What inspires you to get started and keep going?
Love this quote....helps me stay focused on what I can do, on my actions. Stop letting the scope of the eco prevent me from taking a step in the right direction. Epitome of enviro(ish), don't you think?
What inspires you to get started and keep going?
It's exciting times! Have you heard the news? An estimated 310,000 people marched through the heart of Manhattan on Sunday to raise awareness of the climate change crisis. It's the largest demonstration for climate change to date in history. Power to my peoples!
Image: ABC 7 News
Exciting as it is though, we're (still) not focused on the message. Some of the participants were spot on, but the media coverage doesn't quite bring it home (only quotes from Sec. Kerry get it right in this entire NY Times article...he's in better, on-message company in the LA Times...look below the jump for Fox News).
Here's the skinny. Climate change is not about the planet. Seriously. Forget the environmental bumper sticker that says "Save the Planet"...switch it in your head with one that reads "Save Ourselves". The planet will keep on turning. It's the environmental systems that WE all depend on for our well-being...those are on a rapid and accelerating pathway to horrorville. Repeat after me: caring about climate change means you care about people, especially yourself.
There's this new trend in education and psychology - fixed vs. growth mindset. Have you heard of it? It's fabulous. It shows that our mindset is one of the most powerful forces in whether we achieve greatness or hold ourselves back.
The research says that students with a fixed mindset believe that their basic abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. Students with a growth mindset believe that those abilities, intelligence and talents can be developed with dedication and hard work. In study after study, the professor leading this movement has shown that students with a growth mindset outperform those with a fixed mindset....especially because when difficulty comes along (and it always does), students with a fixed mindset give up because they think it means their intelligence/talents/etc just aren't enough. Students with a growth mindset value the process...and so one more challenge does not throw them.
Why does this matter for the planet?
Start celebrating that you are trying to make a difference for the planet. Start right now, with my whole-hearted congratulations.
In honor of Coastal Cleanup Day tomorrow, this post is going to be about how to be Enviro(ish) when shopping/grocerying. But since this is a perennial “which is more eco, paper or plastic?” question going back decades, I get asked it often. And not just in a conversation where it makes sense, I’m talking about random strangers and on a first date, OFTEN.
Example: I'm at an oyster bar on a first date I met from online. The guy obviously knew I worked in sustainability from my profile, so one of his get-to-know-me questions was “when you go to a grocery store, paper or plastic?” Points for doing his research and like a Boy Scout always being prepared….but it falls into that awkward “green police” bucket (plus, is knowing my bag choice at a grocery store really getting to know me?) The guy rocketed through 20 similar questions, so everybody around us could tell it was one of "those” first dates. Even the oyster bar shucker behind the counter was laughing out loud (which is “bagging up” according to the kids these days/Urban Dictionary….see what I did there? FTW!) But I digress….
TELL ME THE ANSWER ALREADY
The simple answer is bring your own bags and reuse them (to take you from the land of simple, read further below).
I know what you're thinking, climate change? Personal? Isn't that something that affects polar bears and not me? Well the unfortunate answer to that is no. It's going to affect us all directly and indirectly. And it has already started. [Hold the dramatic musical score for a beat....]
Climate change is a big, hairy, scary issue. And there's a LOT of misinformation out there, which makes you think this is impossibly confusing. But don't stress! I'm going to make it bite-sized and easy. I love the Dinner Party Download concept, so we're running with that as inspiration. Welcome to the first installment of the Eco Party Download: "All you need to know to 'win' your eco party*...as told (mostly) with the help of your favorite celebrities."
*having or going to an 'eco party' not required
I've been talking about climate change for a decade, but the timing of this blog is impeccable. It means I get we get to hear Matt Damon talk about climate change. There's a fantastic documentary recently out that hits the right message on the nose. It's called Years of Living Dangerously, and uses celebrities as correspondents interviewing people's whose lives have been altered by climate change. Yes, there are many of these people, maybe even you!
Caffeine may kick off my workday, but water keeps me going and hydrated. I've never drank from a single-use plastic water bottle at my desk...and the more you really think about plastic water bottles, the more it sounds silly and ridiculous.
For example, I spotted one of my coworkers drinking from a single-use 1 gallon plastic water jug. Pretty much a different one every other day. Since I'm known to be 'eco', I don't even think I had to ask him about it....he saw me notice and, let's face it, if you do sustainability all day every day people think you are the 'green police'. Usually I fight the perception and live by the Funny or Die "Green Team" creed of Will Farrell and John Reilly (if you have not seen this before, you're welcome). But this time, the eco case was so clear! Pun intended.
Anyways, he started defending the plastic waste and the taste....it took a few random conversations over a few months, but he made the transition. And if he can, you can too! Here's the basics of what I said to get you going:
Thanks for being someone other than my Mom (hi Mom!) to stop by this blog. Instead of repeating what Enviro(ish) is about (see Meet Megan), I'd like to talk about one of the inspirations that led me here.
A while back, there was an ad for a new line of natural products at a major grocery chain, and it went something like this: parents wake up to a cow in their bedroom and they milk the cow first thing in the morning, Dad is seen harvesting wheat with a sickle in the backyard....cue voiceover on how trying to eat more natural, whole foods doesn't have to mean we always DIY all the way. Being more eco and healthy doesn't have to be this hard.
I LOVE this message because otherwise we all just throw up our hands at how hard and "unattainable" it is to be eco/natural/healthy/etc. Environmentalists have spent decades pushing for bigger, drastic change...pushing so hard that we all feel left behind seeing only occasional PSAs with polar bears on a tiny ice floe.
(adj) balancing caring about the future of our planet with enjoying and living everyday life to the fullest