Saturday, January 30, 2010

Attempting Green

Although they weren't a part of my New Year's resolutions, I have been trying to do some things slightly differently to try to become a little more environmentally friendly and perhaps a little healthier as well. There have been varying degrees of success. A couple weeks ago, I went to Target to pick up a book for school and was ooohing and aahhhing over the cuteness of the Valentine's section. It was like cute overload. But for some reason I started looking at labels. Made in China. Made in China. Made in China. I started thinking about how much Americans consume (it's a lot, folks) and thought maybe I should attempt not to buy anything from China anymore, and also try not to buy stuff just for the sake of buying it if I don't need it. So then yesterday I took Scoop to PetSmart to buy her a couple necessities, and what do I do? Walk out with two new toys for her, made in ... you guessed it ... China. I don't want to be all preachy on this blog, but everything I've been reading in school is eye-opening to how wasteful our throwaway society is and that at this pace we are going to run out of resources. But even being aware of it, I realize it's going to be very difficult to change my habits ... and many people don't know or don't care enough to do anything at all. It can be disheartening to think about.

Anywho, I also bought some new soap and laundry detergent at EcoReno, assuming the ingredients are more natural. But I've decided to look into this a little further, to try to learn how to read labels to know if what I'm buying really is "green" or if I'm being "greenwashed." I also, however, bought a refillable bottle at the local Co-op yesterday and filled it with bulk shampoo. I plan to do this with other products as I run out of them. Regardless of the ingredients, I am confident this will result in quite a bit less waste.

As far as food, after reading the Omnivore's Dilemma I thought it might not be a bad idea if we tried to eat less meat, and maybe then we could afford to buy locally-grown, grass-fed beef, etc. So far this has been a disaster. I made eggplant parmesan a few months ago, and Chris hated it. Last night I made veggie lasagna, and it was better than the eggplant, but Chris said it would have been better with meat (of course). So this goal remains a goal. But perhaps some of you have some yummy meat-free recipes to share that I can try out on Chris?

The last goal is more of a fitness goal. There is a good possibility that Michelle, Andrea and I will be climbing Mt. Fuji together this summer. And if I were to try it today, I am convinced I would not make it. So, I'm going to attempt to get in shape. I picked up some info on local trails, and yesterday Scoop and I went to check out one of them by the river. Next week, if the weather permits, I'll look for another one that's a little longer and a little steeper. And hopefully by the summer I'll be hiking Mt. Rose in preparation for the big climb!


Nanette said...

Good luck! I have been feeling the same way. Suddenly I am all sorts of disgusted with what I put on my skin.
Making changes has been difficult but at least we are trying.
We are also in the market for grass fed beef. There are a lot of farms that offer it and we plan on going in with a couple other families and splitting the goods.
I'm working on th recipe thing too. I'll let you know if I find anything worth sharing.

The Poty's said...

My sugestion on the grass fed meat is to try it before you buy in bulk. We shared a 1/2 a cow with my Mom (so we got a 1/4) and hated the taste of it, the smell when it was cooking was different too. I've been told that the meat that has been "finished" with grain is better. (Just meaning that it's grass fed but a month or so before the slauter it they feed it grain. Good luck!

Tammy said...

I think we can get the beef in smaller quantities at Whole Foods or the Co-op. Last week a co-worker said the stuff at Whole Foods was really good, and I was like, really? Because I thought it wasn't supposed to be as good because it's not as fatty as the other stuff. Hmmm.

Nan, someone told me that 60 percent of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Makes me a little worried about dyes and fragrances, etc. I know how you feel.

Laura said...

Kudos to you Tammy. There are 2 books that I heard about that you might enjoy. 1. A Year without Made in China.
2. Not buying it, my year without shopping.

I hear they are both pretty interesting and go along the same lines of what you are trying to do. Also Ernesto told me about this guy that decided not to use soap for a year ( because he didn't want the chemicals on his skin) He said it took 2 weeks to get used to but after that he never felt better.

Something to think about.

Tammy said...

Thanks, Laura. I will add those books to my summer reading list!