Monday, May 16, 2011

30 Day Eco-Challenge, Part 2

This eco-challenge is seriously difficult. I guess I picked a bad time to take on this challenge, because I have been celebrating holidays in the last few weeks, which means I have been walking all over the place, going to different people's homes to eat meals. I have also been cooking at other people's homes a lot, so that has made it difficult to not use an aluminum baking pan when all the other pots or pans are being used, or to not drink from a plastic water bottle or plastic cup, since that's what everyone grabs easily.

One good idea my sister and I came up with that has come about from this challenge is figuring out how to ways to resolve the challenges we come up against with being mindful about wasting.

One thing I thought of was bringing a tiny wash cloth and/or handkerchief in my purse so I can use it when I need to, instead of using paper towels to dry my hands or napkins when I eat somewhere or while I am at work. This might sound strange, but actually, in Japan is has been the norm for years! The best thing about this is that the way the Japanese do it is so cute and fashionable. Often in Japan, paper towels or hand dryers are not provided in public restrooms, so many people just bring a cute mini towel in their purses.

Here is one place to get some super soft organic wash cloths:
Etsy Washcloths

One really good life lesson I have learned from all of this is that even if I am in a situation where I can't do what is ultimately best for the environment, it does not mean I have to give up and let the whole eco-challenge go out the window. I think for many people, myself included, sometimes when life gets busy with balancing work, home, school, friends, spirituality, health, etc., it's easy and common for us to forget about or lose track of the things we care about. Every week I am in a situation where I am faced with using disposables, throwing away plastic cups, paper napkins or plastic food bags. I recognize that I just have to try to make the best choice possible and know that what I am doing is important to me, so I can't give up or stop trying. Hopefully, I have a lifetime of making these kinds of choices and every choice I make that is good really does make a difference.

In a way it is like making any life change, like changing your diet for example. Just because I fall off of the wagon once and eat a box of donuts isn't the end of the world. I just need to pick myself up and try to make the next thing that goes into my mouth healthy.

Sometimes those simple sayings in life really are the most valuable:
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

With that being said, I will leave you with a few of my favorite inspirational quotes:

"If you really want something you can figure out how to make it happen." -Cher

'In a gentle way, you can shake the world." -Mohandas Gandhi

"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." -Lord Byron

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one." -Mother Teresa

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -Dalai Lama

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