Gentle Goal Towards Making Myself as Sustainable as Possible

For the past few years I’ve made it a gentle goal to gradually make myself as sustainable as possible, most specifically with my purchases, or abstention from purchases: Choices I have enjoyed in order to make incremental sustainable shifts in my lifestyle. Of course the main contributors to the climate crisis are big corporations. (We’ve got to tackle that too.) But for me, making these shifts has been a good feeling, not just an alleviation of guilt for being a contributor to our planet’s CO2 levels as a car-driving (and car-loving) American, but as a passion project that has brought me joy.

  1. My favorite purchase: THIS ^ shampoo bar is lovely! No plastic bottle, no plastic wrapping. And it makes my bathroom smell fresh. (I still am using a conditioner in a bottle. Yeah, I’m not perfect.)
  2. I abstain from using Q-tips.
  3. Always bring a water bottle to work and a mug to my local coffee shop.
  4. I take my empty soap bottles once and a while to a place called Off the Bottle, a store with bulk cleaning products that I can use to refill my soap containers.
  5. I just recently bought the refillable LEAF razor. I just used it today to shave my legs and I LOVE it! A little pricy, but it’s high quality and the idea is it’ll last forever. No plastic.

5. I bought a scooter! It was relatively affordable ($399) and hopefully it’ll save me some gas money in the long run. And, it is HELLA fun. I use that to scoot scoot to the climbing gym I like to frequent. I call it my motorcycle, which it clearly is not, so it cracks me up. I’m hoping to take it to work soon too, at least once and a while. After doing research, my brand-of-choice was HiBoy.

6. Instead of paper towels or tissues, I have these recycled fabric cloths I bought from a local shop in Denver. Some people find it super hippy, I find it super soft and a nice, money-saving option over time! Some of these I fold up into tissue boxes, and others I leave out as paper towels. You can find something similar on Etsy. Or I use rags for cleaning from old clothes that I can then toss in the wash later.

7. Instead of plastic trash bags, I use the paper bags I get at the grocery store. (This makes for the need to wash out my trashcan more frequently, but eh, it’s worth it.) Yes, I could use those compostable trash bags, but… paper bags are free, and I usually forget my reusable ones for the grocery store anyway.

8. Powdered dishwasher detergent that is encased in cardboard, instead of plastic and laundry detergent encased in cardboard.

9. Thrift shopping, baby!

10.Trader Joe’s expandable sponges made from natural vegetable cellulose, not plastic. There’s 12 in one small little package.

My big goal which perhaps is the biggest one, (and hardest one) is to take my money out of the Big Banks, which are enormous corporate investors in fossil fuels, and to put it into a better bank. But this has proven tough and scary! Hard to make the leap, I don’t know why. SO, maybe, the goal will be to write a letter to the bank to push them to divest from fossil fuels? I don’t know, again, I’m not perfect.

So there you have it! A not-so-giant list of things I have enjoyed in making myself a little more sustainable.

One of the Solar Punk social media people I follow on Instagram, who is an environmental engineer, mentioned there is one major psychological phenomena that behavioral psychology has shown us is one of the biggest ways to influence change towards environmental well-being: Want to take a guess? It’s not more education, or feeling bad about climate change, or throwing more money at it (although those are good things too) but actually SELF EFFICACY: The feeling that you as a person matter, and can make a difference. This leads to personal changes and well-being and conversations between peers. Which can also affect policy. Who’da thought huh?

Also, if you don’t know about the Solar Punk movement, check it out. Google it. It’s inspiring. In order to create a better world, we need creatives to show us ideas and images of what is possible as an outcome, and then we can all devise road maps to get there.

Which one is your favorite sustainable option? Anything not on this list you love to use?

Happy Earth Day: Comparing humanity to the lifespan of a human

I sometimes compare humanity to the lifespan of the human: Right now we’re in our rebellious teenager stage. We’re dysfunctional and hormonal, starting fights between countries, thinking we know everything but have so much to learn. We fail to recognize that the habits we have now will impact our future health and well-being of our body/planet. We need to kick that addictive oil habit. But we’ve started now and can’t stop. We have so much potential but we’re squandering it on the moment, the quick fun fix instead of paying attention to the signals of our planet, telling us: Rest, recharge and change you’re unhealthy consuming habits.

You know that phrase live fast and die young? When the young die early because they’re living a rock and roll lifestyle doing drugs and making bad habits cause they’re fun. That’s the stage of humanity we’re in, and we might die at the peak of our potential.

We are the most advanced global civilization we have ever been. We have so much potential to become a unified, peaceful planet that thrives in coexistence with our planet/body but we’re blowing it now when it matters most: When we face the point of no return with the climate crisis. We could be the Janis Joplin’s who lived fast and died young as a civilization. We need to kick that oil habit and utilize our full potential to create a healthy happy lifestyle within our planetary organism that is earth: That is ourselves. Or we’ll wipe ourselves off this planet.

Happy Earth Day everyone. C’mon humans, let’s grow up.

Why I use the phrase Climate Crisis, not Climate Change

It’s a crisis, not just a change of the weather. Language matters. People are more inclined to take something serious when it is described as a crisis.

And Climate Crisis is a more accurate depiction of what we face. Just think of the recent catastrophes taking place due to human impact, particularly fossil fuels, on the planet. And these catastrophes will only increase… particularly if we do nothing.

Climate scientists and many news outlets are changing their phrasing to climate crisis for this reason.

The Guardian changed their phrasing several years ago. Here’s why they made the switch:

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

Quote source:

Earth Day and the Climate Crisis are not a “Cute” Thing

One thing I hate about the way Earth Day is framed is as though it’s a childish issue. Like, it’s “cute” to care about the planet. Have you noticed this? Little heart shaped cartoon earths smiling. (Instagram’s Earth Day image 2022.) Or in the video Vice President Kamala Harris posted with cutesy music in the background talking to kids about not throwing trash on the ground. This isn’t a new thing: Anecdotally, it appears it’s been framed as a childish thing for a long time and it takes away from the severity of the issue.

Instagram’s Earth Day Image 2022

Our world is burning. We need systemic change and we need corporations, the fossil fuel industry and billionaires to pay up for the damage they’ve caused. We need politicians to actually create real change. The things VP Harris mentions in her caption from her video are something, (electrify school buses, remove lead pipes and improve air quality) but it’s not enough. It’s more lip service than anything.

Politicians need to implement emergency, long lasting POLICY. We need to phase out the fossil fuel industry completely as fast as possible and replace it with renewable energy sources.

We the people need to get angry. We need to fight for a livable planet. Now. We need to support scientists and activists like Peter Kalmus, who went viral recently (on Instagram he goes by climate human.) We need to demand passage of the Green New Deal and we need to protest in the streets.

As I say this, hot wind is raging around my apartment at 7:45pm and fires are raging near my hometown. There is literally no time to waste. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report saying it’s now or never if we are going to stave off disaster. The UN states we are “firmly on track toward an unlivable world.” This isn’t a joke and it certainly isn’t a cute issue. But by all means, bring on the cute heart shaped earths and let just buy more t-shirts that say earthy things.

Its already too late. But we still must take action now. Because it’s a question of not if, but how fast and just how bad we’ll allow it to get.

If you know of protests going on around where you live, message me.