.

In fact, it’s the third largest after food and construction. It releases 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 

It’s even more polluting than the aviation industry, which is saying a lot!

Now, every time someone buys something from a big high street store, they’re contributing to the problem.

The big retailers continue putting a strain on the environment, as rivers fill up with dye and C02 is pumped out into the atmosphere.

If people continue buying from fast-fashion brands, the cycle continues.

In my experience, many people take the stance that if something is already made then what’s the harm of buying something.

Simply put, people take the stance that someone else will just buy it so why not me.

But this is not the mentality to have.

Now, if you agree with me and you see a big issue with the way most people shop, chances are that you’re more eco-conscious than you realize.

What’s more, if you don’t only see an issue but you refuse to buy new clothes from fast-fashion retailers then this confirms it.

A good way to work out how eco-conscious you really are is to think about the last few items of clothing you bought and to track where you bought them from.

You’re definitely an eco-friendly shopper, if the pieces are from:

  • Charity stores
  • Vintage stores
  • Clothes swaps
  • Secondhand apps like Depop or eBay

If it’s the case that your wardrobe is filled with pieces from these sorts of places, keep it up…

…And try to encourage those around you to do the same through showing them how stylish you can be with pre-loved pieces!

2) You don’t just throw old clothes in the trash

While we’re on the topic of clothes, it matters what you do with your clothes after you’ve had a good run with them.

Truth is, they’re not just going to disappear into an abyss but they’re just going to end up in landfill if you throw them in the regular trash bin.

It’s estimated that 92 million tons of clothing finds a home in landfills each year, while only 20% of textiles are actually reused or recycled.

Simply put: people who throw their clothes in the trash are not eco-conscious.

You see, there are loads of things we can do with clothes when we no longer want them.

If we’ve physically outgrown something and it doesn’t fit us anymore then it makes sense to get rid of it…

…This could mean giving it to a local charity store, to a friend or family member, or to someone in need. 

But if something just has a bit of wear and tear then you can consider repairing it or upcycling it. 

It could mean sewing on a badge to cover a hole or dying it a different color to hide a stain.

Either way, throwing something in the trash shouldn’t be an option when we don’t have use for a piece of clothing.

If you also think like this, you’re probably more eco-conscious than you think.

It means you’re among that 20%, so give yourself a pat on the back for being conscious about your habits.

Remember that you might just be one person, but you can still have an impact!

3) You use nontoxic products

There are so many chemicals in the products we use each and every day.

This goes for products in our bathrooms, kitchens, bags and more.

Cleaning products, cosmetics, and body care, and candles are just some of the products that are more toxic than we realize.

Parabens, foam regulators, and fragrances are among the list of toxicities that are stuffed into products today.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid chemicals in our daily life…

…But there are people who actively seek out nontoxic products.

Sure, these products are a little harder to come by but they’re out there if you go looking!

Organic stores and many eco-friendly shops online are stocked with these eco products.

Now, if you’re one of these people who does seek out nontoxic products for your home and body, you’re likely more eco-conscious than you thought.

Take some time to look at the labels on the back of the products you own, if your cupboards are stocked with products labeled with things like ‘organic’ or ‘paraben-free’, you’re definitely an eco-conscious person.

3) You always recycle

signs youre more eco conscious than you think 1 7 signs you’re more eco-conscious than you think

Recycling is one of the easiest things we can all do to ensure we’re not causing more damage to the environment.

It simply means separating materials where you can so they can either be repurposed or deposited in the most efficient way. Plastics go with other plastics, glass bottles are grouped together… 

All it requires is putting things in particular containers, and it takes just two minutes.

…Or, at least, this is how eco-conscious people see it.

You see, recycling sadly is not the norm.

The recycling rate in the US is apparently just 32% while it’s not even possible to recycle everywhere in the world.

Truth is, a lot of people unfortunately aren’t eco-conscious. Some people don’t even believe in climate change and the problems the world is facing.

On the other hand, if you consider where each piece of plastic ends up is, you’re definitely more eco-conscious than you think!

4) You compost your food 

Just like recycling materials, compositing foods is super simple.

It’s just a case of separating your food waste from other materials, so you’re able to reuse the food scraps that are rich with nutrients.

Waste including fruits, vegetables, and coffee grounds are among the foods that can be composted.

Here’s the thing: Food compost is a great, free fertilizer that you can use in your garden… And it’s free of chemicals.

You’ll be able to feed your plants and trees with good nutrition.

If you already knew this then it shows you’re an eco-conscious person.

You see, it’s not actually common knowledge…

…A lot of people just throw their leftover foods into regular trash cans and hope for the best, but that’s not good enough in 2023!

What’s more, if you’re someone who actively composts their food and doesn’t think twice about it, you’re definitely more eco-conscious than you thought.

5) You conserve water

Conserving water is one of the things that’s of high importance to eco-conscious people.

Ask yourself what your water habits are like and it will give you good insight into how eco-conscious you are.

I have some questions that might help you gauge your habits:

  • Do you shower for just a few minutes?
  • Do you only shower and never take a bath?
  • Do you turn the tap off when you brush your teeth?
  • Do you wash your clothes by hand?
  • Do you have water-saving shower heads?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above (or all!) then you’re highly eco-conscious.

These are the habits of people who are very considerate about the environment

Personally, I’m trying to ensure I only shower for two minutes, I never leave the tap on when I brush my teeth and I wash my clothes by hand to be more eco-conscious.

Here’s the thing:

We can all have a positive impact if we look closely at our habits and make adjustments.

In short: don’t let the idea that you’re just one person stop you from embracing a more eco-conscious journey!

6) You’re vegetarian or vegan

You might be vegetarian for a variety of health reasons, but by choosing this diet you’re automatically more eco-conscious than a huge portion of people.

Most people are aware that being veggie is better for the environment.

There is loads of information out there that explains how much better being vegetarian or vegan is for the planet.

But did you know that it can decrease your carbon footprint by 50 percent?

Truth is, a veggie diet lowers greenhouse gas emissions and it doesn’t use the amount of water and oil that’s used to produce animal products.

It’s a great way to do your bit for the environment, and ensure your choices are not doing more damage.

Simply put, if this is how your diet is, you should celebrate yourself for being eco-conscious.

Truth is, you’re probably far more eco-conscious than you think.

Related: 10 books every aspiring environmentalist should read to make a difference

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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