Small Changes

So over the past few months we have made significant changes to our diet, for our own health. As you may have noticed, our main goal is to be healthier. A secondary benefit is that we’re helping the environment in the process. Now that we’ve switched to a mainly whole foods, plant based diet, we’ve started to look at other aspects of our life.

What other changes can we make to live “greener” and save some money in the process? (Yes, I always have a selfish goal in mind amidst the “save the planet” trend)  So I’ve done some research and found some (reasonable) ideas for saving money and saving the environment in the process. And just so you know, I’m not going extreme hippie and switching to reusable toilet paper. (I did see a lady on an “Extreme Penny-Pincher” type show that used cut up rags as TP and washed them. EWWW!)

To help us meet our goals (and because I’m too organized for my own good), I’ve decided to make a little schedule of the small changes. We will be more motivated to meet these challenges with a strategic plan laid out.

January

Recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic (already got my homemade bins set up!)

Start using  glass Ball jars to store bulk items

February

Switch to linen napkins

Switch to microfiber cloths instead of paper towels and rags

Transition to using more handkerchiefs and less Kleenex

March

Start a small compost bin

Plant an herb garden

Switch to Ecover or BioKleen or Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent

April

Replace old cookie sheets NordicWare Bakers half sheet cookie sheets

Replace old silicone baking mats with MIU brand

Switch to glass water bottles

May

Stop using non-stick cookware

Stop using plastic storage containers, use only glass and ceramic

Switch to CFL light bulbs

Shop at the Farmer’s Market

June

Switch to reusable bulk bin bags and reusable produce bags

Recycle old batteries

Recycle electronics

In other news, I’m finding more and more difficult to be away from home with our new eating habits. My co-workers probably all think I’m crazy being a vegetarian and almost vegan. I try not to talk too much about it. I’m by no means an expert, and I don’t want to give off an air of “I’m better than you” because I DON’T think I’m better than them. Still, it’s an interesting situation when everyone around you is eating things you wouldn’t want to eat. And keep in mind MOST of my co-workers do eat “healthy” by mainstream American standards, but they all eat dairy and meat, and can’t understand why I don’t.

Another thing is eating out. Because of budgeting, my husband and I don’t eat out very often, but when we do, we find limited choices in vegetarian options and hardly any choices at all that are vegan. What do we do when we occasionally want a night out? We’re not willing to compromise our health for a night out, and I’m still not crazy about meat substitutes like tofu because they are still very processed. Thoughts, anyone?

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