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Celebrating Small Successes

Since last week’s Farmers Market, I’ve tried to remain much more aware of the small things, such as plastic bags at grocery stores (Safeway tries to double bag my wine bottles and I die a little each time) or buying a cup of coffee and having it served in a paper cup with a plastic lid (It only happened once this week! At the Zoo). For me, there were some huge shifts I was able to make that I’ve really struggled with in the past. To begin with, I went to New Seasons, but couldn’t find any reusable bags before I left the house. I tried to keep my purchases moderate, and realized I had small cardboard box in my car. Instead of allowing them to bag up my groceries at check-out, I filled the box up instead. Success!

A couple of days later I needed a few more items, so drove to Natural Grocers. Before I left, I found one bag in a cupboard left over from the previous owner of our home (But seriously, where the heck did I put those 20 reusable bags I’ve slowly accumulated?! Oh well). While I didn’t manage to stick to my mental list of three items (and I forgot the butter, dangit!), I did try to stick to on-sale items, with the intention of keeping personal, economic sustainability in mind. To carry everything, I ended up buying another reusable bag so I could fit all my purchases …which I’m totally going to use all the time now… Right!? Right.

Another win for this week included bringing my mason jar holder with me every day, full of water. Staying quenched and making the mason jar trendy! I honestly had so many complements on it, and for good reason! If you’re interested in purchasing one of your own, check out The Fiber Geek. Those of you who are super crafty can probably figure out how to make it yourself, if you feel the yearning to do so. The artist uses plastic bags, as well as yarn, to weave together this awesome, insulating design.

Continuing on… Today, a week after my first Farmer’s Market of the year, I remembered to bring my own coffee, in a stainless steal cup with a koozie on it, and brought two reusable bags, including the new one from Natural Grocers… (See! I’m using it!). We stuck to exactly $20.00 worth of veggies and headed home. It was quite the success! Not only did we refrain from contributing to unnecessary waste, other than the gas it took to get us there, but we we’re able to save money eating at home and bringing our own coffee. Weather providing, perhaps next week we’ll ride our bikes the 6.5 miles to the farmers market instead!


On top of these things, I planted some herbs and flowers throughout my yard, the veggie seeds I planted last week are bursting forth with life, and my new worm bins are settling in. …It took a second with the red wrigglers, who were doing their best to escape, but I think we’re cool now. Got to celebrate where we can!

What have you been working on in your personal sustainability initiatives, and what small successes do you have to celebrate this week?

“Sustainability is a new idea to many people, and many find it hard to understand. But all over the world there are people who have entered into the exercise of imagining and bringing into being a sustainable world. They see it as a world to move toward not reluctantly, but joyfully, not with a sense of sacrifice, but a sense of adventure. A sustainable world could be very much better than the one we live in today.” Donella H. Meadows, The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
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