It is official: I am halfway done with this challenge! Looking back at the past six months has left me with a few takeaways. It is clear that while I am living a more Eco-friendly lifestyle than I was in December of 2018, it has become abundantly clear where I am lacking (or polluting, if you prefer).
Confession: I have not been anywhere near perfect in any of my challenges. My To-Go Tupperware broke and has gone temporarily un-replaced, I have gradually used the dryer more and more as the months have gone by, and in a pinch I used a gift bag for a gift rather than a re-usable. All of these shortcomings have stemmed from two pathetically predictable factors: time and money.
I care deeply and truly about the environment and I have realized that when I am short on either time or money, the environmentally friendly habits I work so hard to build are the first things to fall away. I can only assume that this a relatable problem.
Which brings me to this month's challenge:
Keep it Simple/ Back to Basics/ Make it Work for YOU!
This month I want to focus on small things that I can do to make an environmental impact that won't bleed me dry or make me late for work. They are the things that may be most important because they are things I can consistently do and that work with my life. I hope these items will work for your life, too!
1. Energy- Do things that take no time at all and will save you money! Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Set the thermos stat a few degrees higher in summer and lower in winter.
2. Save Water- I am hesitant to put this one because I love nothing more than a long, hot bath or shower. However I could get more done and switch to other relaxing self-care regimen that is more Eco-friendly. I'm not promising that I will give up my 'candle-lit music in my own personal spa (bathtub)' time completely, but I can limit it and be conscious about when I actually need that 'me time!'
3. Buy Smart- Make conscious decisions in what you eat, drink and buy! When I eat/order less meat and animal products I save money and feel good about using less energy (if the choices are healthy, that is an added bonus). Dietary changes are not for everyone but they are something to consider with a nutritionist or doctor.
For goodness sake, stop taking the free bottles of water people give you; just because it is free does not mean you are obligated to take it (that is a statement directly to me). Bottled water can be expensive, is terrible for the planet, and there are high levels of plastic awaiting your digestive system inside.
Finally, buying second hand clothes and products saves lots of money and the earth in one wonderful purchase!
Let's keep it simple and remember the things we can do to make a difference. The difference may seem small in the face of enormous problems (I've seen the glum news stories abut extinction rates) but we can make a big difference together!