As a mother of two, I have guilt that keeps me up pretty much every night of my life for things I could have done or said better, a class I should have them enrolled in, or a million other things I feel I should be doing that I’m not.
On top of that, the pressure to reduce my carbon footprint with each action of the day is just too much for me lately. The truth is that I’m tired of feeling guilty about what I’m not doing. So today, I’m going to give myself a little pat on the back for the things that I am doing to try to make a difference—no matter how pitifully small they may seem to those who do so much more than me.
1. I use a stainless water bottle instead of plastic bottles (most of the time).
2. I pack my daughter’s lunches and snacks with reusable containers (I confess that there is the occasional plastic sandwich bag, but the guilt I have over potentially killing a sea turtle who might one day mistake it for a jellyfish when I do, is surely payment enough for the random offense.)
3. I have a home that is filled with more vintage and antique furniture than new. I’ve done my part to reduce the demand for newly manufactured goods and I’ve got pieces that are timeless, so there won’t be a need to replace them (also great for the pocketbook).
4. Same on jewelry. I love it—let’s face it—we all love it. But I can honestly say I have way more vintage jewelry than I do new stuff.
5. When I’m hand washing dishes I turn the water off when I’m soaping up, and I turn off the water when I’m brushing my teeth (my girls make sure of that).
6. I use a dishtowel or sponge instead of paper towels as much as possible.
7. I recycle everything that I can. Turns out 90 percent of what we throw out in our home can go in the blue bin.
8. I have made an attempt to raise my own herbs. Truthfully, I have the brownest thumb on the planet and have yet to raise anything I can use, but hey—I’m trying.
9. I take long walks and runs by the water and down paths I’ve never been, all which make me appreciate this glorious place we call home more (and I save the energy I would have spent on the treadmill).
10. I buy organic produce and try to buy local (especially from the guy selling strawberries near my place, God bless him—he’s working his tail off to make a buck.)
11. Oh, and I started Change Starts at Home, to try to help other people find simple things they can do to make the world a better place. Turns out, it is a daily gift I am giving myself.
So, enough guilt! We should all just do our best and then when we fall short, do better tomorrow. One really simple thing we can all do is to share with each other the simple steps we are taking in our lives. We will all learn from each other, and eventually, we’ll get there.