You need to get off plastic, reuse items better, work from home wherever possible to reduce fossil fuel waste, be kinder, more present and attain enlightenment too. And when I say you I mean me. Seriously this is a global problem. Our lives have been about incorporating as much convenience and single serve things as possible. Folks even look at homes and cars as disposable now and they really aren’t! Save the landfill by buying what you really need with an intention of using gently, passing on later to others in great condition and each of us makes a dent that way.
Sit for a few seconds and breath as you absorb the fact that most of what we do every day, how we live, from how we pad to the kitchen to pour a morning beverage to how we order lunch or shop at the store is all habit. To make things easier our brains do this fantastic auto pilot thingy where we don’t have to think so hard about all the nit noidy things, those daily choices that we make. Remember this is just habits and habits change. Did you always drive, smoke, dance, sing, paint, write or drink tea, coffee or alcohol? Really? Since you were a child? No, you grew into various habits, some good, some bad, that just became a part of you over time. These same things, if you want them to change, are changeable. Just give it 30 days to make new habits, hard at first, then easier. When I first went vegan I was deer in headlights at what to do next, what to prepare for my chef husband and now it is very easy for me to think in vegan terms. My shock and fright is what began this blog, actually, because I wondered how many other folks were scared too, who really wanted change, wanted to help the planet, save animals, save themselves, but didn’t know yet how. I took this amazing course at Hippocrates (links below) and started off on this journey. I’m trying to look at how I live and where I see a problem that is the low hanging fruit if you will, that I can fix. Then share that knowledge with others. Then there are all the small ways we can effect big changes too.
Laundry – Cleaning up the Laundry is HUGE! Here is something we do every week and mostly give it little thought. The bulk of laundry suds out there is chock full of chemicals, from optic whiteners to bleaches, slowly giving us cancer as it kills what’s left of our fish. The BEST laundry soap I know of is one I am a marketer for; Happi. First, we use 99% less plastic, while getting a very concentrated product that is 61% more effective and saves you 60% a year on the cost of doing the wash . 1 liter does 400 loads of laundry! Non scented, and concentrated which saves in shipping costs. Certified organic, non-toxic, non-GMO using cardboard in the bottle not plastic, the kit provides a stainless pump you refill your soap with to measure the exact amount you need at each wash.
As an Implementation Project Manager at Sprint, I had worked from home a couple of decades. I barely got into the car each week and mostly ate at home. We had layoffs and I began working for ATT and had to be in the office for a while starting out. Already concerned about my carbon footprint driving in daily, I watched in horror as my trash bin filled up with plastic and styrofoam. They served vegan fare in the cafeteria downstairs but things were far from carbon neutral getting the items to my desk. When I brought food in, they were in plastic baggies. And those also piled up.
Nothing is ever going to be perfect here and I don’t think, with the fall of man, that this is ever the point of the exercise. I do believe we are all accountable for our intentions and actions and that our path here involves lessons in being less self-directed and gain understanding and compassion. Being imperfect, my tips may not exemplify the very best you can do for the environment or animals but perhaps are baby steps in the right direction so I encourage feedback! I am always learning and incorporating new ideas into my blog. But be kind in your feedback because here is the thing; you can preach about the environment and whom should be doing what till you’re blue. If it isn’t easy enough or doable enough, convenient enough, folks won’t attempt it or stay on point with it. That said, these are ways that I have, so far today, incorporated for better recycling and re-use and reduced plastic in my life. I am trying to be a better vegan too. But primarily, I am trying hard to live kinder and that means knowing my sources. I live in a meat-eating, honey indulging family (dog, cats and husband). This helps keep me compassionate as I look for ways to remove what animal-based products I can off the table and get better sources where I cannot. I do wish to add here that my personal take on veganism is to avoid animal abuses and contributing to that, but allow, such as honey, where I am supporting local businesses, such as the honey beekeeper down the road, where he loves and supports his bees because bees need our help.
With daily trips to work, what I saw in my life as a problem were baggies. Loads of baggies. I had gallon sized baggies for my salads where I would make up a batch to last me a couple of meals. The thing to understand about baggies is even if they were to say they are BPA free, for example, there is no disclosure on the hundreds of chemicals that make up a baggie. All of this leaches into your food. Here are some earth-friendlier ways to detox your lunch bag, refrigerator and life.
Stasher makes reusable baggies which are completely free of toxic chemicals. The bags are made of natural components such as sand and oxygen and can be used for Sous Vida safely. They may be washed by hand or in the dishwasher too!
Another great item I’ve discovered is the beeswax and organic cloth food wrappers. I know, it’s not vegan. But it is environmentally friendly all biodegradable and I am told bees are not harmed. The problem with honey, other than the fact it is a sugar, is that commercially, bees are killed when their honey is culled. But a beekeeper loves his bees and strives to keep the colony healthy and happy. So if you indulge in honey products then you need to be responsible for knowing your source. We have a neighbor who sells zip code honey. They do no harm to bees. Another wrap to consider is this 5 piece beeswax, jojoba and tree resin set for $19.99. I wrap my avocados, vegan pizza slices etc with them. If you choose these wraps, know that they last about a year with proper use and that is a ton of plastic wrap not in our oceans.
Say no to single-use cuttlery. This bamboo cutlery set is something that will work well from camping to working at the office or on the road and even includes a straw. After seeing that video of the poor turtle with a huge staw stuck in his nostril that had to be surgically removed, I stopped using straws at restaurants.
This Tea Spot Urban Tumbler is a hit with our whole family! We are tea drinkers, but you can put any beverage in there. The founder of the company cured her cancer with tea and has written a book, Cancer Hates Tea. What I love about this tumbler is that as it is constructed of borosilicate glass and stainless steel infuser, it is free of toxins such as BPA. Her teas are lovely. I loaded up on tea after learning they sold Lapsang Souchong and this is a lovely green tea sampler. The cork around the bottle helps protect the glass while keeping your hands away from the too hot or cold beverage you’re about to enjoy. The product doesn’t leak, forming a nice seal and I have now given this out as gifts, it’s just that good! Reusing something you love is one of the best ways to minimize your environmental impact. ♥
You’ll control the quality of your food and save money by making and taking your lunch with you to work. Check out this stylish option with the Tabkoe Bento Box, free of BPA materials, while I shun microwaves, this is microwaveable.
Another great glass storage option that goes from fridge to lunch bag are these nice glass meal prep containers which airtight and space saving.
Bulk Food Bags, what about grocery shopping and all those produce bags? These bags go from your fridge to the grocery store for re-loading!
Bamboo Toilet Paper – I have switched, it’s nice and another great easy switch to green up your lifestyle.
And just check out kinder ways to brush your teeth!
As an affiliate marketer, there are links here to look at and purchase products. These are products I love, use etc. The commission I earn from purchases helps to offset the monthly costs of keeping this blog running and I appreciate the support.
Read and be inspired by this girl. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16168/i-havent-made-any-trash-in-2-years-heres-what-my-life-is-like.html