Being green takes organization. It doesn’t just happen. If you want to do more than just pay lip service to being eco-friendly you have to make it a priority.
If we’re going to commit to doing our part for the environment and combating climate change we have to find time in our schedules to make green routines part of our daily lifestyle.
For instance, most of us compost in the warm weather months but how many of us actually shovel a path to our backyard composter in winter? It’s far easier to just toss food waste in the garbage.
Doing right by the environment takes discipline. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. It takes time, planning and focused effort.
Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill have both been credited to similar quotes about the failure to plan. Without a plan we’re essentially planning to fail. These men knew what they were talking about. Their success didn’t just happen.
So how do we make it happen? How do we put the environment front and centre in our lives? We start with what we want to do and then find the time to take action on a consistent basis.
Begin by saying no more often to stuff that isn’t as important so you can free up more time for what is.
Here are some ideas…
Buffer your time and car pool
Learn how to buffer your time better between activities so there’s room for things like carpooling or taking the bus instead of driving.
Reduce food waste by menu planning
Commit to reducing food waste and fuel by menu planning and trip chaining. Planning meals around what’s on special, searching out related recipes and scheduling them over the course of a week or month also saves money and time. It also means no more last minute trips to the grocery store or going through the fast food drive thru after work because you already know what’s for dinner (and lunches the next day).
Batch prep, slow cook and freeze more
Reduce your energy costs by planning more meals made in a slow cooker. Make two (or more) meals at once and freeze the extra. Or make a week’s worth of salads and soups in mason jars (ideal for times when family members can’t all sit down at the same time to share a meal). It’s takes only a few more minutes to make two of the same meal or different meals with similar ingredients.
Let’s go back to Benjamin Franklin for minute. He has been quoted as saying “For every minute spent in organizing an hour is earned.”
My best suggestion for getting better organized so you can become greener is to start with a family meeting. Get everyone in the family involved, big and small, and discuss ‘green’ actions as a family. Make a list of what you want to do, create a dialogue about why it’s important, create a plan and then figure out the best way to implement your routine action steps.
Better organizing your day-to-day is doable. It will take time to form positive green habits and your actions will need tweaking from time to time if they’re going to be sustainable but it is achievable.
One of the best ways to find more time in your schedule is to have a realistic estimate of how much time things you do on a regular basis take. Time yourself doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth, getting dressed in the morning (capsule wardrobes are ideal for speeding up the process) or commuting to and from work at peak times.
Timing yourself is not only great for scheduling purposes but it can be a real opener when it comes to the length of your showers and how much water you’re wasting. Trying to beat your previous shower time is a win win on many levels. Not only will you save more water but it will increase your morning efficiency and help you get up and out faster.
I could go on and on about all the things we can and should do on a regular basis in order take better take care of the planet we live on but I’ll stop here.
I welcome your feedback though about what you do to combat climate change and how you make time for your own personal green habits.