We have just about gone through the first month of 2021 and wow was it yet another wild month! I think as we go through a prolonged hardship such as this pandemic there is no wrong way to move your sustainability journey forward! I have been taking small and manageable steps so that I am not overwhelmed or feel as if I have failed the “save the world” task.
For example, I have recently switched to toothpaste tabs from my homemade toothpaste. This is my first time trying them. The first few days it was a weird adjustment to the texture and concept of biting down on something that feels equivalent to a breath mint. I do enjoy the simplicity of just popping them in my mouth -- and the foaming feels like proper toothpaste. I bought the toothpaste tabs from the company Bite. I had heard of them for a long time so I tried them first. I am a fan and will continue to use them. I might try other companies in the future just to compare. When I received the package from Bite it came in an appropriately-sized cardboard box with minimal extra papers for protection and explanations. As someone who cares a lot about reducing packaging and unnecessary plastic, I appreciate the time and effort they put towards how they ship their products. From a visual standpoint, their design was cute, fun and made the experience that much more pleasurable.
In more momentous news about shifts, the Trump era has now shifted to the Biden era. Already we have seen immediate changes. I by no means think Biden will be the total solution or hero to the climate crisis; I just want to mention the stark difference, starting with that he believes it is real and needs to be addressed. For starters he has signed an order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. This gives me some hope for the future of our planet and country as we need to make drastic changes immediately. We can already see the effects of our impact and in order to have a future we need to leave the use of oil, plastics, and over consumption something of the past. Of course this is an incredible shift that needs to be made. We can all do our part to create the future that we want to see by voting, making the changes that you can as an individual, and supporting companies who are making being green and ethical a priority. One thing that we can do without spending any more is to sign petitions that we believe in and to spread the knowledge that we do know.
You can find petitions to sign on Change.org
If you ever feel like you do not have any power, January just proved you wrong between the storming of the capitol by domestic terrorists to what happened with the GameStop stocks. There is power in community, there is power numbers, we the people can create change together. Of course positive change and impact are the goals.
Something I want to highlight during this financially difficult time are “buy nothing” pages on Facebook. If you search your location with the words “buy nothing” you can
(most likely) find a page where people who are local to you are giving away items that they no longer need but are still valuable. If you can’t find one for your area you can create one! I love this idea because so many usable items head to the landfill when others could be using them. Another similar page on Instagram (unfortunately only NY specific) is @stoopingnyc where they post mostly furniture that people have left out on the curb for free. I have found perfectly good furniture on the side of the road before, including an excellent shelf that I found and use in my closet.
These communal pages help keep things out of the landfill while we help those in our community. What’s not to love?
No matter where you are on your journey or how small you next step is, we create a chain reaction and make an impact. Everyone who voted for Biden made an impact. Every swap or plastic free item you buy makes an impact by telling companies that there is less of a demand for plastic. Every item that is rehomed keeps it out of the landfill. Our small steps make for a great impact, so keep doing what you can because it matters.