I know it’s stating the obvious, but life is complicated and can be overwhelming at times–especially when trying to make changes to your life. Think of all the major changes you’ve gone through…maybe it’s going away to college, moving to a new city, handling a medical emergency, getting married, or starting a family. Each situation requires major changes to every aspect of life, even your daily routines change (what time you get up in the morning, where you go grocery shopping, etc).
Similarly, I’m finding that making environmentally-conscious changes to your life can be just as overwhelming. I started Knitting Naturals with a focus on organic and ecofriendly yarns, but my research has lead me to the extremely detrimental environmental impacts of our food choices, our use of plastics, and our over consumption as the human race.I decided to stop eating animal products, and I’m making plans to build a sustainable tiny home (which realistically will not be finished anytime soon). But what about all the trash I produce every day? All the plastic I use and throw away? All the processed junk I still eat (jelly beans are vegan but that doesn’t mean I should eat them!)? All the body care products that use potential harmful chemicals (lotions and deodorants and perfumes)? All the synthetic fabrics and fibers still hanging in my closet?
I stay up late in the glow of my computer monitor doing more research on possible alternatives for my shopping habits, food preparation and storage, coffee to-go cups, my toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, disposable razors, disposable pens…the list goes on. I read article after article about how AWFUL plastic is, how over consumption is creating MASSIVE amounts of garbage that don’t go away, how HORRIFIC the conditions are for commercially raised livestock.
All the while I’m feeling more and more guilty for throwing away that plastic bag my jelly beans came in for Easter. Then I see this video and can’t help but break down in tears. It was such a gut-wrenching feeling that I know I will never look at the world the same way again.
On Midway Island, albatross chicks are dying in increasing numbers from consuming our plastic garbage. Mothers are scavenging the ocean for food and unknowingly feed plastic to their chicks, who can’t digest it and can then die from starvation or other digestive problems. I’ve been on a path of change for a few months now, but this pushed me over the edge.The movie isn’t just about the albatrosses on Midway–it shows in a blinding light that the Earth is a precious, valuable resource that we all share with each other and with the creatures that inhabit it. Just because the trash cans get emptied by the garbage truck once a week does NOT mean that garbage magically disappears from existence. It ends up in the land, in the water, and the stomachs of these precious animals.
So now huge changes begin.
I’ll be honest, trying to re-vamp every aspect of my life makes my brain hurt. My life needs to catch up to the amount of knowledge I have! So I’m trying to pin down what I want my long-term goal is, what I want my life to look like ideally, and work from there just one day at a time.My basic life goals:
1. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet
2. Buy no new plastic and reduce the amount of plastic that is given to me or otherwise finds it way into my life
3. Reduce overall waste as much as humanly possible
4. Build and live in a mini house
There are MANY projects and changes I need to embark on in order to achieve these goals, and each I will cover here on the blog as best I can, but I feel good about the future and am excited for the changes.
I know sometimes it seems like the world is beyond hope and your efforts don’t matter, which can be overwhelmingly depressing, but I remember this little saying to keep me going:
If you think you can’t make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.
I’ll leave you with that to ponder, and thank you for bearing with me through this extra long post!
I hope I inspired at least some change in your lives today, even if it’s refusing plastic bags at the grocery store or ceasing to buy bottled water, every action has an impact.