Well, it's been 100 days.
100 days of Trump & a 100 days since everything changed. The outside world is grim. Prominent protesters are dying in highly questionable circumstances in Ferguson. A nuclear stand-off feels imminent with North Korea. Healthcare is on the verge of being stripped from millions of Americans for the sake of ANOTHER tax cut for the uber-rich.
However, the utter helplessness that has plagued me at first is being held at bay by a few things: a renewed belief in poetry if only for the need of its soul-fulfilling function. That and a desire to be better myself if only to hold at bay the horrors of the world by shaping my own life in a different mold.
I thought these greener-living changes would be hard or sacrificial to the max. I admit I more than once imagined myself like a Mrs. Miniver doing her duty, forehead-creased and stalwart or a nun, pious and behatted, her lustrous hair kept under wraps because there are more serious things than vanity to be thought of.
To my equal parts shame and delight, my life lived green-style has only gotten more fully rounded, livelier, lovelier, and, yes, greener, too. Not hard, bitter, and penitent at all. I still have changes I'd like to make, subjects I'd like to read up on, but these small changes add up. They're not hard, and they make your life and the world better. Here are a few simple, easy changes I've made with a nod to more on the sunset-splendored (hopefully not because its a nuclear holocaust of a) horizon:
1. Reusable Cups
I very rarely buy bottled water, and I'd like to stop entirely. It's really a habit of convenience, and more and more I'm getting in the habit of always having a bright teal and therefore easy to keep track of venti Starbucks reusable cup with me throughout the day. I do also need to start using it when I go out and get coffee.
2. Do Less Laundry
Washing your clothes only when necessary couldn't be an easier to save the world, and it certainly makes the life of a mother of two small children a lot more manageable. It's like I needed the guilt associated with being lazy removed for me, and this water-saving tip is it! You can read more here. about the labor and water-saving benefits of doing loads less frequently.
3. Extend the Life of Your Clothes
"It's not eco fashion," as Livia Firth, a champion of the slow fashion movement, has put it. "It's common sense." That's a great point, because it's insane that we've now gotten to a point where we buy a garment planning to throw it out-- I saw that exact language in a recent People Stylewatch article, actually as you can see in an earlier blog post here. It's so easy to make an effort to keep wearing the clothes you already have. Another great line from Livia Firth comes to mind along these lines: Before you purchase an item, ask yourself if you'll wear it at least thirty times.
4. Switch to a Plant-Based Diet
You don't have to throw on a daishiki and chant around a fire to do this, mind you. You don't have to label yourself a vegan or vegetarian to reap many of the benefits of those who follow a plant-based diet all the time. I'm not officially a vegetarian and eat red meat about once a month, because I feel like I have to. My body only craves it on those rare occasions, and I've failed at being a vegetarian because of a tendency to become anemic. So why not mostly be a vegetarian? It was a real lightbulb moment and it really works. I don't know why that didn't occur to me sooner. Not only are there innumerable health benefits linked to a plant-based diet, but every time you forego red meat, you're helping to save 2,500-5,000 gallons of water.
Composting is my next adventure. I actually don't know anything about it. But as you can see from the picture above, I have a little patch of garden, and I'd like to grow some tomatoes-- something I did once upon a time on a rooftop in the East Village so why not in my patch of Philadelphia dirt?
Well, that's about it for some of the easier changes I've been making. What are some ways you try to live green? Please comment and share! For more easy-peasy ideas, I also loved this post on the Eco Warrior Princess.
Wearing a secondhand Ulla Johnson dress from eBay & sustainably designed (and very gorgeous) Swedish Hasbeens sandals. They use vegetable dye!
French-American dual citizen on a green journey, making a Paris out of Philly or a Philly out of Paris, depending on the day.