I clearly remember sitting in my office Monday morning and thinking, “Wow, I am in a fantastic mood and it’s going to be a great week…I have a feeling it will be a long week…but great one.” I was probably eating the last of my homemade granola with yogurt out of a coffee mug because my sink is full of dirty dishes (due to my busy weekend) and drinking a 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee (b/c I’m a serious caffeine addict)…and I was HAPPY.
Fast forward to Thursday…It has been a LONG week. 11 and 12 hour days all week…situations that needed to be handled immediately just kept coming up…and usually after 6 PM when I really wanted to not be working anymore. My to-do list tripled and only 2 items were crossed off…meetings were scheduled and rescheduled. You understand.
My goal this week was to check out a few resale shops for items to use for my re-purposed Valentine’s Day decorations and begin to create my S.W.A.K. bags. I scooped up a few items (ribbon, Styrofoam wreathes & fabric) from the Ravenna Goodwill during a quick trip but I’m itching to check out some other stores as well. This goal has obviously not been accomplished at this point. I would hate to resort to brand-new items from Joann’s or Micheal’s and fall victim to one of the harder parts of being eco-chic…It just takes more time for some projects. And time is definitely not on my side this week.
So what does it mean to be eco-chic when you barely have time to put matching cloths on and straighten your bangs? How do you balance the dozens of tasks and people pulling you in a hundred different ways AND make sustainable choices?
You could create a Eco-Chic ER Maintenance Plan! Your Eco-Chic ER Maintenance Plan needs to be individualized to you and your life…it should have a little bit of style and a ton of patience. Some readers will already have a reusable to-go mug in hand and a few cloth shopping bags tucked in to their car or tote for the rushed trip to the grocery store. Others might have a snack in a reusable container so they don’t get a hunger attack on the way home and grab an unhealthy and overly packaged snack from the gas station or drive-thru. It all depends on YOU and YOUR needs.
So here are my top 5 tips for being Eco-Chic during a hectic week aka my Eco-Chic ER Maintenance Plan.
- Locate a reusable to-go mug for coffee or tea and hold on to it for dear life. The caffeine will be much needed and you won’t have to worry about the trail of disposable cups behind you as you travel to meetings. And, if you are me, you hide it from your boyfriend who steals your to-go mug on a regular basis and then leaves it in his car for weeks. Side note: I call Paul’s car “purgatory for to-go mugs.” He is not a fan of this statement…Probably because I only say/text it to him during an un-caffeinated rage because I do not have any coffee in my office. But he also brings home delicious treats and listens to me talk about my blog constantly so it all balances it out in the end.
- Have a secret snack spot in your office. I have a candy jar in my office to lure staff in to talk to me…I purposely buy candy that I don’t really like so I don’t snack on it all day. I have bags of almonds and dried fruit tucked in a drawer and I refill a little travel container for snacking in my office or on the run. Sometimes granola bars or homemade caramel makes an appearance too. But these snacks have saved me from many a crazy blood sugar drop and snack attack.
- Make easy eco-chic decisions. Sometimes your eco-option is right in front of you…your eyes just have to be open to see it. Um, yes you do sometimes have to tear your eyes away from your email that “conveniently” comes to your phone to be green. Many of the coffee locations that I frequent charge less for a coffee refill than a coffee in a new cup. And sometimes they have fair-trade or organic options…Do a quick scan of the labels and go! And the more fair-trade coffee that is consumed, the higher the demand. The higher the demand, the more your local retailers will notice that fair-trade coffee is valued by your community. And then they will consistently supply it! I also like to walk to close destinations (even in the bitter cold – the hot coffee helps). I get a few minutes to clear my head, move around a bit, and I save gas.
- Share your dedication to being eco-chic. I get very animated when I talk about the importance of reducing waste, upcycling, and eating local. People tend to listen. It could be that I have a dangerous glint in my eyes (I like to think that’s passion) or maybe they really are curious…but sometimes just re-dedicating myself to the earth out loud by sharing an eco-chic thought or action with a friend or co-worker helps remind me why I work hard to be eco-fabulous (yes, I went there).
- Treat yourself to a little something-something. Yes, I know I just used the words “reducing waste” in the above tip. But there are things in life you just can’t live without…like coffee in my case. So when I noticed that Common Sense with Money posted about Yuban Organic Coffee going on sale on Amazon, I ordered some. Now I know that I have a great coffee coming my way and I saved green while being green! A little treat for me and now my heart is smiling.
What do YOU do when you are out and about all day? Do you try to avoid disposable containers and plastic bags or just give yourself a day off? The Tiny Choices bloggers regularly write about being “Sherpas” while they travel around all day…Sometimes I feel like a Sherpa between my bags and mug and coupons. This is definitely my favorite analogy that I’ve ever seen on a blog.
Oh, and sometimes I watch adorable YouTube videos just to make sure that I laugh during the day…here’s one that is new to me but old to others…enjoy! (And thanks to Keeping up with the Jones for this link!)
Feel free to leave the names/locations of any resale/thrift shops that you’ve had lots of luck at in the comments! (only if you are ok with others possibly scooping up your finds!)