As I looked at many people stating resolutions for 2015 on social media, I began thinking about change. The concept of changing ones self to some new and better version. It is in this idea of change that I started evaluating a bigger change. I wanted to make a change in myself that created a change in others. Why make a change that does not create a ripple into others lives for the better?
I began watching more documentaries on climate change, on decreasing my carbon footprint, on recycling and reusing what I already have. I decided a month into 2015 to not only do those things that help decrease my waste and my disposable mentality, but to also encourage that behavior in all others I meet.
The documentaries readily available on Netflix and Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Hula, have all fed me plenty of information. I then had to figure out how to empower myself when it seems political representatives completely control initiatives that do or do not effect our environment.
I found that I do have enormous power in my information. I learned about: public demand for palm oil causing deforestation, alternatives to fossil fuel, purchasing power including mindful buying from companies that use recycled products, walking instead of driving short distances, and I learned about reading labels to find biodegradable products. It is a commitment, but one worth the outcome.
What does all this have to do with me? You are probably thinking the same thing. Change does not come without effort and commitment. I have made and begun using reusable grocery and shopping bags. I recycle those plastic bags I do get through food purchases. I wash them, and reuse them for numerous things. I use paper bags to put food scraps into and put them in the organic recyclable tote I bought from the city.
In 2014, I filled a 30 gallon tote every four weeks that was recyclable. The regular trash is about 1/4 full now every week. That is a reduction of over 360 gallons of recyclable items that previously went into a landfill. I check the markings on the bottom of every can and box I hold before it enters the trash cans in my house. If it is numbered up to 8 in the triangle, I know it is recyclable. It goes into another can that goes to the big bin behind my house every few days.
Changing habits is a difficult thing. I don’t take things for granted as often as I did ten years ago. I don’t cast my vote in a straight line anymore. I am committed to look at any politicians views on global warming, recycling, and providing explanations about environmental measures that make sense in their office term.
Being mindful in all things includes environment, family, friends, and self-worth. Paying attention and not rushing through every moment just to get to the next is a resolution that impacts me and those around me every day. It is a resolution to make change with the most impactful payoff imaginable. Join me won’t you?