Just because April 22, 2021 is considered the “official” Earth Day, it doesn’t mean we can’t (or shouldn’t) make changes the other 364 days of the year. However, if you’re anything like me, you may feel overwhelmed at the myriad of ways that we can get involved. Should I focus on fighting climate change? How about doing my part to reduce landfill waste? Wait, shouldn’t I take action against polluting our oceans? Then again, I just read an article that said I should put my efforts into reducing greenhouse gases. Argh! It’s all so much, I’m not sure where to begin!
Thankfully, it doesn’t take HUGE actions by every person on this earth to make a HUGE impact. If each person/family does something small each and every day, together we can make a difference. I have found that doing one good deed or making one small positive change often leads to making two small positive changes…and so on. Before you know it, you may be organizing a town-wide recycling event or you may be the next Earth Day ambassador at your kids’ school. Warning: do not bite off more than you can chew, as the best way to ensure a quick burn-out is to take on too much too soon. I know this from experience.
I am afflicted with what I call the “1000% Syndrome”. When I embark on any task, challenge, project or lifestyle change, I have a tendency to put 1000% of my effort in on Day One. This is not a good quality to have. It often annoys my family, can bring me to the point of being temporarily obsessed, is exhausting, can make me “judge-y” of others that don’t share my passion, and is a near-impossible level of enthusiasm to keep up over a sustained period of time. However, with repeated reminders and nudges from my husband over many years, I am learning to relax a little and start small. Truthfully, some days and some situations are more successful than others. I realize that having passion is great. Passion is what makes me me. But, if I want to make changes that I will actually stick to and will make a difference, I need to be do it in a manageable, reasonable way. I can’t always dive in head first and plow ahead full steam, I need to just chill out a little!
Me in my 20s and 30s
I am going to do my part to reduce landfill waste and I will do it better than anyone else has ever done it before me. We will throw out every plastic cup, utensil, plate, bowl, bag, box and container in our house. We will only use glass from now on. For everything. Our mouths will never touch plastic straws again. We are only using stainless steel straws or those awful paper straws that disintegrate in our drinks and in our mouths. I am going to wrap my kids’ school lunches in recycled newspaper and secure it with hand-spun yarn grown from local sheep. We will only use organic cloth napkins from now on. In the event that none are clean, we will use our shirt sleeves because we are never, ever using disposable paper napkins again. We will only eat produce that is grown locally. Wait, we will only eat produce that we can grow in our backyard. We are only buying our clothes from consignment stores. Nope, I will learn how to sew our clothes.
Me in my mid-40s
I am going to do my part to reduce landfill waste, but I know it’s a huge problem that will not be solved overnight and not by me alone. I am one person, but I can make small changes that will hopefully add up over time. Let’s reduce the amount of plastic containers we use for food storage and when we need more, only buy glass. I will try really hard to remember to bring my reusable cloth bags into the grocery store. If I accidentally leave them in my car, I will not abandon my carriage in the middle of the check-out line and run out to parking lot like a crazy woman. I will just try again tomorrow. I will check out ThredUp first when I want a new outfit. I will try and shop from brands that use recycled materials, organic cotton and practice sustainable, mindful ways of making clothes. I will put out cloth napkins whenever they are clean and on those nights, I will continue to remind my son not to use his shirt to wipe his mouth. I will support as many local farms as I can while I have fun and enjoy the experience of growing vegetables in our raised beds.
When we started Onesto, it was important to us as a CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) company to not be part of the environmental problem, but to be part of the movement to make a change. We knew we couldn’t dive in at 1000% and do it “all” at once, we would have to make small changes here and there. We had faith that over time, these changes would add up and we promised that as we grew, we would make bigger changes when we could. We are so incredibly proud of what we have accomplished over the past 7 years and the positive impact we’ve had on our earth. Are our eco-minded practices as big as what Kraft, Coca Cola or Frito Lay can do to fight climate change and pollution? Hell, no. But, they are changes and they are making a difference.
Take a look at the sustainability practices that Onesto is committed to above. And, note: we aren’t done yet! We promise that as we get bigger, we will adopt bigger eco-minded practices and you’ll be the first to know!
Interested in some small ways you can make a difference starting today? Here are some manageable ideas to get you started that hopefully will not overwhelm you and they definitely won’t take 1000% of your effort:
Try to bringing reusable bags into the grocery store with you, or at least try and remember them in your car.
Water is wasted more frequently than we realize. Turn the faucet off when you’re brushing your teeth and try not to let the shower run for too long before you get in.
Leave your car at home and bike to work, to the library or to your friend’s house every once in a while.
Rather than buying bottled water, try to filling your own water bottle at home and re-fill it during the day.
Swap out incandescent lightbulbs with energy efficient ones and turn lights off when you leave the room.
Use cleaning solutions that are non-toxic and won’t harm our water systems.
These don’t seem so bad, do they? You can make a difference!
With love and gratitude for your support,