Ten Things (April)

It’s hard to believe four months have passed since I started this series. Here is the next installment in my Ten Things series, where I share ten sustainable actions or habits I’ve done throughout a given month to live more sustainably.

Embracing Aging

I have a plethora of white hairs coming in, and I’ve decided to keep my hair natural, rather than dying it. To help me along this journey of aging, I try to thing positively about my reflection each time I see myself in the mirror. Each new wrinkle and white hair was earned; I’m not ashamed of my body reflecting the life I’ve lived. Embracing this fact saves a massive amount of money and waste compared to continuously trying to alter my appearance to appear younger than I actually am.

Using Reusables (Nail file)

I can’t stand when my nails are jagged, so I like having a nail file around to even them out. I bought a glass nail file about ten years ago. It does the job way better than the disposable alternatives I grew up using, and I expect I’ll never need to replace it.


Rethinking Products

Sometimes, products don’t work out for us in the way we expect. For example, I bought a facial cleansing bar last year that caused my skin to become very dry if used daily. I considered what to do with it for quite a while, and finally decided to use it as a regular bar of soap in the shower. By allowing myself to consider products objectively, I’m able to figure out a new purpose for things rather than let them go to waste.

Wearing A Hat

Skin cancer runs in my family, so I know I need to be vigilant about sun protection. One way I protect myself from sun damage is by wearing hats and suitable clothing when I plan to be outside for a while. Wearing hats and extra clothing allows me to use less sunscreen overall without sacrificing sun protection. This saves money and waste, while keeping me comfortable and safe.

Photo by Noelle Otto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-in-a-sunflower-field-906002/

Planning Ahead (Reusing)

My family traveled earlier in the month to see the total eclipse that was visible in North America. Since we knew the eclipse was happening far in advance, we were able to save and reuse eclipse glasses from several years ago. We made sure to keep the old glasses where we would be able to find them again, and because of that we didn’t have to purchase new ones for the event.

Visiting National Parks

After viewing the eclipse, my husband and I took our kids on a road trip through New Mexico to visit three different National Parks. My kids were able to complete a few Junior Ranger programs (something they take very seriously), and we were able to appreciate the beauty and variety of the world we live in. By visiting breathtaking natural areas, we were able to grasp just how important it is to protect them. Getting in nature helps me to strengthen my resolve to do what I can to protect this planet for wildlife and future generations.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Gordon

Showing Others

While on our road trip my family refilled plastic gallon jugs with water at national parks, city playgrounds, etc. This meant we always had water available for drinking, and it was unlikely we would be without water when we really needed it. While filling our containers at a park in New Mexico, I talked with someone about why I was refilling water rather than buying it at a grocery store. He thought it was a great idea, and told me he’d never even thought about reusing disposable products. He then told me he wanted to start doing the same so he could save some money. The world needs everyone to make more sustainable choices; it don’t care if someone does it is to save money, help the environment, or just because it’s convenient. I’m not sure if that man will actually start changing his actions, but I’m hopeful that he has started to think a little bit more about the everyday choices he makes.

Supporting Projects With A Purpose

I received a brand new cookbook this month after preordering it. It’s not something I usually do, since I limit the amount of new items I purchase and the clutter I have to maintain. I realized that by spending my dollars I would show additional interest in the book’s concept. Preorders can help a new book get more media coverage and exposure, and show publishers that the book’s premise is worthwhile. Along with that, I figured I could learn a few new recipes and ideas from the book, and I could lend it out to anyone interested in finding out more about reducing food waste through the recipes they choose to make.

Picking Up Litter

I got busy picking up litter this month. I didn’t go with a particular group or event, I just left my house with some trash bags and a garbage picker and got to work whenever I had a bit of time to spare. I didn’t have to go far to find what I was looking for: discarded bottle tops, food wrappers, styrofoam, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and so many beer bottles. I filled one bag and then another and then several more after that. It was a nice excuse to get outside, and I’m excited to say I produced far less trash this month than I rescued from the environment. In addition to that, I collected a lot of metal, plastic and glass that will now be recycled into something new, so those items will now have a positive impact instead of the negative one they had as roadside litter.

Photo by Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-bin-on-brown-sand-8029628/

Teaching Skills

I wasn’t taught a lot of self sufficiency growing up. It’s taken me a long time to teach myself skills and readjust my mindset around what I can do: be it cooking, creating, or fixing. I have made an effort to show my children the process I go through when learning and working at a skill that I’m interested in. They see that everyone has more to learn, and that gaining new skills is achievable and worthwhile. They see imperfection along with persistence. My kids have helped cook meals, bake bread, plant seeds, mend clothes, repair fencing, and so much more. They look at projects as solvable not insurmountable. Feeling capable is a powerful feeling, and I believe that confidence will help my children live their lives a bit more mindfully as they grow up.

That’s it for this month. Don’t forget to check next month for the fifth installment. Hugs!

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