Hey-o! If you missed the first part to this two part post, check it out over here. Otherwise, let's dive in!
We know that what we do on a day to day basis has some effect on something somewhere. Whether that effect happens immediately in front of us or somewhere else in this world beyond what we can see. What I want to do is make a change here in my day to day that I think would help something I believe needs attention.
For a couple years I've been making tiny adjustments to be more eco-friendly (If you just eye-rolled, you may want to go ahead and click off now.). When I first started listening to podcasts a few years ago, I found myself tuning in to so many shows about the environment, recycling, nature and it's needs, chemicals in products, and bees. I heard so much about the bees. We've got to save those little guys!
Little by little I started adjusting things in my day to day. I started reading shampoo and face wash ingredients. I found myself being more adamant about recycling in my house (I'm looking at you, Pyro Man, and your Dr. Pepper cans). Household cleaners started making me think a little more before I sprayed. And by the way, what does happen to the plastic makeup wipe bag when you throw them away? I'm pretty sure they don't disintegrate...
It's not that I didn't grow up with Captain Planet or wasn't aware that littering was bad or knew that we needed to take care of planet, etc. I know all that! It's just that I didn't realize how much on an every day basis I was throwing away cardboard and plastic, adding up to landfills and oh yeah, probably impacting those buzzin' little bees in some way. What about what I'm doing to myself? Does my makeup really have that many chemicals in it? What exactly is happening when I heat my meal in a plastic container? Those are what chemicals used in this food I'm ingesting?
And it bothers me. It really does. There's a lot of things I can do without getting too crunchy. I'm still shaving my armpits and wearing deodorant, y'all. I don't have to buy chickens, build a compost and starting living by candlelight to make a difference either. So here's idea:
For the next 40 days I'm going to try to swap out my daily use of plastic products.
I'm making a few small changes around here to start and it's going to get uncomfortable in some ways and it's going to take some work. What I'm hoping is that what I do is make some habits at home that help in some small way to keep our world from being trashed. There are a few small things you can try if you want to tackle this challenge, too!
1. Cut back on plasticware. That means no plastic utensils, no plastic plates and no straws. Something about watching that straw pulled out the nostrils of the sea turtle reeeaaallllyyyy disturbed me.
I've ordered some stainless steel straws to use at the house and I can throw one in my purse for eat out meals if I need. I also picked up some utensils from Target to keep in my office for my lunches and I've already got plates up there, too. Problems solved on that front!
2. No more plastic bags. On a scale of 1-10, this is probably a 5. I already use green bags for groceries and thanks to my friend, Meredith, I have these awesome produce bags, too. What I'm talking about is those small plastic baggies for lunches and chips. Ziploc and Glad--I love you, but it's time for a break.
I like these reusable bags for sandwiches and chips for lunches. I'm going to try these instead, less expensive. We thaw out chicken in bags so that's going to be a habit to kick. We have plenty of tupperware and lunch boxes so we're not wasting there, but my tupperware is getting old and cracking. I'm wanting to replace with glassware like this at some point. If you really want to go green, I think the Bee's Wrap Paper is really cool but good grief, that stuff is pricey and not necessary right now!
3. Grow a Garden. This one isn't really that difficult, just takes some time. We like having a garden in the backyard and last year we planted sunflowers and zinnias which brought about a ton of bees. I really liked that and I felt like it served two purposes: helped those buzzing bees come around more which in turn helped our garden grow more and BONUS: it added a lot of beauty to the backyard!
This year we want to start planting our flowers early by setting up a grow station in the house and I've got a lovely mix of flowers I'm planning to plant. I'm hoping this will make it easier to plant then when the weather warms up and help bring about more bees this summer.
Think about what you use on a daily basis and how much those plastics pile up for just one person. I tracked myself one day to see exactly how many products I touch that end up being thrown--Keurig pods, toilet paper rolls, sugar packets, wrapping around bottle tops, and more. There's a lot. What happens to all that when we dump it in the trash? How can we clean up after ourselves a little better?
I think these beginning small changes will challenge me to be more conscious and that's ultimately what I want: to make conscious choices with what I buy and what I use and in how those decisions affect the world. What can I do to leave my place better than how I found it?
If you're wondering if these three points are all I'm doing, the answer is no. There's a lot to be done outside of the home, but this is just a starting point. Hopefully all of this will help me be more mindful in other ways, too, and with research, learn a bit more about how to be more environmentally conscious.
What do you say? Want to try and go plastic free with me? Got any advice to help me out? Go ahead and share it in the comments below!
If I'm totally candid, I have to say this entire idea has sprouted from seeds planted by my friends, Meredith and Kathleen. You sisters certainly lead by example and I'll be picking your brain about so much more during this journey!