Ever look around and feel like everyone in the world is a better person than you are? Thanks to social media, you can have self-loathing at the tips of your fingers! Looking at other people’s highlight reels while your life seems to be bloopers only can get exhausting. You’re a busy human after all, and you don’t have time to change your life style from Dumpster-Fire-Chic to Eco-Warrior/ Positive Polly overnight! Trust me, I get it. I want to save all the animals and help all the people but I have no idea where to start or even what there is to do. Here are some so-simple-a-cave-man-from-a-geico-commercial-could-do-it ways to help the planet/ your loved ones / and most importantly yourself feel like an active contributing member of society.
ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!
I think a lot of people think that you need to be a full blown Yogi who has a degree in vegetable loving and humanitarianism to have a positive outlook and love the world you’re surrounded in, and yeah that can be a little intimidating. However, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be all of those things at the same time to do your part! A lot of people do enjoy this lifestyle because it has tuns of awesome benefits for the ecosystem, and their souls, but even I know it’s not for everyone. Making “drastic” life changes, especially if you didn’t grow up being eco friendly, or in an environment with a large emphasis on mindfulness, can seem intimidating and out of reach. Something we can all get behind however, is how easy it is to lend a helping hand every once in a while. Here’s a list of easy ways you can lend a helpful hand to the environment without feeling pressure or feeling like a poser.
- Recycle! (seems easy but when you’re on the go it can slip your mind)
- Keep an extra recyclable bag in your car and throw your empty water-bottles / take out boxes/ trash (I know you have 30 in your back seat, don’t lie) in it before dropping it off at the next place you see a recycling bin.
- Turn off your lights / AC units when you’re not home or actively using the room.
- Break out the candles! The Ambiance!!
- Save yourself some money on the electric bill too.
- I even unplug my microwave and my wifi router if I know I won’t be home for a few days. It may not be “necessary” but I think any little thing can help.
- Use reusable bags for your groceries/shopping excursions.
- I have one by my front door and throw one in my trunk as well just incase I forget the first one at my house or go after work.
- You can also get reusable / washable biodegradable bags for your produce. Take these with you into stores or farmers markets to put your fruits and veggies in instead of those thin plastic bags.
- When you do this, stores will usually give you a discount, and that’s a win in itself.
Here’s another good resource for easy-peasy ways to help out Mother Earth, and save you monies while you’re at it. http://www.50waystohelp.com/
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “wow, these are so basic I learned these in kindergarten.” OK BUT ARE YOU DOING IT? I can confidently say that in undergrad I didn’t think about these things AT ALL, and now that I live in a real apartment, and not splitting costs with 6 other girls, I am always down for a way to reduce my electric bill. (More money for food, duh.)
Alright, maybe something else you’re thinking about it how you think it would be really cool to go Vegan or at least Vegetarian but you just ‘Can’t LIVE without CHEESE BURGERS!”
Or maybe you feel really really bad about animal cruelty in the meat industry and wanna save the piggies but NEED bacon in your life. Maybe you just wanna loose a few pounds so you can finally have the Beyonce body you deserve. Whatever your reason for interest, it’s okay to be nervous about trying something new, especially something that can seem to be an impossible feat. I’m not going to lie to you, I am not a Vegan, and I am NO expert on any of this, but here’s some baby steps you can take if, like me, you have a fear of commitment.
- MEATLESS MONDAYS!!
Pick one day a week (doesn’t have to Monday, I’m just a big fan of some good ole alliteration) to not have meat for the day. Maybe even add it to your Alarm description for Monday mornings, so it’s the first thing you see in the morning. Slowly increase the amount of days you can do this until you’ve made it the whole week. Bonus points if you can name every day of the week something clever.
2. STAY AT HOME VEGETARIAN / VEGAN
This is currently where I’m at right now. I won’t purchase any meat in my groceries (which for me basically means I don’t get Chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs or ground beef for tacos) and only make vegetarian meals while I’m at home. When I go out to eat with friends, I might still get something with meat in it, or if my Mom cooks me some dank ribs, yeah I can’t say no. It’s a slow adjustment, but eventually you’ll feel more comfortable making an active attempt to choose veggies over steak.
Something else a lot of friend I had do, is they eat VERY healthy over the course of the week so if they do go out on the weekend, they can indulge themselves. This is more for the folks looking to get a Bey body, but I think it applies to anyone who could use it.
3. IF THERE’S A CHOICE, TRY IT!
If you find yourself out to eat, and choosing between a meatless dish and a traditional fav (Lookin’ at you, basket of chicken tenders and fries) try the former. Maybe the salad will loose out to the tenders every now and then, but 1/3 is still better than 0/3
If you’re wondering why you should try even a little bit to avoid meat when you are able, here’s a link to a Scientific article that might be able to help you out.
Maybe your diet is chillin’ but you could still use a pick me up every now and again. Here’s some of my personal favorite things to do to get me out of an academic coma.
- CLEAN YOUR ROOM!
Okay yeah, no one ever wants to do this. But cleaning your room when you’re feeling stressed or down can actually give you a sense of control in your life that maybe you feel is lacking. Another variation of this would be rearranging your furniture, or making your bed everyday. (Seams trivial but really does help!)
2. CALL YOUR FRIENDS
Honestly, getting to talk to my friends always ends up being the highlight of my day, especially if you aren’t in constant contact with them or haven’t seen them in a while. I think this is my favorite way to feel better because it has tons of benefits. 1- You get to talk to your bffs and catch up! 2- They feel appreciated and loved. 3- Sometimes it helps to get your stress / worries off your chest and out in the open with someone you trust. 4- Or you don’t have to talk about anything serious and can use them as a nice distraction for 15 minutes…or 3 hours if you’re a chatty Kathy like me. (Shooting a “Thinking About You” text to people you can’t get a hold of also can’t hurt.)
3. CALL YOUR GRANDPARENTS.
I need to do this more if I’m being honest. But really, this one takes 5 minutes and will make them SO HAPPY. This also applies to Parents, siblings, and cousins. (Bonus points for the younger/older they are)
4. SEND FUNNY EMAILS
Okay, what is this 2001? Who has their friends emails saved these days? Well if you do, send them some cute pics of dogs or a funny video link. My go to is a classic knock knock joke, the dirtier the better. I’m sure it will be a pleasant surprise from their normal group-on junk mail and Lyft ride receipts.
5. DANCE/SING/WORK IT OUT
Is this a knock-off Grey’s Anatomy scene? Yeah probably. Is it an 80’s cliche? Absolutely. BUT EVEN IF YOU ARE THE WORST DANCER / SINGER / RUNNER / PHYSICAL ABILITY PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, moving =exercise, and in the words of Elle Woods and the early 2000’s
Oops, maybe this is just a cliche. Whatever, it works.
Change is always scary, but Rome wasn’t built in the day and no one was born knowing how to do yoga. EVERYONE STARTS FROM SOMEWHERE. Even the person you look up to most in the world, whether it be for Athleticism, Academia, Talent, or Skill all were beginners once. If you know someone who seams really good at something you want to start, just ask them! I know I used to be really intimidated by people who were so “good” at living the Vegan life-style, but it was mostly because I didn’t understand it. Just because someone is really good at something, it doesn’t mean they think they are “better” than you. In fact, it usually comes from a place of passion. Have you ever met someone who didn’t want to SHARE their passion with the world? I haven’t. So ask questions, be open to information, and try your absolute best. Not only will it make you feel less like a waste of space, but it will make the world feel a little better for everyone else too! Remember these baby steps next time you’re funkin’ out.