Amid the weird weather moodiness, it became very clear to me that I could no longer be a bystander of climate change. While I can't fly up into the skies and mend the ozone or refreeze all the melting ice caps, I could do my darnedest not to speed up the process. I encourage you to do the same. Don't jump to conclusions though; I'm not sitting in a damp cave, in the Alps, with no connection to the outside world, living off of vegetable scraps I found. I just decided to do a little research to see what changes I could make to my life to be part of a movements towards environmental awareness.
Now there are TONS of little movements people are involved in that make the world a little more sustainable, from the Tiny House Movement, to my most recent discovery of the Zero Waste Movement. (A great Ted Talk explaining it is below!)
I will admit, I am not even close to going fully zero waste, and I don't think that is going to really be a reasonable goal for me right now, but it is something to think about. I guess that's what I'm trying to do here; to think a little bit more. To not take the lazy way out and maybe make a conscious choice to walk instead of Uber, or sort my recyclables.
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1. Borrow Your Friend's Clothing - Say you need a hot pink tuxedo jacket with flamethrowers on the shoulders for a choir concert, or more reasonably, a black cardigan, but you don't have one. Why would you go out and buy it, if you know a friend, relative, etc. has one? This saves you time and money in the long run; when you are done with the event, you never have to see the clothing piece again! If you really do end up loving the piece, then go out and buy it yourself after, but at least then you will know for sure that it is going to be of use.
2. Sell Your Old Clothes - So, that hot pink tuxedo jacket with flamethrowers on the shoulders...never going to wear that again, right? Well I'm sure that someone else might want to! This is where your demographics impact the best platform to sell on, but if you want to make a little cash off your old stuff (trust me though it isn't going to be a lot, unless you treat yourself with bougie clothes). My favorite ways to sell include the app Poshmark, stores like Buffalo Exchange, and a student Craigslist group I'm part of at school. Depending on what you are selling, there are good and bad places to get the best return on your items.
3. Bring Reusable Shopping Bags - This is an EASY one. Unless you are forgetful, then put the bags by the door or leave them in your car! Some stores even take off 10 cents for each bag you bring. If you are in the market for some new bags, my little tip is to pick bags that you like! If you think it is cute, you are gonna want to tote it (no pun intended) around Trader Joe's each Sunday. You'll be surprised how many plastic bags you don't end up lugging home when you bring your own.
BONUS TIP! - Plastic bags can be recycled! *Crowd gasping noise* If you have a bunch of these plastic bags floating around at home, bring them to a store that can recycle them. It gets them off your hands and out of the landfills. http://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/ Is a good website to find your local drop off location!
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4. Carry Around a Reusable Water Bottle/Mug - The amount of sad little green cups that hit the landfill each day is insane. I know, sometimes you need something that you can grab and go with, but if you are so inclined, bring your own reusable mug next time you need a Venti Frappucinno with extra whip. The same goes with water. If you have your own container, water is always free! Who wouldda thought?
5. Get Creative - This is where the real fun comes in. Say your clothing doesn't sell. If you are of the crafty type, then cut, sew, and bedazzle it until it becomes new again, something you would wear. Or hold a clothing swap party with your guy or gal pals! Those old pasta jars - clean them out and haul them to fill with bulk grains at a supermarket. With a little creativity you can go a long way.
Those are literally, just a handful of basic ways that I've tried to think about my consumerism and acknowledge that climate change is indeed real. I'm still learning too! I'm slowly figuring out what works and what doesn't and why it matters. I hope this post helped you think a little about what you can do too.
Peace, love, pumpkin spice (in a resuable mug of course),