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Environmental burn-out

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Sometimes, even Santa Claus needs a break, right? I mean, after Christmas and his sleigh-ride around the globe--he must take a few days off. When your mind starts to notice every environmental foible, it can get exhausting. Here are some examples. The goal as I write this is to gain some green perspective, and I hope it helps you too.


I'm in a plastic-free group on Facebook. They'll point out every single flaw in a product that isn't 100 percent plastic-free, even if it's recycled and doing a lot of good for the world and the humans around them. Even if you'll reuse it a hundred or a thousand times. All plastic is evil to them, and you might get kicked out of the group if you admit otherwise.


I left a routine medical visit this morning with my plastic water cup from their office, then reused it at home for my beet powder mix--and after that, I added it to my recycling pile. (I'm that person who saves my to-go containers to use them for a plant or gardening project later.) But still, what if it had been a paper cup instead? Or what if I'd remembered to grab my reusable canteen, that I usually bring with me everywhere I go? Is it really my problem at every turn?


I think the first part of the general "problem" or burn-out issue is a good one. It means you start to see things others don't. Sure, I leave a fast food restaurant and take my container home to recycle it in my own blue bin, when there's no on-site recycling bin. It probably looks weird, but my hubby and teens are used to me being #thatmom. I also save straws (when we aren't using our paper or metal ones) to make art projects later--a creative way of #reusing materials that aren't generally #recyclable.

But, sometimes, meat juice gets onto the deli meat wrapper--or mustard gets onto the now-empty tortilla bag, and I end up tossing them into the regular landfill bin. I even hesitate mid-toss--cuz I could rinse them, wait for them to dry, and add them to my store drop-off pile of #recyclables. But it's just going to be too much of a mess cuz I've got mail on the island, the sink is full of dishes, and my to-do list is long for the day.

So, is there grace in these moments? Even though I'm an environmental influencer? And an environmental journalist? YES! It happens--we occasionally get a time-out where we aren't saving the world. And that's okay. I sometimes throw regular mail into the trash bin as well. Plus, I'll sometimes throw the cardboard from the empty toilet paper roll into the regular trashcan. Ahhhh!


To be the best environmental motivators and to make the biggest impact, we have to remind our readers and ourselves that we're not Mother Teresa when it comes to saving the earth. Just because microplastics are now showing up in wine samples, along with water samples from oceans and lakes--and even air samples from national parks, we aren't super-heroes. I mean, Aquaman or Superman could do it, but maybe we can't.

The catalyst needs to be others seeing you when you're caught up being 90-95 percent amazingly green. It's possible I'm underselling my own abilities, and maybe I could be 100 percent amazing all the time, but giving a little room to blow it once in a while actually keeps us motivated about the cause. Giving grace so we can keep caring so much! That's what it's about.

Let me know your thoughts below. I'd love to get your feedback. Especially if it's from Jason Momoa or Henry Cavill. LOL :)

Written by GIL founder: Dianne Bright

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I can totally relate! I came home from dinner out tonight with a styrofoam to-go container and paused to analyze where the container would end up. My mind quickly segued to my kitchen drawer that holds all of my regular & decaf coffee pods. Do they go to the same place? And how big is the pile becoming?

Wow! It's a LOT to take in. I do my best to live a green life, but I MUST do better! I'm switching to San Francisco brand coffee pods that are totally biodegradable! And the coffee is outstanding! That seems like a small step, but at least it's in the right direction. And your article has inspired me to never give up!

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