[What I had for breakfast today: chicken congee, beet greens, egg, crisped chicken skin, leftover roast chicken and Adam's fantastic kimchi.]
Sometimes the tiniest adjustment can create massive change. For example, drinking more water or starting a gratitude practice can have an unbelievable impact on your physical and emotional well-being. Donating a small amount to a worthy organization can literally save a life. And making a commitment, just for yourself, to generate less waste can benefit the planet and all of its inhabitants in countless ways.
One tiny change I've made towards generating less waste is switching to a bar shampoo and vinegar hair rinse. It seems pretty trivial, but when I think about the number of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles I used to drop in the recycling bin compared to the zero I do now, it starts feeling less trivial. I also like feeling a little less responsible for the massive energy costs inherent to the production of plastic bottles. Moreover, my bar shampoo (J.R. Liggett's Coconut and Argan Oil, but there are lots of different shampoo bars out there worth checking out) has a limited ingredient list (olive, coconut, castor, sunflower, palm kernel and argan oils, plus vitamin E) and my conditioning rinse is just vinegar and water, so I know I'm not paying for the manufacture of awful chemicals nor sending awful chemicals out through my shower drain nor absorbing them into my scalp.
All I do is lather my hair up with the shampoo bar, rinse, and repeat. For the vinegar rinse, I bring a pint Mason jar into the shower with about an ounce of apple scrap vinegar in it. (Most people will tell you to use apple cider vinegar, but Adam made us about 20 gallons--not a typo!--of vinegar from the apple scraps leftover from pressing cider late last year, so I use that. Really you can use more or less any vinegar.) I fill up the jar with warm water in the shower, pour the diluted cider all over my head, let it sit for a bit, then rinse it out.
It took a few weeks for my hair to adjust to the unbottled approach, but now that it has I'm actually happier with it than I was before the switch.
So I'm not telling you this whole long story in the hopes, necessarily, that you'll start buying bar shampoo instead of bottled. I mean I'd be tickled if you did, but it could be anything, any miniscule adjustment with big and happy consequences. I'm telling you this whole story because I hope that you'll try, if not this, some other small change that both benefits you and ripples outward a far-reaching positive impact. I'm hoping you'll search for the spaces in your life where you feel ready to stretch, even a tiny bit, towards your best intentions. Because I have this idea that if we amass enough of these little shifts towards the greater good, the reach of their collective effects will astound us all.