Small things can make a big difference.
Lately, Paul has been expressing very passionate opinions about the environment and being more eco-friendly. Admittedly, I was getting annoyed with it at first. We’d go grocery shopping and I’d reach for the peanut butter we always used to buy, and then he says, “But, it’s in plastic.” Seriously?! We’re not going to buy something because it’s in plastic? This was a tiff.
We already bring our own reusable bags to the grocery store. California charges 10 cents per plastic bag if you don’t bring your own, so that’s a little extra motivation. We are already vegetarians — that has huge environmental impact. Aren’t we doing good enough?
Yes, I think we are…but I married an idealist — a more extreme idealist than myself even — so part of loving each other is taking an interest in each other’s ideas and passions. So I let him talk to me about it a little more. Paul’s always been interested in protecting the environment, but he expressed how when he became a Christian, for some reason he suppressed that passion. Why would he do this? We’re not sure. Probably because most of the Christian circles we were in didn’t place much value in it. We’ll all going to heaven, right?
But God has since convicted him (and me) that protecting the environment is a godly value, not just a “liberal” one. We should protect it, not out of the belief that “this is all there is,” but out of the belief that this is God’s divine Creation. This Earth is his handiwork which he gave us to care for and enjoy.
Part of the reason I didn’t want to talk about it, was that it’s just so downright depressing. Who wants to sit around and talk about how we are burying our oceans in plastic, or the GM genocide, or the connection between phthalates & the rise in autism. While Paul could talk about it for hours and get fired up, I just get sad and hopeless feeling.
I’d rather think of simple, small, daily changes that can make a difference and start doing them. I’d rather focus on positive stuff than dwell on the hopelessness of it.
I came across a great quote recently about how we spend our money…it rings true across a lot of areas of life…
What do I want my ideal world to look like? Am I casting my vote for it? Am I putting my money on it?
My weakness lately has been Target. Buying stuff from Target out of convenience, even though they’re not my ideal purchases. Do I want the future world to include more Targets and less small family-owned businesses? This is the question I need to ask myself.
Here’s some other “small things” that I’d like to change:
1. Only use recycled/repurposed/re-used wrapping paper when gifting.
2. Buy items in glass as much as possible, as apposed to plastic.
3. Re-use the said glass when the product is finished. (Ex. jars = drinking glasses, salad dressing container = flower vase)
4. When decorating my home, use vintage or used items.
5. Clothing (this is the hardest one for me): shop thrift stores &/or vintage as much as possible. I currently don’t do this, but I’m trying to make this a new goal.
6. Gifts: buy vintage or give handmade, thoughtful gifts. I recently went to a baby shower, and one gift was a collection of vintage baby books. They were beautiful and charming, and would make great decor, as well as, great reading material! Goal: step out and be different – buy vintage or eco-friendly gifts.
7. Think before I drive. Carpool if possible. Bike or walk to work.
8. Stop using those plastic bags for produce at the grocery store. Use re-usable mesh bags instead. That super thin plastic is the absolute worst for the environment, because when plastic is recycled, it can only degrade in quality (thick plastic recycles into thin plastic).
9. Buy local produce. We recently bought some apples from Chile at Trader Joes. Not only were they gross, just think of all the transportation waste it took to get those apples to Pasadena, CA. Dumb.
That’s a good list for now. A lot of these seem like small changes, but in actuality they feel pretty big when trying to do it. I’m no where near mastering these, but here’s to being positive and giving it a go. :)