I’m sitting here in my living room; my cats are both passed out in the sunshine on our kitchen table (gross, but they never learn) and I’m thinking about themes and ideas for my next blog posts. Zero waste recipes, getting outside, living with less…these aren’t easy concepts to grasp in this ever-progressing, ever-multiplying world we live in. As I’ve mentioned before, this blog is all about teaching you tangible ways to positively impact our environment and better yourself. I want you to change your habits and shift your focus toward sustainable living. Because of everyday stresses like finances, transportation and time, these tips aren’t always easy to achieve. Even more so, we aren’t always within driving or walking distance to a store that offers us bulk sections and organic produce. I get this! This is life.
In my dream world I’d have a small house off the grid with a good sized garden in the backyard that overflows with enough produce for my family every season of every year. We’d have a compost pile where all of our kitchen waste would go which would then produce rich soil for the garden, which would bring more produce, and on and on and on. This is a dream scenario. A zero waste dream scenario where I could frolic in the fields behind my house wearing no shoes and letting the wind blow through my hair. Reality: I live in the city. I live five minutes from downtown Seattle, my husband works, lives and breathes the ‘tech’ world and the only patch of grass nearest to my apartment is the moss growing on the railings of our concrete patio. Our small apartment is quaint and cute with hardwood floors and tons of natural light, but there’s no frolicking here. No bare feet. No overflowing produce gardens. I have farmer’s markets and grocery stores. I have electricity, internet, Netflix, an Xbox and a sound system. I’m very much on the grid and there’s nothing I can do about that. So how do I live simply in an apartment surrounded by busyness? With practice; with a desire to be better and live better, with dreams of empty fields and tall forests. In a world of loud, dirty, stressful things, there has to be room for simplicity. And it is possible!
This post is for encouragement; to encourage you to keep making better decisions about how you live. If you can’t always find organic produce, or can’t afford it, then do other things that promote a better environment. Use less water, don’t put everything in a plastic bag, compost your food scraps, turn off lights when you’re not using them, reuse every inch of fabric in your house, walk to work, stop using paper towels, use less electricity, carpool, share what you have with your neighbors instead of buying something new, make homemade gifts, donate to an environmental organization, go on a hike and tell people about it, etc. If your mindset shifts towards sustainability; asking yourself in every decision you make, “is this sustainable?” then you’re bound to make better environmental decisions more often. As you progress and find your rhythm with this mindset, you’ll know what to plan for and be better prepared for circumstances and situations that don’t promote sustainability.
Life, in the time and culture that we live in, won’t offer you a green solution 99% of the time. Don’t get discouraged, just be prepared. Don’t feel like a failure, succeed some other way. You’re already better off today than you were yesterday. E-high five!