Many people think that it takes a lot of time and energy to live a more green, more eco lifestyle. But the truth is, it takes more time and energy not to. A few years ago, I was all about convenience: eating fast foods, grabbing a napkin or paper towel to clean up a spill, using disposable diapers and wipes on my children, throwing EVERYTHING in the trash, driving around 3-4 times a week for errands - we did whatever made our lives easier. We knew that deep down, we weren't doing ourselves, let alone our planet, a favor, but we just couldn't break our habits. We knew that we were being careless with our way of life. But no one we knew was doing anything to be green, so we didn't see the point in us being pro active either. Then, as if it happened almost overnight, my husband and I had a revelation: It doesn't matter if no one else is doing anything to help our planet. It only matters that we do.
As mentioned on previous posts, we have made little but significant changes that have become our new habits. What once seemed like a nuisance to try is now a normal part of our lives. We strive to pass on to our children the lessons we are learning from the things we do on a daily basis to help minimize our ecological footprints. All that we are doing now is for them, and we can only hope that they continue to live this same lifestyle and pass it on to their children.
If you are reading this and don't know where to begin to do your part, just having the desire to help make a change is a good start. Just knowing that no matter how small or big a change you will make in your life, you are already contributing to your community and to the planet. If everyone on Earth did one little thing to change how they lived, imagine what kind of difference that would make on our ecological footprint as a whole. The following is a graph depicting how much of our country's natural resources we have used during a 45-year span in comparison to how much we actually had.
It's a tunnel effect: we demand and consume more than the supply we are given. Sadly, this graph is no different for the rest of the world. As a planet, we all use up more than we have to begin with. But imagine what this graph would look like if we all made one small change in our lives: recycling, composting, purchasing foods locally, giving up bottled water, or shopping with reusable bags. We don't all have to do everything...just one little thing will help improve the state our world is in. You'd be amazed at how your contribution will effect our environment so that the generations we leave behind may continue to have cleaner and healthier lives.
As you go about your way this weekend, look around you and see what you feel comfortable changing or improving. Remember: act locally, impact globally!