For the last year, I’ve been dreaming about my own business. I want to contribute to the green movement by upcycling items destined for the landfill. But on a grander scale, I want to promote green living by offering services and partnering with eco-friendly companies. I’ve done a lot of reading about blogging, affiliate marketing, networking, and self-promotion. The whole process looks intimidating. Sometimes I’m not sure I have what it takes, but what I lack in experience, I more than make up for in determination. I’m a low-risk taker, and I’m very frugal with money, so then could I possibly be a candidate for having my own business? Especially one that’s not shown to be lucrative.
Green living is becoming more and more trendy. I have that going for me, but the costs that come with recycling, upcycling, and living an eco-friendly life often outweigh the earnings. However, in this changing world where climate change is on everybody’s minds, is there a way to make an environmental life not only sustainable, but also lucrative? That’s my ultimate goal. I want to help make green living practical, beneficial, and preferable to our consumerist way of life. I must first live the life which is why I developed a rough guide to green living based on the 10 Rs:
REMOVE – purge your home of unwanted items and excess
REDUCE – limit environmentally-harmful purchases such as plastic, meat, and single-use products.
REUSE – find clever ways to use items that are otherwise destined for the trash
REPLACE – swap the single-use for reusable products
RECYCLE – recycle what you can and upcycle the rest
REPAIR – fix and mend broken items before buying new ones
RESALE – shop used and shop local
RESTORE – ditch the lawn and opt for native plants and bring back green spaces
RENOVATE – take care of your home and watch your energy consumption
REVOLUTIONIZE – get involved, vote, and encourage the community
Sometimes I’m too ambitious in my goals. I often look ahead to the big picture and how I envision a business that offers a variety of eco-friendly services and products instead of starting small with the manageable tasks. I’ve had a year now to evaluate how I want to go about promoting my business/lifestyle for sustainable living, and I don’t feel much closer to an end goal. Does everybody hit this roadblock when first coming up with a business idea? Or is it my inexperience and apprehension that prevents me from moving forward? I’ve read countless books and blogs and consumed hours of YouTube videos for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Despite my fear and apprehension, I’m ready to try again. I’m ready to get started once again on this path I’ve spent years dreaming about. I’m ready to leave my mark on the green movement, and the starting point is the same for me as it was a year ago: minimalism.
The more stuff we own, the more our stuff owns us. I’m so glad my family has agreed to forgo Christmas gift exchanges this year. I’m always grateful of course, but the constant pressure to buy, consume, and spend money on more possessions is absolutely exhausting. Helping with my grandparent’s estate sale, an enormous undertaking, has only strengthened my resolve to own as few possessions as possible. The only trouble is we don’t have a good system in place for discarding unwanted materials. The donation centers are inundated. The recycling centers can only do so much. How do we properly sort and dispose of so much consumer waste without contributing to the landfills? Well, that will be my next task. I’m ready to continue this journey and finally start upcycling the items that I’ve purged. As the new year approaches, I’ve got 10 goals I’d like to accomplish throughout the new year:
- continue to buy as little as possible
- finally start my upcycling business
- reduce my plastic waste by option for reusable items
- find clever ways to reuse jars, containers, and other items in my home
- mend some clothes that need repairs
- cook more and eat out less than 3 times a week
- shop local and secondhand
- make one upcycled project every week
- ride my bike more often
- blog weekly about my green living progress
Wish me luck! Here’s to 2023!