Ah, you all know about environment problems. Globaly, is it so critical, or not? There are articles, studies, books, debates. But we’ve all seen them, read them, discussed and felt this or that.
But what can we do?
There is a difference between being environmental conscious on „debate level“ and really feeling it and living it every day.
Because not a single change will take place untill you really feel it inside. Because if not, you’ll keep buying, forgetting, buying again, throwing away, even throwing it to the recycle bin. We’ve all done that. But do you really feel every plastic bag you buy, break and then throw to the recycle bin? And when you do that, can you imagine it’s way back to some factory or to some even bigger pile of plastic that cannot rot, rust or dissasemble into thin air/soil? Rather polute, pile some more, end up in some sea turtle’s tummy?
IS RECYCLING ITSELF ENOUGH A SOLUTION?
In this post I’ll tell you what I do to feel myself better environmentaly. How I make my little steps in my little square under the Sun. Because I think it’s not that tragical (yet, I hope) to take that steps ourselves, teach our kids and save the Earth for them.
- I HAVE RECYCLING BINS IN MY OWN HOUSE, AT MY HAND TO USE.
We bought Ikea containers that are so handy to use and put on the top of another so they don’t take too much space and are approachable anytime. Make it handy for you so you don’t have to do and go much to dispose in your house properly.
- I DON’T JUST RELY ON RECYCLING.
Conscious buying, storing and using of things you buy can significantly make your waste/throw/recycle pile smaller. Be conscious of every thing you take in your hands in the store. What will you do with the package once you are done with it? Is it necessary to buy more of little packages rather than one bigger or in bulk (or by weight, to be put in your container)? Just imagine everything you buy once you empty it/use it/don’t need it any more. Where will it go?
- I DON’T BUY TO PILE SAME OL’ THINGS. RATHER THINK OF REPLACING WHAT’S MISSING OR ADDING WHAT I REALLY NEED.
Kitchen gadgeds, clothes, toys, all kinds of whatevers you have around your house. If you see something you wish, ask yourself: am I adding value to my life or just piling? Is there already something similar I have that can be used? Things tend to get all shiny and inviting all lightened in well lit stores, with nice music and scents in the background. But what when you unpack it at home? Is it something you really can be without/use it once a year/buying it just for the sake of buying/having/someone told you so? Or you’ll get real value and benefit of using it?
- I LEAVE PILING TO THE BEAVERS.
How many items of the same/very similar use you have? How many same volume pots and pans? Glasses you actually need? Shirt nr.45 you „might wear some day“ but you still have other 44 at your disposal? No matter how that nr.45 is good bargain/nice/has different buttons than other 44?
Perspective is pretty much impaired when looking at the pile. So you pretty much won’t see tree from the woods. Minimalism saves time, money and more time to rummage/trying to decide through the pile of 44 of something that you just could have taken one and went off doing something else. Not to mention storing space, washing and beloved ironing.
- I DON’T BUY PLASTIC.
At least if I really don’t have to. There are indispensable things that have to be made of plastic. Technology, medicine, toys, food packages, you name it. But where do you make the line when buying? Do you really need it? Just think of all the glass/stainless steel/iron/ceramic things you own. I’m pretty sure you’ll think of many! Further more, they tend to be more durable (of course, if you don’t drop that glass bowl) and are not porous to food colours/scents/oils like plastic ones. Therefore, they are healthier and cleaner. Not to mention more beautiful.
And those horrid plastic spoons and forks. The heck you can eat with it properly without breaking them/giving yourself a sharp piece of plastic in your gums? Pack your own spoon and fork to work! Further more, you’ll enjoy much more while eating and not bending the plastic wiggly one around your cucumbers and pasta.
I replaced plastic mixing and serving bowls with ceramic/glass/stainless steel ones. I’ve put my herbs to grow in them. Non plastic bowls do not keep grease as plastic tend to and are more beautiful too.
Plastic containers for packing lunches and snacks can easily be replaced with glas (Mason) jars. Not to mention how glass doesn’t get smudges and smells and can be easily washed, tightly closed with a lid (much tighter than plastic and therefore can hold liquids) and reused many times.
- I’M TERRIFIED BY PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS.
I carry my own shopping bags to the store and if I forget, there’s always some cardboard box lying around for me to put my stuff in. Same goes when buying fruits or vegetables. Does it have to be put in the plastic bag? Really, always? Can you just stick the price tag on bananas or watermelon instead of putting them into the another freaking plastic bag?
- BACK TO THE GRANDMA’S KITCHEN. I WOULDN’T COOK IN ANYTHING SHE WOULDN’T COOK IN.
So back to iron skillets, pots and pans, off with some questionable „non stick“ somethings. Off with the aluminum, of course (sorry, Grandma). Stainless steel, iron, ceramics, clay pottery. I don’t have anything made of copper but it’s tricky if you don’t tend to it propperly so be cautious.
Kitchen utensils: wooden spoons, metal spatulas and stuff like that. Not „durable plastic or something else as durable“ thingies.
Go through your Mom’s/Grandma’s old stuff. I’m pretty sure you’ll find some great treasures you can scrub and clean and use for another lifetime!
- I USE EVERYDAY POTS, PANS, PLATES AND POTS EVERY DAY.
Of course I have „for guests“ sets of dining dishes and glasses. But where is the line? What are you really making of it? Keeping it for Godknowswhich occasion? And then you end up, like some, with cupboards full of stuff you never use(d) and scared your kids with it for not to break it? And eating and drinking from… what? And time passed and you are now… what? 40? 60?
There are few plates, cups and other things from my Grandma that I keep precious and off the everyday use limit. But everything else I have is really for everyday use. So my kids are not in fear of breaking something and „the plate nr.5“ will go missing from the set. Ok, sometimes things break and that’s fine. I just use another thing. I even took tableware my mom disposed off because „it’s old and she doesn’t like it anymore“. I teach my kids to be cautious but certanly not freak about it. Teach them to use real stuf that can be broken but have their beauty and usefullness. Teach them manners and esthetics. KIDS WILL REMEMBER WHAT YOU COOKED AND HOW THEY FELT and not how many plates you kept locked in your cupboard.
- I GET RID OF THE THINGS I DON’T USE ANYMORE
Clothes, kitchen stuff, books, furniture, toys, all kinds of other things just piling around the house. Garage sales are not usual here in Croatia but as everywhere, you have friends, family, buy and sell web portals. At least, flea markets where you exchage your goodies or just make someone happy giving your things away.
Purifying experience, that’s for sure. Clean spaces make you feel peacefull and keep the clutter off of your time, decision making and going your everyday about. It also prevents you from buying things you already have but forgot about it. And get clear view of what you have and what you may also need.
These are the things I do every day. Maybe I’m harsh and maybe I’m not. It’s for you to decide or for the bottom line, it really doesn’t matter what I am. It matters what you are, feel or do.
So what do you think of it? What do you do every day to keep the world the better, cleaner place for your kids? What are your steps toward cleaner, happier and healthier environment for all of us, now and in future?