Today is Earth Day!

Its Earth day! This time year we dedicate a conscious effort to help the planet. We are borrowing this earth from the next generation and we should leave it better than we found it. Consider your carbon foot print not just in the larger scale but in the simple things we do at home.

Here are the top 10 things you can do.

  1. Save energy at home. Choose energy-saving appliances if they’re available. Look for Energy Star!
  2. Buy locally, or grow your own! Reduce air pollution caused by food and goods transport.
  3. Dispose of solid and liquid wastes and medications safely. (Are there paint cans sitting around?)
  4. Reduce. Cut back on the amount of ‘stuff’ that could later end up as waste.
  5. Reuse. Upcycle! Take something that is disposable and transform it into something of greater use and value.
  6. Recycle metals, plastics and paper.
  7. E-cycle. Recycle and/or properly dispose of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets.
  8. Don’t litter! Properly dispose of trash and waste.
  9. When purchasing goods, opt for sustainable, recycled or reused resources. Choose items in less packaging.
  10. Pass on gas! Take public transportation, carpool, plan your day to reduce trips and vehicle emissions.

Where can you go to shop local? Try a garage sale, Second hand stores, Estate sales, Antique shops, Community Resale Events, Shop at Etsy.

Don’t think that our efforts won’t go unnoticed. Its important to know that every little bit helps.The more planning in your home or office you take to process through your paperwork and “stuff” you own, you’ll discover that you’ll have less to sort through on a daily basis. Why not dedicate Earth day to an effort that benefits you and your family. This will save you time and money as well. We can’t just think that it is a corporation’s obligation to find a solution for a better environment, we can take it seriously and do what we can as well.

How do we let go?

When it comes to organizing and creating a system making room for our new goals is imperative. It sometimes requires clearing out our clutter first, especially when our spaces are overwhelmed with “stuff”.

I recently spoke with Eve Brownstone, a therapist, who gave us her perspective on how our attachments can be overcome.

“The Importance of Letting Go”
By Eve Brownstone, MA, LCPC

“It’s springtime. Time for spring-cleaning. Easier said than done. Our stuff may be important to us. A mug might represent a special time in our lives (college days) and/or piece of clothing may represent a particular relationship- grandma’s housedress.

When someone we love passes, my grandmother for example, it makes it harder to let go. I tell myself that I am keeping my grandmother in my heart. I don’t need to wear her moomoo. Not sure if that is a word.

Last year My mom passed from ALS. It was tough going through mom’s things. My sisters and I shared a lot of tears. I realize that mom is not her things. She was a loving person and a bright spirit. However having her necklace to hold and wear makes me feel closer to her and remember her. Spring-cleaning doesn’t mean you have to let go of everything.

We brought a lot of mom’s clothes to resale and thrift stores. We wanted people to enjoy her colorful wardrobe. Mom had a lot of scarves. Something I did that I am proud of I gave some of mom’s best scarves to her scrabble buddies. After retiring mom would spend much of her summer by the pool swimming with her grand kids and playing scrabble. Even when mom was very sick she would go down and play in her wheelchair. These scrabble buddies were medicine for mom. I am grateful to them.

I find when I let go of things there is a sense of new possibilities, new doors to open. I am not shutting doors on my loved ones, but opening new doors for myself. I wish you well in your spring-cleaning and the process of letting go. Trust the process.”

Eve is in private practice in Chicago.
Eve Brownstone can be reached at 773-859-1276 or brownstonetherapeutics@gmail.com