In Life

New things I do that are eco-friendly and good for the environment

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.

1-Harmony_Organic_Returnable_Glass_Milk_Bottle

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.

Soap-Nuts-Natural-Shampoo-Face-Wash-Saponin-How-ToSoap nut husks

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.

Yuck.

If my hair feels dry, I rub a little coconut oil on the ends.

Photograph-Travel-Macau-Asia-Coconut-Fruit-Market

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.

Via

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

Coconut oil.

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.

WHAT THINGS DO YOU DO NOW, OR CAN CONSIDER DOING NOW TO BE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on December 28, 2017

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12 Comments

  1. tomatoketchup

    Since you’ve gone mostly vegan, do you find any difficulties with getting enough calories throughout the day? I think, despite the health benefits of such a diet, I personally would have a very hard time eating enough volume, as there are some days I need to eat around 3000 calories a day to prevent weight loss. Have you had any problems with this?

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @tomatoketchup: Yes. I eat a lot more.

      I eat about 4 times a day. Oatmeal in the morning (big bowl, about a cup), then a big meal at lunch (not just salad, beans and the like), then again about 2 hours later (another big meal), usually before yoga, then another big meal at night.

      I don’t think I’ve lost weight yet I’m at 110 lbs but I’ll update in about a year to see how I felt during the whole situation.

      I eat a LOT more, but luckily, grains and beans have a lot of calories (nuts too), especially if you eat a lot more.

      Reply
  2. The Asian Pear

    Wait. You’re vegan now?!?! Is this a ghost writer?!?!

    I DON’T KNOW YOU ANYMORE. Who will nom with me?!?!? ;___;

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @The Asian Pear: I WILL NOM WITH YOU!

      I only eat seafood when I go out with friends which is pretty rare (unlike May, birthday month…)

      So we’re still on for sushi.

      Reply
  3. Tania

    I just bought a big tub of coconut oil and am looking forward to using it for different things. Almost out of conditioner anyway so I think I’ll try this. I had trouble with breaking out too when I use cheaper hair products. I noticed Nexxus in particular gave me problems. I thought I’d save money and buy shampoo/conditioner from Costco and I broker out on my back and face. I used to use Nexxus in college with no issues so I feel like they changed the formula once they went more drugstore (they used to be salon products).

    I started watching Forks over Knives but didn’t finish yet. Recently watched Vegucated which felt more like a Peta angle but they did look at the health of the three participants and all of them but especially the one who embraced fresh fruits and veggies (versus eating crap like vegan cookies) had great improvements in their blood pressure or cholestoral.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: Just use it on your ends, not your whole head. My mom rubs it into her scalp but I tried it and ended up having to wash my hair 3X to get it out.

      Conditioners really break me out.. I’ve learned to use them cautiously or not at all.

      Reply
  4. Pauline

    Do you feel better and more energetic with the vegan diet? I have reduced meat a lot but for convenience (not much diversity of grains and vegetables here) I haven’t switched to vegetarian or vegan. Also, milk lasting a month? isn’t that full of additives?

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Pauline: Yes I feel like I am way more energetic. It’s surprising but true (you saw my newest post on going vegan here, right?)

      Milk has been officially cut out now. I don’t like drinking tea as much but … it’s no longer in our fridge. *sigh*

      Reply
  5. maz

    Been using coconut oil for years, love it however, if I wanna smell nice ( like if I go to a party or something – I don’t wear perfume – ), I use peach kernel oil. It smells divine.
    Out of interest, how do you make your own shampoo. I use the nuts for washing my clothes but that’s it, I haven’t got a clue how to transform them into a liquid form. Do you squash them or something??

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @maz: I have a post coming up! 🙂 I promise I will show you how it’s done.

      Mmm.. peach kernel oil. I use lavender essential oil.

      Reply
  6. Tina

    Ooh, coconut oil, I’m going to give that a try. I’ve been doing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar thing, and my hair just doesn’t quite feel right. The hair near my scalp does okay, but my ends get dry.

    Some might find this kind of gross but for dishes that aren’t greasy, I just rinse them off with hot water. This doesn’t work well for plastic tupperware, but it’s just fine for glass and ceramic dishes. The plates get that squeaky clean feeling as if I did use dish soap.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tina: Do not do the baking soda vinegar thing. You will get a super dry scalp like I did in about a few months.

      Soap nuts are much better.

      As for washing dishes — I do the same thing. As long as it isn’t very greasy, you don’t really need the soap. Fruits for instance, don’t leave much of a residue, or bread.

      Reply

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