The Sustainable Journey #3: The Little Things

Introduction

I’ve fallen into a nice rhythm, adjusting my needs slightly or drastically. I’ve learned that little things can make a difference (even though it seems like it doesn’t in the grand scheme of things, under the crippling reality that is our dying Earth). Psychologically, it has positive effects as well. I had found this rhythm, allowing myself to not get hung up on everything, but to do what I can as best I can.

Focusing on the positive is better than the alternative.

Meals/Kitchen

It’s been surprisingly easy to stop using napkins. Everything can be solved by either hand sanitizer, a handkerchief, or just going to the bathroom and washing. I was never much of a napkin person to begin with.

I’ve been able to try vegan alternatives in my recipes and I’m not a huge gourmand, so there’s really no drastic distinction in taste, which is awesome.

Instead of using a lot of disposables, I’ve learned to just go the extra step and use reusable items, even if it means more effort to wash dishes, or in some way makes this a bit less convenient for me. At a recent party, there was so much cleanup, but very little trash.

Hygiene/Bathroom

I’ve been taking even shorter showers. I wonder how short I can go without sacrificing too much hygiene. Well, I feel like a lot of people over-lather and over-clean, when really, a quick wash with just water can eliminate a lot of odor and grime already.

So this may sound really gross, but I’ve decreased the amount of toilet flushes. Well, my parents are utterly disgusted, so I actually only pee in my personal bathroom now. I let it mellow for as long as possible, then I flush. One, I actually do some more walking (from downstairs to my upstairs bathroom gives me a bit more exercise). Two, it makes me want to drink more water so my pee is less yellow and more clear. Three, of course, this directly saves on the amount of water wasted when flushing. If you look into it, toilets are criminally overused. That drinkable water is suddenly wasted. When I’m out, I opt for urinals because a lot of the time, you don’t have to flush those. However, at other peoples’ houses, I still flush because I feel like people wouldn’t like that.

Other

I’ve been more cognizant of my travel. So I try to meticulously plan my days in order to decrease so much driving. If I have two errands to run, I try to schedule it so they’re together or on days when I’m already out at the gym or something.

In fact, contrary to a lot of sustainability thoughts, instead of shopping more frequently (fresher food, less waste), I intend to shop less. One grocery trip in the month should cover the majority of my needs. This cuts down on me driving to all my grocery stores so frequently.

At work, I try to produce less waste by reusing papers. Kid can actually be rather wasteful, so I always try to stop their waste and explain how to reuse properly.

Conclusion

It’s been fun to share my insights with others without trying to preach. I’ve begun to just lead by example. So when I do something “odd”, people ask me about it and I explain to them my justifications. Even if these people aren’t immediately converted, I often see a little seed of inception being planted in their minds.

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~ by Btab on 8 May 2017.

One Response to “The Sustainable Journey #3: The Little Things”

  1. I can really relate re toilet flushes! The difficulty in living with other people is that you have to flush potable water after every use. I like your idea tho of drinking more water so the pee is clearer. I’ll definitely try that.

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