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Showing posts from 2016

New Year's Resolutions

Normally I don't do New Year's Resolutions. As I see it, why wait for the new year to improve yourself? So this year, instead of thinking of new things I want to improve, I'm going to use this milestone to recement what I'm already trying to do.  Here are my 2017 New Year's Resolutions:  My first New Year's Resolution is to remain a vegetarian all year. -- While I'd like to stay one much longer than that, I want to at least keep it up through 2017. I've tried to be a vegetarian once before, and it lasted for only 3 months. When I returned to high school after the summer break that I became vegetarian, the only vegetarian lunch option was pb&j sandwiches. While those are good for a while, after a month of eating them every lunch, every day I couldn't take it anymore. Now that I'm out of high school, I feel I have no excuse for not sticking with it this time.  Second, I would like to greatly reduce the amount of plastic I use this year. -- The…

Safety Razor Tutorial and Review

In my quest to go green, one of my main goals is to reduce how much plastic I use. It takes a lot of fossil fuels to make, and never biodegrades. Oh, and don't forget all those toxic chemicals used to make it! Nasty stuff.
Somewhere (I think it was Green Chic by Christie Matheson, but I'm not 100% sure) I read that two plastic objects Americans go through like crazy are toothbrushes and razors. If the average American goes through razors like crazy, then my person rate of razor consumption must be off the charts. It's about to get personal folks, but for some reason my leg hair likes to get stuck between razor blades and makes them unusable super quick. The same type of razor my mom can use to shave her legs 5-6 times, I can use 1-3 times. Usually once. Considering I shave every week, that's a lot of plastic I've personally sent to the landfill. A life time of doing that? No thanks.

I went searching on my favorite plastic free living blog and found this article. (H…

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays (Why not both?)

Ah Christmas, the time of year people use pagan traditions to celebrate a holiday that the puritans tried to abolish, and complain on twitter that society is trying to "take Christ out of Christmas!" because a minimum wage worker told them 'Happy Holidays'. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th, getting mad at others for not celebrating the same religious holiday is distinctly un-Christian, as well as completely not historically accurate.

I'm going to let this clip from the TruTV show Adam Ruins Everything explain:

Personally, I do celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday, as I am Christian. However, if non-Christians want to enjoy Christmas as just a fun holiday, then I have no problem with that! This world needs more joy; and who am I to take that away from someone? Besides, there are MANY religious and non-religious holidays that happen in December (more info). Saying 'Happy Holidays' isn't trying to e…

Christmas Eve Stress Mess

It's 11:30 Christmas Eve which means one thing. Holiday stress. There's this pressure people seem to feel to make Christmas absolutely perfect. The perfect gifts, the perfect decorations, the perfect food, the perfect family time--it all has to go just right! It's Christmas!

But Christmas is an imperfect day, full of imperfect human beings, and imperfect circumstances that are out of our control, just like every other one of the 364 days that happened this year. Trying to force it to be perfect is going to do nothing but cause stress! And too much stress definitly isn't healthy.

Personally, I believe this desire for the perfect Christmas comes from the idealistic childhood memories we all have of the holiday. We want to recapture the magic of Christmas we experienced when we were little. Waking up to presents under the tree, playing with the new toys, seeing our family, and having all that delicious food. Christmas wasn't stressful then, it was magical. Everything …

Bought Milk? The Dairy Industry Might Owe You Money

Until late yesterday I had never heard of the Matthew Edwards v. National Milk Producers Federation case taking place in Northern California. After finding out what it is, and how many people it affects, I'm surprised this isn't everywhere.

The short version is that a group of several dairy companies were being sued for price fixing, and settled instead. If you bought milk (or another dairy product) in one of 15 states or D.C. sometime since 2003 then you can sign up to get part of the settlement at this website.

As someone who has gone vegetarian, and has done more and more research about farming practices, I was pretty angry when I found out that the National Milk Producers Federation, aka Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has been accused of slaughtering dairy cows prematurely in order to limit milk production and artificially raise the price of dairy products. The fact that they settled for $52 million really doesn't help their "not guilty" claim. However, …

Sad Day for my Sweet Tooth

In my quest to go green, and vegetarian, and plastic free, and healthier, and and and! Goodness, it's hard to do all at once! --Anyway, in this quest, books are my friend. Since this is 2016, most of the going green hard work has already been done for me in that the information is out there, I just have to find it.
I would like to take a moment to personally thank both Google and the local library. So thank you.

Currently I am reading Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices by Mindy Pennybacker. I'm not too far in yet, but on page 25 my heart is already broken.

ORGANIC JUNK FOOD ISN'T BETTER?!?! Deep breath, okay, okay. This is one of those things that I kinda knew, but had just chosen to assume opposite of. I mean, it's organic, it has to be better! But it's still junk food, and I knew that. Seeing it in print still hurts though.

Processed food isn't good for us or the Earth for many reasons. Lots of sugars, and additives, and pro…

Green Product of the Month - Dec 2016

I'm obviously just so in demand from sponsors with all of my 0 readers, but I want to assure all none of you that I'm in no way getting paid or compensated for this segment (or any segment) of my blog. I don't even get the product free, I have to buy it to try it. Anyway! People say you vote with your dollar, but there has to be products with the values we want to vote for. Which is why I've decided to do this--Green Product of the Month!--to give credit where credit is due.

It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. At some point during each month I'll write a post about my favorite green product for that month, and say why, as well as the price. So let's jump right in!

This month's winner is.......BURGER KING'S VEGGIE BURGER!

Price: ~$4
Anything that comes from a fast food restaurant isn't ever going to be super green, so you're probably wondering why exactly it wins my 'green' product of the month. Well, the answer is that it&#…

Changing Habits - One Mistake at a Time

What do avocados, peaches, and grapefruits have in common? A lot, actually. But they happen to be my favorite fruits. They also make great snacks. They're healthy, and have their own natural packaging. Yay for green snackage!

A few minutes ago I was looking in my fridge for something to eat, and ending up grabbing a grapefruit. As I congratulated myself on choosing the healthy and green option over the packaged and processed Cheese Nips, I grabbed a knife, a paper plate, a spoon, and started cutting my grapefruit in half.
Woah, wait a second. I was just congratulating myself on being green....and here I had grabbed a paper plate instead of a reusable, regular one. I hadn't even thought about it. This was just a snack, after all, not a full meal. Only meals went on regular plates. Besides, the paper plates are sitting on top of the microwave, much easier to get to than the regular ones! Both are reasons I'm in the habit of just grabbing a paper plate, but no real reason I s…

Vegan-ish Starbucks Tip

Soy milk tastes AMAZING in green tea lattes/frappichinos! Those are my go-to drinks from Starbucks (using my reusable to-go mugs of course), and I am bummed I've been using regular milk for so long! Soy milk really sets off the marcha green tea flavor. It's totally worth the extra cents for the taste alone. And for being Vegan of course ;)

How to Make Elementary Teacher's Love You and Clean the House at the Same Time (What to do with Old Plastic Toys)

If you have children (or have recently discovered you are not a child anymore, and really need to clean out your closet) it's likely you have accumulated a crap ton of little plastic toys. Since you (or your child) have grown out of these, and haven't played with them in years, there's no reason to keep them around. However, just throwing those toys out isn't a very green option.

About two months ago I was faced with this dilemma. Too much plastic crap I've grown out of (a long time ago and really should have gotten rid of years earlier), yet a desire to still be Earth friendly and not see them just dumped into a landfill. Luckily, I volunteer in a 5th grade class, and the solution didn't take long to figure out: I would donate them to the class prize bucket!

Being a teacher requires more money payed out of the teacher's own pocket than people think. One of the reasons for this is the prize bucket. A great tool to help teachers maintain order in the classro…

A Winter Investment

It's early December, and it's finally starting to get cold. As much as I'm against global warming, I'll admit I was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Just a light jacket in November? Yes, please! But as it gets colder, the urge to crank up the thermostat gets more persistent. Now, I am so not going to suggest not using a heater at all, but I am going to suggest not cranking it as high as you may want to, and turning it down even lower at night. In the long run, this will save both the Earth and your money.

When we sleep, our bodies naturally cool down (source) and, hello?, we're unconscious, so we don't really notice if it's a bit chilly. But this doesn't mean we don't want to be comfortable; if it gets too cold that'll probably wake us up. The solution to this that I personally use is an easy, one time investment that will last for years: buy a second comforter.

Adding more, or a warmer, blanket to your bed for the winter is a no-brainer,…

Devil's in the Details

Tonight, when I got home from work, my mom had surprised me by making spaghetti. Which happens to be one of my all time favorite foods. Unfortunately, she'd kinda forgotten about my whole "not eating meat" thing. However, she'd split up the spaghetti into 4 different glass containers, each with one portion, so she told me to just pick the meat out of one, put it in another, and that she'd eat it later. Well, there was no point in being wasteful, so I started using a fork to pick out the meat.

Small problem with that. I happen to be OCD. Which means that picking the chunks of meat out with a fork quickly devolved into trying to get out every single little speck of meat in the entire dish with my fingers while sobbing. Fun times. Luckily, my mom heard. She came to calm me down and help me through the episode.

The moral of the story is that with whatever you're trying to accomplish, be it going green, vegetarian, losing weight, or anything else, unless you happe…

Vegan-ish Subway Order

Meatball marinara used to be my go-to Subway order, but obviously that's out the door now. While out and about today I was getting hungry, and didn't want to wait to get home to eat. But I wasn't really sure where to go since my recent decision not to visit McDonalds anymore. Luckily, as I was driving, I remembered a Subway was close. Yum! Obviously, my choice was the veggie delight sandwich. Since I'm not the type who loves all kinds of vegetables (green peppers and black olives? No way!), and I've never had an all veggie sandwich before, I wasn't sure how I'd like it. Turns out, it can be super delicious!
So here is my recipe for the perfect Subway veggie delight:

9 grain honey oat bun (toasted) lettuce tomatospinach onion (not toasted) guacamole sauce of your choice!  Today I got ranch on my sandwich. I just looked it up, and it turns out Subway's recipe has both egg and milk in it. Whoops. Oh well, that's why it's a vegan-ish diet, and the sa…

Vegan-ish Part 2

Part 1

After watching the film Vegucated (it's on Netflix if you want to check it out) I decided that my rules for going vegan-ish were a good first step, but that I want to go further with it. Perhaps I'll slowly be able to go fully vegan, but that's getting a little ahead of myself. For now, here is my updated set of rules for myself -- step 2 of going vegan-ish:

Never buy meat. It's okay to eat meat products that I did not create demand for (e.g. if a friend offered the last few bites of their hamburger). Use non-dairy milk at home. Try to avoid egg and dairy products as much as possible, even if you do slip sometimes.  I'll be honest, it's been less than a day and I've already almost slipped once (almost bought a spaghetti and meatballs TV dinner), so I know this won't be easy for me personally. Hopefully I'll be able to keep with it though because, both for the environment and farm animals, it's worth it. :)

Fluoride Free Toothpaste -- First Impression

When I first heard some people use fluoride free toothpaste my reaction was, "...why?" Fluoride is what makes toothpaste good for your teeth, right? That's what I'd always thought. It turns out that the answer is a little more complicated than I'd thought.

First of all, fluoride is good for your teeth as it prevents cavities. There's just a tiny downside: the fact that it can be toxic. Now, before you freak out, a person has to ingest a lot of it before any proven effects are seen, let alone enough to poison you. Research on the exact effects of fluoride is divided, and while there are many claims about its dangers, there are few proven to have a significant connection. But the general consensus is that too much is bad for you. Just the little bit you absorb through your mouth when brushing your teeth shouldn't be an issue. However, the problem is that about 72% of Americans are getting fluoride in their drinking water (source of statistic), which means h…

Pass on the Restaurant Mints

Being eco-friendly and healthy are both goals accomplished by small actions over time. One small decision most people don't think about in connection to either of these topics is taking a mint at the end of a meal out. As a hostess at a restaurant, keeping the mint dish full is one of my responsibilities, meaning I have to think about mints more than the average person. This has lead me to the conclusion that we should definitely be passing on the mints.
These mints are neither healthy nor eco-friendly, and not taking one is a very small step that collectively can make a big difference.

First of all, these mints are made of sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals (source). Things we would all be better off without, or at least with less of in our diets. While eating a mint isn't a ton of calories, it is a solid hunk of sugar without any nutritional benefits.

As far as the environment goes, these little candies are harmful because of what's on the outside. Each mint is packaged in…

Hogwarts House Meditations

Meditation has many health benefits, but one of the things that make it fun is meditation's ability to take you to different places, even ones that (have never been proven) don't exist. Which brings us to Hogwarts House meditations! (Disclaimer: I am not JKR, I don't own Harry Potter, no copyright infringement intended, this is just for fun.) Now, plug in some earbuds, get comfortable, and let's begin!

Gryffindor  Scenario: It's just past noon and most students are still in class, but you have a free period. The hallways outside the common room are bustling, but you sit cozy by the fire. In the good seat that's always the first one taken. Nice and warm, in a big comfy chair. All your homework is done, and there's nothing to worry about. The sun shines in through the high windows, making the space bright and happy. You contently watch the fireplace, simply relaxing. 
Now open this audio, close your eyes, and enjoy your afternoon in Gryffindor Tower. 

My Mocha Mistake

Didn't I just do a post about not eating McDonald's because they wouldn't let me use my reusable to-go coffee cup? Yet today, I still had this mocha in this non-reusable, disposable, plastic to-go cup. Kermit was right, it's not easy being green. *dramatic sigh*
Today I went to one of my favorite coffee places -- one that's happy to let you use your own reusable cup (I said I'd give up McDonald's, not mochas). I had gotten ready for work, took the detour, and went into the store. Only to realize....I'd forgotten my reusable cup at home! Just great. I figured driving back home to get the cup, and then all the way back to the store wouldn't be too green either (not to mention I didn't really have time), so I went ahead and got the mocha in a disposable cup. Maybe a girl greener than me would have forgone the delicious drink, but that would just make all the carbon I burned to get there pointless, right? ;) Luckily my work has recycling bins, so i…

Quitting the McDonalds Habit

I'll say what most people think, but won't ever admit. I love McDonald's food. After working there for about three weeks, and learning all about the menu, I would go...let's just say often. It's cheap, easy, and tastes good. For a broke college student, that's the holy trinity of food. It was also super unhealthy, which I was aware of. In order to at least try to be healthy I would get a side salad instead of fries, drink water instead of soda, and add leaf lettuce and tomato to my McChicken. It's not so bad that way, right? Oh, and a medium mocha frappe, thanks!

McDonald's is my go to place for food, but I'm going to change that. I'm still a broke college student with not enough time, but I know I have to change. Despite what you may be thinking, this desire wasn't caused by the documentary Super Size Me (I saw that years before my McDonald's habit formed), but instead because of the documentary Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garba…

Saving the Earth in Style

Just recently I finished reading Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson and it's now one of my (if not my number 1) all time favorite non-fiction books.

Being Green isn't a's timelessly chic.  Want to go green without giving up great style? Not sure how to make changes -- or why they matter?  Welcome to the world of GREEN CHIC. Being green -- thoughtfully, consciously green -- makes a real difference in the fight against global warming. But did you know that it's also stylish, classic, and elegant?  Offering up dozens of author-tested, earth-friendly ideas, writer Christie Matheson reveals that being chic and saving the planet aren't mutually exclusive.  Can living a chic green lifestyle TRULY make a difference? You bet your organic sheets it can. It's a calmer, more relaxed, more fabulous path that's about quality -- and quality of life. 
Now, let's be honest, there are TONS of books about how to go green, how to live green, and…

How to go Vegan-ish

I recently saw the documentary Cowspiracy on Netflix (great flick, I highly recommend it), and immediately wanted to go vegan. It took all of two seconds for me to realize that doing so just isn't practical in my life. But as someone who cares deeply about the environment, I still wanted to do something. 
Which is why I created these rules for myself. I'm not going to go vegan, but I'll still try to be vegan-ish. Here's what I came up with for a less extreme way of vegan living:

Only buy meat once a week or less. Never buy beef.It's okay to eat meat that would just be thrown out otherwise (e.g. if a friend offered the last few bites of their hamburger). Switch to soy milk at home. Try to avoid egg and dairy products in the wild, but not always being perfect is okay. I have great respect for people who can fully go vegan or vegetarian, but the all or nothing approach just doesn't work for some people. Including me. I know, I've tried to go vegetarian before a…