As you can more than likely relate, I went a bit stir crazy after the first month of quarantine. As a self-proclaimed extrovert-introvert, I am always excited to see my friends as a part of my day-to-day life. I was used to seeing my gym friends 5-6 days a week, my work friends 5 days a week, and my regular friends during the other hours of the week. As we all know, that changed real fast. I do not know about you, but I secretly missed my gym friends the most. Not only did they wear neon clothes just like me but having a 45-minute dance party on the spin bike with them was usually the best part of my day! (If you have not yet taken a spin class, this is your personal invitation to join me, it is SO much fun!)
I am not a big fan of running and knowing I can only do so many at-home workouts I decided to buy my very first road bike. My husband does not have a bike, so I would recruit friends for social distant bike rides. That included my crazy friend Corinne. We all have that crazy friend who is full of spontaneity, the weirdest stories, and the biggest adventures. Well, Corinne is my crazy friend (we’ll talk about her persuading me to do a mini-triathlon less than a year after I broke my shoulder in a future blog).
We decided to make our bike rides a weekly tradition on Thursday mornings, as she would bring her boyfriend along who I quickly befriended. While on our bike rides, he would entertain my passionate conversations about sustainability but also made it very clear he was not interested in bringing his own reusable bags to the grocery store. However, one day on a bike ride he asked if there were any other sustainable habits that I could recommend to him.
Why my jaw hit the ground!
Of course there are other habits you can do besides bringing your own bags... I will create a list of sustainable challenges for you! Ladies and gentlemen... I have for you my list of sustainable challenges. I recommend grabbing an accountability buddy and incorporating these into your life every two weeks, to slowly make them more of a regular habit rather then just a once-in-a-while habit.
· 2 weeks: Go without using paper towels & paper napkins (Have the cloth versions clean and ready to use)
· 2 weeks: Go without using any single-use-item items* (paper plates, paper cups & plastic cutlery. My advice is to hide them from yourselves, you’ll forget you ever needed them) · 2 weeks: While grocery shopping only purchase fruits & veggies that do not have plastic wrappings or plastic containers* · 2 weeks: Eat a vegetarian meal at least once (or if that is too easy, make it 2 or 3 daily meals!)
· 2 weeks: Keep all the individual wrapped snacks that have been eaten on the kitchen table. Notice how much trash is accumulated from these “convenience items”. · 2 weeks without using any plastic grocery bags & plastic produce bags (do not forget the wine bag too!) *
· 30 days without buying anything new (clothes, home décor, unnecessary items)
*My biggest advice for you is to be prepared. Keep your reusable bags in your car, create a calendar reminder to stop by the local farmers market (they will have a larger selection of non-wrapped produce), and keep reusable cutlery in your car for lunch outings. Just like everything else in life, preparation is key! Good luck, I know you are a Sustainability Rockstar!!