Managing ADHD and Sustainable Living

November 08 2022 – Caitlyn Farrow

Managing ADHD and Sustainable Living
Managing ADHD and Sustainable Living

I’ve posted before that living sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. I like to refer to my lifestyle and choices as lazy sustainability. I could say that I navigate towards this lazy sustainability because I have three kids, we have a busy schedule, I work full time and run a small business, and it’s easy. And those would all be true, but it goes deeper.

In the last three years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way my brain works. With ADHD, sustainability can be hard to maintain because suggestions and routines and quick fixes that help make my ADHD struggles easier are rarely sustainable.

I HATE doing the dishes. It’s a struggle for me, but one of my biggest triggers for feeling overstimulated is a messy kitchen. The easy solution is paper plates to limit dishes, right? Well, that gets expensive AND it’s not sustainable.

  • SOLUTION: Limited the use of paper plates to when my schedule is the most hectic and stressful and using 100% compostable/biodegradable options.

Washing my face at night is too easy skip when I’m ready for bed, but it’s something I need to do. Enter face wipes. I can keep them by my bed, and it’s an easy fix when I convince myself I don’t need to do my complete skincare routine, but face wipes are not always eco-friendly.

  • SOLUTION: Burt’s Bees Face Wipes made from cotton leftovers from tshirt manufacturing.

Object permanence and food waste 😬 I have a terrible habit of buying pantry items for weekly meals that I ALREADY HAVE MULTIPLE OF IN MY PANTRY! And while some items have a great shelf life, many do not, and I end up with unnecessary food waste.

  • SOLUTION: An inventory list that hangs outside of the fridge, pantry, and freezer. When I use it, I make a note, and when I add it, I make a note. The trick is remembering to check the list when I make the grocery list😅

Fast forward to Thoughtful Hive- My business requires the same mindset to keep me successful while navigating ADHD and entrepreneurship. 

The clean up process is easiest immediately after I finish making candles. It requires paper towels and can sometimes create an excess of melted wax + fragrance. The easiest option is to put it in the trash, but I can’t stand the thought of that.

  • SOLUTION: Use mason jars to collect excess wax and wax coated paper towels. With enough collected, wax is melted down, paper towels are shredded, wick trimmings are placed in cardboard egg cartons, and the wax and paper towels are added. These become our fire starters. Cleaning up is EASIER because I’m motivated to create something new down the road. 

Limiting steps and streamlining the process keeps my brain engaged and limits my distractibility. I batch steps to help with this need. When I started learning how to make candles, many I saw in the industry used paper cups to measure fragrance and write scents to use later. I HATED the idea of single use paper cups.

  • SOLUTION: I bought a few extra glass measuring cups, so that I could still batch but reuse. I use dry erase markers to write on the glass to stay organized.

So here’s your reminder that it is OKAY if you pick and choose what works for you, your brain, your schedule, your family. Any progress is GOOD progress. It’s more than you were doing before, and if we all focus on progress and not perfection, we can make a difference. And if you have any other suggestions for lazy sustainable hacks, send them my way!

If you’re on the hunt for sustainable home goods with low waste processes, LOOK no further! And if you’re looking for a lazy sustainable way to enjoy enjoy them, drop them back off on my doorstep when you’re finished to be cleaned and refilled. 



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