Green goals for my 21st year

Green goals for my 21st year

Hello epic environmentalists! First off, I’m sorry for not blogging for the past two weeks, trust me when I say I had quite a hectic last week of work and week at home – between going to Springfield, home, back to work, and then back home again in which I had to squeeze every one of my doctor’s appointments into a five day period, it’s been a very busy couple of weeks. I’m relieved to say the least to have moved in at school and have this week to relax and catch up on some things for the school year. Including my blog!

As some of you may know, I turned 21 almost two weeks ago. I LOVE birthdays and have always been one to set birthday goals and intentions for my next year of life, so I wanted to share a few of them with you because they pertain to my environmental footprint.

1. I want to get serious about minimizing my waste footprint. Like every environmentalist, I bring my reusable bag to the grocery store, have a reusable water bottle, etc. but I want to broaden my impact. I’ve been reading up on the zero waste lifestyle and have taken steps to further decrease my single-use plastic consumption. Of course, zero waste is a goal that I am striving for and not something I will beat myself up over not achieving 100%. Progress, not perfection.

That being said, there are definitely sacrifices I am prepared to make. This means not stopping for Starbucks when I’m out and I don’t have a reusable bottle and my bamboo straw (I know…making HUGE sacrifices here guys). It means finally actually buying a menstrual cup (any recommendations?) It means learning how to use a safety razor, or find some other zero-waste hair removal method. It means not getting takeout from restaurants, or getting restaurants to give me my takeout in my own tupperware. It means way fewer packaged foods. It also means no more pre-cut vegetables (sob….Trader Joe’s I love your convenience but it’s responsible for a lot of my waste footprint). Now that I’m thinking about it, there are so many ways I can cut down my waste, and I’m still learning a lot of them. I’m excited to share this journey with you all! PLEASE let me know if you have any recommendations. Are you trying to be zero waste? Do you have any post topics you’d like to see from me? Let’s do this together!

2. My second “green goal” is pretty similar to the first: I want to drastically reduce my consumption of material goods. When I went to Cape Town, I brought everything I needed in a suitcase and a backpack and still felt like I brought too much stuff. I realized I’ve accumulated so much crap over the years that I barely need or use, and it honestly makes me feel a bit hectic. My clothing and shoe sizes have not changed since middle school, yet every year I’ve continued to accumulate clothes and shoes. I simply don’t need them. I’ve always been one to overpack rather than underpack because I just want to “be prepared” but I really always end up stressing myself out because I have so much stuff. I’m starting to learn the magic of being in charge of fewer things, and let me tell you it feels so good! Packing for college this fall really gave me a fresh start in terms of how much stuff I use, and I’m happy to say I only brought things this year that I think I’ll actually need. For now my reject items are taking up space in my family’s basement, but I’m hoping to do a major purge this winter break with my sisters and bring everything we don’t need to a thrift store.

Those are my two main goals this year, and I’m excited to continue to share them with you guys! As you know, I am beyond passionate about veganism, but I also want to share other actions I’m taking to reduce my impact on our precious planet.

One last update that pertains to the blog: I got tested for food intolerances last week, and they came back saying I am highkey intolerant to gluten, oats, buckwheat, alcohol (yes…I found this out 5 days after my 21st birthday in some ironic twist of fate), and a number of chemicals that appear in processed foods. This has inspired me to plan out some content about how to be vegan with various food intolerances, because I know that a lot of us have allergies and intolerances. I want to show you that virtually any person can be vegan! My future day full of recipes posts will be free of all my intolerances, of course, and I would love to create and tailor some recipes to your individual food preferences! So if you have a food allergy or intolerance and would like to try out some tailored vegan recipes, please contact me!! You can comment on this post, message me on Instagram, Facebook, or email me.

Thanks so much for reading! The regular programming starts next Thursday, so stay tuned! As always, I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and ideas:)

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Maille O'Donnell

Welcome to Green and Growing! I started this blog to share my passion for ethical and sustainable living. I hope this can be a place you come to for sustainable lifestyle inspiration, and vegan tips, tricks, and recipes.
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