As the leaves around us begin to go from green to all different colors, the Sharpteam is coming to the end of Low Impact month. While it was a challenge, we leave September having made less negative impact on the planet and we are taking a few lessons with us.
1. Lesson 1: Going Green Takes Time
I found that there was a good deal more that I could recycle but had not in the past because it took time. Throughout September I cleaned out plastic containers for yogurt and all kinds of other things and found that it took extra time. Similarly those plastic diapers are fast and easy compared to the cloth diapers Cole is sporting now.
But somehow I found that recycling slowed me down. It made me think more, appreciate more, and pause more. I would be washing out my yogurt container and thinking that it would be so much faster to throw it in the trash, but then make myself think about the landfill it would enter when it does not need to. I found I was less rushed around Cole. We began to find a new rhythm when our days were not filled with disposables. And we all liked it.
2. Lesson 2: Going Green Takes Planning
We had to shift the way we do things around here. We had to plan new systems. Where would all of the recycling go? What would we do with the dozens of wet dirty rags that we were using during the day instead of paper towels? How does one switch over to cloth diapers? We had to continuously come up with new systems together this month and it has been a shift.
The planning has been good for the Sharpteam. We really do enjoy strategizing together. And it was a new area of our lives that we adventured into together. We discussed these things often and it was good to question how we were living, and it was good to choose together how we wanted to live differently.
3. Lesson 3: Going Green Takes Commitment
Once you have said that you are going to do something, there are dozens of circumstances that seem to justify not living green. It took commitment not to grab the paper towel or to recycle that small piece of paper. The commitment was to something bigger, but it was also to something intangible, and there were times when I faltered.
After a month of focusing on making less impact I am definitely more conscious of all the impact we do have. It has changed us both. We both are committed to continuing to work to make less negative impact in the days, months and years ahead.