Updated: May 13, 2021
Ever since the fabulous Megan Megee (now Denos) graced me with her presence as my roommate in 2014 I have been a more contentious recycler. What began as Megan lecturing me about recycling my yogurt containers while I rolled my eyes is now a habit I have formed in my own home – both the recycling and the lecturing! While I still am not 100% on what the numbers in the little triangles mean…I do know that all my cans, bottles, plastic and cardboard go in the small green can, not the big white can. Even though I feel like I am becoming a pretty good recycler, when I sat down to create my environmental wellness plan for 2017 I knew I could be doing more.
For those of you who may not know, I have been a vegetarian, technically a pescatarian, for a while now. Here at Rowan, that means that 90% of my food shopping is done at Verchio’s: the holy grail of produce. At Verchio’s I can get my fruits and vegetables just the way I like them: in bulk, dirt cheap, and covered in literal dirt. As I brought more fresh produce into my home I began to notice what I was taking out of my home in terms of trash. As I looked more closely I realized how much of my trash can was filled with organic food waste and began to research alternatives.
After a couple of months of research, my apartment composting bin is up, running and thriving. I am only about three weeks into composting and the transformation has been really incredible to watch. For the first few days, I would peek in the bin each day and I would see the same carrot tops, celery stalks, eggshells, and coffee grounds and nothing appeared to change. Just when I almost began to think it wasn’t working, I reminded myself that change takes times and I needed to remain patient. Now after three long weeks the contents of my compost bin are starting to look like actual dirt and I can barely even find the carrot tops from last week!
In the same three weeks, I have set up my AeroGarden beginning with some herbs (thank you Santa for the gift that keeps on giving!). Yet again my patience was tested as I peeked at my plants every day and urged them to grow faster. Then, just when I thought it might be a dud, seemingly all at once my herbs had sprouted and are living out their little herb dreams.
Like I said, I am only three weeks into implementing my environmental wellness plan of 2017 but so far I already have had some great takeaways and some new ideas to keep this momentum going.
Here’s what the environment and planet earth have reminded me thus far:
Be patient.Growth takes time, so don’t beat yourself up if you are not seeing immediate results. Keep grinding and one day, seemingly overnight, you’ll look back at how far you’ve come.
I need you and you need me. In the Lion King, Mufasa says to Simba”When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” Thinking about the circle of life abstractly may be both a daunting and exhausting task. But actually seeing the circle of life play out in real life, in my tiny apartment, each and every day is a constant reminder that we are all connected.
Small acts can create big change. Do I think I can change the world? No, certainly not without help. But what I do know is I have taken less trash to the dumpster, I have used every last bit of my food waste, I have shopped smarter so I have saved money, and I am more aware than I’ve ever been about the planet I live on. Pick a cause that matters to you and commit to a small act to make a big change. “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” -Howard Zinn.
Thanks for reading! Here a few of the things that have inspired this wellness plan:
Garbology, Edward Humes. Get it here!
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield. 3,2,1..blastoff!
American vs. France Food Waste Click me!
Save Vegetable scraps to use for a veggie stock Why didn’t I think of this?
What I’m Using: