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Small Steps Can Make A Big Difference

This is a post about shifting mindsets and embracing the notion that little things in life matter. 

An interesting thing happened the other day in the office.  Our supply of plastic coffee straws ran out.   Instead of reordering the straws, they were replaced with bamboo stirrers.  For some people, the plastic straw is symbolic of the morning coffee ritual.  It’s the tool that can be used to blend the coffee, sugar and milk together, carefully test the temperature of the beverage, control the amount of liquid being consumed, and ultimately, is the vehicle that delivers the caffeine that mentally prepares a person for the day.

Change is not always easy and can be hard to embrace.  We become conditioned to do things in a certain way and deviation from the pattern can feel strange at first.  But change also signifies progress.  When it comes to the straws, are people going to quit because they are no longer available in the office?  Doubtful.  Is the change going to make people more conscious about their actions or their inactions?  Hopefully.

Over the years, we’ve made small changes to our office coffee practices.  We eliminated single-use pods and replaced our machine with one that grinds and brews beans.  We stopped buying single use disposable cups and replaced them with reusable mugs.  We’ve made little changes here and there, with the hope that the modifications would help decrease costs and environmental waste.  All contributions matter.  You don’t always have to be THE solution but being part of it is just as important.

Rather than give up when something seems unobtainable or hard, take a single step forward.  When it comes to issues on grand scale or even a smaller scale, focus on what you can achieve, rather than the limitations. Are we going to save the planet by eliminating single use plastic straws in our office?  Probably not.  But there’s power in small acts.

If you think you are too small to make a difference,

you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.

- African Proverb

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