I don’t know if you guys have realized this yet (maybe some of you who have been long time readers), but there are certain things that give me anxiety and stress.
Some of these things include running late (even 5 minutes stresses me out SO MUCH), being in crowded places, and being around many, many children (like, 1 or more).
However, over the past couple years, there has been something that has become more and more on my mind, to the point where it literally keeps me up at night thinking about it.
I fundamentally believe that we as humans are slowly destroying our planet, every single minute of every single day.
I’m not saying i’m perfect. Yes I have thrown out food before (I literally apologized to a bag of baby carrots that went stale as I threw them into the garbage).
I bought an $8 tank top from Zara, washed it once, destroyed it and then threw it out.
I’ve accidentally left my lights and the heater on all day, then come home only to realize that my home was both a lighthouse and a sauna.
The idea of waste stresses me out SO MUCH, that I’d rather be dehydrated and wait till I get home, then drink from a plastic water bottle. Am I crazy?? I don’t know. This is just how I feel, and yes maybe it’s over the top. I can’t help it.
BUT. Here’s the thing. We CAN help it. Together we can 100% help it.
There are 5 things that I am doing to become a better human being. To this planet. For my mind. For myself. And even for you guys, cause i’m sure many of you will have children who one day will run around this planet as well.
My challenge for you is to take one (or more!) of these resolutions, and apply it to your life. It CAN make a difference.
1. PURCHASE ONLY USED CLOTHING – SAY NO TO FAST FASHION
If you don’t know by now, H&M and Zara are ruining our planet. And while I might not expect your 13 year old niece to realize that, we as adults should NOT condone it. Stop buying shit that is in style right now, just to get rid of it when winter comes. Start shopping at vintage and consignment stores. You’d love to know that all my favorite items and the ones that I get the MOST compliments on, are from second hand stores.
I also realize as a fitness blogger that I am gifted many new items each month, and I fully accept and appreciate this perk of my job. But I can change my purchasing habits outside of this, and choose pre-worn clothing over brand new. Cut down on clothing waste, pollution from production, and re-use perfectly beautiful items.
2. USE REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES ONLY
Yes, I know that for the most part, everyone has a reusable water bottle. But how often do you use it? How is it that grocery stores STILL stack crates of plastic water bottles in the front of their stores? WHO IS BUYING IT?!
Well someone must be if the demand is still there. And those plastic water bottles almost never get recycled. They end up in the ocean, in landfills, lying on the street corners. Say NO to using these bottles completely. If you have to drink from one, choose a company like FLOW which is made from renewable materials. I’m not saying I agree with them completely, but it’s definitely a better alternative.
Oh and PS – there are tiny plastic particles swimming around inside your Dasani water. Nasty.
3. DONATE UNWANTED ITEMS TO SHELTERS & CHARITIES, NOT DONATION BINS.
You know what I hate? Those donation bins that are over flowing with old, dirty laundry that no one wants. I once saw one of those bins on Queen Street that literally had dirty pillows and stained shirts laying beside it because it was too full of everyone else’s crap.
A lot of that stuff is sold to textile recyclers that repurpose it for industrial rags or insulation, etc, but the stuff that doesn’t get sold? It goes straight to Africa where they LITERALLY BURN IT.
Instead of putting your clothing into these bins, give them to people who actually NEED them. Dress for Success is an amazing organization that helps women get the professional outfits they need for employment. The Diabetes and Kidney Foundations of Canada put their donations towards research within their respective fields. Finally, if those options don’t work for you, hit up a local school or children’s charity.
Last year I spent ages researching organizations that put on sports for low income children. I was told so many of them had no shoes, shorts, or athletic shirts to wear. It warmed my heart to be able to donate these items to kids who need it SO much more than we do. I want you to experience this too. Don’t take the easy way out and throw things into bins. See how you can make a greater impact to another life. Even if it takes a couple extra hours – it’s worth it.
4. STOP BAGGING YOUR AVOCADOS. AND YOUR BANANAS. AND YOUR ORANGES
What are you, a princess?! Why are you bagging something that has a SKIN.
I’m so sorry, I don’t mean to shout. But like, I truly don’t understand the concept behind bagging something that has a thick skin that you peel off and don’t ever eat. You’re just wasting plastic bags at this point.
Are these people scared of the grocery store conveyor belt having a little bit of dust on it? Do you not think those avocados went through a worse journey on their way over to your local Loblaws? Or perhaps you’re concerned that the bananas are going to roll away if they’re not bagged… (lol that was a joke, do you get it?)
Stop wasting plastic. Stop wasting plastic. Please. Stop wasting plastic.
5. SAY NO TO DISPOSABLE STRAWS
Okay last one. And this one is definitely the most challenging for me to change, because they’re so prevalent in our lives.
If you haven’t heard by now, plastic straws are the devil. They’re everywhere. Chances are, you’ve used a plastic straw today. These straws come up so EASILY. When i’m ordering a gin and soda at the bar – OH! Here’s a straw. If i’m getting a bubble tea – another straw! How about people who drink their pop with a straw, or those iced coffees you get in the summer time? You can easily use 1-2 a day and not even realize it!
These straws are literally ending up in whales, birds, turtles, and other marine life intestines. They take years and years to break down, but in that time, they’re helping to kill the beautiful animals that live on this planet and destroy our oceans.
Say no to straws in your drink, or use a biodegradable paper straw instead. Literally, i’m buying a bunch as we speak (plus they’re so cute). Who cares if I get a funny look while I pull out my own eco-friendly straw to use.
My final story: I was at an event a little while ago, and the bartender gave me a drink. He passed me a straw at the same time I said ‘no straw please.’ Instead of just PUTTING IT BACK, he threw it away. I realize that it’s such a small thing, but that just goes to show that it’s the MINDSET that we need to change.
Don’t take the easy way out. Nothing good ever came from someone being lazy. Do your part for our planet, and I promise, it will make the life that you live, so much better.
So, whats going to be your resolution?