All this talk about how to be eco friendly is jolly exciting until you realize you’re at risk of becoming the local killjoy. The one who wants to eat organic food not some factory-processed rubbish. The one that wants to avoid palm oil, non-sustainable fish, trans fats, pesticides and so on. Being eco friendly, for all the positive things it can do, also risks making you something of a social outcast if you’re not careful.
Making new environmentally-aware friends helps to offset this issue as well as creating another huge benefit: when you regularly rub shoulders with other like-minded eco warriors you’ll find that you’re not only encouraged, supported and motivated by those around you but furthermore you’re able to constantly learn new tips and strategies for being even more environmentally friendly.
In other words not only will you not have to bite your tongue all the time trying not to mention how unsustainable so many people’s lifestyles are but you’ll also be having plenty of fun (and learning a lot) to boot. Win!
Okay, so the theory of making new “eco friends” sounds lovely but where on earth does one begin? With all the thousands of people you pass, interact with and meet each week, how do you pick out (and get to know) the ones who really care about the planet? Fortunately we’ve got eight proven strategies you can put into practice today to start building your circle of green friends…
Join A Local Specialist Interest Group
The world is full of specialist interest groups. From groups that go out and pick up litter from the sea shore, to those who volunteer time to help local wildlife, to those who take part in tree-planting days. Keep an eye on your local newspaper and radio station to see what regular group meetings there are in your local area so you can go along, have some fun and make some new friends along the way.
Join Online Eco Friendly Discussion Forums
There are discussion forums for every interest out there and the green movement is no different. Discussion forums give you a great opportunity to ask any environmental questions you may have – as well as helping out other “eco warriors” by answering any of their questions that you can.
First and foremost, then, discussion forums are an easy way for you to share information and advice. But just as importantly, over time you’ll find certain members appearing time and again and offering great advice and surprisingly some very real friendships can arise from these online interactions. So go and register for a few accounts today and get chatting – it could be the smartest thing you’ll do today!
Volunteer At An Environmental Organization
Big international charities like Greenpeace often have local branches that help with campaigning and raising awareness of environmental issues. Furthermore a number of wildlife and conservation charities use volunteers to maintain wilderness areas and so on. Far more local charities also make full use of passionate volunteers to try and make the world a better place.
Giving some time to these charities – no matter how small – can really pay off for you. Volunteering alone can be a very satisfying thing to do as well as helping you make new friends and providing all sorts of additional opportunities that otherwise might now have come your way.
Visit Local Farmers Markets
There are two kinds of people who flock to farmers markets – food lovers and the eco-conscious individuals trying to reduce their carbon footprint. They’re also “safe” and friendly environments where you almost inevitably end up speaking to other people you’ve never met whether they’re the people selling produce or other customers just like you. Many farmers markets don’t just sell produce but also have stalls for local environmental charities, volunteering opportunities and so on so this is another place where it’s easy to network and meet other like-minded individuals.
Write For Your Local Newspaper
You, a writer? Infact many local newspapers struggle to stay afloat and paying their writers is an expense that many newspapers would like to reduce. Because of this you will often find that submitting an article to a local newspaper – for example one on gardening or on local green issues – may be very well received.
Not only may it get published but if the feedback is good it could even lead to the offer of a regular column. And of course if you provide an email address for readers to contact you with any questions they may have you can quickly become your local “green guru” who thousands of people read each week which provides you with a perfect avenue for making new eco friends.
Try Community Gardening
For many people growing their own food is an important part of their environmental efforts. Whilst not everyone has the time or inclination to get involved, those who choose to grow their own fruit and vegetables often have an inclination towards to preservation of the environment.
Growing food in your own back yard is all well and good but you miss out on one vital element of the whole experience – and that’s meeting other people, many of whom are as interested in being eco friendly as you are. Community gardening allows you to not only grow your own food but additionally to make new friends.
There are a number of ways to get involved in community gardening including getting your own allotment or volunteering at your local city vegetable plot. Keep an eye out in your local press to see what opportunities are available where you live.
Keep An Eye Out For Eco Events
From guided country walks to talks about organic gardening. From craft fairs focusing on reused and recycled materials through to tree planting days whilst there aren’t too many eco events at present the numbers do seem to be growing all the time. Keeping an eye out online at green events pages or subscribing to eco magazines are great ways to stay informed about what is happening in your local area so you can go along and meet new friends who care as much about the planet as you do.
Network On Facebook
We may be a little biased here as we have our own Facebook page but Facebook really is a great place to meet like-minded individuals. By “liking” various environmental pages their latest news and stories will start appearing in your newsfeed, giving you a constantly-updated source of information on how to be eco friendly as well as giving you a chance to make comments, leave feedback and interact with other eco warriors. And if you like the sound of that then I think I can be forgiven for inviting you to join our very own eco friendly Facebook page by clicking here.