Yeah, I know. I missed earth day. Forgive me for sending his one out a little late, but I didn’t come up with this list until just a few days ago. As Revolutionaries, we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and our planet. There are lots of ways to go green, but did you know some are specific to women? Here are seven to get us started…
#1 – Be Messy
Yup – you read that right. Stop cleaning your house. Well, at least stop cleaning it so much. Did you ever wonder why you vacuum so often or do certain chores “on a schedule”? Probably because your mom did it that way and so did her mom, and her mom’s mom and so on. How about waiting to clean until something is really dirty? By that, I mean waiting until the level of “dirty” is slightly uncomfortable for you and then clean. Often we clean things before they are truly dirty, wasting our water, our time and polluting the environment with chemicals and bi-products. (And pass this on to the men who clean. I know this should be a shared activity, but let’s face it – women do most of the cleaning.)
#2 – Be A Diva
Feminine hygiene products are a huge part of landfills, but did you know you can avoid buying pads and tampons every month and use a simple product called a Diva Cup? I learned about this last year and bought one in September. It took me about 2 days to adjust to using it and I have never gone back to using traditional products since. When my girls are old enough, I will be sharing this tip with them. Not only are you saving the environment by using a Diva Cup, but you are saving a LOT of money each month!
#3 – Become a Heavy Drinker
Drink more. That sounds too easy and men need their fluids, too, so what does that have to do with women? I’m glad you asked. Women actually need to drink more than men, especially during monthly cycles and pregnancy. Rather than buying convenient bottles, pouches and drink boxes, find a glass or plastic water bottle that you can refill. I alternate between two plastic ones and I have a ceramic travel mug (shameless plug) for hot beverages. By the way, if you get into the habit of refilling your own containers, you can save a lot of money, especially if you can convert from buying sweetened drinks and enjoy the pureness of water.
#4 – Make Out With A Book
The greatest fuel for the women’s movement has been education. The more women who educated themselves, the greater the movement spread. The idea to “make out with a book” came to me last night as I was reading The Women’s Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other women suffragists. Lately, I have been diving into old books from some of the great writers of the women’s movement and I keep imagining them writing the very words I am reading while sitting at an old wooden desk or table by candlelight. Perhaps scripting the text with a fountain pen or a feather, long after the kids have been tucked in, and writing into the wee hours of the morning. So I thought why not read by candlelight? True Revolutionaries are always thirsting for knowledge and have a deep love for learning. Light a candle and get romantic with a book.
#5 – Take It All Off
Now I’m going to suggest you read naked. No, not literally, but one way we women can go green is to reduce the amount of beauty products we use. How far you take that is at your own discretion, but I personally have eliminated some hair and make-up products altogether and most days I don’t use anything at all. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone, but try it a couple days a week. Put your hair up instead of styling it with gel or skip the makeup and enjoy the benefits of sunlight on your skin (don’t burn yourself!). Every little action counts so join in when you can. It also sets a good example for our daughters and helps remind us that our perception of beauty is often distorted.
#6 – Make Sneaky Snacks
Since most women are the primary caregivers, we have a great opportunity to pass on good “green” habits to our kids. It’s also hard to convince kids to eat healthy with so many junk food options available at every turn. One way to do this is through what I call “sneaky snacks”. As a Mom with two very active girls, I can often be found driving from one practice to another. This is usually mid-afternoon when my kids are most likely to ask for a snack. I used to remind them to get their own on the way out the door until I came up with the “sneaky snacks” idea. Now I prepare a few snack-size options of fruits and veggies in advance. When my kids “forget” to bring a snack (because I intentionally didn’t remind them), I pull out the pre-made selections of grapes or carrots and save the day. Because we are stuck traveling, there are no other options but to starve, so there are no arguments. My kids are eating healthy and there’s no extra trash to deal with when we arrive.
#7 – Unplug Yourself
As a web developer, I am always looking for ways maximize the time I spend connected to the Internet and this crosses over into my personal web surfing. For women especially, the amount of marketing and reading material thrown at us is insane. To curb my online time, I use an RSS reader to consolidate my reading, skip the ads, and save time. This can be done on any type of computer and also on mobile phones that support web technology. Many Revolutionaries have followed my instructions and are now saving tons of time with RSS. Also, consider your source. If you are getting redundant news from multiple sources, pick the best one and let the others go. You have better things to do than read the same celebrity gossip ten times. Condense your online usage and use that extra free time to get outside and enjoy the planet your saving.