Since it’s Earth Day today I thought I’d share a bit about how we’ve changed some of our habits over the years, to be kinder and gentler to the Earth that we live on.
Prior to having children, I never really considered myself particularly ‘green’. I recycled, took some reusable containers for lunch, shopped second hand occasionally, but nothing that I put too much thought into.
After having our second daughter Lila, something changed. I actually turned around the bottles of the products I was using and really read the ingredients for the first time. Of course I’d read them in the past, but never really gave them a second thought. But now I was, and I was really quite disturbed when I started trying to figure out what all these ingredients were, where they came from, and what potential side effects they may be having on myself, my family, and our world.
At first I only set out to replace the personal care products we used as a family (moisturizer, deodorant, face wash, etc), but after a while, friends and family became curious and started asking for the natural skin care products I was making as well. Once Eran and I began to combine his extensive knowledge of Chinese herbs with my research and product development, everything just clicked, and it became an awesome project that we worked together on. That’s how Sola was created.
Creating a line of natural skincare products has caused us to look at all aspects of our lives in terms of the impact on our bodies and the environment. Nowadays, I’m much more aware of the waste we are creating, the consumer choices we make in groceries, clothing, toys, and other household items. Before purchasing, we really ask ourselves if we need something new. Can we fix something we already have? Buy second hand? Do without? How can we recycle soft plastics and granola bar wrappers? Can we bring our own bags and containers to fill up bulk purchases? Eliminate saran wrap? Use cloth diapers, wipes and napkins? Grow our own veggies?
There are so many things that have changed for us over the years, but I think it’s important to emphasize that these changes have been gradual. I always ensure that my sanity comes first. If I need to buy that bottle of water because I forgot my reusable container and I’d rather buy water than juice or pop, I will and I won’t beat myself up over it either. If I don’t eat healthy because I’m busy or stressed or am relying on take-out more than I’d like, again, sanity and balance are first for me. However, for the vast majority, we as a family have evolved to make better choices that create less waste in our lives.
Just a peek into how we have become more Earth-conscious over the years. Our planet is facing many pressing challenges and while people often say ‘…well, how will one person make a difference?’ I’m reminded of a story about a boy who was throwing back starfish that had washed up on the shore. There were hundreds of them, and a man came upon him picking up one at a time and throwing them back into the ocean. He asked the boy… “There are so many starfish! How will you ever make a difference?” The boy calmly replied, as he kept picking them up one by one and throwing them back, “Well, it made a difference to that one, and that one, and that one….”
Collectively we can make a difference.