Spring marks a time of new beginnings. What a cliché. The thing is, it is actually a good time to refresh our spirits, get stuff done, and be green.
Some of us, maybe most us, tend to put off projects during the winter because it’s cold, or snowing, or raining, or it’s the holidays, or we have year-end deadlines at work.
Well, today is the first day of spring so let’s get going. Below are 5 ideas that will help you renew your spirit and be green at the same time.
Promote Your Brand
We inadvertently, or perhaps on purpose, provide free advertising for all kinds of products and our favorite sports teams, schools, and organizations. The clothes, shoes, and hats we wear, as well as the bags and gadgets we carry around all say something about us. It’s our personal brand.
Expand your own personal brand by ditching single-use plastic bags and paper shopping bags and replacing them with reusable bags that promote your own message.
Reusable bags show everyone that you are an early adopter and willing to make a change to reduce waste and water pollution. You can use your bags to make a fashion statement, advocate for a company or cause of your choice, or keep your thoughts to yourself with plain bags.
It took me many years of eating lunch at my desk to learn that eating lunch at one’s desk is, well, dumb. Why give anyone our free time for free. Besides stepping away from our desks at lunchtime gives us a chance to refresh ourselves and probably be more productive in the afternoon.
You know walking is good for your health, helps you keep your weight down, and reduces air pollution, but just can’t seem to find time to do it. Does this ring true?
Make the decision to step away from your desk at lunchtime and like magic you now have time for a walk. So do it. Walk for fun and relaxation, or run errands if you must.
Kick the Habit
Humans are creatures of habit, meaning we do the same things on a regular basis, often without much thought. Some habits that seem small and inexpensive can really add up over time.
Take a small habit like buying a mocha frappuccino on the way to work or a fruit smoothie for the ride home. Sound familiar? Even if we low ball the cost at say $2.00 each, that’s a big chunk of change over the course of a 40-year work career.
So what if you eliminate this habit?
You’ll save a whopping $20,800. Yep, that’s enough for a down payment on a house, a new car, college tuition, or some really nice vacations. You’ll also eliminate the resource use and waste associated with 10,400 cups, cup sleeves, lids, stirrers, and napkins.
All that—by making one tiny change.
Pass It On
Spring is the traditional time to declutter. It’s amazing how getting rid of excess stuff can lift one’s spirits. It’s worth the effort.
Enjoy being able to find a spatula in the utensil drawer, or not having your skinny clothes staring back at you whenever you open the closet, or being able to park your car in the garage, perhaps for the first time.
The best part about decluttering is passing on stuff in good condition to people who may need it, like it, and will use it. Besides redeploying stuff is green, it saves resources and reduces waste.
Use Your Words
One of the great things about living in a democracy is that everyone has an opportunity to make their voice heard.
Chances are local, state, and national elected officials do not always vote the way you think they should or they don’t seem to care about the right issues. So use your words. Call, email, tweet, write, post, or otherwise let your elected officials know what’s important to you and what you think they should do about it.
For Earth Day last April, I wrote a letter to President Obama thanking him for his efforts on behalf of the American people and suggesting he fulfill his 3-year old commitment to install solar panels at the White House. Voilá! The installation took place four months later in August.
I know the President didn’t personally read my letter and it probably only resulted in a tick mark in the citizens-interested-in solar-power column in some database. But maybe that tick mark was the magic one that moved solar panels from the to-do list to the done list. You never know…
Call to Action
If one of the above suggestions got your attention and seems like something you’d like to do to renew your spirit, green or otherwise, then do it. If not, come up with your own idea and share it with other readers.
- 10 Ways to Go Green for Earth Day 2013
- A New Take on the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
- Earth Day 2013 – Mr. President, Go Green
- Spring Decluttering – Clutter Free Future
- Spring Decluttering – Deciding, Sorting, and Parting Ways
- Spring Decluttering – Game Plan
- Walking – Good for the Planet and Good for You – Benefits
- You Can Live Without Single-Use Plastic Bags – Here’s How