I’ve come to realize, I need to choose my battles wisely. My quest to live chemical-free can be exhausting!
While cleaning, I no longer mindlessly grab bottles of chemicals that promise to render me a clean surface with ease. Fortunately I now know how to use vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide quite effectively after test-cleaning for months – yes months!
Food is always a work in progress as I continue my research. I’ve found many foods labeled “Natural” aren’t natural at all. I avoid single serve, over packaged and disposable products as well as farm raised fish full of hormones. Since GMO (genetically modified) foods aren’t labeled, I call food producers to inquire. I also study food growing practices to determine the most important produce to buy organic (check out the Dirty Dozen). I have a small organic garden and frequent Farmer’s Markets. Next I hit the grocery stores – not just one, several! I try my best to buy locally first and give the store managers feedback about their offerings. Then I head to Columbia for more healthy food options.
Considering Styrofoam as the biggest environmental irritant of them all, I don’t budge on this one. Many times I search for the elusive vegetable or fruit not packaged in Styrofoam trays. Worst yet, I absolutely love coffee, at many community events I sadly turn away as I smell the alluring aroma nestled in Styrofoam cups. As for take-out foods – many times not an option for me. If only the Styrofoam price tag reflected its environmental damage – then it would be expensive to produce and not so prevalent.
One would think a stroll through the park would be relaxing but no – I’m generally compelled to pick up litter and “mine” recyclables from the trash bins. Some days, when I need a break, I don’t bring a bag with me but invariably, I see a plastic bag snagged on a tree somewhere so I’m compelled to fill it up! As for the dispersed cigarette butts – It takes a “full energy” day and gloves in tow for me to grab those.
Reduce/Reuse/Recycle – I’m always considering these principals. It may take a little more effort but I always save money while conserving our natural resources and Trash Day is always a breeze!
Yeah, being an Environmentalist isn’t exactly glamorous but we do what we have to do.