A million tiny moments make up our experience of the world so why do we always get so caught up in the big stuff? One day, Robert Weiskopf, the late, beloved professor of psychology at IU threw a metal trash can across the lecture room in Jordan Hall. It made a terrible sound and startled me half to death. Not to mention it made a mess as he did not realize it was full. He was teaching about flashbulb memory - the concept of remembering things in more detail when they are accompanied by information or an event that seems surprising, consequential, or impactful. Which explains why I remember a lecture from 1993, but not why I cannot for the life of me remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery.
The news is consumed with reports of devastating natural disasters, and it should be. There is much discussion on how best to save the planet, who is to blame, and how to fix it. So much so, that it can cause overwhelm, and quite frankly that often leads to doing nothing. Many inspiring people are living zero-waste lives, diving into dumpsters to recover perfectly good food to eat, and running off to work disaster relief. And then there are the rest of us struggling to find balance in our often overwhelmingly busy lives and regretting the dry-January and intermittent fasting challenges we committed to on Instagram (well, not me, I've never willingly fasted a day in my life).
Last week I mentioned that our family tries to focus on learning a new cooking genre or technique each year. The idea is to enhance our experience but to do it in a way that doesn't overwhelm and cause us to abandon the process. May I suggest that this is a good strategy for living a more mindful or sustainable life as well? Choose a way to make an impact that feels sustainable (pun intended) and implement it into your lifestyle. Once that feels like your new normal, add another. Reusable produce bags (pictured above) will be our family's next step in reducing our plastic use.
Below you'll find tips, inspiring accounts to follow, and items we've stocked to help you along your journey. While the scale of a problem may be overwhelming and shocking, it is truly the small choices and acts, done by everyone, each day that will make a lasting impact and change.
If you have techniques for incorporating manageable change into your daily lives, email your inspiration and we will share in upcoming newsletters.
We already stock bento boxes, fabric patterned lunch boxes and clip-top glass jars with neoprene totes & forks as non-disposable lunch transport options. Now we have Tiffins! Tiffins are traditionally used in India to deliver hot lunches to workers throughout the cities. Stainless steel containers are stacked and then locked together. These are perfect for transporting salads, snacks, and leftovers to work or school. Plus you get to say "Tiffin" which is just fun.
Ditch single-use items at home and work and remember to decline plastic silverware when carrying out if possible. Try keeping a ceramic bowl or plate in your desk or office. Not only will it heighten your experience, but it will also make a small impact each and every day.
We admittedly have not completely ditched plastic wrap in our house (we try to reserve it for wrapping portioned raw meat for freezing). We have greatly reduced our usage with the help of reusable food storage. Rather than wrapping leftovers in plastic, we use reusable containers or Bee's Wrap. Empty jam and jelly jars make great snack containers or pantry item storage as well. Explore our selection of snack bags and reusable storage next time you are in the shop.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Is this a second picture of a bowl? Why yes, yes it is. Because we love bowls! However, let's focus on the towel. Single-use paper napkins and towels can be easily be reduced if not eliminated and that will save a pretty penny in your budget. Have you seen the cost of paper towels lately? Be kind to your finances and add towels of varying fabrics over time. Linen and flour sack towels are great for baking and drying glasses and china, micro-fiber and terrycloth are wonderful for absorption and cleaning, while basic cotton work for just about anything. We've used cloth napkins in our house for over a decade and sometimes like the size of a kitchen towel subbed in as a napkin. It makes a meal feel that much more special.
We love these new re-usable bowl covers for use in bread-proofing, but they work well to protect any food you have out on the counter or are chilling in the fridge. The inside is lined with a wipable surface and you can toss them in your wash along with your cloth napkins and hand towels for cleaning. Bonus feel-good moment? Proceeds from each purchase support Education Without Borders.
Jihea Kim of @ecolifechoices is a sustainability consultant in London. Her feed is a diary promoting mindful living and low-impact living. Rachel and Scott expose the delight of slow and simple living in the woods @plantedinthewoods and @the.eco.warrior is the feed is an Australian based company promoting low waste options - many of which we carry variations of in the shop. If you want to support Australia in a different way, try purchasing from an Australian based company. This shop has neutral emission worldwide shipping.
Reduce Food Waste
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.