5 Ways I Changed the World this Week

Ok, technically I didn’t “Change the World,” but if we don’t celebrate the small improvements we make in our lives, we’d never have the energy to make the big changes.

I’m challenging myself to make 5 changes every week, whether large or small, that have a positive impact on this world.  Let’s see how long I can keep it up!

No More Plastic Utensils!

1. I washed my plastic utensils

My office has disposable plastic utensils available for people to use who bring lunch to work.  Until this week, I had made extensive use of this “endless” supply of utensils.  Let’s see… 6 months since I started, 24 weeks, 120 days, 2 utensils used per day (on average) comes out to 240 utensils thrown out.

!!!!!!!!!

And here I thought that bringing lunch everyday was helping out the environment.  Not only did I contribute to landfill waste, but the very process of creating those plastic utensils in the first place is highly damaging.  Plastic utensils are made out of an intense chemical process, which uses up fossil fuels, water, and oil.  So, this week I am saying, “No More!”  I resolved to hand wash the utensils until they wear out, at which point I will simply bring a metal set from home.

No More Disposable Swiffer Wet Pads
No More Disposable Swiffer Wet Pads

2. I used reusable Swiffer mopping cloths

I finally took those reusable Swiffer wet mopping cloths I created a few weeks ago out for a spin.  Wow!  Although the vinegar solution took a little longer to dry than whatever is in the disposable version, the overall effect was just as good.  And, because the cloth had soaked in solution for so long, I didn’t have to use any extra cleaner.  One cloth cleaned the whole kitchen. Instead of throwing out the mopping cloths when I was done, I threw them into a plastic bag to be washed the next time I do laundry.

Starbucks Passion Fruit Shaken Iced Tea? Good!  Disposable cup? Bad!!
Starbucks Passion Fruit Shaken Iced Tea? Good! Disposable cup? Bad!!

3. I took a personal cup to Starbucks

You get a $0.10 discount, which is hardly substantial compared to the $3 price for my venti passion fruit iced tea, but it was surprisingly low maintenance.  I got to enjoy a great brewed iced tea without adding to the trash.

Strap Repaired and Leather Cleaned: $45.00 Replacement Cost: $990
Strap Repaired and Leather Cleaned: $45.00
Replacement Cost: $990

4. I repaired a handbag

Granted, it was my little Gucci bucket, which retails for a sweet $990.  However, I still think I should get credit for repairing it, rather than throwing it out, after the strap fell off in the subway last weekend.  The nice guys at Giovanni D’Italia Shoe Repair in Hoboken, NJ, have promised it will be ready to wear by the weekend.

Boxed Mixed Greens: $5.99 Home-Made Mixed Greens: $1.59
Boxed Mixed Greens: $5.99
Home-Made Mixed Greens: $1.59

5. I reused Mixed Greens plastic boxes

We all know those ever-so-convenient boxes of pre-washed, pre-torn, often organic mesclun mixed greens.  Easy, convenient, WASTEFUL!   Instead of overpaying for a box of lettuce (4x the cost), I washed out a couple old boxes that I had from last week’s grocery haul. Then I washed a head of lettuce and spinach, tore up the lettuce into bite sized pieces, and stored it in the container with a damp paper towel on the bottom.  Lettuce will keep this way for 3-4 days – enough to cover me for most of a week.  The cool thing about this approach is that you can store whatever kind of mix you like – throw some basil in there, add some kale  – what ever makes you happy!!

Your turn!! How have you saved the world this week?

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