I haven’t posted in a few days but I have done some updating of the site’s basics (like the ‘About’ page and the logo) as well as some behind-the-scenes work. After a serious brainstorming session while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I now have a list of 241 topics that I plan to discuss here, for starters. Until now I just had a vague idea of what I planned on writing about and after the first two posts I wasn’t sure what to write next. This list will serve to keep me on track with important issues that I want to discuss, and much of it is also organized by the appropriate time of year for bringing up certain things to make them more relevant. The more I add and the more I look it over, the more excited I get about undertaking such a project!
Let’s start off with an overview of the first of the three major themes of the site: environment.
A significant portion of this blog will be dedicated to the goal of bringing about small, continuous progress toward a more sustainable future for our planet. I do not intend to suggest that we all overhaul our lives overnight, but rather reflect on the seemingly insignificant daily choices that we make and attempt to find a better alternative. Every aspect of our lives can be made at least a little more environmentally friendly by looking at what we do, what we use, and what we get rid of.
What we do:
Habits can be an extremely useful tool for developing a rhythm and taking constant decision-making out of simple tasks. Once a habit is developed, it becomes a sort of “autopilot” procedure which is great if it is something beneficial like brushing your teeth regularly or staying organized. Of course, habits are not always entirely positive, and in the realm of sustainability there are some habits that we can work on changing in order to lessen our negative impact on the planet. These are also often tied to the next two categories – what we use and what we get rid of.
There is another important aspect of “what we do” which is more abstract – thoughts. Simply having a better understanding of some of the issues can bring about change, or being more aware of the choices we regularly make and how they may contribute to the problem. Motivation is crucial in being the inspiration for the change(s) that we strive to accomplish. Enlightening our way of thinking may be the biggest factor in starting out on the right foot toward changing our lives and our future.
What we use:
We use countless “things” everyday, including concrete objects such as shampoo, clothing, and food, to the slightly more abstract things, for example, electricity. By taking a closer look at what we choose to use we learn how these products are produced, what effects they have on the environment and on our own personal health, and possible alternatives that reduce these negative effects. Increasing mindfulness of our consumer habits allows us to make more informed and more positive choices.
What we get rid of:
As we use things, we create waste that needs to be disposed of. From landfills to recycling, and other methods of dealing with waste, there is much to learn about what happens to our unwanted “stuff” when we get rid of it. Fortunately we can reduce how much trash is produced through our daily lives, and also help steer some of it to places other than landfills or floating islands of plastic in the ocean. Once again, awareness, alternatives, and making better choices come into play.
Remember, I said that this is about taking small steps. Any amount of progress is better than standing still. Keep moving in the right direction and you can be proud of the fact that you’ve improved. Do not cancel your trash pick-up service overnight – we’ve got a lot of work to do until we get to that point. So let’s get started.