Featured

Educating Myself and My Influence

October 24th

Documentaries

I love documentaries.  I watch them all the time.  I love being informed about new things.  I love seeing things from a different perspective.  This week I watched two documentaries.  I found them both very interesting. 

I watched:

H.O.P.E What You Eat Matters (on YouTube, free)

Image result for h.o.p.e documentary

This was a very well done documentary explaining how what you chose to eat does to your body and health and also the planet.

Game Changers (on Netflix)

Image result for game changers documentary

I watched this much hyped documentary this week as well.  I feel like men especially should watch this film.  It debunks a lot of things men hold true.  It focuses on athletic performance, muscle building and even sexual well being, for men.  I found it fascinating. It did have a few female athletes as well, but I found it should be more eye opening for men, as they are the ones who are always the most resistant to Veganism, because of some fallacies they hold to be true.

Trip

Last weekend my Husband and I went away.  I have always wanted to stay at the Madonna Inn, in San Luis Obispo. 

Image result for madonna inn

We decided to give this to each other for our Anniversary Gift.  It was a wonderful trip.  The hotel was so interesting; it was like stepping back in time, but not feeling dated. If you are in the area I highly recommend it and the SPA!! If you are not in California… Google it!  We had the Edelweiss room, every room in the Inn is themed and each one is different.

Image result for madonna inn edelweiss

It was so intricately decorated, so detailed. It was like stepping into another land.  The dining room was my favorite part.

Image result for madonna inn

It was like stepping into the early 50’s. It has bright pink booths and a live band playing classic dance music, like Moonlight Serenade, one of my favorites. I loved the service everything just added a layer to feeling like you were in another time. Though the Vegan option, was not the best I have ever had everything else made up for it.

My Influence

I was so happy and surprised this week.  My Sister came to town for a visit.  While we were out to dinner, she pulled out a reusable straw for her daughter!  I was so surprised I asked her about it, she said she had learned it from me!  This lead to a discussion on Veganism.  She said she really wanted to try it for health reasons, but there were some things she could not give up.  I suggested that she eat like Meghan Markle, who I read is vegan during the week, but allows herself some indulgences on the weekend. 

Image result for meghan markle royal

My sister really liked the idea of this.   I was just happy it was something she was considering and glad my influence made her think about it.

Low Waste and Minimalism

I have incorporated some new things into my bathroom routine.  I have been using Shampoo bars for a while now. But I knew there was more I could do.  I am really trying to reduce my waste. I was able to find a deodorant that had no plastic, all natural and Vegan.  I am trying Primal Life Black Lavender Deodorant.  I really like it. It is a different way of using it, as you have to rub it in, but it works all day. I am also using The Dirt Natural Tooth Powder. This comes in a glass jar. This took some getting used to, but my teeth feel much cleaner, and I feel better about it. I of course use a Bamboo toothbrush, the easiest swap! I am also starting to streamline my face routine, as I run out of things. I am rethinking what I actually need and what can be double duty, do I really need a face and neck cream or will facial oil be fine for both? I have never really worn a lot of make-up. I have extremely sensitive skin, so I never really got into the habit.  As I run out of things I am trying to replace them with no plastic packaging, from sustainable retailers.

I hope some of these things have given you some food for thought.  If you have any questions about what I do or want me to elaborate on any items, please leave a comment…

Perfect Birthday Weekend November 15, 2018

It was my birthday this week.  And in celebration I ended up having the perfect birthday weekend. 

Friday night we celebrated with a few friends at the new Vegan restaurant in town.  It was wonderful!  I was very surprised that there was a line out the door to get a table.  I loved it. People standing the entire time we ate.  I live in a smallish town, so I did not think the restaurant would be that busy, I was so happy that it was.  I was even more surprised when we left and the BBQ place next door was practically empty, in my mind it would have been reversed.  I hope the Vegan restaurant has great success, the food and cocktails were amazing (Craft Roots).

Saturday we woke up and had breakfast then we headed down to the Farmers Market.  I am always so surprised how much organic fresh food is grown in my area. It is beautiful to look at and tastes so much better than the grocery store veggies, especially the heirloom tomatoes. After we walked home and put the food away, my husband took me to the plant store where I got two new plants and some planters for my plants that were out-growing their current containers.  I had fun re-planting and placing my new plants around the house.  The plants just make me so happy.  When that was all completed my husband and I went on a long walk in the park.  I love walking, especially during this time of year.  The colors are just gorgeous, and the walk is so relaxing.  We grabbed  a quick sandwich on the way home and ate with my son.  I was able to talk to my daughter in Hawaii for about 30 minutes, which is always one of the best parts of the day.  Then my husband surprised me and He, My Son and I went to see Midway.  What a great film, I highly recommend it. When the movie was over we dropped my son at home and my husband took me out to a really nice meal in one of the best restaurants in town. It was a perfect day.

Sunday was lazy.  We slept in. My husband watched football and I went grocery shopping and baked the majority of the day. It was slow and relaxing.

On my actual birthday I only had to work a partial day. I had my parents over for dinner to celebrate. I cooked vegan meatloaf, which everyone ate.  I also received some wonderful gifts.  One of my favorite parts of the day was, when my son and I were waiting for everyone to come, we ended up playing Gin Rummy.  I had a great time just playing the game and being silly.  Times like that really make you appreciate what you have.

I really am trying to make that more of a focus in my life right now.  Focus on enjoying the simple pleasures of life.  Slow down, enjoy what you have.  I have been trying to be more present, putting off some of my “to do list”, and just slowing down.  I have seriously felt a difference in the way I feel and sleep.  It feels as if a weight has been lifted off of me.  I suggest you try it.

In other News…. I was emailed a great thing today. https://www.earthday.org/stop-using-disposable-plastic/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=ef22c501-258b-45f1-a879-c274762dd22b

The Earth Day Network is trying to get people to pledge to End Plastic Pollution.  I was already trying this on my own, so making the pledge just solidified my commitment.  I posted this to my Facebook, in hopes that my friends and family might also become more aware and also pledge, maybe my readers will too.

I hope some of these things have given you some food for thought.  If you have any questions about what I do or want me to elaborate on any items, please leave a comment…

Who knew standing by your values would be such a fight!

11/7/19

Bar Fight

In my Low Waste Journey I have decided to do away with Liquid Hand Soap in our Home.  I bought soap dishes and bamboo soap savers and eco-friendly bar soap.  You would not believe the uproar this has caused in my home. I have explained my reasoning for doing this: better for the earth, no waste….etc. But some people in my home do not want to make the change. I honestly do not see what the big deal is wet hands /grab bar of soap/put soap down/ wash hands vs  wet hands/ dispense soap/ wash hands.  Is there something I am missing as to why this would be a problem? Either way…  I am in charge of these things in my home and I will no longer be buying liquid soap….. so that is that….

Sorting Trash

Vector illustration of young people sorting garbage and putting it in trash bins or containers. Recycling trash and zero waste lifestyle.

I had a disagreement with my Husband last week about sorting the trash.  I do not have a problem with sorting the trash.  I will take a bin out and manually sort the recyclables, compostables and trash.  In the bathroom we only have one bin, so this must be done.  I don’t mind it. Do it, wash hands, done… My Husband has a major problem with this for some reason. He thinks we need to get two bins for the bathroom one for trash one for recyclables.  I find this cookoo!  So I told him I would just make that my job and continue to sort the trash, but he thinks I am the one that is insane. Who knew standing by your values would be such a fight!

Funny thing happened the other day….

So you know how there is the running gag that meat eaters always ask Vegans “Where do you get your Protien?”  I was literally asked this, this week.  Most People don’t ask me questions about my diet, I think they are afraid I will try and convert them or something.  So I have never actually had this happen to me, when it did I could not help but chuckle.  I told the person; that is a common misconception that you need meat for protein and my levels are great.  They did not believe me and walked away.  I was amused. 

In the same vein I saw in interesting interview this week on London Real it was an interview with Dr. Neal Barnard (Your Body in Balance) I was fascinated by what he had to say.  He actually found some commonalities between addiction (drug, smoking, sugar, gambling) with Meat consumption.  I was amazed by this idea.  But the more I thought about it, the more realistic it became.  People will defend and justify their meat consumption in face of their own health etc. just as they would another addiction.  It made a lot of sense to me. I suggest you check it out.

Hygge

Hygge is a something that I have discovered and I am in love.  I want to incorporate this into every part of my life. It is a Danish Philosophy about living to enjoy simple pleasures.  I am at a place in my life where I am so sick of the hustle and bustle.  I want to enjoy my life. I am tired of living for work and getting my to do list done.  I want to slow down, declutter, minimalize and concentrate on what is really important.

I hope some of these things have given you some food for thought.  If you have any questions about what I do or want me to elaborate on any items, please leave a comment…

Halloween and Birthday Parties 11/1/19

Halloween cannot be green

Yesterday was Halloween and as much as I racked my brain, I could not figure out a way for it to be green.  I did buy my candy from Thrive Market.  They even had some allergy friendly options that I was really happy about. But the packaging was of the variety that is very hard to recycle.  But I did not want to be the mean neighbor lady that does not give out candy.  So I participated the best way I could.  I was very happy about the allergy friendly candy.  Myself having food allergies, I know how horrible it is watch others enjoy something you can to have, so I wanted to make sure every kids could trick or treat my house.  I bought the teal pumpkin to indicate I had Allergy friendly candy.  I put it on the Next Door Map.  But alas I had no allergy kid’s trick or treat my house.  So now I am stuck with a bunch of expensive candy. At least I tried….right?

Amazon Prime Now

The other day I needed to run to the store for some fresh produce, I was out of bananas and apples etc.  I opened my email and there from Amazon was free 2 hour delivery from Whole Foods.  I was very interested, so I tried it out.  I got what I needed and it truly was delivered to me in less than two hours.  This saved me having to take my own car to the store and back when I have limited time after work.  I justified the carbon footprint, as they are making multiple deliveries in one trip, and I would only be going for myself.  So the 5plus people they were delivering to were taking 5 plus cars off the road individually. Please correct me if my thinking is wrong.  The produce was perfect, nothing smashed and it all came in brown paper bags, which I can reuse.  I think I will continue to use the service, especially since I do not have a Whole Foods in my home town.

Birthday Bags

I had a birthday party to go to last week. I decided to make my own reusable gift bags.  I went to the fabric store I purchase some festive fabric and in less than an hour I made 4 bags.  I used them and everyone at the party commented on them.  When we were cleaning up, I just collected my bags as they collected the trash and put them in my purse.  I have them ready at home for the next birthday giving event. This made me feel good and my gifts also, I felt, stuck out because the wrapping was unusual.

Trying not to Buy Clothes

I switched my closet a week or so ago, as the season have changed.  I have a very small closet so I cannot keep all my clothes out all the time.  I have much more summer clothes than fall/winter.  I don’t really know why this is? But, I have decided I am going to make do with what I have.  I am going to try very hard not to purchase anything the entire cold months.  It might be a challenge, but I feel I am up for it.  It will keep in line with what I am trying to accomplish, with a more minimalistic/ waste free life.

 

I hope some of these things have given you some food for thought.  If you have any questions about what I do or want me to elaborate on any items, please leave a comment…

Full Week Low Waste 10/17/19

My week has been pretty eventful. 

I am continuing on my low waste journey, and continue to try and better myself.

My son moved back home, so that has been an adjustment for all of us.

Lastly one of my favorite co-workers decided to go on a different path.  I wish her all the luck in the world, but she will be missed.  I will never forget her parting words to me.  They might be the best thing anyone has ever said out load to me.  She told me I was the strongest person she has ever met. She is amazed that I was able to raise two children without a husband, and that no matter what life threw at me I always have my head on my shoulders and make it through.  I was deeply touched by this.  You rarely get to hear what people really think of you.

Some other things I wanted to touch on this week:

Low Waste Shopping

On my very first week of low waste living I found it very difficult to do the grocery shopping.  I am a vegan so mostly I buy vegetables, but it still was troublesome to find un-packaged produce.  I was able to find the things I needed, but I had to look around.  I was able to buy my oatmeal and rice in the bulk bins. I was even asked about my reusable bags at this part of the store, which I really liked.  The store I was at has recently reduced the bulk bin section, which mad me very sad. I commented on it to the cash register person, She said “you would know”. At the end I was able to get everything plastic free except two items: Beyond meat (for a dinner party I was throwing) and My Husband’s yogurt.  I was able to buy the yogurt in a large container, which was better, but I still wish they had a glass option. I decided to make my own oat/hemp milk because of the  packaging problem with the plant milk, but I don’t think I can handle making yogurt. Upon leaving the store I was very disheartened. Here I was trying very hard to make a difference, but every single person I saw upon leaving had a cart full of packaging and some were even getting the plastic bags from the store.

Morning Routine

I gave my morning routing an overhaul this week.  I have really been able to feel a difference already.

My morning routing is as follows:

Wake up

Weigh Self

Tongue Scrape

Drink Water

Make Tea

Air out House

Yoga

Deep Morning Breaths- Outside

Make my Breakfast and Lunch

Tidy Up the House/ Make my Bed

Waterpik

Dry Brush

Shower and Get Ready

I love having a set routine, it really gives me a goal to reach and I feel much more relaxed and ready for the day with this one in particular.

Organizing My House

Lately I have been trying very hard to declutter and organize my house.  I started with the kitchen and have been working my way through every cupboard and room.  This task is made more difficult with the people I live with.  My husband is a pack rat, he saves everything.  He has piles of stuff, he just does not need or will ever go through, so I am constantly doing this for him, just to keep my house tidy.  My son does not pick up after himself; I am hoping to have a discussion with him about this, so I can keep my sanity and our relationship on good terms.

As I have gone through each room, I feel a sense of calm and order.  I really like it.  I love opening a drawer and only seeing things I need and actually use.  The house feels less messy and I then feel less stressed.

Low Waste Meal Prep

On my low waste journey I have decided to try some new things.  My husband likes to eat muffins in the morning.  I cannot find a muffin in the store that does not come in plastic.  So I decided to make some for him from scratch.  I woke up Sunday morning, and baked away.  I also made him some cookies.  Both were Vegan and made from ingredients I had already at home with reusable liners, so virtually no cost.  He says he actually likes mine better…. I don’t know if I believe him, but I definitely felt better about doing this.

Low Waste/Sustainable Birthday/Christmas

I don’t know how your families work, but my in-laws are huge fans of Christmas Wish Lists.  This year I was asked to update my wish list on Amazon for my Birthday and Christmas.  I found this a really big struggle. 1. I am trying to be more minimalistic 2. I am trying to be more sustainable 3. I am trying to be low waste.  I tried asking for cash (to help with my bill situation) that was a no go, so I had to come up with some ideas.  I was able to find somethings I needed or some luxuries I can’t afford, but it was very difficult.  I am sure I will be made fun of for my Vegan Leather Boots, Shampoo Bars, Potted Plants and Essential Oils choices. But I am okay with being the odd man out if it is something I believe in.

 I saved the best/craziest thing for last

Office Recycling and Composting

I was watching a YouTube video the other day about methane gases in our trash. It really got me thinking. I am doing everything I can think of at home but, I was just letting my office life slide.  We are a small office and have no recycling options for our office other than the confidential paper recycling. So I decided to take it upon myself to change this.  I found some boxes at the office I labeled them “recycle” and “compost”. I then take it upon myself to bring these items home twice a week and recycle or compost the items.  People are not catching on as much as I would like, so I literally go through all the trash cans to find items that can be recycled or composted.  This can be a little gross, but I feel like I have done something good and really it is not that much effort.

I hope some of these things have given you some food for thought.  If you have any questions about what I do or want me to elaborate on any items, please leave a comment…

Zero Waste in a Black Out

So I picked the wrong week to start trying to be zero/ low waste…..

As many of you know PGE had a major planned black out this week in California, for fire prevention. I had picked this week to start my low waste life. I was majorly detoured by this black out. I had to go to the grocery store to prepare for a possible 5 day black out. Meaning I could not buy anything that required refrigeration. I had to have things that were able to be cooked on the grill or ready to eat with out prep. This was a really huge problem. Yes, my apples and bananas were easy, but bread, granola bars, canned food etc. you need for an emergency pack were very difficult. There was no water available in glass, so I had to get plastic. There are not a lot of vegan options in a can, so that was very limited, so I had to buy things that came in plastic packaging. This was very disheartening to me, as I was very gung ho about my new adventure. The good news is…. The black out only lasted a few hours, and we barely touched the food I had prepared. So now this in my emergency/earthquake kit. I will be buying a large bin and putting all of the things I have in the garage, for another emergency, I have been meaning for years to do this, and this adventure forced me to have to do it.

One good thing I was able to do this week: I figured out how to make plant based milk at home. I was frustrated that all plant based milk comes in non-recyclable paper or in plastic. So I looked up online how to make it and this morning I was able to make oat/hemp milk from scratch. It is stored in my fridge right now, all with things I already had at home. So that made me happy.

Trying Zero Waste Life

Trying the Zero Waste Life

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Trying the Zero Waste Life

I have always been concerned with waste. I try very hard to have an eco friendly home. Lately I have been trying to be as close to zero waste as I can be. I am finding it very difficult.

Some things I do are:

I carpool to work, now in an electric car.

I shop for food that allows me to buy loose vegetables and fruit. I buy glass containers if I have to buy something packages, but even the lids are plastic, most of the times. I am vegan so this helps some.

I buy eco friendly cleaning supplies, online. I know there is a carbon foot print, but products not available in stores near me.

I buy recyclable/compostable bathroom products. I use powdered toothpaste, I use silk floss in a glass container, I buy bamboo toothbrushes, I use a shampoo bar, deodorant in paper compostable packaging…

I bring my own straws and cutlery in my purse everywhere.

I bring my lunch to work every day in reusable containers and cloth bags.

I recycle everything I can and compost too. I still feel like I am failing at this.

If someone puts that much effort into trying and they are still failing, it is no wonder we have the problems we do.

But people don’ t think about waste, they think about ease….

We put on parties and use throw away decorations and paper plates. I feel like I am always ridiculed or mocked for wanting the compostable cups, forks and plates, even though this is an easy alternative. It makes me feel a bit better. I honestly don’t have a problem with just washing the dishes, but sometimes I cave.

We buy new clothes when we have too many as it is. If I need clothes I try and buy second hand. When people hear this they think I don’t have enough money. I do. I am choosing to buy second hand, and honestly if I don’t tell people…they never know. I do buy new shoes though. But I try to buy eco friendly vegan shoes.

We go out to dinner and pay no attention to the waste. We get bread we don’t eat. We have left overs we send away, or bring home in plastic containers. We use straws, that are just waste. Bring your own…not that hard.

We buy food wrapped in plastic or wrap it in plastic, when you can buy loose and put in your own reusable bag. We buy food that is only available in non-recyclable plastic containers.

I think the part that makes me the angriest about the entire situation about waste, is people don’t even think about it. They either do what they have always done, or what is easiest. My goal is to make people aware of what a problem it is and to show them that with little effort and cost they can fix it.

I hope this has been food for thought.