When this realization came to me, vivid memories rushed in. Beginning in middle school for certain, perhaps even earlier, perfectionism led to so much unnecessary paper waste.
If I wrote my name on a homework assignment or a test with less than “perfect” penmanship, I started over. Anxiety sweated through me. New sheet of paper, maybe a new pencil or pen.
I’ve recently caught myself in this act at work; rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. But “needing” to discard even a scrap of paper for the sake of my perfectionist anxieties has become unacceptable. It has forced me to address this previously hidden issue that has impacted so many other aspects of my life.
I think this is a fascinating intersection of internal and external crises. I am not willing to be ignorant of deforestation, greenhouse gases, unnecessary and toxic plastics, etc. Therefore, I can no longer be ignorant of myself and my mental health.
The human lifestyle as we know it is not compatible with the natural world. For my goal planning for 2019, that compatibility starts from within.
Every step no matter the size, no matter the place, leads to growth. Where does your first step fall?”
Alaine Dickman, Social Media Content Coordinator
Mary’s Goal Planning for 2019
I am overwhelmed by the amount of single-use packaging I am accumulating mostly with my food and toiletry purchases. I live with the mindset that action and in-action both produce an impact It’s clearly time for me to act.
Hence, as part of my goal planning for 2019, I have decided to be far more intentional about what I put in my shopping cart. I plan to largely base my purchasing decisions on the amount and type of packaging that comes with the product. At the same time, it's important we all recognize it's not quite as simple as "plastic is bad and other materials are better."
This article from the Economist, “The Unknowns of Plastic Pollution” does a great job explaining the complexities of pollution. It will likely challenge your thinking on the topic.
For example, "The carbon footprint of a paper bag that is not recycled is four times that of a plastic bag." And "... a cotton tote bag must be used 131 times before greenhouse-gas emissions from making and transporting it improve on disposable plastic bags."
Every step, regardless of the size, leads to growth. Let's be smart about the steps we take together.
On that note, change is hard. But it is possible. I’ve written about how humans can implement change in a way that sticks. Hopefully that will help as you conduct your goal planning for 2019 and beyond. Check it out here.
Mary Swanson, CEO & Co founder