Be a part of something bigger.
This started as a comment, but figured it may as well be a post...
I've kind of had an epiphany- or, at least, an attitude adjustment. Last night I was thinking about the collective power of doing, well, anything. In my job** I am always preaching things like: "If everyone just gave $10 think how much we'd have." And my favorite tagline for the year: "It's not up to one person to make a huge gift, we rely on the support of EVERYONE."
And so it is with me: It's not up to me to change the world, or even be "the perfect little consumer" who does everything right. It's the small choices I make, when combined with everyone else's choices, that will make a difference. If everyone did just one small thing in their lives to reduce consumption and waste, or if everyone put their money somewhere that supported sustainable living....for example:
If everyone switched their toothpaste to Tom's of Maine.
If everyone switched to organic milk and eggs.
If everyone bought just one item of clothing at a second-hand store.
If everyone ate red meat just once a week, or not at all.
If everyone wrapped their Christmas gifts in recycled paper or grocery bags.
If everyone let their car sit in the driveway just one day a week.
If everyone replaced just 2 lights with energy-saving bulbs.
If everyone shopped just once a week, or once a month.
If everyone in the entire country even did just one of these things it would totally add up and change life as we know it! People (including ME) have to realize that you don't have to run out and buy a hybrid (though it would be nice...haha) and install all new bamboo flooring to be a smart citizen. You just have to do SOMETHING.
Guilt acts as our moral compass and while that's a good thing in a lot of situations, unfortunately, I feel it stronger than most. I also suffer from crippling perfectionism. Let me remind you all that perfectionism is NOT a good thing and in fact, I laugh when people throw it out there like "oh, I am SUCH a perfectionist" because they have no idea what a real honest-to-god disorder it is. Perfectionism doesn't imply that I think I'm perfect, or that "being perfect" is my goal, it's that I have unrealistic expectations for myself and those around me and often can't clearly see the world as it really is, or can't deal with the reality of the way things are. I have a hard time being satisfied...it's a coping mechanism. Basically, it sucks. But it's getting better.
I am finding that it is absolutely necessary to frame things in this way - small choices mean something. They mean everything. Go on - join me. Make one today!
** Really a huge problem right now in and of itself, but that's for another day.