This month I haven’t been sitting idly by.
I’ve done a few more changes that took a bit more effort than let’s say, reusing bags, and I think I’m reaching a good point in my lowering of waste and plastics in my home.
EATING VEGAN 99% OF THE TIME
This is a big one for me.
Note that I said eating, and not BEING vegan. I still wear leather….
Unless I go out to eat with friends, I eat vegan as much as possible now. We’ve eliminated all the meat (no loss), eggs, and dairy (except for a splash of it in my tea in the morning).
Even when I go out, I eat vegan when I can, trying to avoid eating meat and dairy.
Eating less meat helps bring down the CO2 in the environment, stops putting a strain on my body and on the environment, and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
The main reason why I wanted to go vegan 99% of the time? MY HEALTH.
Not animal welfare, not environmental issues.. HEALTH.
That is the most compelling reason for myself as a selfish human being, and it could be the best angle that vegans haven’t used to tell everyone to GO VEGAN.
Plenty of great reasons to go vegan can be found in this documentary: Forks Over Knives.
One thing I will mention is that the documentary failed to say that vitamin B12 can only be found in animal-based products, or if you actively seek out to eat nutritional yeast.
I really think they should have mentioned it to be objective in the documentary, EVEN IF you can easily obtain B12 in nutritional yeast.
They should have at least mentioned it because I spent a lot of time researching a vegan diet, and came to this conclusion:
- Need iron from plant-based items — lots of beans/grains have iron, but you have to eat them
- Need omega-3s from plant-based items — walnuts take care of this, a handful a day
- Need B12 vitamins — Either eat nutritional yeast, or take a B12 supplement
- Need calcium from plant-based items — easy enough, almonds and veggies
Otherwise, we’re good in terms of covering all the other bases because missing those vital (haha!) vitamins when you go vegan, can make you fatigued, annoyed, frustrated and want to give it all up.
To be honest, I don’t miss meat any more.
I can eat it, but I don’t crave it. Not even bacon which wasn’t good bacon here in Canada to begin with (really too fat, too salty, no flavour).
What I can’t give up permanently is seafood / fish, which is something I rarely eat anyway because of mercury and PCBs in things like farmed salmon, eel and tuna; and a bit of milk & honey each morning in my tea.
It wasn’t that hard of a switch for me.
BUY MILK IN GLASS BOTTLES
Now we’re only buying 1 litre for a month rather than the 6 bottles we used to buy each WEEK. O_o
Harmony Organic sells local Ontario milk in glass bottles at Whole Foods in Yorkville, and at Longo’s at the Air Canada Center (ACC) in Toronto.
They charge a bottle deposit of $2.00 which is a big enough financial incentive for me to buy the milk and return the clean bottle afterwards.
I like that I get to continue drinking (good-for-Canada) milk, and I don’t have any plastic bags or cartons to toss.
(Yes, in Canada we have bags of milk that you put in a jug rather than cartons or big huge plastic jugs.)
ELIMINATED: PLASTIC BAGS FOR MILK, CARTONS FOR MILK
STOP USING COMMERCIAL SHAMPOOS
I use soap nut liquid that I make on my own now.
I have tried the GAMUT of no-shampoo methods, and this is the only one that has worked so far.
(I don’t know if any of you remember but I tried just using warm water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean my hair. Then I tried castile soap. NEITHER WORKED.)
Takes some getting used to, but my hair is clean, not greasy, and feels fine.
ELIMINATED: SHAMPOOS WASHED DOWN THE DRAIN AND THEY ARE NO LONGER ABSORBED INTO MY SCALP
STOP USING COMMERCIAL HAIR CONDITIONERS
This might be too much information, but it made my hair look greasy after a while (buildup), and it gave me bacne.
If my hair feels dry, I rub a little coconut oil on the ends.
Some coconuts I took a picture of in Macau
It’s been proven in research to work better than mineral and sunflower oil:
Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.
Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair.
This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils.
Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.
I now rub the coconut oil onto my scalp about 2 hours before I wash my hair, and a little on the ends right after I dry my hair off.
ELIMINATED: CONDITIONERS WASHED DOWN THE DRAIN AND BACNE
STOP USING COMMERCIAL BODY CREAMS
AGAIN x 3!
I really like Yu-Be cream a lot, but it’s expensive and I felt really bad about using those tiny plastic tubs each time I got out of the shower.
However due to my eczema I cannot avoid using body creams, I need to keep my skin moisturized and plump, so I just spread coconut oil all over my body after a shower.
It absorbs quickly (really surprising as it’s an oil), it works better than olive oil (yes I tried that in the past), and you have to be sure to buy the virgin, UNREFINED stuff or else it stays on your skin.
ELIMINATED: TRACES OF POSSIBLY QUESTIONABLE BODY CREAM INGREDIENTS THAT GET ABSORBED INTO MY SKIN
That does it for now. I think we’re in a good groove now, and I have to say that I do feel a lot lighter and better, especially after switching into a 99% vegan-based diet for health reasons.