But a funny thing happened on my road to recovery. With time on my hands, a comfy couch and a Netflix account, I started adding a bunch of documentaries to my Instant Queue. I didn't watch everything right away, but the seed was planted. I started with two documentaries about a doctor, Dr. Gerson, who successfully treated cancer using real foods in the 1940's (see The Beautiful Truth for more info.) I went shopping for whole foods, picked up Grid Magazine, and found info on the documentary No Impact Man. I watched it on May 30, and I've been changed ever since.
So how could self-proclaimed guilty liberal Colin Beavan make such an impact on this card-carrying conservative? He documented his NYC family's one-year experiment to reduce its impact on the enviroment. They made radical changes to their lifestyle, especially for Colin's wife, Michelle, who was addicted to shopping, convenience and Reality TV (oh, how I can relate!) They stopped eating out in restaurants. Instead, they ate locally and in-season, shopping at the farmer's market (with their own cheese cloth and cloth bags, by the way.) Eventually, they turned off their electricity and did their laundry by foot in the bathtub [with their toddler's help.] I won't discuss how they lasted without toilet paper!
The Beavans' entertaining and inspiring journey challenged my apathy. While our household has always recycled, one of my favorite sayings was "I'd love to save the earth, but not today" as I discarded plastic containers I was too lazy to wash. With that said, I'm proud to report the changes I've made so far:
- I store my cloth grocery bags in the car now so I don't forget to use them.
- I refuse plastic bags for small purchases saying, "If you don't mind, I don't need a bag."
- I use little to no paper towels or paper plates, drastically cutting my convenience trash.
- I shop locally at Amish markets and farmstands, Weavers Orchard, September Farm Cheese and Kimberton Whole Foods.
- I enlarged my vegetable garden this year, my second year using Square Foot Gardening principles.
- I've adopted clean eating thanks to The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged and Jillian Michaels' Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. Basically, if it doesn't grow or have a mother, I'm trying not to eat it. (Yes, you can teach an old Sweet 'N Low and processed foods junkie new tricks!)
- I'm in the process of switching over our household, health and beauty products to natural alternatives. We've already used Shaklee's Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate and Sun & Earth's Dishwasher Detergent Tabs for over a year now.
- We put great effort into recycling while on vacation (see photo below)
I may be jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon a little late. Afterall, how many Earth Days have I missed? But now that I am aware of this issue, I feel responsible to act accordingly.
I was pleased to find Christian environmental sites like Creation Care and Earth Ministry. Afterall, next to professing my faith in Jesus at age 20, no other experience has impacted my life like No Impact Man. So why not join the two?
I'm confident these changes will make a big positive impact on creation and our family's health as well. Will you join me? Comment here to share your thoughts.