I’m as concerned about the environment as the next person, give or take. I am extreme about some things and some things I let slide. I’m extreme about grocery bags. If I get in the car to go grocery shopping and I have forgotten my reusable grocery bags, I will turn back to get them. And at this point, I have so many of them that I keep at least two in my car at all times. If you aren’t using reusable bags to go grocery shopping, at least SOME of the time, shame! They cost about $1 and you can get them at any grocery store. They are really durable—I’ve only ever had one die on me in five years—and they all have nifty shoulder straps that make lugging your groceries so much easier. It’s just a no-brainer. And the impact of using either paper or plastic bags, when you just don’t need to, is just too painful to think about. Have you ever driven by a landfill? It’s tragic and disgusting and could be minimized by your use of reusable bags.
Of course, I also do things like recycle—if you’re not recycling by now, I don’t even really know how to respond, so please just do so now. I can’t afford to drive a hybrid but I drive a small Toyota Corolla that has very good gas mileage, and am working my way towards purchasing a low-emissions vehicle someday. If I didn’t live in an apartment complex, I would compost without question. So much of my garbage is leftover food that is precious material for composting and could significantly reduce the amount of trash (and trash bags) I go through. But again, this frugal goddess is not quite there yet and for now can only dream.
However, I try not to think too much about overwhelming global environmental issues. It actually upsets me very much, so I usually don’t allow myself to get worked up over things like that because it tends to make me feel a bit powerless. How is it helpful for me to know there is a horrible crisis and yet feel like there is nothing I can do about it? So I do think it’s good to stay focused on what I can do in my actual community, and just hope it makes a difference. Things like the bags I use to grocery shop, the car I drive, and the amount of waste I throw away, are all things that I have power over and that honestly do make an impact.
Which brings me to the topic of Coral Reefs. I just watched a documentary on Netflix called “Chasing Coral” and I was really affected by it. You need to just watch it, because there aren’t really words to adequately describe the message. I won’t talk much about corals because I won’t do the topic justice if I do. The documentary was a winner at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, so please trust that it does its job as an effective documentary.
Image by Felix Salazar
Image by Taveuni Palms Resort
After I watched the documentary, I was really motivated to make some kind of a difference. I did some research to see what kinds of things I can do to reduce my “carbon footprint,” and I found that I was pretty much doing most of the obvious things that one can do, which was a bit of a relief. However, the one thing I have not really thought much about is switching to eco-friendly light bulbs. I have always been a fan of incandescent, for the warming and soothing mood lighting it produces like no other light. But after watching this documentary, I’m taking the plunge and making the switch. Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer darkness to light, and all throughout my apartment, whenever I’m at home, I am mostly surrounded by darkness with just a few warm night lights—one in the bathroom, two near my bed, and then I leave the overhead stove light on to give the kitchen a bit of warmth. Purrrrrrrr. But I’m flexing my growth muscles and breaking out of my regimented comfort box just a little bit, in order to make a difference in the lives of those beautiful corals!
Making this small switch can significantly impact the environment and directly affect the life of our precious and vast ocean life. According to the EPA, “…by replacing just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR light bulb, you can save 400 pounds of greenhouse gases from entering into the atmosphere!” This literally means the life of the coral reefs, as you’ll see when you watch the documentary. You can find these light bulbs anywhere (just look for the logo posted below on the package when you shop). Purchasing them will only cost you a few extra dollars more and I know without a doubt that it is worth it. There are a range of versions of bulbs like this so it’s absolutely up to you how much you want to spend.
If you do nothing you lovely goddesses, at the very least, please watch the documentary. It’s beautiful and eye-opening, just like you!