One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
Over the past few years I have slowly watched my priorities in life, my self image and my overall goals shift dramatically. Going to Umass (a leading university in sustainability and environmental awareness), becoming a vegan and spending more and more time researching the environment has proven to have taken it's toll on me. I can no longer continue on in good conscience with some of my own day-to-day behaviors that I know can be altered to better the planet because it often makes me feel like a hypocrite when I preach about all the ways that veganism is benefiting the planet but then go on to use plastic grocery bags, reusable water bottles, and chemical-filled bathroom products.
So this semester I have decided to make a few changes in various areas of my life that will help to minimize my plastic usage, support local businesses, cut down on chemicals and allow me to live an overall more sustainable lifestyle.
Homemade Skin Care
In an effort to not only cut back on the amount of products that I buy from super markets but also to move towards a more natural take on hygiene, I have decided to make my own products.
I have found several recipes for toothpaste that all seem to have great reviews that are all pretty simple to make and involve primarily baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils.
In addition, I have made a toner out of two parts water and one part apple cider vinegar (raw and organic).
The oatmeal scrub I made as a face wash with ground oats, water, lemon rind, essential orange oil, baking soda and a little olive oil.
I plan on making a more exfoliating one soon with sea salt to alternate with this one (which I keep in the fridge to prevent molding).
Cloth Shopping Bags
I know that this is an old bandwagon many others have hopped on already, but for some reason I have always been lazy when it comes to grocery shopping. I have placed large reusable shopping bags in my car so that I always have some available whenever I find myself needing to run some errands.
No More Dunkin's Cups
I have decided to stop going to Dunkin Donuts - or at least cut back significantly. If I make my own coffee in the mornings not only will I save money, but I will cut back on the plastic that I use each week by a significant amount.
If I ever do have a hankering for caffeine, then I am going to bring in a reusable container and have them fill that instead of giving it to me in a classic Dunkin's container.
No more reusable water bottles for this girl. Never again. From now on I am going to stick to glass bottles that I have recycled from previous products. Vinegar bottles or Kombucha bottles are great for this because they hold a decent amount. I've also been using an old sauerkraut jar as a portable tea container.
I've been trying lately to make a more conscious effort to minimize the pre-packaged food that I've been purchasing, but I know I can do much better. There is no need for so much wasted packaging. All that plastic just ends up in landfills somewhere. So there will be no more granola bars, I can make them myself. No more cans of nuts (I can buy them raw by weight and toast them at home). No more peanut butter, since I can make that with the nuts I buy. Basically, anything I can buy in a more sustainable and unpackaged way, I will.
Also, I won't use the bags for fruits and vegetables if purchasing my produce at the grocery store.
Instead of plastic sandwich baggies, I will be making some out of cloth to pack snacks for hiking trips and such.
This is a classic practice in sustainable living, but one that I feel I can improve upon in my own life significantly. Recently I've tried to make it a point of purchasing as much as I can from local businesses. And I mean really local. Most of the vegetables I bought this week were from self-serve vegetables stands from the various family farms in Princeton. Most of my meals were pretty much grown in my neighbor's garden.
Being a vegan makes most of this a lot easier because I don't have to find a local meat or dairy supplier - which can be very expensive. Instead I'm getting bags full of vegetables for only a couple of dollars.
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.