Our Ten Best Posts of 2018

by - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Sunshine Guerrilla and Our Best Posts of 2018

This was a huge year for the blog, and I am really excited about how it is growing. Some of this is maybe to our credit, and I really have been putting a lot of effort into it, but I think the larger reason why the blog keeps growing is because more and more people simply care about these things!

More and more people want to have some part in making the Earth better.
More and more see how real and pressing Climate Change is, and they want to do something.
More and more want to break free from materialism, or plastics, or the constant churn of capitalism.

I feel like what I am doing is throwing thousands of little pebbles with the hope that one or two make some ripples. Every time someone tells me they love a blog (or even better, share it!) I could not be more excited, because it is nearly impossible to tell if it is making a difference. I hope it continues to make a tiny, but positive difference for people. My dream is for you, person who is miraculously reading this, to feel like your life and your impact on the world is a little more positive, because I sure am glad you are here.

Here are ten of my favorite things we talked about this year- consider checking them out if you missed them before!

We know that most Western cultures tend to eat too much meat. It's not great for our health, but much worse, the processes of raising, butchering, and shipping meat (especially beef and lamb) creates a tremendous amount of waste and emits tons of greenhouse gases.

I know you aren't going cold vegan, but we can all easily help fight climate change by eating a third less meat, so on Mondays I rounded up vegetarian and vegan recipes that looked easy and worth trying. This is one of my favorites, but I hope eventually to have a huge resource to inspire more meatless meals in your life!

If you are going to make green changes in your everyday choices, you can exponentially increase your impact by convincing the companies you shop from to do the same thing. In other words, making green choices for yourself is the first step. But once you see the problem, companies need to know that you see it. Let them know that you aren't going to keep up the same thing.

My favorite letter to a company this year was to Barilla, because that plastic window in the box makes absolutely no sense. With twitter, facebook, email, Customer Service lines, and even old fashioned mail, it has never been easier to contact the companies you think could be doing better. Hopefully this post can help you do it!

8. Green and Thoughtful Gifts for Broke Millenials

There are a lot of people out there struggling, and there are all sorts of norms out there that basically encourage their loved ones to not help them. Or to attend to imaginary needs when someone has REAL needs they need attended to.

Environmentalism is a movement deeply and problematically attached to class. Certain brands characterize themselves as the only green option (but they are usually also luxury brands- think Tesla). But, I think that this blog chips away at this, albeit quietly, by pointing out that the best genuine help you can give someone who is struggling is also very good for the environment. But we have to get a little further from the capitalist expectations of what a gift even means. 

Last February, I went through the first 9 anniversaries and found traditional but eco-friendly options for every gift. Honestly, I think of these as a fun project for me, written for a TINY swath of married people who would want to buy a gift on theme whilst also taking care of the environment.

So, just me, basically.

So then, this funny thing happened. The posts, especially the ones for later anniversaries, got some of the best traffic of anything I have ever written. Because life and SEO are just full of surprises. But these posts are actually so stinking fun, and if you have anniversaries to celebrate (or just love a great gift idea), read these posts!

6. Alphabet Adventures- Pre-School Experiences Inspired by the Letter B

This year, I started choosing a Letter of the Month for my kids, to help my three-year-old learn his letters and to shift our focus as a family from toys to experiences. The really amazing upside was that it kind of gave me a new way to feel inspired as a part-time stay at home mom, so I could keep coming up with fresh ideas and stay out of a rut.

I have written a few times about our months of Alphabet Adventures. This is one of my favorites.

5. Twelve Traditions to Celebrate Gratitude (60 Black Friday Activities that Aren't Just Shopping)

Thanksgiving always gets lost in my end of the year "Green Gifting" onslaught, so this year, I was excited to write two Thanksgiving posts I think really fill a hole in what is out there. First, we all want to have gratitude as a part of our family culture, but it can be hard to know how to incorporate it into our everyday lives and even a holiday like Thanksgiving. This post offers lots of inspiring ideas for really making the day about thankfulness.

Just as important, I cam up with an epic list of ways to spend Black Friday that aren't shopping. I think it's helpful to replace one tradition with another, and I hope it was helpful to people who are trying to resist that urge to overshop!

4. 10 Simple Ways to Go Green for Your Wedding 

Weddings can be so beautiful and important and unique. Little did you know, they can also have a way more positive effect on the environment than they currently do! Every year, we spend a month on Green Weddings, focusing on The 2018 Wedding Registry because you can completely outfit your new home as a couple with greener, more local options than the norms.

But this year, I am most proud of this simple list of ways to go green for ANY wedding. I think it could be useful for literally any person planning any style of wedding, and I love seeing it gain attention over the year, because it shows me that somebody out there is already thinking about this stuff!

Know anyone getting married in 2019? Pass this post along!

3. 99 Ridiculously Great Experience Gift Ideas

I am a gifter; giving presents is definitely my love language, but I especially love gifts that are easy on the environment. Experience gifts create less waste and more memories. That's the perfect combination. My dream is that experience gifts become completely commonplace, so people buy more movie tickets and way fewer walmart gift cards. It's a simple dream, but it makes life so much more full of memories and fun. Plus, it helps us save the environment!

To me, this post sums up what my goals for this blog are: to save the environment with our daily decisions and purchases while still living a thoughtful, meaningful, and shockingly mainstream life (no cabin in the woods for me). No one has to think you are granola for buying them these gifts, but they will think you are awesome. 

2. The American Fashion List

I worked for years on this list of American clothing and accessory makers, specifically targeting feminine or gender-neutral clothes. This list is incredibly thorough, and I guarantee once you look around you will want to bookmark it as a resource.

Fashion is one of the biggest creators of waste, so buying fewer and better quality items is an important way to really help the environment. If you want more information on how to start a green and ethical wardrobe, I also really loved the post How to Start a Green Wardrobe.

And if you feel like you want to do more or fight plastic waste with your wardrobe too, be sure to check out Which Yoga Pants are Actually Good for the Environment? which breaks down synthetic fabrics and points out who is making the best stretchy pants for the environment.

1. In the Face of Climate Change, What Can One Person Even Do?

We have received so much bad news and faced so many climate disasters. We can see that the vast majority of the CO2 emissions are coming from the top 1% of wealth. So do we as individuals have any power to stop this train of chaos, destruction, and even extinction?

I think we do, but it may not look exactly like what we first think of. We have to use our voices to reach the government, our purchases to reach businesses, and our lives to reach each other. It all matters, because it adds up. Check this list for some of my best ideas.

Sunshine Guerrilla and Our Best Posts of 2018

Thank you to everyone who has been reading, following and sharing the blog this year! I work really hard on it, so your support really does mean a lot to me. Let's all get a little bit greener in 2019!

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