Zero Waste Lifestyle

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My daughter recently asked me if I knew anything about “zero waste living”.  I had to admit that I’d heard of it, but really didn’t know what it entailed.  So, I decided to look into it and relay my findings to all of you.

Zero waste is living without any waste at all.  So, this means that you don’t buy your toothpaste, you make it.  When you get coffee out you bring a mug with you and have that filled instead of a coffee cup.  You need to think about bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, buying loose vegetables instead of ones in plastic bags.  Another great thing that is easy to do is to by your own steel straw and keep it with you just in case you end up going out for a drink, that way you can limit the amount of plastic straws you use.  By the way, you can also do this by bringing your own silverware with you if you end up in a fast-food restaurant.

The list of things that you have to think about is fairly long, and from what information I’ve found, it can take a while to get to zero waste.  There is a steep hill of learning to climb, to say the least.  A lot of it seems to be pretty time-consuming, and as an aside, the loophole of using “recyclable” plastic, can be more than confusing, since as I’ve come to know, much of what we “recycle”, doesn’t actually get recycled.  (The cost of recycling is going up all the time, and many of the countries that took recycling are not taking it anymore.)

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So, in my case, I could not go to zero waste, since many of the products at my local grocery store are packaged in non-recyclable plastic, from bread to vegetables, and many products in between. I don’t have the option of buying those items loose, since I’ve never even seen loose mushrooms, they are always packaged in the stores that I’ve been in.

That being said, there are a lot of other things that we can do to bring our waste down.  I almost always bring a bag with me when I shop, so I don’t have plastic bags.  If I do end up with them, I reuse them for as long as I can.  If I’ve forgotten a bag, I will often just put whatever is was that I’ve bought into my purse if it fits.  I also have quite a few net bags that I put my loose produce in – fruit and the vegetables that are sold loose.

While trying to live by creating zero waste is an admirable goal, I’ve found that the way we package food products, along with most of the other things that we buy, it seems to be a difficult task.  However, I absolutely advocate doing what you can in your daily life to create as little waste as you can.  After all, we have turned much of this world into a garbage dump, and What do you think about going zero waste?  I’ve left a few links below for you to check out if you’re interested.

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https://www.motherearthliving.com/healthy-home/zero-waste-living-zmfz15jfhou

http://time.com/5218046/how-to-live-zero-waste/

 

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Pesticides and Children

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While we all know that pesticides are harmful for any creature, the evidence that they are also extremely harmful for humans continues to mount.  As you know, Monsanto cannot be sold in many countries due to the harm it causes.  Monsanto was taken to the international court, The Hauge, and this courts decision was to allow the bans against it to stand.  So, here we have not only scientific evidence that pesticides are harmful, but legal rulings against it, also.

The study linked to below, deals with an insecticide class known as Organophosphates which were developed in Germany in the 1940’s and are “like” nerve agents, which means that they target an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase ) that controls nerves signals, of course this destroys the enzyme, and then the insect also dies.  These insecticides are known as chlorpyrifos and are widely used in the U.S. and Europe.  Not only that, but chlorpyrifos are not only used in fields, but they have also been used in parks and playgrounds.  Since they have been used so widely, it is nearly impossible not to come into contact with them.

Until this meta study was conducted,(for those who don’t know, a meta study is the extensive study of many different peer-reviewed scientific studies) many people were under the impression that these were not “all that” harmful to humans, however by using the meta study (the study of many peer-reviewed studies from over 71 countries), the scientists discovered that the level of human harm is much higher than was previously thought.  Indeed, they discovered that there is no “acceptable” level, in fact, chronic low-level exposure is extremely harmful and can lead to problems in babies and children that include lower I.Q., problems with the mechanics of the brain, learning disabilities and memory problems.  Should many children have these problems it will become a societal problem.

I’m leaving the link to this information below.  Scary stuff indeed.

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 https://www.care2.com/causes/theres-no-safe-limit-of-pesticide-exposure-for-children-says-a-new-study.html

 

What’s the What with Beet Juice?

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I recently saw a post on Instagram about the benefits of beet juice and decided to check it out.  What I found was interesting, and I’m excited to say that I’ll be adding this juice to my “to-drink” list.  Some of the benefits include helping you exercise longer (and feel better doing so), lowering blood pressure, improve blood flow, may improve muscle power in people who are suffering from heart failure, slow dementia, and help with maintaining a healthy weight.  Other benefits include preventing cancer because beets contain the antioxidant betalaines which are known to work against some cancer cells.  Beets also have the following minerals:  potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium all of which are beneficial to our bodies.

Other good things found in beets are folate and vitamin C.  Some studies have shown that beet juice can reduce the fatty substances that may build up in your liver, and it also shows that it may help reduce cholesterol.

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There are some things to know before you decide to drink beet juice.  Like turmeric, beet juice may change the color of your urine, in this case to either red or pink (turmeric can make it quite yellow).  Also, it’s suggested that you introduce the juice to your diet slowly to give your body a chance to adjust.  All I can say is, thank goodness I’ve hung onto my juicer.  I’ll let you know how this new adventure into beet juice goes!

Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

Five Habits That to Extend Your Life

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Harvard has a new study out regarding habits that may help extend your life.  Of course, it’s no surprise that the first item on the list is no tobacco products.  These products have been linked to a variety of health problems, so if you want to extend your life, I strongly suggest that you never begin using tobacco, or if you have, please stop.  Your life depends on it.

Another item on the list is keeping a low BMI (body mass index).  Keeping the fat down is always a good idea.  The other habit that goes right along with this is cardio for at least 30 minutes a day.  How many times have we been told that we absolutely need to exercise?  Not only does it make you feel better but doing so can help you live longer.

So, the last two habits are avoiding alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet. As far as alcohol consumption is concerned, I recommend watching the documentary The Truth About Alcohol (I watched it on Netflix).  There is a ton of information in this documentary, and will hopefully help you to drink much less, or stop drinking completely.  (That’s what it did to me, and I don’t regret giving up my occasional glass of wine at all.)  The latest nutrition information has changed from promoting a lot of meat and dairy to promoting the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, with only small amounts of meat and dairy.  I myself am vegan, so I just concentrate my diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.  If you’re at all interested in the scientific data that supports non-meat/non-dairy consumption, I recommend nutritionfacts.org.

Well, there you have it –  five new habits to add to your daily life!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-harvard-study-says-5-habits-can-help-you-live-way-longer-this-one-is-the-most-important/ar-AAwzhiu

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May Goals

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Here it is already May!  The snow is finally gone and now we’ve got lots of wood to process for next winter.  And, that’s a good thing, since we’ll need a lot of wood if next winter is as cold and snowy as this past winter was.  So, as far as goals are concerned, here they are:

Fitness Goals:  I’ve got the goal of at least 18 miles of walking a week.  I’ve been averaging about 17 or so weekly, so this is definitely a doable goal.  Also keep on doing what I’ve been doing.

Spring Cleaning:  So far, I’ve done one floor of my house, and am working (about 3 rooms to go) on the next floor and have the basement to finish after that.  My daughter who is much cleverer than I am figured out a fabulous way to dust the logs on the walls (we have a log cabin), and they look so good!  We’ll continue doing that as we keep cleaning the house.

Writing:  I’m struggling with the fiction-writing thing lately.  I’ve been so busy cleaning (actually that’s just an excuse), but I intend to write at least one 600-word story this month, and the goal is two.  We’ll see on this one.

Lessons:  I hope to finish up with my coaching stuff and get my certificate.  This is one goal that I’ve had every month for months, and I just can’t seem to attain it.  I’m hopeful that this is the month.

Health:  I want to eat healthier.  It’s amazing what different kinds of unhealthy vegan foods there are out there in the world.  With the warmer weather, there will be more fresh fruits and vegetables on offer, and I want to start adding them into my diet.  No more vegan candy!

Mental Health:  The past few months have been pretty chaotic, and there are a lot emotional events that I need to process.  I haven’t been writing in my journal, so this month I’m going to try and work some issues out by doing that.  I really need to clear my head and take care of myself.

Anyway, there are my goals.  Have you made any goals for the month, and if so, what are they?  Let me know in the comments below, and we can cheer each other on. Happy May!

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Goals Re-cap for March 2018

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This is the story of March…or really the story of my not achieving all my goals.  You can decide which story it is, but in reality, it’s a little of both.  Okay, we’ve had five (5)!! Nor’easters this month.  Seems more than a little excessive to me.  So, no Spring Cleaning.  I’ve done plenty of wood hauling and kindling making, though!  I am simply done with winter…but still it’s not done with me.  I am such a lucky person!

The other goals that did not get accomplished were my writing, my certificate and my website.  Working on these, but not accomplished yet.

I have achieved one goal, yes, I have worked out every single day this month (year)!  Yay me!  I can feel myself getting stronger and fitter – now, if only I didn’t hurt so much!  No, it’s really only the usual working-out aches and pains.

How did your month go?  Did you accomplish your goals?  Let me know in the comments below.

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