Always looking for a +1

I keep hearing: “Can 1 person really make a difference?” “Is my lifestyle really making that big of an impact?” “Sounds like it’s too late, so I’ll just enjoy my life until the World ends”. && I cannot believe the amount of Narcissitic IDIOTS I’m surrounded by. KIDDING. I was that person, too! Then I learned, and realized I CAN make a difference, and if I don’t I am adding to the problem. Little old me DOES impact this World. && it’s not too late to make changes!

You can literally save the world. If you’re thinking “but I’m only 1 person” that means +1 more and together we are huge. That’s how ‘only 1’ person can save the World. We can finally become a Super Hero!

me sitting in/on a red inflatable kayak in Jackson Lake, the Grand Tetons as my backdrop.

Anyone, especially Americans

Look:

If you’re American too, we are hugely contributing to this global crisis- we are known for our consumption culture. (I’m not talking about the copious amount of food we eat and the idea that we are all obese). We constantly want the next best thing and are quick to throw away things that NEVER LEAVE this planet. Everything on this planet, stays on this planet.

Hope:

Also as Americans, many countries REALLY do look up to us. Many people I met across SE Asia look up to us and follow the American trends and way of life. These are people who without that influence live an otherwise sustainable life. It’s our responsibility to celebrate sustainability, and not wasteful habits. Let’s lead by example.

A group of ladies ask to take a picture with me in Indonesia- a common question I got in my travels. Many local asians asked to take my picture- they looked up to the american culture and were excited to meet an American.

Lead by example

FIND MOTIVATION THAT LASTS:

Step 1: Start by connecting to nature. Go outside, and if you can… get FAR away from the concrete jungle. Breathe in air that’s been filtered through dense trees! Take a quiet hike and use ALL of your senses; take your shoes off and stand still (or sit), close your eyes and breathe deeply, listen to all the sounds, feel the sun/rain/water/ground, just be there- TAKE IT ALL IN! Experience nature, fully. Challenge your body and mind by climbing a mountain, and then do it again. Jump in the Ocean; float, ride the waves, smell the salty air and feel the pull of the waves. Our lives depend on the World, if our World can’t breathe, we can’t breathe. We Only Have One. #WOHO.

If you can’t get that far away then at least get outside and get away from your distractions and soak in as much of the natural world as you can. Minimum: 1x/week

Step 2: Become aware of how you negatively affect the issue of climate control. WAIT! I know this is a huge ask. I know it’s hard to admit what we are doing wrong. Of course, we want to think we don’t have negative qualities… so I’ll start (awareness is KEY):

  1. I love my Sonicare toothbrush; and this is/was my game changer.
    • I’ll explain how this changed everything in a different post. I’ll link it here once I write it.
  2. Food Stuff:
    • I eat meat and cheese, and I like it.
    • I buy more food than I need and I don’t fully recognize the impact that has.
    • I buy packaged foods (in big sizes to reduce packaging) and think it’s ok because I can recycle the packaging.
  3. I don’t actually know how recycling works or if I’m doing it right. Hint: I’m not.

The list goes on: Accepting plastic bags because I’m not paying attention. Continuing to reach for an item out of convenience even though I’m cringing at all of the waste surrounding it.
Browsing for clothes I want as if my closet rod didn’t just fall for the second time. I use Qtips, cotton pads/balls, non- LED lights. I throw things away that are recyclable…

And remember, you don’t have to be perfect. You won’t be. The goal is to be better. I’ve been adopting new habits from #ZeroLife(rs) for months. I don’t do this with expectation to produce zero waste- especially not RIGHT NOW. That’s ok, I’m setting attainable goals. The World stands a better chance from millions of people living a half-assed ‘Zero Waste’ lifestyle than if only 100 people do it perfectly. All I’m aiming for is a Less Waste Life than I lived last year. I’m measuring and implementing new habits monthly. Some months I make STRIDES, others it’s just one change- either way… it’s growth to a better World. I promptly began this change after returning home from my final leg of my big trip.. I started making changes only about 3 months before writing this post.

I want to make a post about things we do by societal conditioning, or whatever you want to call it, and I want to offer alternative ideas. Some will be obvious and some maybe not, most will be things I am guilty of and yet others things I have never done habitually. Send me things you know aren’t healthy for the environment and I’ll add it to the list and try to find better, comparable options. I will also discuss failed alternatives I have tried or ones that may benefit the World, but aren’t good for our own health. I invite you to send me things you did that you’ve already fixed, and tell me how you fixed them! Leave a comment below or email me.

Take the Initiative

  1. I have switched to 100% compostable bamboo brushes. I still have my Sonicare, it lives in my storage unit. (It was time for me to buy new brush heads and before I invested in more plastic waste, I opted to try an alternative). I’m on brush #2. =)
  2. Food Stuff:
    • I cut my meat intake to like ½ or maybe more than ½ of my typical consumption. I am mainly only eating chicken or fish… Although I had steak 2x this week. My body thrives on protein and I know there are tons of other options. I make them, too. This is fun because I love to cook. Side note: I also didn’t know how bad cheese production is to the Enviro. YIKES. I’ll attempt a cut back here. Wish me luck!
    • I have learned more about the environmental impact the food industry has… I’m not sure whats worse- food or clothing. Anyway, now I buy with a conscious: seasonal, local when possible, organic, and whole! I also only buy what I’ll be able to eat- NO FOOD WASTED. I still have a lot to learn, but the amount of waste the food industry creates before it even gets to consumers is already plenty; I do my best not to add to that. Also, I’ll buy an entire chicken. I buy produce ‘as-is’ meaning not prepped in any way, the skin is still on it, it’s not cut, the stems and roots are still attached… the ones without all the excess packaging.
    • I try to buy less processed foods but when I do I buy in bigger sizes- pasta, snacks, etc. (I can’t think of anything else… I know there are more). I can proportion in reusable containers to cut back on any kinds of single-use plastic. You’d be surprised how many things aren’t actually recyclable. I’m still trying to figure this out.
  3. I learned a little more about recycling by my community and also Aldi. I started by learning a little online and it was overwhelming. There are a whole bunch of letters associated with the logo on the bottom of boxes, and plastics… These codes correlate to what’s acceptable and the grade of the recyclable product to identify what can/can’t go in the big blue bin and it changes based on where you live. It was all quite confusing. Then I looked into my specific collectors and it was much simpler! GOT IT!
    • As I use products I quickly glance at the packaging for the recycle info… AND I’m still learning.
    • I didn’t know I could not recycle the plastic bag from my shredded cheese. -_-  
    • & then there’s the cheese issue, another cutback I’ll have to make. The resources needed to make cheese… ugh.

I completely know all of the above information might be obvious to some, intimidating and overwhelming to others, or maybe something you’re not willing to have to deal with.

I started there, too.

Believe me, we are not that different. I’m happy to continue sharing how I got here, and my progress as I go beyond. This is just my first of many posts.

Kaitlin

A traveler who has allowed the World to show her that extreme posing beliefs are necessary to find the sweet spot that is revolutionary. Because life is too complex; it’s a balance of black and white; we need to blend the two so we can live in the grey space of an Open Mind. Currently finding a balance in exploring the World and being sustainable everyday.

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