I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed when we start thinking about the myriad of environmental problems we’re facing. And Earth Day always brings these problems to the forefront of our thinking, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do.
After years of battling with the feeling that my efforts aren’t doing much to solve all these problems, I’ve found a sort of peace with myself. And I wanted to share one of the easiest ways I’ve found to make a big difference in the world, starting this Earth Day.
Make ONE Significant Change, and Do It Well
Like I said, I used to get completely overwhelmed trying to turn my life upside down so I could change the world. I recycled, and turned down the heat, stopped using regular bulbs, stopped my junk mail, started vermicomposting…the list went on and on. I was constantly analyzing my life to find ways I could make less of an impact on the Earth.
While this is a good thing, I went about it the wrong way. Why?
Because doing all this in short amount of time burnt me out. I felt like all my efforts weren’t really doing much to change things, and it was really dispiriting.
So, I changed my approach.
Now, I focus on making one significant change each Earth Day. And, I focus on perfecting that one change so I do it really, really well.
I still recycle and vermicompost and use CFLs, but I’ve stopped constantly searching for other ways to trim trim trim because it’s just so draining. Each spring I focus on my one significant change instead of making tons and tons of small changes. This really makes me feel like I’m making a difference, and it prevents me from feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
My 2010 Goal…
What’s this year’s resolution? Well, my change for this year is that I’m going to get more involved in my community. I always grouch about there not being any recycling bins in our downtown, and the lack of awareness from my neighbors about recycling.
But have I ever DONE anything about it?
So this year I’m getting involved. I’m going to approach City Council about getting recycling bins put into our downtown area next to the garbage bins, and come up with a plan to get my neighbors to start recycling more. Yes, this is a big project. But it’s the one major change I’m making this year. The ONLY major change. So, I can focus my attention and energy on this, and really put myself behind it 100%.
This is what I mean about focusing on one thing, and doing it well. It’s so easy to get distracted making a gazillion changes at one. So, just try focusing on one major change this year and see how you do!
Filed under: Eco Living on April 20th, 2010