Each day, each decision – do your little bit of good where you are.

Each day, each decision – do your little bit of good where you are.

Do your little bit of good where you are: it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu

January is always a time of new hope. A fresh start. An opportunity for a new beginning. For many years I have unsuccessfully challenged myself to new year resolutions. Cliched, I know. And so far, not so good as the same resolutions come up for me year on year.

This year, I have purposefully not challenged myself to anything. I haven’t chosen a word for the year. I haven’t set my intention. But I have been inspired. With Desmond Tutu’s passing in December, I looked back at some of his words of wisdom. There was one quote that seems to have stayed with me since then – “Do your little bit of good where you are.”

All to often I don’t start. I research the things I think I should be doing to live better. I think about them. I punish myself with the reality of not doing them. But I am not always a consistent person. I hold myself back when I get overwhelmed about not getting things right, not doing them well enough. I get stuck in the planning phase. I think lots about being zero waste, about what we should be eating, and not eating. I think about going vegetarian, giving up dairy, eating only organic. I never quite get there.

This year, I’m going to try to hold this quote from Desmond Tutu near me. I know I’m not going to make it as a vegetarian, but I can decrease the amount of meat we eat. I’m never going to manage to go zero waste, but I can make different choices in the supermarket. I can be more conscious without having to be all or nothing. Each good decision contributes, and I can be okay with that. I don’t need to go all in, I don’t need the labels, I don’t need the looming sense of failure on one shoulder. Each day, each decision is okay.

So, I will try to do my little bit of good, right here in each moment. I’ll start with these easy swaps knowing each small change can make a difference:

  1. Add a can of lentils to Bolognese or Chilli con Carne – goes further, less meat consumption.
  2. Switch things out one at a time. I don’t need to go completely organic – but shifting to organic milk is an easy swap, won’t break the bank and
  3. Buy bigger sizes of things – I have always bought toiletries in the smaller sizes. I don’t know why I still do this when I no longer have to walk home from the supermarket with my shopping. Buying in larger sizes definitely reduces waste.
  4. Get into subscriptions – I love SMOL products, I order their dishwasher tablets, washing capsules and fabric softener on subscription. Partly because I’m lazy and not good at writing a shopping list, partly because they are much more environmentally friendly and finally because they are actually really decent.
  5. Choose the environmentally aware brands when shopping for cleaning products. Method makes a brilliant range of cleaning products, they smell amazing, work well and are available in lots of regular places.
  6. Cloths rather than kitchen roll. We reach for the kitchen roll way too quickly at home. A stash of old tea towels can be just as handy for spills around the house.
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Lyndsay Macaulay
Lyndsay Macaulay

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