Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Environmental Challenge

I've been just plugging along lately and a couple of things have really made me feel more like myself lately. I feel like I was a bit off last year and I couldn't put my finger on it. Well I think I had fallen away from some of my values. I had just put my head down and didn't concentrate on some things that have always been pretty important to me.

My environmental stewardship and responsibility was a biggie!

- I wasn't composting because I was being lazy.
- I was driving to and from a gym that is 15 miles away one way 4 times a week.
- I walked away from a vegetarian diet which I had originally started partly for environmental reasons.
- I wasn't bringing my reusable cup to the coffee shop.
   (did you know that all told ONE cup of coffee takes about 35 gallons of water to produce!? ONE cup)
- I had gotten lazy about my reusable shopping bags.
- I wasn't thinking through purchases. I was just buying whatever.

Well it's time to wake up and now that I am back to thinking a bit more about what I am doing and how it impacts our environment. The earth that we are living on and leaving for our children to live on. By not being aware I'm not only contributing to the destruction of our planet, but I'm teaching my children to continue.

All this said I do realize that I am probably on the "lesser" scale of earth destroyers, but the awareness was missing. This is important to me and I had let it slide. I'm not sure why... if it's a product of not being in a "crunchy/granola" environment like I had previously been in for 16 years of my life. It's much easier to maintain a high level of awareness when you are surrounded by like minded reusable cup and bag toting composters.

But I'm headed in the right direction now:

- I'm composting again! Check out the nifty little compost thing I can throw in the freezer when I'm too lazy to take it out. Why have I never thought of this!?

- I'm working at the gym only once a week now and am running outside as much as possible.
- I'm back to the vegetarian diet and feeling SO MUCH better... both physically and mentally.
Hawaiian Beans and Rice c/o No Meat Athlete.
- I've cut back on my coffee consumption and when I do go to the coffee shop I take my cup w/ me.
- I keep a couple reusable bags in my purse now instead of just one, just in case.
- And last but not least this month I've stopped buying anything new. Except food. Should I need undies or running shoes I would buy new, but I should be all good for the MONTH....

Which brings me to the TITLE of this post. "An Environmental Challenge"

I've been rolling along quietly not purchasing new things feeling all smug and proud of myself then I read my team mate Jill's post about one of her big goals for 2012 to be ReUseIt... she is aiming for SIX months of nothing new. SIX! Holy man. Makes my MONTH look like chump change!

Jill and her hubs. yes I jacked this off her blog! Aren't they cute!?

The only thing holding me back is my kids. The ONES that need the lesson the most. I'm pretty confident I could go 6 months (though I WOULD allow for new running kicks. I am training for a little run coming up and it might require new kicks. I did buy a new pair in December.) without buying anything.. my husband rarely makes purchases.. but the kids. Okay ... I did say I was going to buy all their clothes from that Once Upon a Child place. I can do this.. what about shoes? Used kids shoes are HARD to come by. I'm serious... well ones they'll wear and that fit them. Okay okay.. lessons! It's about lessons! :)

So ... to not be OUTDONE!! You are SO on Jill!!!!! Nothing new between now and .... July 1st! Let's do this thing!!! Who do you think will bite the bullet first? Anyone want to take wagers? If I win you guys donate $25 to the Ulman Cancer Fund ... if Jill wins you donate $25 to the Ulman Cancer Fund.. Oh wait!? :D

You should really just donate anyway! Just sayin'!

Who's in? What scared? Don't think you can hang w/ the big dogs? Don't you care about the environment?

If you think you can't or shouldn't bother doing this I challenge you to check your local library (cause you can't buy it new) for 'The Story of Stuff'.... It's a game changer! I'm serious! You will never want to buy a new thing AGAIN! Oh just read it! Then let me know what you think!

Here's the movie that the book is based on: (it's short... the movie not the book)


  1. Well, crap! That's a monster challenge! I will admit, I don't think I can do it! Gonna have to put some thought into this. I am very impressed with you and Jill!

  2. I'm not ready to join the challenge, but I have been taking the buy nothing new challenge on day by day and doing well so far! I could definitely do a better job, though, of using my reusable coffee cup! It will be exciting to watch you guys!!

  3. Yippee!!! Love it!!! Let's do this thing :D So far our biggest challenge has been finding swim flippers for my little guy (size 12-13 if anyone has any!! I've got a pair size 1-3 that is too big and I'll trade!!)

    Current looming challenges - gifts for birthday parties, how do you explain nothing new?? and things like kids shoes, alex needs a new pair of gloves... these are things are a usually pretty beat up when folks are done with them... any ideas?!?! I'm totally open to suggestions, I really want to make this work!

    Yeah, I have a Partner In Crime!!! :D :D

  4. Intrigued by the challenge, not sure I'm ready to take it on for six months! I may have to adopt it as my February challenge to myself and go from there...

    Also, that Hawaiian Beans & Rice looks delicious! Heading over to NMA right now to find the recipe!

  5. To those of you not feeling ready to do six months.. try one. That's what I was doing until I was motivated by the Poonstar to kick it up a knotch!!! Or take it day by day like Kelly. Every bit helps!

    Jill... amazon gift card for bdays??? You are not technically buying something new.. and who knows maybe they would buy a used game or used book or something... or buy the used item? Do you have once upon a child in your town? Some other consignment kids clothes place? Keep checking back or maybe ask them to call you if a good pair of gloves comes in? Same w/ the flippers. also check amazon for used ones.. you'll have to be open minded: