I’ve always been somewhat environmentally conscious. Growing up, my main household chore was sorting and taking out the recycling, giving me a sense of responsibility for environmentalism from a young age. I usually got to school by walking or riding a bike and drove a hybrid car to my high school, which was too far away to bike to. But after the 2016 elections, I knew I needed to step it up. Like most of my friends, I felt hopeless after November 8th, and faced with a president elect that considers climate change a hoax, I felt a duty to reduce my own carbon footprint.
Any one that watched Recycle Rex as a kid is familiar with the jingle urging us to “recycle, reuse, reduce and close the loop.” Recycling is important, but that’s not what the majority of my posts will be about. We are a consumerist culture, we love things, especially new things, especially new things that are easy to discard when they are no longer cool or in pristine condition. From plastic bottles to fast fashion, our lives are surrounded by things that make our lives easier, but at a cost to the planet. Since the election, I have been looking for more ways to cut back on single-use items and take the extra effort to live a more sustainable life. These are the kinds of things I plan to write about.
Before I pretend to be too much of an expert, I need to make a very important statement: I am not perfect and I am not a scientist. I am lazy and forgetful, so I don’t always have a reusable water bottle or thermos with me and sometimes I throw things away that could be recycled. I also waste a lot of food and buy fast fashion. These are all things that I hope to improve at. I will try to infuse as much scientific research into this blog as possible, but I can’t promise that if I recommend a stainless steel vs. reusable plastic travel cutlery set that one or the other is the best option based on the materials and labor involved in either product. Some of my base assumptions are: we should use less water, excess packaging should be avoided, and when there is the opportunity to use a multi-use product instead of a single use product that is a better option.
My goal is not to live a zero-waste life. There are people that do that, and I am impressed by their dedication but frankly, that isn’t a goal I aspire to. I do, however, think we all have the opportunity, and obligation, to make choices that will do the least harm to the only home we’ve got.