Did you know that you can pamper yourself and be environmentally conscious?
I can hear the chorus of “Huh?” from here.
For some reason, most people think that being environmentally conscious requires sacrifice, discomfort, belt-tightening, effort, and time.
All right, some environmentally-sound actions do involve a little work, or at least some thought, on your part. For instance, recycling requires you to be conscious of what you’re throwing away and whether or not you can re-use it or recycle it instead.
But there are a host of small luxuries that may surprise you because they’re also environmentally conscious choices. Here’s my top-five list.
Use cloth napkins instead of disposable paper napkins I love the feel of a cotton napkin on my hands and lips. It’s much more comforting and luxurious than the scratch of even the most heavily-processed and refined paper napkin. You can use a cloth napkin for several days or even a week before it needs washing, and the energy required to wash and dry a cloth napkin once a week is far less than what’s required to process, package, deliver, and dispose of paper napkins. Get everyone in your family a fun, unique napkin ring so you can keep track of which napkin is whose, and enjoy this old-world luxury on a daily basis, knowing that you’re saving paper and energy and reducing waste!
Turn off your computer every night How is this a luxury, you ask? Very simply: you’re saving yourself annoying trouble! When you turn off your computer, you force it to really reset itself, as opposed to clicking “restart,” which doesn’t always truly wipe everything clean. It’s the difference between using an eraser on a white board (restart) and actually washing the white board to remove every scrap of ink (shutdown). You’ll experience fewer annoying problems and system glitches, and reduce your electric bill.
Get yourself some nice water bottles It’s hard to believe that just a decade or so ago, the only bottled water most people drank was the fizzy stuff – bubbly mineral water or club soda! For health reasons, we all focus on drinking lots of water – and for aesthetic reasons, many of us shun tap water. But even recycled, those plastic water bottles are a tremendous strain on the environment. Instead, buy yourself a few nice water bottles. Get fun and silly and go for colors that complement your wardrobe! Then refill them from BIG multi-gallon springwater containers, or filter your tap-water. Those big containers cost less, so you’ll be saving money, too.
Shop local farmers’ markets The quality of fruit and produce you’ll find at farmers’ markets is notably better than even the most upscale supermarket usually carries. And you can treat yourself to wonderful seasonal luxuries that never appear in supermarkets. Some farmers’ markets even carry bread, cheese, seafood, and meat. Yum!
Use a fountain pen (or at least a refillable pen) My formative writing years were spent in England, where (at least when I was there!) schoolkids learned to write with a fountain pen. I’ve never given it up. There’s something very sensual and luxurious about writing with a good pen, whether fountain or otherwise. Treat yourself to a good-quality refillable pen, and rediscover the fun of writing a note by hand. Even writing your shopping list is more fun – and you’re not throwing empty plastic pens away! “The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.” Zeno of Citium, Hellenistic Stoic philosopher, 333 BC – 264 BC
(c)Grace L. Judson
Helping professionals who feel trapped and want a sense of direction
About the Author
Grace Judson is the founder of and driving force behind Svaha Concepts.
Stuck in a “success plateau” and having a hard time figuring out reasons to get out of bed in the morning? For more information or to access my free resources (including my free newsletter), be sure to visit Svaha Concepts’ website.