When I first thought about my Pledge to Go Green in 2012 I couldn’t help but wonder, how many people feel hopeless in the world – like their efforts don’t really make a big difference. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever asked yourself a question similar to these:
- Will using these fabric grocery bags at the store really make an impact?
- Will using cloth diapers really save us money?
- Will switching to CFL bulbs really save electricity?
- Does it really matter if I turn off the lights when I leave a room?
- If I stop using paper towels will it really save trees?
I know my husband, my family, and my friends ask me questions like this all the time. Of course there are lots of studies that are done but often times it takes years before we really understand the impact our small changes have on society and the planet. How do you decide which efforts are most important? Which areas of your life you should change first? You can’t possibly change all of your habits and routines at one time (well – you could but the average person isn’t THAT dedicated).
In order to make any change in your life you have to first BELIEVE that YOU can make a difference. You have to BELIEVE that your efforts really matter. You have to BELIEVE that what you are doing is the right thing to do – for you and for your family.
Resolutions and goals are only good if you BELIEVE in them. Think about dieting and exercise – it takes more than just setting a goal to make them happen. You first have to set the goal, then you have to BELIEVE in the goal, and finally you have to have a plan for how you will reach and achieve your goal.
Here is my first challenge for you (and for me – because to be honest I’m not much of a planner) – write down one new goal for January and a plan on how you can achieve it. What is the first small change that you think you can make (or start to make) in one month. Do you need any resources to help you achieve that goal? How much time and effort will you need to invest in order to reach your goal? How will you know when you have reached your goal? Or is your first change more of a lifestyle change (like making a commitment to stop using paper towels)?
Tips to help you achieve your goal:
- Write it down – make it real!
- Post it – put it somewhere you have to look daily! On your desk, your phone, or even as a background on your computer screen.
- Reward yourself – catch yourself making good decisions and find a way to reward yourself.
- BELIEVE in yourself!
I can preach these tips all day long but can I actually live my own challenge? I’m going to sit down first thing tomorrow morning and take my own challenge with you. I’ll come back and share my goal – my resolution – my commitment – with you!
The one thing that I do know is that I BELIEVE that I can make a change. I’ve seen the changes that I can make. I’ve seen the impacts that my decisions have made on others. Over 3 years ago when I was pregnant I decided to research and try cloth diapers. Once my daughter was born I did just that. At that time I didn’t even consider that I had the ability to (or the need to) educate others about cloth diapers. However, once I started using cloth and writing about cloth I realized that I had something that was valuable to others – experience. Even my limited experiences were valuable. I didn’t have anyone (aside from people I met while online) to go to with questions about cloth diapers. Now, my mother did use cloth diapers on us but she used a diaper service so the questions I had were not experiences that she could share with me (she’ll even tell you that the diapers I use are far different than what she used).
I BELIEVE that by sharing my experiences with you (anyone who may be reading this on my blog, in an RSS feed, in an email, from Facebook, from a shared link on Twitter, however you found this) I have the ability to teach you, to educate you, to share my failures and my successes with you about cloth diapers (or any subject that I know about really). How do I know if my words have an effect on others? How do I know if others will chose cloth diapers because of me? I DON’T! But I BELIEVE that I can (and have)….
Do you BELIEVE?
<With big thought bubble over my head…I wonder if my ability to believe in intangible things like Jesus has anything to do with my ability to believe that I can make a change? Just a thought, after all we can’t always see the things we believe in.>
Mrs. Smitty says
Between our non-paper-toweling, cloth diapering, mama clothing and fabric shopping bags, we literally cut our weekly trash on the curb in half. Energy-wise, we line dry laundry (when it isn’t 15 degrees out), use recycled wood waste in the fireplace and double up on sweaters instead of cranking the heat in winter and open windows instead of using the AC in the summer. Not only are we saving energy, we are cutting our utility bill by a lot. It makes a personal difference and that’s what matters. It also teaches our daughters how to live an energy and waste conscious lifestyle.