Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Making the World a Better Place

My wife and I are going through a touch of a life readjustment. Things aren't so bad now that we've cut some of our costs and moved into a cheaper apartment, but in many ways we're returning to where we were 5 years ago, when we first got married. Finding myself living in an apartment that is almost exactly like the one we lived in when we first got together (only mirrored) has had me thinking about the past a lot. I realized recently that my perspective has shifted in a lot of ways since then.

When we were in college, when we were just starting out, there were a lot of things that we did that we have moved away from over the years. We had thoughts and ideas that, as we moved into a real house and got real jobs, we thought about less and less as we tried to make our way in the rat race of real life. These things were small, but they were our way of trying to make the world a better place.

We used to try to donate money to charities.

We used to use those reusable shopping bags.

We used to recycle (or try to, anyway).

We used to try to eat healthier.

Somewhere along the way, I feel like I lost some of that in myself. I became so concerned about carving out what I thought of as a successful life for me that I stopped caring about being a successful person--and a successful person in my definition is someone who tries to live in a way that reflects his values.

I'm not such a hippy that I'm going to, like, start making my own toothpaste or some such. But I want to try to make more of an effort to, in my own small way, make the world a better place.

I've been taking Crystal Light and a water bottle to work rather than the bottled sodas and teas that I was taking because I want to start cutting down on the liquids that we buy. Liquids are extremely heavy and result in a lot of carbon emissions to ship them. If I can cut down on the amount I'm buying, in the smallest way, I can try to reduce my carbon footprint.

In the same way, I'm going to continue walking/biking to work as weather permits. This will help us save gas, which will save us both money and reduce the amount of fuel spent.

I've purchased a reusable shopping bag. We used to have a ton of them and we kept forgetting to use them. Well, I only bought one, but if I can build the habit of using it, I'll get a couple more and start doing my grocery shopping like that to reduce our plastic waste.

I'm trying to cut down the amount of meat--specifically beef--that I eat. This is both healthier, and again, better for the environment.

This isn't world changing stuff. I'm not going to stop eating beef and wake up to the effects of climate change suddenly disappearing. Nor do I want to be that person that makes others feel crappy for their life decisions. But these were small things we used to try to make the world a better place in our own way. And going back to our more humble beginnings has me thinking that maybe we can get back to that. And this time, as we build up our careers once again and build toward a more financially stable future, I'd like to remember who I am and keep these things in the forefront of my mind.

I'm going to be looking for way to make the world a better place. Little things that I can do throughout the year to try to make a positive impact on the world.

I'll keep you posted.