Written by 10:54 am sustainability notes • One Comment

Sustainability Notes #2

Sustainability Notes is a monthly guide to what’s going on in my world and the sustainability world at large.

Sustainability Notes is a monthly guide to what’s going on in my world and the sustainability world at large.

Well hello from the heat of early summer. We’ve had a few days pushing 90F already and I’m over it. Sometimes the fight against the climate crisis feels very selfish to me. I hate hot weather.

But anyway!

I’m still here, balancing getting back to my normal routines and remaining a good, safe citizen. I’m still staying at home 100% – aside from walks around the neighborhood – because I can. I’m trying to avoid the existential weight of being a potential vector as best I can.

As someone who’s not meditative in the least, it’s been an interesting experience to slow down and just accept things as they come. Ugh.

A little more practically… when I get down about my granular habits, I try to do something bigger, which – as I need to keep reminding myself – is more of a benefit to the planet.

Portrait of someone who’s given up on looking presentable.

Currently reading

Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger edited by Lilly Dancyger. “We’re expected to be composed and compliant, but in a world that would strip us of our rights, disparage our contributions, and deny us a seat at the table of authority, we’re no longer willing to quietly seethe behind tight smiles.” I read through this collection of essays in a few hours and really enjoyed it, though as someone quite prone to anger I didn’t have as much of a connection to it as I’d thought.

50 ways to be more sustainable (that have nothing to do with plastic packaging) by Sustainable in the Suburbs. Simple and to the point, Sarah’s list of sustainable actions is wonderful. (And not just because she shouted me out!)

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks. I’ve just started reading this one. and it’s a really great look into the problems of our classrooms and how we can do much, much better. A must-read for all educators.

What I’ve been working on

It’s been slow, I’m not going to lie. Trying to fight the need to feel constantly busy/productive, as usual, but it’s doubly amplified by the fact that nothing is happening.

Still, I’ve been doing my own little hustles around the internet:

Recent videos

Recent blog posts

  • The big list of ethical alternatives to Amazon (25+ stores!). This post has… blown up. It got picked up somehow and has over 80,000 views. Wild. While it’s always sad that posts that promote buying resonate far further than anything in-depth I write, I do hope it leads some shoppers to some of the deeper discussions we have here!
  • A year of zero waste, month-by-month. I finally put together a post based off a popular graphic I made several years ago. If you’re looking for information on a certain aspect of living more zero waste, check out this post. It’s got all the links you could ever want.
  • The 10 in 15 challenge: zero waste decluttering. If you’re ready to let go of your things, but worry that minimizing is inherently anti-zero waste – it doesn’t have to be. The 10 in 15 challenge is the perfect way to start zero waste decluttering without mindlessly throwing things into your garbage bin!
Little Free Pantry - PollyBarks.com
Future Little Free Pantry!

Things I like

My new little free pantry! I had a local kid make this for me so I can have a more permanent setup for the food and hygiene items I put outside my house. I’m just waiting for my outdoor paint to arrive so I can seal it and put it outside! I’ve talked about little free pantries before if you want to find out more.

I also grabbed two For Days shirts (affiliate) to try out. So comfortable and I love their zero waste model of taking clothing back once you need a replacement! I was replacing a few of the ratty summer t-shirts now destined to become rags so naturally I got a… black long-sleeved t-shirt. #SummerReady

Cool comments

Such a lovely, lovely comment from Loralee on one of my recent YouTube videos:

… our everyday actions DO make/have an impact regardless of how we feel. Remember that. Do not let the pushback make you feel defeated—more pushback usually means it is more important that we keep doing what we are doing. One way parenting (I know you aren’t one but it is the only analogy I can think of right now) helps me understand this is that at the time you are drawing boundaries and teaching your ethics to your kids you don’t know what kind of impact you are having because the children haven’t grown up yet and are not articulate enough to explain how it is helping them; you can only hope you are having a positive impact for the future…

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments! What have you been up to – still WFH? What are you reading and watching?

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