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Rebel Without a Car – 21 Days of Sustainability

Year of the Snake

This past year has been a transformative one for me. I transformed from a woman into a mother and lots of my attitudes towards life have changed. I’m glad to be alive today and I’m glad about many of my choices in life because I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the past. By being here today, I want to make the best out of tomorrow, not only for myself but also for my son. 

It’s a New Year’s tradition to embrace bold and ambitious resolutions that commit us to new behaviors and attitudes. It’s also a tradition to bite off more than we can chew, resulting in a swift return to old thoughts, old habits, and old behaviors.

Behavioral Psychologists say that it takes 21 days of repetition for actions to turn into habits and as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

I would like to live an excellent life, one that is sustainable, and I invite you to join me on a 21-day journey where we embrace 21 simple acts that will result in establishing 2013 as the Year of Sustainability.

21 Days of Sustainability:

  1. Stick a small foldable canvas bag into your purse or back pocket. (These samples) are for large orders but I’m sure you can find similar ones at your local grocery or boutique stores)
  2. Ask for ceramic cup when ordering a cup of Joe at your local coffee shop.
  3. Take public transportation or ride a bike to your acting class (ask a fellow actor to join you).
  4. Inflate your car’s tires to the max, which will save your fuel and also money.
  5. Buy your new toothbrush from LifeWithoutPlastic, made from wood and pig hair bristles. (Or buy Trader Joe’s Preserve Toothbrushes, which is Upcycled and BPA free and you can recycle again with free postage)
  6. Use organic coconut oil for daily moisturizing, hair conditioning or after-sun treatment.
  7. Clean your sink with salt and lemon. (Both act as cleaner and disinfectant and the lemon will make your home smell nice)
  8. Get a couple of turkey stuffing bags (I found them at the 99¢ Store) to bag your produce in. (You can also cut the legs and foot part of your old stockings tie a knot at the bottom and use those.)
  9. If you own a house, water your garden late at night, when water can seep in and not evaporate in the sun.
  10. Pack your own lunch in reusable containers (healthier for you and the planet).
  11. Unplug your appliances at home when you are away. (If you work 9-5, chances are that you are away from home about 10 hours each day. Your coffee maker, printer, computer, radio, chargers, etc. that are plugged in, use up electricity. Unplug everything, or what is easy to get to, and see your utility bill drop. This will be an incentive to stay unplugged while away from home.)
  12. Buy seasonal produce, next time you go grocery shopping.
  13. Iron your clothes without the steam on. Instead use a spray bottle. This will reduce energy usage and won’t clog up the iron with mineral deposits.
  14. Hang your clothes to dry, instead of using a dryer. This will keep your laundry and your home fresh and you can save those quarters for your next bus trip to your acting class.
  15. Eat less beef products. (Beef contributes to greenhouse gases, water usage, and also cholesterol. You want to stay in shape for the next on-camera gig, so watch your waistline while at the same time being sustainable)
  16. Donate your old clothes to Goodwill, your books to the library, your computers to a school in need, your DVDs and movies to Amoeba Music.
  17. Next time you wash your windows or your mirrors, use vinegar instead of commercial cleaning products.
  18. Carry with you a refillable water bottle.
  19. Recycle ALL your electronics, batteries, VHS tapes, DVDs, light bulbs, etc.
  20. Plan ahead for upcoming gifting opportunities and break the clutter cycle by giving gifts that can be consumed or experienced. Things you can sip or chew contribute to great memories, so do tickets to a play, a movie, or a museum.
  21. Follow Newsweek’s lead and look for opportunities to go paperless. From newsletters to invoices and bills to solicitations and advertising, give your circle of influence permission to give up the pulp!

I wish you all a sustainable, healthy, and Happy New Year with lots of acting opportunities and opportunities to make a difference in your community!

This article appeared in the on-line magazine for actors The Networker, in January 2012.


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