This may be a slightly long blog post, but I decided to put it together anyway!
As tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, it is my chance to reflect on this year and some Random Acts of Green I have personally implemented into my own life & business –
And it is a chance to challenge myself (and you!) to incorporate some #greener behaviour into your own life.
Here are some things I have done this year.
1) I started a business to inspire people to change their behaviour.
I guess this one is a big one. So far, it has been successful. I think our biggest success was the Pokemon Go Litter Clean Up event that received national media coverage on CBC News and CTV Radio and our HallowGreen contest. Through the Random Acts of Green brand, we have helped inspire behaviour change in various ways. Individuals are constantly sending me proud selfies in a “Random Act of Green” and we have gained serious traction in just 1 short year. I am so proud of myself for taking the leap of faith and garnering support from so many people who believe in me and what I am trying to accomplish.
2) Shop at second hand stores only
I only enter a store when I NEED clothing, not when I WANT clothing. This includes any handbags, blazers, pants, dresses…This is a hard transition for many girls to make, but I have significantly downsized my closet because of it.
3) Cardboard business cards
I continue to be very stubborn about using cardboard for my business cards, despite them having a slightly unprofessional look.
4) Avoided purchasing new volunteer t-shirts
For our Pokemon Go volunteer shirts, all were bought used, as we didn’t want to manufacture new shirts. They were washed and branded later – and people loved them!
5) Boycotted Tim Hortons Roll Up The Rim contest
I just don’t like how they encourage us to buy more and more disposable coffee cups, even if they are paper.
6) Biked all summer & fall
I biked to my business meetings as my primary mode of transportation. This was challenging at times, but I managed and am probably healthier because of it.
7) Use my reusables at every opportunity
Including travel mugs, reusable grocery bags, and reusable water bottles.
8) Banned Plastic Water Bottles
I have completely 100% banned water bottles since I was 16. I also do not drink any pop.
9) Avoid printing
I avoided printing at every opportunity with my business, including at tradeshows. Instead, I encouraged potential prospects to take a picture instead of information I provided.
10) Conscious effort to carpool
I have carpooled using the ridesharing network with strangers multiple times this year. I love it!
11) Downsized the amount of “stuff” I own
I am slowly making my way to minimalism.
So what else can I do?
Probably a lot!
I am trying to come up with more realistic goals of what I am willing to do and what I can do to show people that it is possible. I picked a select amount so that the goals are achievable.
Here are some things I want to do in 2017.
1) Make my own hand soap/ deodorant.
I have heard this is relatively easy, but have yet to take the plunge. I will let you know how it goes when I do it and what I think about it!
2) Attempt to limit Kleenex and Paper Towel.
This is slightly more ambitious, as it means I have to invest in a hankerchief of some sort. I do want to try this challenge, as both are very wasteful. A lot of public washrooms also have paper towel available to dry your hands. I will let you know my challenges as I move along. Stay tuned.
3) Unplug my laptop.
Have you heard of phantom energy? Actually, electronics that are left plugged in suck up a large amount of energy. It is such a chore to remember to unplug them! I always forget. I do plan to give it a shot as often as I can this year. I will let you know how it goes.
4) Upcycle some sort of waste once a month
I got this idea because a follower told me he had a bunch of old t-shirts that were just not able to be donated. He challenged me to help him make something out of the old t-shirts. I think if I were to do an upcycled waste project once a month, it would a) be fun and b) inspire some cool ideas. I know there are plenty of Do It Yourself craft ideas out there – but do people actually do them? I don’t know – but I will attempt to show you the process!
5) Walk/Bike/Bus/Carpool when I would have otherwise driven as much as possible.
I do this already, but I want to make it more of a habit this year. It can be really tough sometimes but I want to try and make it a more conscious decision, as well as better communicate to people why I am doing it.
6) Get outside once a day to appreciate nature.
This one is definitely a challenge, as many times we are so busy with our chores and work that we forget. Other barriers include bad weather. But I think it is an interesting one that more people need to do. So I am going to try it! It is also a great reminder of why I am doing what I am doing.
7) Have a meat – free day twice a week.
This one is hard for me, but I know it is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Because I do a lot of weight lifting, it is a hard balance. I have seen a dietician before about this and she always tells me to increase my protein intake because of the exercise I do. While I know there are other ways to get protein, it is definitely a hard thing for me to cut out. But I will give it a shot and I think it will give me more reason to be more adventurous in the kitchen.
8) Ban another product that has excessive packaging.
I haven’t quite decided which one yet. Do you have any ideas?
Let me know your thoughts.