Everyday Girl Guide to: Happiness (Environmental Inventory)

May 3, 2014

I am a pretty environmentally-aware person, to the point where my ex-sister-in-law used to call me a “conservative hippie” (and I took it as a compliment).  I fully believe in the part of the Bible that says:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15)

… as well as the part that says:

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them         reflecting our nature     So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,         the birds in the air, the cattle,     And, yes, Earth itself,         and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”     God created human beings;         he created them godlike,     Reflecting God’s nature.         He created them male and female.     God blessed them:         “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!     Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,         for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”       (Genesis 1:26-28 – The Message translation)

Because of this, I’ve always tried to look out for my environment.  Lately, though, I’ve been failing a bit. The UCR Wellness Center uses these standards for environmental wellness:

  • Do I recycle?
  • If I see a safety hazard, do I take steps to fix the problem?
  • Do I volunteer my time to worthy causes?
  • Am I aware of my surroundings at all times?

I would add to this list as well:

  • Am I educated on what is occurring in my environment?
  • Do I make changes to my lifestyle to support the environment?
  • Do I put my money where my mouth is?

I do recycle, fairly consistently.  I try to fix safety issues and I’m probably hyper-aware of my surroundings.  I’m also fairly educated.  But I haven’t been volunteering at anything (working on fixing that!) and my lifestyle has been sliding in the other direction.  My life is less environmentally sound than it used to be.

Here are my three goals for each area:

Short-Term (3 months)

* Volunteer at least one day a week

* As I use up cleaners and personal care products, replace them with less toxic options

* Go organic for the Dirty Dozen… or do without

Medium-Term (One Year)

* Support at least one environmental group (do the research) financially

* Learn to make my own cleaners and personal care products from scratch

* Start a pesticide-free garden OR start buying local, organic produce

Long-Term (Five Years +)

* Remove toxic items like many plastics and chemically-treated items from my home life

* Only eat what I grow, cook, or buy organically 75% of the time

* Be more active in my environmental activism

The long-term goals may be a little bit ambitious.  I can always revise them when I  check back in three months.  For now, this is where I’m heading.  How about you?

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