By: Shelby Burns
Are your worries of climate change making you feel like you quite literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders? Don’t worry, you are not alone, and in fact your eco-anxiety can be a good thing!
Here’s how: according to Frontiers in Psychology, eco-anxiety “can be a deeply valuable emotional response to threats like climate change: when experienced at the right time and to the right extent, practical eco-anxiety not only reflects well on one’s moral character but can also help advance individual and planetary wellbeing.” Eco-anxiety not only reminds us that we are caring people, but it can propel us as a community to take more immediate action to protect our planet, and promote green living.
Are you feeling motivated to take action? One way to boost your motivation for a more eco-friendly lifestyle is by using affirmations! Practicing affirmations daily can help rewire your brain to take real action. Here are 23 eco-friendly affirmations to recite and practice this year.
23 Eco-Friendly Affirmations
1. My daily actions manifest into a big difference: It might feel like you cannot make a positive impact on the environment as a singular person until you realize that on average, one person produces 4.9 pounds of trash per day (epa.org). Curious about how you can limit your waste? Composting is a simple and beneficial way to limit your carbon footprint and reduce your waste.
Here’s one of the biggest reasons composting makes a huge impact: food in landfills become “trapped in an “anaerobic environment”, which means that no oxygen can be accessed. Without oxygen, the insects and microorganisms needed to break down the materials properly can’t survive, so food that decomposes in a landfill without air will produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that traps over 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide. If these gasses aren’t contained completely by the landfill piping, they can leach into our atmosphere (environment911.org).”
Whether you are planning on doing a DIY project in your own backyard or want to start smaller, here’s how how to compost: If you are feeling intimidated by starting your own composting bin or pile at your house, you may be in luck, and have a local compost drop off in your community! Often, communities will collect food scraps to compost. Check your local area for this opportunity. If you want to start composting yourself, you can do a backyard compost or vermicomposting. For a quick breakdown on getting started on creating a backyard composting site, here’s what you need to do:
a. Collect your kitchen scraps: crushed egg shells, produce scraps, coffee grinds (avoid dairy/meat). It’s best to store all composting scraps in a fully sealed, airtight space such as a bucket with a lid. To prevent smell, you can also keep these composting scraps in your freezer!
b. Collect dry scraps: twigs, leaves, paper, wood chips
c. Prepare pile/bin: Before adding any kitchen scraps, layer your dry scraps at the bottom to absorb liquids from kitchen scraps. Then, take turns layering kitchen scraps, and then dry scraps, like lasagna.
d. Occasionally turn pile to help promote decomposition. Are you ready to get started? See a full guide to get started on composting here.
2. I choose to eat more plant based to help the environment: You don’t have to be a perfect vegan to make a difference. While it’s great if you’re already vegan/planning to jump all in on veganism, it is even better if as an entire community we focus on eating more plant-based meals. “A global shift to a plant-based diet could reduce mortality and greenhouse gases caused by food production by 10% and 70%, respectively, by 2050.” One of the more challenging parts of eating plant based, can be the options while traveling. An easy way to stay fueled while on the go is with Aloha Protein Bars. Stash a couple in your car console, or backpack for your next adventure! If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar. It’s hard to believe delicious snacks can be this nourishing!
3. I leave everywhere I explore better than I found it: Nothing feels better than enjoying beautiful sites that nature has to offer. Help leave beautiful spaces in the outdoors nicer than you found them for your community; always bring a bucket/bag and gloves to collect litter on your adventures. Sadly, we can’t control everyone’s actions, but we can help counteract them! Next time you go adventure, bring a couple of friends and spend some time cleaning up after your favorite places.
4. My choices to use reusable items create direct change on the amount of disposable plastics being thrown out: It is estimated that 50 billion coffee cups get thrown out each year (earthday.org). Help cut back on disposable cups/containers by keeping reusable coffee cups, water bottles, and cutlery on hand! A fool-proof way to ditch the plastic when getting coffee or takeout is by keeping all of your reusables stored in your car, so it’s easy to remember!
5. Fuel my body with local, organic foods whenever I have the option: Not only will eating more local and organic foods benefit your health, supporting local helps your community and environment! Organic foods prevent harmful damage from being done to native animals, water systems, and soil; it’s a win-win for you, your community, and planet!
6. I live in a sustainable community: Look into what your community currently offers–you’d be surprised what actions your town or neighborhood may already be taking! Do you think that your community could improve its environmental impacts? Check out these eco-concious community ideas for inspiration on creating a community more focused on green living.
7. I walk/bike instead of take my car to spend more time outside and to limit my carbon footprint: Biking and walking to do your errands and get around locally (if possible) is a great way to improve your awareness + get more outdoor time. Not to mention, it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, by limiting fossil fuels produced by driving.
8. I find the beauty in all things around me: One of the best ways to maintain a positive perspective on life and the world is by practicing and writing in a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes writing for what you are currently grateful for in your life, community, and environment. It can be as simple as having clean running water, your feet for taking you places, or your caring community.
9. I choose to feel calm and trust in the universe: Our planet has been here long before us and works in miraculous ways. Trust that what you and your community are doing is making a change, and put trust into the universe as well. Awareness on climate is growing every day. Take safety in knowing that our world is being considered more every single day.
10. I choose to connect with myself in nature: Most of us are glued to our phones and computer screens for a large chunk of the day. Make it a habit to put away your electronics to connect with yourself and the outdoors. One of the best things that you can do for yourself in the morning is get outside. Seeing morning light can boost serotonin and balance your circadian rhythm–which is a fancy way of saying that this habit can help regulate your sleep schedule by balancing your melatonin levels. And, the less time you spend on electronics, the more energy is being saved while spending time outside connecting, instead!
11. I allow my fears to manifest into action: It is 100% valid to feel stress sometimes. Feel all the feels and then let your emotions motivate you to take action and focus on green living!
12. I control what I can, and release what I cannot: Practice surrendering. Learning to surrender allows us to let go of the stress and worries. It helps keep us in a state of trust that we are doing what we can, and letting go of the worry of what’s not fully in our control.
13. I choose to support businesses that create a positive impact for communities and the planet: From sourcing of ingredients, choosing plant-based ingredients, and off-setting emissions, Aloha means business–but not without purpose. ALOHA is partnered with Kupu: a leading nonprofit organization of native Hawaiians who work directly with their community to preserve the land while empowering young adults. They provide with hands-on training in conservation, sustainability and environmental education with hundreds of internships and service-learning opportunities with 107 completed projects, 188 student leaders, and 6 islands impacted. For any product purchased at checkout, you have the option to donate $1-$10 to Kupu. Our goal with partnering with Kupu is to help to raise $30,000 for the Hawai'i Youth Sustainability Challenge (HYSC) for Hawaiian youth to create conservation and sustainability solutions in schools and communities to challenges created by students themselves to foster next generation of environmental stewards.
14. Every day, more people become aware of caring for our planet: As climate change continues to affect each and all of our lives, more and more people are continuing to stand up to make a change.
15. I have a positive and inspiring impact on those around me: It only takes one person to inspire a whole crowd. Lead by example for your children, family, friends, and even strangers. Whether it’s by picking up litter, saying no to single use plastics, or riding your bike to work, help lead the way and show others that living more sustainably doesn’t have to be hard!
16. I keep my reusable grocery bags in my car for when I run my errands: This is such an easy eco-friendly practice to reduce your disposable plastic usage, yet one of the easiest to forget! Keep your grocery bags tucked away in your car to make remembering a little easier.
17. I grocery shop sustainably: Shopping sustainably is a win-win. If done right, it can be significantly cheaper. When the option is available, buy in bulk. Search for items that use recycled packaging, and when buying produce, ditch the plastic! It’s recommended that produce gets thoroughly washed regardless. Or, if that’s not your vibe, bring reusable produce bags. Shopping for local, in-season produce can also save some money and reduce your carbon footprint.
18. I choose to cook sustainably: There are so many eco-friendly options for cooking! Start getting scrappy with your cooking! If you have produce that is soon to expire, freeze it for future meals such as smoothies; this helps limit waste! Save your veggie scraps in Tupperware and freeze for later; these can be used to make an excellent veggie broth! Nix the plastic wrap, sandwich bags, and parchment paper. It’s 2023–there are great reusable alternatives for all of these items such as stasher bags, beeswax wrap, and silicone baking mats.
19. My yard provides me with a sanctuary for myself and other creatures: Get creative with gardening this year. Conventional yards aren’t typically sustainable for the environment. Look up ways to improve your yard space such as:
a. Limiting the lawn space: Grassy lawns take up a LOT of energy–from cutting, to the chemicals most lawns are sprayed with, and watering.
b. Planting native plants: Native plants typically require less maintenance and helps support your area’s natural ecosystem!
c. Compost: Refer to the first affirmation for more tips on composting!
20. My house is filled with lush and lively greenery: Not only do houseplants brighten up your space, but they serve an extremely important purpose for your health and the environment; plants remove pollutants from the air. As you breathe out carbon dioxide, plants breathe it in and repurpose it back into oxygen.
21. I create my own non-toxic cleaning products: Making cleaning products for your home can be insanely easy. Use what you have, and if you have empty cleaning bottles that are reusable, use 3 tablespoons white vinegar to one gallon of water. Add whichever essential oils you please. Pine and citrus scents are my favorite for cleaning.
22. I replace items with more sustainable options as they run out: Self-care and beauty products can be some of the trickiest to let go, until realizing that most products we use on our body are equally as bad for us as it is for the planet. Opt for refillable products such as Dr. Bronner's Castile soap–this can be used for body wash, hand soap, dishes, laundry, and cleaning! Most health food stores have a refill station. Shampoo and Conditioner bars are another easy eco-friendly replacement to reduce your plastic waste.
23. It’s never too late to take action: Never let the fear of a project being too big prevent you from taking the first step! One of the best things you can remind yourself this year focus on the present, and to take things one step at a time.
Whether you are hoping to change your habits for yourself, community or planet, positive affirmations are a great practice to incorporate. Positive words of affirmation can help boost your self worth by rewiring your subconscious mind. An easy way to practice is by recording yourself reciting your affirmations. You can play them first thing in the morning, while you sleep, drive, or clean! Save these 23 affirmations to help boost your motivation on making a positive impact this year.