Friday, November 4, 2011

Just how crunchy are you?

Let's just say that I will always wish to be crunchier than I actually am. This is partially due to laziness and partially due to the fact that I am finding SO many new ways to be crunchy that I'm not sure I can ever do them all! But, I will say that every time I add a new crunchy element to my life, I become happier and more fulfilled. This is relatively new to me, so I would not win any awards... but I'm not out to get praise or attention for it. I just want to know that I'm always improving and looking for new ways to better myself and the world around me. Before I get into my lists, let me post a disclaimer that you should remember every time you check out my blog. I may write things that will have you screaming "TMI!!!!" But I can do that, because it's my blog. And also, because there isn't a whole lot in life that I consider TMI. If it's something that most people do and especially if most people do often, then I have no problem talking about it on my blog (I'm sure you can come up with some examples without me spelling it out!).

Here are some of the things I have recently incorporated into my life:
Recycling everything that can be recycled. Unfortunately for the local recycle center, I'm afraid I often recycle things that may  not be able to be recycled. But hey, I'm learning.
Using natural cleaning products. I'm not throwing away the cleaning products that cause people to grow extra toes, because I'm frugal. I will use them until they are gone, but we are replacing things with natural products as we run out.
Eating as little processed/packaged food as I am able. I have not had a freezer dinner since I moved on October 1st. Please understand that is huge for a girl who used to eat 4-5 of them each week for lunch at work. I am buying fresh, in season produce (from the farmer's market, which has been SO fun to go to each week) and baking/cooking from scratch, which is totally new for me. So far it's been a ton of fun. I'll expand on it in a later post.
Moving closer to the city center/using less gas... ok, I'll admit. I fell in love with this apartment and it was a total bonus that almost every place we frequent is 5 or less miles away, including my job. But I have seen that I fill up on gas less often since everything is so close. My job is a gas guzzler, but I'll get into that in a different post. (I hope my gas friendly Civic buys me brownie points with the earth.)
Reuse any grocery bags I do get for carrying lunch to work (except I also have enough lunch boxes to sink a ship) or to scoop my cat's litter box. But mostly, using my reusable bags when I shop.
Slowly replacing bulbs with CFL's (isn't that what they're called?) and making sure to keep heat down in the winter, A/C up in the summer, and lights off whenever possible.
There may be a few more, but this is all I can come up with right now.

Here are some things I want to eventually incorporate into my life:
Breastfeeding... for reasons I'll explain in yet another later post, I won't be able to stay home with my children, at least not the first one and probably not the second one either. So there is slightly more packaging, water, etc. used when you have to pump, but still better, I think, than formula feeding. (Note: the views expressed on my blog belong solely to me and I will not judge you for not thinking the same way... much... kidding)
Using either cloth diapers or natural disposable diapers. The jury is still out on if cloth diapers are better for the environment (google if you wish), but I know they certainly have to be better for your baby's sensitive skin. Many daycares don't allow cloth diapering, so we have decided we will use the natural, biodegradable diapers if we need to. I've heard those are harder to find than one thinks (most that are natural will not biodegrade), but not impossible.
I want to transition to either using all natural tampons or one of the 'cup' products (mooncup, diva cup, etc.).
While we are on bathroom topics, switching my cat to an all natural litter. The two I've tried so far literally made me nauseous when I got near it, but I feel guilty for using clay litter. So the search will continue.
Today I read about the concept of "Family Cloth" for the bathroom... it intrigued me and scared me all at the same time. No worries, the family does not all share one cloth. But essentially your family uses reusable cloth for bathroom needs. People who swear by it claim that if you are eating healthy, there is little clean up and no smell. Hmmm.... I will need a loooong time to mull this over. Maybe I will switch to that earth friendlier TP in the mean time that my mom keeps sending me coupons for.
Go even more local/nonprocessed/nonpackaged than I am now. There is always room for improvement.
Learn to sew, so I can repurpose things. This appeals to my frugal side, too.
Again, I'm sure I can come up with more, but this is about 10 minutes worth of brain storming.

Next up on the blog..... Some topics to look for in upcoming posts:

ME! My job, my life, my family, my cat who is way cuter than any other cat, etc. (expect that to be a long one!)
My Catholic faith
My diagnosis of PCOS
Cooking and baking from scratch- where I get my inspiration from, what I've learned from it, how the man in my life is taking it, etc!


  1. 1. There are amazingly simple recipes out there for homemade cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, dishwasher drying agent, and laundry detergent that save a ton of packaging AND money. You'd be surprised what you can do with baking soda and vinegar!

    2. If you end up using a cup, I demand an apology!! And in front of Mom!! LOL You have both made fun of me for years, but I swear it's the best thing I've ever done. I've had it for 7 years now...think how much money and packaging has been saved in that time. And it's so nice not to have anything bleached in/on me, and not to have my natural fluids all dried up. I can't say enough good things about it. I know people's main issue tends to be the squick factor, but my inner crunch LOVES being so in touch with my own body that way.

    3. One of my biggest, toughest battles in becoming ever crunchier is my meat and dairy consumption. To keep good milk coming, cows have to keep having babies and then have the babies taken away so that WE can have the milk instead of the calf, and the cow can only be used for so long before it's "no good" for milk anymore. And the poop from so many animals puts so much CO2 into the air...we pollute our air with that more than with CO2 from cars! Not only that, but they're corn fed all year even though grass is what's natural for them, b/c corn is cheaper, and we plow down forests and rain forests to clear enough space to grow enough corn and grain for all those animals. Eating animals isn't inhuman, but the way we've turned it into mass factories isn't natural and is killing the earth. Meat was never meant to be the central focus of every meal the way we've made it in our country and in our modern times. And this is just in addition to the cruel conditions which I won't even go into because I'm sure you know about it. I want to drastically reduce my meat and dairy intake and find protein and calcium in more natural, healthier sources, and when I do have meat, make sure it's grass-fed, TRULY free range and cruelty free...which would automatically price me out into having meat much more rarely! This is my toughest battle, I think.

  2. 1. Totally have been looking into that. I've started with my body first and I'm investigating the "no poo" movement. But also have come across cool laundry detergent, etc. recipes. It will be a slow process changing things over because I know that's the only way I will stick with it. First was my toothpaste because the SLS was killing my mouth; I haven't had a single canker sore since switching. Next up was body wash, which is going well. Then possibly "no poo" and on to household cleaners. For now, we are doing 7th Generation and stuff like that.

    2. Totally will! Though it will probably be a while down the road. I think my first transition will be to natural tampons.

    3. The easiest thing for me was to mostly cut out meat and dairy. I don't drink milk at all any more- it wreaks havoc on my PCOS. I eat very limited cheese and yogurt, but that's about it. I drink almond milk because soy milk messes with my hormones, too. We eat limited amounts of free range chicken/eggs (once a week max) and partially grass fed, antibiotic/hormone free beef (again, usually once a week). We recently discovered quinoa which is one of the healthiest grains out there, and also gluten free which has been shown to help PCOS. We have that a couple nights a week, sometimes brown rice, sometimes chicken or beef as noted above, and sometimes a good old pb&j (whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, and TJ's superfruit spread- delish!). It's been challenging but actually a lot of fun partially eliminating dairy and meat, and I can totally tell a difference. BUT you made me write half of my food post early lol!

  3. It's hard for me because you have to get more creative with cooking if you don't make meat the center of the meal, and I rarely feel like I have the time and energy for that. And Nicole is usually doing the cooking anyway since she gets home earlier. It's hard for me to give up ice cream too, but I guess I could start reducing my consumption. Just man, any major food-related changes have always been hard for me--hey, I'm a Miller! Whole grains and fresh seasonal produce is easy and amazing, but cutting out snack type stuff and dairy treats is really hard.

    I tried no poo for a while about 5 years ago, but I couldn't figure out how not to have residue after a few days. No matter how much I washed it out, I'd feel baking soda on my scalp and it would come off on my fingers and the brush. But I may have been doing something wrong, and I admit I had very little patience, so I gave up after a few weeks.

  4. I'm glad you girls like the cup - but I will NEVER say I was wrong about that! LOL As for the "family cloth", please don't transition until after my week in April ;-)

    1. LOL I haven't yet started using the cup, but I do like the idea of it. Family cloth doesn't appeal to me, but it 'makes sense'... if that makes sense.