Once when my sister was little, she ran smack dab into a cabinet and bonked her head. My mom opened the silverware drawer and pulled out a butter knife. She turned to my sister, who in turn took off screaming, convinced my mom was trying to kill her…or so the story goes. Of course, my mom was just doing exactly what her mom had done for her as a child when she bumped her head, and probably her mother’s mother had done for my Grandma– houses weren’t as well insulated, drawers and cabinets were cool, silverware was cold, a perfect remedy to a fresh bruise! It makes sense!
Household tradition was sorta the original lifehack, right? For the most part, our daily habits are likely still based in the household traditions and learned conveniences passed down from generations, some of which are time-honored and lovely, and some of which are hilarious and involve lunging at your injured child with a knife.
But part of adulthood is figuring out your own way of doing things and creating new traditions. I never really questioned my own daily habits until an embarrassingly late epiphany a few years ago. I think the instigator was paper towels. Someone mentioned they were cutting back on their paper towel usage and my brain blew up.
So, let me get this straight, you are actively attempting to stop using a product I’ve used multiple times a day, everyday, all my life — AND you are going to find something that WORKS JUST AS WELL IF NOT BETTER!
You can guess what happened next! I bought some sponges and my mom crocheted me a bunch of dishrags and I switched to a squeegee for mirrors and windows.
Oh, and my life was changed forever.
Because now I KNEW. And I could never forget that great fact.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO EVERYTHING.
That was it. That was the big epiphany. It seems simple, but for me, it changed my whole way of life!
I began to question more and more of my rituals, habits, and daily decisions. It wasn’t about rebelling against the world I had once known, in fact, I have the utmost respect for the traditions and habits from my childhood. However, it was important to me to question my habits and educate myself on options that made me feel most comfortable, fulfilled, and authentic. For me, that means a continuous process of finding the most sustainable, least environmentally-destructive alternative to my daily habits — but balancing that quest with self-care rituals, so I don’t completely lose myself in the overwhelming task of saving the planet.
ALTERNATIVES EXIST TIP #1
- Try reusable towels, rags, and sponges instead of paper towels!
- Keep a knife in the freezer as an alternative to ice packs to really freak out your child or loved one next time they bump their head!