We know what this stands for, right? KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. My 7 year old would be offended by this, but you can change the last S to any adjective you’d like to use…silly, slow, scatty, shortsighted, simple, senseless, scatterbrained…you get the idea.
The point is, we tend to hide behind perfectionism and feel overwhelmed by these big problems like “sustainability” and as such, tend not to do anything at all. Since I’m not composting and darning socks, I might as well not bother with anything. World peace is unattainable, so I’m just going to start a war. I’ll never fit into my high school jeans again! Time to eat 5 cookies! When seeing this written plainly, do you see now how silly this sounds? Do you see the failure in logic here?
A lot of little decisions add up to create the big picture we are now looking at. It took a lot of people making a lot of choices over a lot of centuries to end up where we are today, both environmentally or otherwise. And to recover, it’s going to take a lot more choices from all of us. Refuse to allow the big, scary consequences to frighten you into apathy, and trust that your small actions make a difference.
This is where keeping it simple comes in. It might sound counterintuitive, but SMALL actions can solve BIG problems. Here are some examples of small changes you can make in your daily life that truly will make an impact, both inside and outside of your closet. Start with the easiest one, and do one at a time. I REPEAT DO ONE THING AT A TIME. It’ll seem less daunting and you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Remember, it takes at least two weeks to settle into new habits. Stop shaming yourself, and start doing something, anything.
- Replace your disposable household items with reusable/washable ones as the need arises: diapers, wipes, sandwich bags, paper towels, toilet paper (yes ma’am you heard me), plates, cups, straws, silverware, saran wrap, you get the idea.
- Find new uses for old things before you throw them away.
- RECYCLE EVERYTHING. Yes, even your clothes. Check locally for restrictions.
- If you can’t recycle it, consider not buying it in the future.
- Repurpose clothing for multiple seasons – be creative!
- Shop secondhand wherever possible – for clothes, toys, furniture, home goods, and more!
- Clean your closet.
- Shop locally for anything you can, and seasonally for food and produce.
- Borrow from friends. We don’t all need one of every kitchen gadget, do we?
- Wear your clothes multiple times before washing.
- If it’s broke, FIX IT.
- Think before you buy: do I need it, can I use something else I already have for this purpose, does it match multiple items in my closet and can be worn on multiple occasions?
- Get books from the library.
- Carpool, ride share, or take the bus.
- Sell gently used items before donating, recycling, or throwing away.
There’s so many more things you can do! What have you done to simplify going green or being more sustainable?