Yesterday’s Act left me feeling a little bit unsure – it was a jolly action to do, and seemingly free from controversy. Simples:
Act N°11: Post It Postman
We all appreciate a bit of encouragement – something to cheer us up, make us laugh or feel appreciated. This act is about being generous with mini-encouragements in ingenious ways.
I’ve got five minutes: Pop a Post-it note that says ‘You’re AMAZING/REALLY SUPER/GREAT AT COLOURING’ in your kid’s lunchbox. Or scribble a compliment for your spouse on the kitchen chalkboard. Or write and tell your neighbour that you really appreciate them keeping their hedges so trim. Keep it short and super-sweet.
I’ve got 10 minutes: Create a mini Post-it treasure hunt. Choose a person you know – a colleague, your spouse, your best mate – and leave a trail of encouraging Post-its for them to find throughout the day. Take ten minutes to write them (give it some thought!) and five to hide them in places you know they’ll be found.
Go bonkers: Oh we love this one. Let’s take this to the lamp-posts, library books, gym lockers and supermarket shelves. Stick random notes of encouragement in public places for strangers to find.
And yet… I had ten minutes or so before I had to leave for work so I wrote a couple of Post Its to leave for Mr FD to find, all the while feeling slightly uncomfortable. Why? Because he knows I’m following 40 Acts, and because I’ve never done anything like this before, I was concerned that he would think “She’s only doing this because it is an act” As I’ve said before, it is often easier doing these Challenges for strangers (which I did: I stuck a couple of encouraging post its in the washrooms at the company where I was teaching all day) Mr FD said at the end of the day “Thank you for making me smile” – which is good – but I am still not convinced…Maybe, in fact, the thing to do is to make this something I do on a regular (or irregular!) basis so that, yes, it may have started as “an act” but it has become “real”.
But, in the spirit of 40 Acts, I will continue regardless: Today I’m working from home, and so I plan on preparing some more Post Its and wandering round the village sticking them in random places. As my Post It notes are the cheaper version, they won’t stick anywhere, so I’ll have to find indoor locations! (Bus shelter…Mairie…shop shelves…who knows?!)
Speaking of feeling uncomfortable, we come to today’s Act…
Act N° 12: Kick the Bottle
If you had to live without plastic for a week, could you manage? No bags, no food containers, no toothbrush. Tricky. We need to work out a way to reduce our consumption and recycle as part of a generous lifestyle. Today we’ll start small.
One Green Bottle: Today, keep track of every plastic item you use and throw away. The first step to making a difference is being mindful. In case you need any more convincing on the green front, watch and share this video to see why plastic really isn’t that fantastic. A quick & effective way to prep? Pray. Ask God to be at the centre of your generosity this Lent.
Two Green Bottles: Commit to dropping some plastic from your life – like trading that bottled water or takeaway coffee cup for a decent reusable version instead. Show us yours using #40acts!
Three Green Bottles: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Repurpose it. Have a look at this handy blog, and then see if you can get a bit crafty and creative today.
This really is a challenge that makes me wriggle uncomfortably in my chair, and avoid meeing anyone’s eye.
I have become more and more aware of how much plastic we throw away – and that is even with fairly concientious recycling. I save paper that has been used for handouts etc, and recycle that. I use reusable supermarket bags (and I remember to take them to the supermarket – although not always to other shops!) . We have our recycling bags in the bottom of the cupboard and take them to the recycling point every couple of weeks: glass, tins, cardboard, plastic bottles, they all get recycled. I save my bottle caps for Bouchons d’amour
there is so much other plastic that gets chucked – mostly from wrappings around foodstuffs and other things we buy.
I have already tried to reduce this a little by taking my own sturdy bags for placing fruit and veg in… but often I buy my fruit & veg at Lidl because it’s cheaper, and there it is already wrapped up in reams of plastic: plastic “baskets” with plastic around them, all of which gets thrown away…
Cold meats, cheese – all wrapped in plastic that is not recyclable. And I buy it at Lidl because it’s cheaper. For me, of course, not the planet.
However, the thing that makes me shuffle my feet and look at the floor most of all, are those dear sweet Kitties that we have. And I’m not sure how to solve this one… Like most pampered puss cats they are fussy about their food and have decided that tinned food Will Not Be Tolerated. Only pouches are good enough. Plastic pouches.
4 cats: 6 pouches a day (1 each in the evening, 1 between two in the morning) = 42 plastic pouches tossed every week. That’s one heck of a lot of plastic. But if we get anything different they won’t eat it. I’ve thought about making bags out of the pouches, à la fruit juice carton bags
(which I think would be kind of cool) but I don’t have a sewing machine.
So I’m left feeling very guilty and not quite knowing what to do about it. But is 40 Acts about feeling guilty, or about finding at least one small something we can do? One small act can still make a difference, and all that… SO, even if I can’t solve the cat food dilemma, I can resolve to reduce my purchases of pre-wrapped fruit & veg, and endeavour to buy more of it loose (even if I have to go elsewhere to get it) and to use reusable bags to put the produce in. That, I suppose, is something.
What do you think?