17 July 2023
It’s my birthday week!
I’m 28,927,800 minutes old, and I’m just getting started! I noticed a lot of people post a Facebook fundraiser for their birthday, which I think is a great idea, especially given my feelings about accruing more “stuff”. But I have another idea this week...
The thing that makes me happiest is knowing that I helped make the world a better place, so I’m asking for you to take one action this month to do this. I have a few suggestions, and I’m hoping that once you realize how easy and fun it is, you’ll want to do even more.
I applaud you if you’re already doing any of these things, and would ask you pick something new.
- Bring your own re-usable water bottle everywhere. At the airport, you can drink it before you go through security, then refill it on the other side.
- At cafes and quick-service restaurants, if you’re dining in, always choose the re-usable option (if available). Coffee bars seem to put everything in a disposable cup as the default, but a real mug is so much nicer!
- Refuse plastic straws. Why do restaurants insist on giving them with every cold drink? I’m not a fan of metal or paper straws, but do we even need a straw at all?
- Stop buying sweetened beverages or flavored waters in plastic bottles. Make your own infused water at home with tap water and cut fruit and keep it in a glass jar or pitcher in the refrigerator. It’s just healthier and cheaper.
- Before buying something, consider if you can get it secondhand. Your local Buy Nothing group, Facebook marketplace and even Amazon are all great sources of used, good quality products. Rental is another great option for things you only need temporarily.
- Try meatless Monday (or Tuesday...). More veggies are good for you and the planet. You can start by eating meat less frequently or in smaller portions.
- Grow your own food. Anything from a simple sprouting jar to an outdoor raised bed gets you closer to your food and more connected to the Earth.
- Limit food waste. Re-think the amount of food you prepare/order for a family gathering. Get creative with leftovers. As a last resort, compost any food waste. My town is about to introduce a composting program for all food scraps, but I’ve been throwing my food waste in a backyard compost bin for decades (and it never gets full!).
- Choose whole foods and support your local farmers. Farmers markets ensure a steady supply of wholesome, fresh produce. Joining a CSA might even stretch you beyond your veggie comfort zone toward more variety.
- Create landscaping that works with nature, not against it. Pesticides on the lawn poison our pollinators, pets and family. Leave the leaves – they nourish the soil. Native plants support local wildlife and insects, and they are easy-care in the local ecosystem.
If I've inspired you, please share one change that you made this month to improve your health or protect the Earth. How did you or others feel about it? Was it difficult? Empowering? Did it have unexpected benefits or consequences? I want to know all about it. That would be the best birthday gift for me!