This week we are heading into Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I appreciate the tradition. It’s helpful to take a step back and remove things from my life like sweets, soda or social media. They seem insignificant, but help me build patience and self control. Others might choose to add practices like community service or daily prayer.
Last Lent we challenged ourselves to reduce the amount of waste our family was putting out into the environment. We learned a lot from the challenge, and we are excited to expand our efforts this year.
7 ways to reduce waste
- Reduce glass by cutting out drinking alcohol during the week
- No drive-thru restaurants or to-go drinks. Giving up the Starbucks drive-thru is the hardest on me!
- No plastic shopping bags. This means no grocery pick-up for this mom
- Drive less, use less gas
- Reduce paper
- Save electricity
- Avoid single serve packaging
You can read more about our goals from last Lent here. Beyond our original ideas, we were lucky to plant a dozen free trees in our backyard through a local native tree program. I also discovered a new appreciation for thrift store clothing. And, I signed a petition to bring carton recycling to our area. All of this felt empowering.
In 2020, we are excited that our neighborhood started weekly recycling pickup. To continue this positive momentum, we are going to push ourselves to do a little more. The goal isn’t to be perfect because I’m far from perfect, but to make progress towards mindful habits.
more ways to cut out Waste in 2020:
- Eating less meat – cutting back on meat (especially beef) helps the environment and it fits in well with our church’s no-meat Friday Lent traditions. Here is more information about choosing sustainable seafood.
- Research local election issues that have an impact on the environment.
- Attempt food composting. Our city has a food waste program and it feels intimidating, but I’m going to try it. Here is an example of a compost container I’m thinking about buying.
Finally, I think it’s important to donate to organizations that protect our environment like the National Park Service and organizations dedicated to inspiring action to tackle climate change like DearTomorrow where I wrote this note to my daughter back in 2015. In the letter, I told Cecy that ‘God gave us a wonderful home, we must take care of it.’
Just like last year, I will keep you updated with the hashtag #lesswastelent. I’d love feedback, more ideas to reduce waste, and meat-free recipes. I hope you join us!