Saturday, April 19, 2008
Green Around the Gills
I've been writing a lot lately. Mostly changing "Homebirth Handbook" into " Green Birth" Honest to God, I haven't changed any content, just the layout and made some additions. The impact on my own life has been somewhat amusing. Let's see, we already changed over to the funny lightbulbs and started recycling. I'm really yearning for the vegan diet (I think dairy is keeping me fat) and I'm trying those green cleaning products. I'm actively experimenting with waste reduction. I once spent the weekend with a family of five that produced almost no trash. This must have been 10 or 12 years ago, but I never forgot it. They lived in the country and had goats. They purchased their food in bulk from a coop and stored things in glass jars. (I recently joined a food co-op too!) The only disposible item I saw them use was toilet paper (brown and recycled). They used hankies instead of tissue, and cloth napkins instead of paper. I have observed that the bulk of our trash is food packaging. Fast food and grocery store food is really over packaged. My immediate goal is a FAST FOOD FAST. Which means that I need to start cooking again. (I purposely stopped cooking some years ago) Now I make a weekly menu calendar for the fridge and plan ahead what to cook and where to purchase food. Because I have 5 kids that get sack lunches everyday, I'm not really sure how to cut that trash. Sandwiches have to bagged, granola bars, chips, etc. come in individual packaging that make life so much simpler. I did cut out juice boxes, explaining to my kids that its mostly empty calories and they'd be better off drinking water anyway. I've slowly weaned them off American 'cheese' and processed 'lunch meat' to real cheddar and deli meats. (They hardly notice the difference but it makes me feel better.) I also started shopping regularly at Sam's Club (I used to go about twice a year, now I go almost every week). Some of their stuff is over packaged to but I can buy in bulk which makes sense for our family of eight. My husband balked about the increase in food bill, but I just passed it off as a consequence of have almost 4 teenagers in the house. I live near a wonderful health food store (Whole Foods) but it is expensive. I try things out from the store, and then purchase them in bulk from the coop. I'm having a love affair with my crock pot. I like throwing in the ingredients in the morning and coming home to good smells and a cooked meal in the evening. Besides fitting in daily excercise, returning to daily cooking has been the biggest lifestyle change toward a healthier, greener life.