How to adapt your lifestyle

The way the modern consumer lives is a threat to the planet1. So it’s time for a planet-friendly lifestyle. In my opinion this requires a review of our identity. A healty future is quite impossible when people stay consumers. They have to become world-citizens.

Such an identity transformation could be a long way. The urge to consume is ingrained in the brain of the modern consumer and some 50 years of marketing influence2 is not easily wiped out. Fortunately there are many steps that may lead to a citizen-identity.

To live a more planet-friendly life is not that difficult. Lots of tips can be found on the internet, although many lists lack scientific foundation. Where to start and what actions have priority? An example of scientific based actions is the Ocean Service infographic:

Protecting our planet starts with you. Ten simple choices for a healthier planet. NOAA3

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth

  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space.
  • Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too.
  • Educate. When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
  • Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
  • Choose sustainable. Learn how to make smart seafood choices at
  • Shop wisely. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
  • Plant a tree. Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change.
  • Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
  • Bike more. Drive less.

This list is not perfect, as I see it. One reason may be that it dates from 2009. The ecological problems, especially climate change have worsened since then. To me climate is problem number 1, as I reasoned in my research report4. From this position, the list above should have a slightly different order.

Another, more recent list, presented by the Center for Biological Diversity5 shows other priorities:

  1. Think twice before shopping.
  2. Ditch plastic and switch to reuse.
  3. Take extinction off your plate.
  4. Simplify the holidays.
  5. Choose organic.
  6. Ditch fast fashion and animal-based textiles.
  7. Be water wise.
  8. Drive less, drive green.
  9. Green your home.
  10. Boycott products that endanger wildlife.
  11. Fight for the right to choose when and if to start a family.
  12. Take action. Use your voice.

Here you see clearly the environmental view of this institute. From a climate point of view the order would be different.

  1. Negative Effects of Consumerism – Problems With Consumerism | ↩︎
  2. This Is Your Brain On Ads: How Mass Marketing Affects Our Minds | ↩︎
  3. Protecting Our Planet Starts with You – National Ocean Service | ↩︎
  4. The modern Consumer, cause and remedy for the ecological crisis – Caspar Bosma – Dubbelgoed 2023 | ↩︎
  5. 12 Ways to Live More Sustainably | ↩︎


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