Sweating the small stuff (is that cliché enough?)

A large part of the average woman’s day is spent in front of her mirror. A Southern Belle has got to look her best at all times (just in case her Knight in Shining Lifted Pick-up Truck comes along). And the morning is prime time for primping. There’s the curling, flattening, pulling, plucking, shmearing, lining, moisturizing, applying, wiping, blotting, covering, spreading, and a whole number of other -ing verbs that relate to all sorts of hygiene and vanity. My morning on the other hand, is spent waking, brushing, dressing, and leaving. I don’t have time or energy for much more. I prepare the occasional cup of tea and have time to choose a pair of earrings as my Girly touch for the day but that’s about it.

Thus, my morning routine is green. Unless I have a special event I don’t need to keep the bathroom light on while I apply layers of makeup. Unless I’m having a “I-don’t-have-anything-to-wear” day I won’t leave my bedroom light or AC on (and let’s be honest… If you knew me you’d assume I get dressed in the dark anyways). And while it may take me an hour to find an outfit that fits the “business casual” description (because I am completely unfit for anything with the word “business” in it), I like to think that my lack of energy use in the morning gives me a free pass to take up hours of overhead lighting while I try on every black dress I own.

Since my hygiene regiment is quite sustainable I decided to dissect my habits to determine the level of green-ness I am actually practicing. Below I have my daily routine listed (welcome to my mornings, ladies and gentlemen) along with a number I assigned based on a completely bogus, self-made Green Scale. The scale goes as follows:

  • 0: No impact
  • 1: Small impact (but I cannot avoid this activity)
  • 2: Slightly excessive impact
  • 3: Large impact (why am I doing this?)
My morning routine:
  • Wake up to cell phone alarm clock: 1
  • Use the potty: 1
  • Put contacts in: 1
  • Make tea: 2
  • Put phone on charger (if needed): 1
  • Turn on CNN and ignore it all morning: 3
  • Turn on a freaking light to get dressed: 2
  • Brush teeth: 1
  • Get dressed: 0
  • Decide on what earring to wear… in the dark: 0
  • Think about putting on mascara and make funny faces in the bathroom mirror instead: 2
  • Accidentally leave AC on in bedroom: 3
  • Open fridge to get reusable water bottle: 1
  • Leave apartment: 0
Not bad, eh? I could definitely do more to make an impact in the morning. At least after writing all of that down I realized that I don’t need to have my TV tuned in to CNN every morning and I definitely don’t need to contemplate mascara (considering I rarely decide that I am actually going to wear it).
While this post is not necessarily about something I am changing significantly, it sheds light on the fact that my simple routines serve as sustainable practices. Thinking more about it, I can think of 100 little things I can do each day to reduce my carbon footprint. And maybe starting small was something I should have done a long time ago anyways. I am proud of myself for giving up meat (I miss you, bacon), using my car a lot less, and improving my tush muscles by walking everywhere but all the tiny wasteful things I do each day are adding up. I can feel the pressure of my oversized carbon footprint and I want to do everything I can to reduce it. So I am going to be sweating the small stuff to make my footprint shrink.
Hmm. What to do first? I already only shower when I need to (TMI again?). I turn off lights impulsively and it’s irritating to my friends. I bring my own handkerchief and cutlery almost everywhere. I am not smart enough to figure out most electronics so that’s one source of energy that doesn’t contribute to my footprint. Maybe I could stop doodling while I take notes in class?… Save some ink? Or I could pay in exact change to keep that change in circulation. Or maybe I could stop using electricity to run this laptop that I’m posting on? At this point I’m just rambling anyways…
Peace out, loyal readers (and by “loyal readers” I mean a few close friends and my mom).

6 thoughts on “Sweating the small stuff (is that cliché enough?)

  1. Hey Jane! I’m glad you put your link to your blog on facebook- I love stalking blogs. Anyhoo, do you have any suggestions for eco-friendly makeup that doesn’t cost a fortune or how to reuse/ recycle makeup containers (i.e. my mascara tube)?

    Btw, I also dress in the dark every morning. IMPACTlove!

    1. One huge way to reduce the impact (hehe) of your makeup routine is to find makeup that is minimally packaged with only what you need. So when you’re buying eye shadow don’t buy the one wrapped in plastic that comes with an extra eyeshadow brush that you’ll throw away right when you open it. It’s also good to check the ingredients on the package. If there are words that scare you I would put that one down and opt to find the Bare Mineral section (or any of the products that advertises their use of minerals). Though I have not switched over all of my products to the kind with few scary words, I am definitely in the process of making that move.
      While I was searching for eco-friendly options I came across this website (http://tartecosmetics.com/reduce-reuse-recycle.php) and started to look at their products based on the categories on that link. I think I am going to try at least one of the products from this site. I’ll keep you updated on what I choose and how well it works. There is also the whole section in Earth Fare dedicated to more natural solutions to hygiene and beauty. I spend about 30 minutes in there every time I grocery shop because they have so many options. Maybe one day I will actually choose a product!

  2. Jane, you never cease to amaze me. Your daily routine has certainly changed from when you lived at home and showered sometimes twice a day. The amount of laundry you produced was unthinkable for one person , as I watched it trickle down the “prom staircase” in our home. Your electric hair straightener was a daily activity and with the amount of hair you have sometimes an insane amount of time spent.
    I am happy to hear that you are reducing your “carbon footprint”, a phrase I actually love, but as your mother, sad that you only shower when needed. I think that’s a daily activity. And this too is the reason…. well you know the rest.
    I love you.

    1. Haha. Thanks, Mom. I somehow knew that would come out! I’m definitely showering often enough. I promise.

      And I’m so glad to be done with a hair straightener. That was such a waste of my time. You and dad gave me awesome hair genes… why change a thing?

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