Really what kind of urban hippie would I be if I didn't care about our planet and my environmental impact? I've always been sort of conscious of recycling and trying not to waste food etc.
But, my new years resolution this year was to really start trying a little harder. I love seeing those Zero Waste people who can fit an entire weeks worth of garbage into a small mason jar. I'm not sure I will ever get there, but it's damn inspiring.
You can google forever about how we waste. Seriously, pick a topic like water usage in manufacturing of water bottles. You could read for hours.
So, starts the journey of me trying to reduce my consumption. A little bit at a time. I'm not perfect and still have a garbage bag at the end of the driveway on garbage day, but every little bit helps. I was in some training yesterday and someone shared a quote I think fits perfect for this situation. I don't have the exact words, but was long the line of "it's just a day without noticing any changes, until a year has past and everything has changed." Exactly. It's just a water bottle, until a year has past and it's been 100 or 200 water bottles. It's just one person, until it's 7 billion.
So a few tips I've learned so far about just starting. Pick even one thing to work on and you are changing the world my friend. Even one thing.
- Stop fast fashion. Buying clothes from thrift stores or doing a clothing swap with friends. I've been to a couple and am hosting one next month. I'll share all about it after! Check out this awesome instagrammer/blogger The Spirited Thrifter who gives awesome tips and challenges and shares her gorgeous outfits all thrifted. I've actually challenged myself to not buying any new clothes for me or my kids for at least 6 months and I'm doing awesome 4 months in. Also check out this video about clothing production and waste.
- Buy in bulk. Check out bulk stores that let you either bring in your own jars or put in their bags. I assure you the thin plastic bags have was less impact then the packaging we usually see.
- Clean with rags rather then paper towel and disinfectant wipes. Just put them in the laundry and use again, rather then throwing away and the packaging put into selling it to you.
- Make things at home. If you have the time and baking skills, make granola bars or bread.
- Even when out you can make a difference. Ask that fast food joint just to hand you your burger and leave the bag behind. Bring a refillable coffee mug. Be creative.
- This last one is a bit dear to my heart. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 21 years. Try a meatless Monday. Just one day a week your family goes vegetarian. There are sooooooo many delicious recipes and protein filled foods/products out there I promise you'll barely miss it.
Here is a little bit from the Waterfootprint.org
"The production of one kilogramme of beef requires approximately 15 thousand litres of water (93% green, 4% blue, 3% grey water footprint). There is a huge variation around this global average. The precise footprint of a piece of beef depends on factors such as the type of production system and the composition and origin of the feed of the cow.[download report]"
I'm not perfect. I still buy and use things that are wasteful. It's not about being perfect. It's about changing a little bit, until one day it adds up and it's actually a really big impact without you even noticing. You are more then "just one person". You make an impact.