Isn’t she lovely, our wonderful planet Earth!
But she’s in danger. The facts and figures are overwhelming. It seems impossible that one person can make the slightest difference. But every eco-friendly action you take helps, and with consistency over time, even small changes add up to make a big impact.
Beware of Rabbit Holes
Setting broad eco-friendly goals can send you right down a rabbit hole—a never-ending, Internet search for environmental facts from which you’ll be lucky to escape. For example: I will only ever pack eco-friendly lunches. What does this even mean? Where do you start? What’s better, paper bags or lunch boxes? How bad are insulated lunch boxes for the environment? How do you wrap apple slices in wax paper? Should I use glass containers with plastic lids? Are plastic lids better or worse than plastic wrap? Right down a rabbit hole.
Get SMART about Going Green
Instead of setting “Rabbit Hole Goals,” focus on turning small green actions into consistent habits. With consistency over time, these small actions can have a big positive impact. Start by setting SMART goals. SMART stands for Small Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-based. SMART Goals are about taking one-at-a-time baby steps towards forming eco-friendly habits.
So instead of, “ I will only ever pack eco-friendly lunches, “ set a SMART Goal like, “I will use wax paper to wrap my kids’ sandwiches three days this week.” Easy. Master that, increase the days, and pretty soon you’ve formed a strong habit. By the way, do this consistently for one child from pre-K to 8th grade, and you’ll save about 30 lbs of plastic from trashing the planet for 200+ years!
5 Easy Eco-SMART Goals to Get You Started
I’ll put a bottle of Flirty Soap on my kitchen sink.
So, so easy. You’ll be saving the environment simply by washing your hands! Refill your eco-friendly glass bottle, and over time, you'll stop what could be hundreds of plastic soap dispenser bottles for piling up and poisoning the planet.
I’ll put a bag of reusable straws in my car at least two days this week.
Start with just a couple of days because you’ll have to get into a rhythm of washing the straws, remembering to put them in your car, etc. Take time to figure out a system that works for you, increase the days, and soon your car will always have reusable straws.
I will put together a zero-waste kit for my car by the end of the month.
Fill it with your reusable straws, reusable utensils (get a set you don't mind losing or buy disposable wood ones), water bottles, travel mug, reusable shopping bags and cloth napkins. When you have it all together, set a new goal for having it stocked in your car for two days a week, then add more.
I will cover three containers of food with Reusable Beeswax instead of plastic wrap.
This wrap is actually cotton cloth created with a beeswax coating that makes it malleable so it fits snugly around containers and food. It comes in a range of colorful patterns to brighten up packed lunches and your fridge!
I will have at least 3 reusable shopping bags and 3 reusable produce bags in my car 3 days this week.
You probably already have the shopping bags, now develop the habit of actually keeping them in your car, and taking them into the store! Stash three reusable vegetable bags in one of them. Pretty soon, you’ll be plastic-bag free.
It's Easy Being Green
Just start small, have fun, and if something works for you, pass on your ideas to others. Every action helps.