March 1st: The Beginning
I have thought to myself more than once, I really should do more to help the environment. But then, life gets in the way and I end up forgetting about it until the next time the issue comes to the front of my mind. It’s a cycle that just keeps repeating. But this month, in celebration of Earth Day, I am hoping to make some real environmental changes to my life.
That’s why for the next month I will be experimenting with several new environmentally friendly tricks to help reduce my eco-footprint. I plan to start off with baby steps and see if I can eventually get myself running on this eco-journey.
March 4th: Getting Things Started
It has been a few days since I made my eco-resolution and so far, I have put a few of my plans into action. One of my biggest resolutions is that I want to enjoy nature more and get more active at the same time. I want to do this by committing to going hiking at least once a week. I also ordered a free Discovery Pass online, if you are a Canadian citizen, I recommend ordering one! It gives you free access to every national park in Canada for 2017 in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday. I made it through my first hike this week, as I visited my folks out in the country and went traipsing through the fields. It was a great hour hike and left my muscles feeling well worked and my mind relaxed. Enjoying nature is a great way to remind yourself why it is so important to preserve and protect the beautiful world we share. Getting out into nature is also great for your physical as well as mental health.
Another step I took on my eco-journey was buying a good reusable water bottle. I have always told myself to drink more water and so I bought one with measurements on it, to help me keep track. With this, I have decided not to buy any plastic water bottles and I am giving up buying soda bottles as well.
March 8th: Garbage Troubles
One of the biggest environmental improvements I wanted to make in my life was my waste management. I wanted to improve how much waste I composted and recycled vs how much I threw out. My goal was to get my household (me and my roommate) down to one garbage bag every two weeks. We already have the added advantage of using The DivaCup so we don’t have to worry about waste from disposables. My main solution for this was to make sure we had a spot under the sink to put our compost, recycling and garbage so that we didn’t have to take them outside every time. This worked wonders. So far, I have found we fill our trash can much less frequently.
March 10th: Wash Day
Just a quick check in today, my Discover Pass came in the mail! I am also right on track with my personal hiking goal of getting out in nature at least once a week. It feels great!
In other news, it is laundry day today and I decided to wash my cloths in cold water. I didn’t notice a real difference from washing them in warm water so I will be making that change permanent. Much like switching to The DivaCup, I’m wondering why I didn’t do this sooner!
March 14th: Eco Grocery Trip
Today was my big grocery shopping day and I had the goal of being as healthy and eco-friendly as possible. I started it off right and brought my own bags to hold my groceries. I also made sure to buy as much fresh, local, and unpackaged produce as possible. As for the packaged items, I kept in mind what packaging I could recycle and what I couldn’t. I also visited the bulk food store to stock up on some trail mix and other snacks. Lots of bulk stores have some great new initiative that allows customers to bring in their own containers instead of using the portion bags, so ask your local store if they do as well! If they don’t, maybe you can make a big difference by insisting that they do! At my local store, it worked like the: they simply weighed the containers first and then I filled them up. It also really helped with portion control!
March 15th: Meal Planning
So now that my fridge is full of fresh food, it’s time to prep my meals and snacks. This is a habit I have gotten into since I started living on my own. I find it convenient and quite fun to prep about two big meals and a bunch of fresh snacks like fruits and veggies for the whole week. Having prepped meals allows me to save time on weeknight meal prep, helps me save money by not purchasing my lunch, gives me readily available dinners, and reduces my environmental impact with the reusable constrainers that store my food. . Some fun easy meals I like to make include pastas, stuffed peppers and stir-fries.
March 19th: Thrifty Diva
Today I was out visiting my parents and my mom and I decided to do a little shopping. Now a shopping trip for us doesn’t involve malls or retail stores, it involves thrift shops. Now I know they aren’t for everyone, but for me they are a gold mine. I thought visiting one during my eco-journey was a great way to help re-purpose some great items. It turned out to be a successful trip and I walked out with a red suede coat that looked brand new!
March 22nd: The Journey Continues
Its getting near the end of the month and I am proud of the changes I have made thus far. I am keeping up with my hiking each week, using cold water to wash my clothes, I am prepping my meals and sticking with my composting plan. I have also noticed that I feel better because I have been drinking more water and eating healthier from all my meal prep and fresh produce. I think overall everything is going very well and I hope to continue on this track well past the end of the month.
From my journey this month, I learned that by making small, personal changes to better my environmental impact, I really can make a difference. I found it much easier to stick to my small goals and objectives and still have a significant environmental impact. I am proud of the progress I have made and I am dedicated to continuing on my Eco-Journey.