Sometimes we feel that taking care of resources is a waste of time and effort. How can we motivate ourselves when we see other people wasting so much? I think the answer lies in mindfulness, influence and the celebration of all things small.
If I am kind to a small child, that kindness is not considered wasteful. I have brought happiness to a child, given her an example of how to live well, showed those around us how to do the same and made me feel good about myself. The drop in the pool is felt far from where the stone lands.
It is the same when we save leftovers, scrape out a jar, reuse waste water. We can do all these things as small acts of mindful kindness towards those who will inhabit our world after us and towards the natural world we all inhabit.
Mother Teresa once said:
If you can’t do great things, do little things with great love.
If you can’t do them with great love, do them with a little love.
If you can’t do them with a little love, do them anyway. Love grows when people serve.
So, in the spirit of love, here are my small, kind ways to help the planet.
- Swill out the remaining juice from tinned tomatoes, or cook-in sauces with a little hot water, which you can then add to the pan.
- Chop up the stalks of the broccoli and either eat them raw, or sneak them into the cooking pot.
- When you have only the dregs left in your shampoo bottle, fill it up with water, shake it, and use the water to wash your hair.
- Take the water from undrunk water bottles and tip it on the plants.
- Wash plastic sandwich bags and hang them up to dry.
- Keep even small portions of leftover dinner to eat with a jacket potato for lunch.
Above all, do these things mindfully and with as much love as you can muster. Never become a plastic bag washing martyr.