My name is Lindsay Müller and I have been working with Random Acts of Green as its Executive Administrator since July 2017.
I grew up with environmentalist parents, who recycled and brought cloth bags to the store way before it was cool. Being environmentally friendly has always been a way of life for me.
Three years ago, I moved from Canada to Brazil with my husband and children.
I was surprised to see the lack of ecofriendly practices: very few people used cloth bags at the supermarket, garbage bins were full of food and items that could be recycled, and it didn’t seem like anyone was talking about climate change.
I had a toddler and a baby, and I didn’t really mean to, but I got lazy.
I thought, “Oh well. I’m just one person. It won’t really make a difference.”
Thankfully, that changed when I started working for Random Acts of Green!
Suddenly the reality of climate change was in my face again.
I couldn’t stick my head in the sand any longer.
I started bringing cloth bags to the store, carrying around my reusable water bottle, refusing straws, and buying less stuff. But that was just the beginning.
I got really inspired by all of the ideas out there and wanted to take my green lifestyle to the next level.
Here are five super Random Acts of Green I’ve done since joining the Green Team:
1. I stopped using shampoo
I’ve known about the “no-poo” method for a while, and I even tried it a few years ago – but gave up quickly. I liked having soft, fluffy hair every day and didn’t want to go through that “greasy phase” I heard about. But this year I decided to look into it again. I found some helpful blog posts like this one and realized that there’s not one “right way” to do it, and I was just going to experiment until I found something that worked for me.
I started out by simply washing less – once a week or so.
My hair did get “greasy,” but I wore it up in a bun most of the time and it wasn’t super noticeable. Over time the greasiness subsided and once the shampoo ran out I just started using bar soap. That’s what I do now – about once a week I wash my scalp with bar soap(purchased in plastic free packaging), and that’s enough for me. My husband and two sons have also adopted this, so we are now a shampoo free family. My hair looks and feels healthy and strong.
2. I made reusable toilet paper
I heard about this idea when I was asked to research the environmental impacts of our beloved TP, and at first I was skeptical. But what I learned about toilet paper shocked me. I sort of forgot that we CUT DOWN TREES so that we can use something once and then flush it down the toilet. I never thought about the fact that most paper mills and companies use chlorine to bleach their toilet paper. The chlorine bleaching process creates many incredibly toxic by-products including dioxins which can end up in our water systems and soils. (Source)
Even recycled toilet paper has its downsides, like traces of BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor, linked to cancer and early puberty, and various metabolic disorders (including diabetes and cardiovascular disease). (Source)
So here’s what I did: I simply cut up an old towel into squares. If you have a sewing machine I recommend folding over the edges and sewing them to prevent fraying. I keep them in a basket beside the toilet, rinse them out after #2(TMI?) and then throw them in the laundry basket which is conveniently right next to the bathroom. Wash, dry, repeat. I save money from not having to buy so much TP every month, it feels better physically, and I feel good knowing even this small act makes a difference to the planet.
3. I gave up dairy
I’d already been trying to go vegan for a year or so but was still drinking cow milk and eating cheese, along with eggs, fish and honey(so… I was more of a pescatarian). But after reading about how much water and land cows require(not to mention the conditions many of them live in) I decided to stop with dairy altogether. I now make my own almond milk and exclusively eat vegan cheese, which my meat loving husband prefers now as well. Almond milk is extremely easy to make and it tastes far better than cow milk in my opinion – and trust me, I used to LOVE cow milk. Here’s my recipe:
4. I started paying attention to material my clothes are made of
I have always been an avid thrift shopper: for the prices, unique finds and environmental benefit. But until recently I never paid attention to the types of materials I was purchasing. Once again, while researching for RAOG, I learned about the harm that synthetic fibers cause to the planet. Whether purchased new or used, items made from nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic, spandex and fleece(among others) shed tiny synthetic microfibers when washed in the washing machine that can end up in our ocean and rivers.
Sadly, many of the clothes that end up in the thrift store tend to be made of these synthetic materials because they were cheaper to make and buy in the first place, making the treasure hunt that much more difficult/exciting.
Now when I go to the thrift store I pay close attention to the fabric. If I find something I absolutely love made from a synthetic material, I make sure it’s an item that can easily be hand washed.
Learn more about microfibers here.
5. I started writing songs about the environment
Besides working for Random Acts of Green, I am a Children’s Folk Singer/Songwriter. I love to write songs for my children(and other humans) filled with messages I want them to remember. I’ve composed two songs this year about the environment: “Beautiful Planet” and “The Hummingbird Song” which you can listen to below.
Our children will likely have it worse than us when it comes to climate change. It is imperative that we talk to them about taking care of the earth. It’s what my parents did for me and I’m grateful for that. Writing and singing songs about our beautiful planet is just another Random way I can help.
I am so grateful to Random Acts of Green for kicking my butt back in gear. I’m not done yet – I am moving closer to a zero waste, sustainable lifestyle every day and I know RAOG will continue to encourage and teach me along the way.
How has Random Acts of Green inspired you? Leave a comment below.
If you would like to be a part of the Random Acts of Green community, please consider becoming a volunteer by clicking here or joining our Green Acts Membership Program (for businesses) by clicking here.