Do you ever have those days (weeks? months?) where you feel too tired and overwhelmed to care much about the issues facing our planet? I’m having one of those weeks this week. The world’s been a pretty overwhelming place these last few years, so it’s bound to happen. It’s during these times that I’m more prone to make poor choices for our planet.
Whether it’s buying convenience food, paying less attention to my recycle/garbage decisions, or having other wasteful moments, sometimes I feel too tired to commit to my desire to help the planet. Even when we’re at our lowest or most tired, though, I’m of the mindset that there are a few things we can still do for ourselves and our planet.
Simple Things you Can do for the Planet
It’s important to remember that our one bad week isn’t going to be the thing that takes down the planet. The reality is, there are a relatively small number of companies doing the most damage to our planet. I’m still a big believer in individual accountability, but perspective is also important.
So, if you’re having a week like I am and the desire to put in effort takes too much effort, know you’re not alone. Maybe try practicing some sustainable self-care and keep in mind these few things you can do for the planet even when energy is at an all-time low.
1. Disconnect from our devices
Krista talks about our energy choices in her post How our Energy Choices Help the Planet. Turning our devices off and disconnecting from social media and news sites can do wonders for our mental health and also has the benefit of saving energy. It isn’t the biggest impact in the world, for sure, but it is also not detrimental.
What do we do once we disconnect? Maybe read a book you found at the library, take a nap, or try meditating. Sometimes I just need to take time to lay on my living room floor and stretch. If it’s a time period when you are feeling low energy, there’s no need to place high expectations on what you do when you disconnect from devices.
2. Get outdoors into nature
Being outdoors is proven to help our mental and physical well-being. It’s also a great way to remind ourselves of what we are trying to save when we are working to combat climate change.
Getting outdoors can be as grand an adventure as going on a long hike or as small as standing out on your patio. I have a short walking route I take that is partially on city streets and partially on a park trail. It isn’t extravagant, but it does always help refresh me to get outdoors.
And there’s the added benefit that seeing nature around us (or even the lack of it) can spark that desire in us to preserve it.
3. Set your garbage aside
Whether it’s a plastic takeout container because you were too exhausted to cook or plastic packaging from a convenience food you were craving, take a moment to set the potential waste aside until you’re feeling a bit better and have the energy to sort it.
In my life, I tend to accumulate more garbage when I need convenience or I’m too exhausted to put in extra time and effort to meal prep and plan. Life happens and I think it’s important not to beat ourselves up over those choices. It’s what we do next that is important.
If you end up with take out, set the containers aside to look at another day. When you’re up to it, see if you can reuse the takeout containers. See if you can recycle or compost any of the items that come with your food. Did you know there are chop stick recycling programs? It’s amazing what innovative things are out there. Same with plastic recycling for chip bags and candy wrappers.
You may not be up to sorting things out right away, so make it easy on yourself by setting the things aside for later instead of sending items straight to the garbage bin.
Life’s Ups and Downs
I hope your weeks start or keep looking up. I also hope that when down weeks come you’ll remember that it’s okay to pause and take care of your needs. I needed to give myself that reminder this week, so thanks for being along on the journey with me!
What small things do you do for the planet when you’re feeling tired?