Small Changes can Help Save Money and the Planet
Help Save the Planet and Save Money, Too!
After watching Greta Thurnbergs’s Ted Talk, I felt I couldn’t just sit around waiting for someone else to save the planet. My professional goal is to help everyone on the planet live a happier, more fulfilled life by providing coaching tools and tips to make life better. If I can help someone find the ideal career or attract the right relationship, then I know they’ll be happier. If I can get you on the path to financial freedom, then I know that one day you’ll be glad you did it. And if I can show you how to do that without feeling pain or sacrifice, it’s even better! If I can motivate you to clear out a little clutter and sort out a few pesky tolerations, then I know you’ll be happier. This has been my objective for more than 20 years. It is all fairly straightforward.
Now I find myself getting into more complicated topics.
It seems to me that everyone has a natural, vested interest in breathing clean air, drinking clean water, and eating food that isn’t contaminated with toxic chemicals, hormones, plastics or antibiotics. Everyone agrees that clean air, water and food is essential to living a healthy life. If you can’t get access to these basics, then talking about first world problems, like what to do with that third set of china dishes inherited from my dear Aunt Pearl, seems a bit ridiculous. However, if I donate that extra set of fine china to a charity such as Oxfam, that china might well buy a goat for someone in Africa who really needs that goat to survive. That could make me feel a tiny bit better about my own incredibly abundant life. So why not do it? You can do it purely for the reason of wanting a clutter-free life. Or you can do it for the altruistic reason that you are helping buy a goat somewhere. Or you can do it for both reasons!
So what can I do differently?
Every summer we fly from the UK to the USA to visit my American friends and family. But that annual long-haul flight seems to undo all the smaller good things we are doing, like using bar shampoo instead of bottled. So this year we took a bus to London, eliminating one short-haul flight from the trip. Not perfect but progress. We also offset our flight mileage to be carbon neutral. You can do that here. It still feels like I’m not doing enough to make a significant difference. I have to remind myself that it all adds up, and I keep looking for more ways to make a difference. Okay, my one less bottle of shampoo on the planet won’t make a difference on its own, but if we had one billion bottles less, that might. Lots of people using one less adds up.
I have learned from coaching to never underestimate the power of small changes. Maybe we just need to go back to using glass bottles like in the 1950s? In the old days in England, the milk was delivered via a little electric van filled with crates of glass bottles of milk. You’d leave out the old bottles and get the new ones delivered right to your door. Handy! The milk truck was electric so it could go about town without waking anyone up in the dawn hours. I hear that this is now coming back to our little town and love the idea!
I used to feel virtuous wearing fake fur coats, but now that I know they are made of plastic and don’t biodegrade without leaving plastic microparticles in the earth, I don’t think I should buy one. The alternative: a good wool coat — no harm done to animals or earth.
Another easy step: I’m now looking for lotions and potions in glass jars and bottles instead of plastic. Neil’s Yard has some lovely stuff!
Save money and the planet with small changes. These add up to big changes that can make a difference.