I’m A Lazy Eco-Warrior

I am  a lazy eco-warrior. Every Spring I get so fired up about saving the planet, then take on too much and fizzle out in the winter.

This year I am going to pace myself. I am also going to learn patience and to be less impulsive- because the Earth needs us ALL the time, not just when we feel like doing eco-friendly choices or if it’s convenient for us. It’s kinda like exercise in that way! Who doesn’t feel motivated when they start and then stop when the going is slow or we hit a plateau? Our brains are wired for instant gratification. My brain is especially impatient. So I understand when I get “bored” with saving the environment but I also know how important it is and need to try harder to keep going, even when my changes don’t show immediate and obvious improvement.

I am really, truly going to go for it this year, you guys. I have said it before but I am sick of feeling helpless and realize that even my slow, steady choices will make a difference. We’re not talking grand gestures or decisions based on (most likely) biased documentaries. Instead, let’s talk about little changes over time- ones that have been researched to make a difference.

This is 2013 data- imagine it now! (Image Courtesy of http://chinawaterrisk.org/resources/analysis-reviews/aqueduct-global-water-stress-rankings/)

Here are my top three:

  1. Take shorter showers! This will be a tough one for me, as I do an active meditation in my shower (mostly by accident) or space out during “me time” in there. I really, really, really enjoy my 20 minute hot water showers. I look forward to it every single day but feel guilty afterward as a lot of people don’t have easy access to water, much less 20 minutes of it from their tap. Also, my long hot showers explain why my skin is often irritated! Showering that often disturbs your skin’s outer layer, or”horny layer”, that maintains moisture. That makes perfect sense. So, I will try to shower less often and for a shorter amount of time. You can read about that in more detail HERE.
  2. Turn off the lights and close that fridge door. Do you ever think “I’m just gonna quickly pour myself a quick glass of milk at the fridge” and do it with the door open and the cup balanced on your knee? Yah, we do that occasionally. It’s rare, but I know that every bit helps and having the door open means the light is on (energy) and that the inside is warming up so that the fridge is going to turn on to cool itself (more energy). We won’t be doing that anymore. In and out! It’s as easy to pour it on the counter anyway! It is just as easy to turn off a light when you leave a room, even if you think you are coming right back. If you get busy, that light is already off so you don’t have to back-track. I was so insistent about this in my home that the kids are the ones that yell at me if I leave a light on accidentally. I vow to be better at remembering to turn it off as I leave a room!
  3. Buy less plastic. I’m NOT ready to go zero-waste, or even close, but I will try to buy less plastic and packaging. Bulk Barn lets you bring in your own containers and has everything from natural cleaning solutions to bulk flour to bulk Jelly-Bellies. Have you seen the bulk jellybeans? Each bin is one colour- it’s a living rainbow! I will try to shop more often at Bulk Barn for those kinds of things. I have ditched 99% of my processed food, so that helps a lot and will try to make reusable bag options for produce instead of reaching for the plastic ones. Often you don’t even need a plastic bag and can put the vegetable or fruit in your cart loose! Especially if you are only buying a couple tomatoes or something.                                                                              I want to buy less sneaky packaging, too. When I go to the grocery store, I grab that bag of apples on sale and that group of oranges in the netting. Then I have to throw that away! Or recycle it. Although recycling it is fine, it is only becoming a part of a cycle that I could have stopped. I have decided that, starting today, I will bring cloth bags or crochet ones to collect my fruit and always collect it bulk, instead of the pre-packaged net or plastic ones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I’m also going to use reusable bags instead of the plastic sandwich bags!! I went to Fabricland and the incredible staff there helped me find food-safe iron on material to line fabric with. Now all I have to do is find the time to make THESE SANDWICH BAGS – Thank you, Pinterest! To be honest, I bought the material 2-3 weeks ago, but I’ve scheduled this Friday to give it a go. I am not good at sewing, so I’m a bit nervous, but it’s worth the effort.
  4. BONUS ONEShop more ethically, especially with clothing. Instead of buying disposable clothing that will end up in a landfill (sooner rather than later), I will buy second-hand (which helps a little) or save and save to buy ethically-made clothing that will last a lifetime and can be handed down to my daughter (which helps a lot). Living in Japan in my early twenties, I was too tall and fat for the clothing there, so was forced to take a year off of shopping. This was especially hard because they have some of the best fashion in Japan! I didn’t go cold or naked in that year, so I think I can wait a few months to save up for a more expensive t-shirt or scarf rather than repeatedly buying stuff I will throw away because it wears out so fast that it looks like crap within months. It will help me to save money in the long run, as I will have to wait to buy the item, so I won’t be impulse shopping and will know I really want it. Plus, if I treat it right, it will be a piece I can wear with pride for years. I understand my style now and won’t go through purchase regret-but if I do, my clothing will have better resale value. My kids, sorry, will be getting second-hand finds as they grow so fast or play so hard they rip their clothing past repair. (And, let’s be honest, I will buy the occasional second-hand item myself). If you are interested in shopping ethically-made brands, you can start with THESE BRANDS. I am also obsessed with THESE SCARVES.

Garden Ninja and tiny Eco-Warrior

These are three really simple ways I can restart my Eco-friendly journey. Isabella and Hunter remind me daily that everything on Earth is connected, and will be overjoyed at my new commitment. They will surely be by my side teaching me better ways to do things, every step of the way.

 

What are your favourite environmentally friendly hacks?

Anything else I should add to my starter list?

Any ethically made brands you want me to look into or start using?

Let me know in the comments!

 

 

If you like this post, keep reading these ones:

Our Earth Needs Us to Reduce Waste

Maca Powder Side Effects

Discovering Alchemy Soaps

 

 

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