Back in college I took an environmental studies class. I loved it and, as many a cocky freshman does, went back home to show my mother all I’d learned about reduce, reuse, recycle.
And it blew up my face. Spectacularly. Because my mom was the one who schooled me.
She is a child of the Depression and WWII, so every resource was used until it could be used no more, and then it was relegated to another use, maybe cleaning or in the garden or in the garage.
I was lucky to be raised with her influence. It’s why I turned some cute fabric I didn’t know what to do with into cloth napkins. That was over twenty years ago, and we’re still using them in our house today. We still have guests say, “Oh, I can just use a paper napkin,” thinking these are too fancy. But these are our everyday napkins. Nothing fancy. I chose plaid fabric to hide staining, after all, but I’ve never had an issue in all these year.
People thought I was crazy when I used cloth diapers with my baby. I ended up sewing my own baby wipes too (one side a soft flannel and the other a light-weight toweling). It’s not for everyone, but it was great for us.
It takes a little effort to make better choices, and we certainly don’t have to be perfect about it, but if we all did just a little better each day, went out of our way to make conscious choices, all our small wins will add up to help save the Earth.
Here are a few ideas that you might want to incorporate into your life. I’ll include links if you want to click and see what I’m talking about.
I currently have a Lamy Al-Star, two Pilot Metropolitans, and a Platinum Preppy. I use cartridge converters for all of these except for the Preppy, which I’ve converted into an eyedropper pen, so the only expense I have is buying more bottled ink. If you’re looking at fountain pens but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend Brian’s videos from The Goulet Pen Company. His YouTube channel has a wealth of helpful tips!
My fave is the Deco jar, 901, but they aren’t practical for everything. The Tulip Jelly jar, 762, is a good choice for smaller items. They come in more traditional shapes as well. They seal with a ring and clip system, and the glass is thick. You can get them on Amazon now verses when I bought them ages ago from a specialty catalog.
What do you do to help reduce your carbon footprint?
I’d love to get more ideas. I follow the hashtag #zerowaste on Instagram and have discovered a lot of small things I can do to make a difference, but I’m always open to new ideas. When I got a gift using Amazon’s fabric bag method of wrapping, I was like, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” So give me all your ideas!
And for a few more nuggets from some of my favorite Instagram accounts, here are some illustrations.