It started while scrolling through Netflix. I was watching an episode of Chelsea (Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix talk show), and she had Joshua Jackson and Don Cheadle on. Now, I love me some Pacey, so instantly I knew I’d watch the episode. It turns out the two actors were talking about a National Geographic docu-series that they had participated in called Years of Living Dangerously. As I watched clips of the series, I knew that I needed to see more. It’s all about the effects of climate change on the world, some that I was completely unaware of, and some timelines that are frankly terrifying.
Lower Manhattan being underwater by 2050. Miami being underwater by 2030. Droughts.
I’m not ignorant. I know climate change exists, I know that we’re experiencing crazy weather, but being able to do something about it always seems far beyond my reach. Let’s face it, major change comes with policy change. BUT, there are things that we can begin doing. Lifestyle change doesn’t happen overnight, so if I’m expecting to be a different, more ecologically-minded individual by tomorrow, I’m kidding myself.
Then I thought, what about slow, small changes? What about making 5 changes a month? A month is long enough to develop a habit, then each month we can add five more habits. We can start small, build our confidence, then as time goes on we can get more ambitious.
When it comes to starting any new habit, it’s important to know your why. You have to have real motivation in order to sustain change, otherwise habits typically fall by the wayside.
What’s my WHY?
I look at my ten-month old son and I think of the statistics discussed in Years of Living Dangerously. By the time major environmental changes happen, I’ll probably be on my way out of the world, but Jack and his children will be left with our legacy. I never want to have him turn to me and say, “why didn’t you do anything?”
If I love my kid as much as I say I do, I feel that I have to do my part.
Everyone reading this blog has younger people in their lives. You may not have kids, but you might have cousins, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, kids that live in the neighbourhood, etc. We owe it to them to leave them the world that we got to live in, don’t we?
I urge you to join me on this journey. Each month I’ll post a new set of 5 green habits for us to focus on that month. We’ll reflect on what did or didn’t work the month before, how we can make improvements and share tips. The blog isn’t changing into an environmental blog, as such, but Girl Tries Life is all about living the best version of your life, and taking care of our environment plays a part in that.
Will you join me? What’s your why?
5 Green Habits for November
1. Take an Audit of Your Garbage
We throw things out so easily these days that we’re often not thinking about what we can do differently. I want to take stock of the trends in my garbage. What am I throwing out the most? Where can I make easy changes? What are more ambitious changes I can record for future projects? Remember, the goal is for this to be achievable and to create habits, so don’t freak out. The more we know, the more we can do something about it.
2. Program Your Thermostat
I’ve been at home on maternity leave for the past year, so it’s been hard to stick to the thermostat programming, but as I’m now back to work, I want to program the thermostat to keep the house cooler while we’re out and overnight. It will heat up just before we wake in the morning, and just before we get home. Not only does this save on energy, but it saves money, too! If you don’t have a programmable thermostat you can 1) consider getting one, or 2) get in the habit of turning the thermostat down before you go to work and before you go to bed.
3. Buy in Bulk
I don’t even have to look at my garbage or recycling to know that packaging is a very popular thing that I throw away (or recycle). Rather than bring it into my house in the first place, I’m going to commit to shopping for staples at the Bulk Barn. Here’s a small list of some of the things I can buy there: lentils, quinoa, nuts, dried fruits, sugar, flour, pasta, spices, etc. Again, I’ll save money AND I’ll save on packaging coming into my home. If I make sure to save the bags to the side, I can take the same ones back to the Bulk Barn every time.
I have a bunch of mason jars where I can store everything that I buy in bulk, or larger glass containers for things like pasta.
4. Switch to Green Cleaners
Why is it that there seems to be a product for everything? Since doing a massive house clean of late, and hacking my lungs out in the process, I know that these chemicals aren’t good for me. I’ve been debating moving to green cleaners for a while, so there’s no better time than the present. Rather than buying a bunch of Method cleaners which are seriously pricey, I’m going to try and go the water/vinegar route, or to try a few from one of my favourit blogs, I Heart Organizing.
5. Review my City’s List of Recylables
We’re constantly seeing improvements and changes to what can and can’t be recycled. Recently my city started to accept paper coffee cups! This was a huge change for me, so I want to review the list to see if there are even more a-ha moments of things I can be recycling in the home.
Okay, so as you can see, these are not crazy, out-there habits to get started with, but they will make a difference. Five green habits a month equals 6o habit changes in one year!
What do you say? Will you join me on this challenge? Comment below if you’re going to partake! Feel free to share what green habits you use in your home.