Here is a list of seasonal foods this month:
So, it seems an appropriate time to go on a spiel about me & my personal environmental journey. Yes, this was inspired by a heated conversation with besty, who has been annoying me about being a vegetarian for the past 13years and yet he's "passionate about the environment" (now I win the debate because he doesn't blog)!
When I was little I was pretty into the environment, we didnt have a TV for ages, I loved spending time outside with our family dog, my over-active imagination meant I enjoyed playing games, reading and writing and of course dancing. Surprisingly I was into the body and its connection with the world via breathing...I'll have to dig up the picture I drew! One thing that I was really fearful of was change. When they tore down our local park in my mind it was equal to the end of the world as I knew it.
Like most children, I loved animals. Possibly thanks to Disney movies, I thought of myself as someone who could befriend them all. Yes, this all sounds rather lame!
When I learnt that meat was actually the muscle of a farmyard animal, I recall being quite sickened. At this stage it never occurred to me about the death process, only the fact that I couldnt imagine someone eating me! So I soon began declining to eat meat. At our house where you must "finish everything on your plate or you cant leave the table" I was met with noncompliance to my wishes. At twelve, my mother deemed me "old enough" and so, meat was no longer a part of my diet. Eggs were eliminated too because though I knew they were unfertilised, it still bothered me to eat a "chicken period". My sister told me today that this description put her off eating eggs for years (sorry)! When I moved out of home it became easier to eat a healthful diet as I could cook what I wanted, when I wanted but financially it was not always the case.
Here is a great list for anyone considering becoming a vegetarian: http://www.vegetarianvictoria.org.au/going-vegetarian/10-reasons-to-go-veggo.html the best books I have ever read about the matter are "The China Study" & "The ethics of what we eat".
As I got older I engaged in a number of unhealthful activities. Smoking was one of my worst habits. But I was always mindful of my impact on the earth. The reason I previously mentioned my fear of change was that I really did not want our world to end up unlivable. We can probably thank the Terminator movies for my fear of technology (and how ironic that I should end up a blogger). I wasnt always very good at doing my bit...sure I recycled but I also littered with cigarette butts, sure I didnt eat animals but I also ate some garbage foods, sure all the cleaning products in my home said "earth" but I was partying hard weekly. To be honest it wasnt really until I was pregnant that I had a long hard look at my lifestyle. I was in an aerobics team at the time and my main priority was doing well and looking good whilst doing it, no matter the cost.
But my body suddenly didnt belong to just me. I went a little mad, I admit...but nothing toxic was going into my bub's body. Almost everything I bought had to be certified organic and natural (even toothbrush & paste!). My diet had to be so much better balanced, no skipping meals, no booze, no other toxic products (when I conceived I was drinking four cans of "V" and a good few coffee's DAILY) and my stress levels had to decrease. Where I'd always found yoga boring it became part of my exercise routine and played a huge part in balancing my mind. I REALLY embraced my hippy-ness and had never felt more in control of my life, nor had I ever felt healthier.
Just a side note here, the aim of this particular blog is not to look down on anyone, nor is it to "veggie-bash". It is simply to share with you the way I try to be eco-friendly.
So, naturally, I wanted a drug-free birth, to breastfeed, to use cloth nappies, to use organic and biodegradable products, provide home-made meals only, and be practically bpa-free. While I didnt quite get the gorgeous birth I had planned, I am proud to say that I have followed on in my quest to live greener. Some people like to excel in what they do...I am one of those people...an "alpha-type" parent if you will. If I'm going to be a mum, I am going to be the best damn mum I can be. I dont think that my lifestyle choices make me better than anyone else, nor that they would suit everyone. However, it is my strong desire to help make the world a livable place for my son's generation just as it is my strong desire to help make my son happy & healthy. I love the quote "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time".
How I'm doing this:
- Being a vegetarian: if everyone just had one meat-free day per week we would save water, crops, gas, land & anti-biotics, prevent greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, animal excrement and ammonia emissions!!!
- Cloth Nappies: the first ever disposable nappy is STILL in landfill. Babies wee & poo ALOT, and the ramifications of using disposable nappies stay with us for centuries. It is also best for babies skin, may help with toilet learning and save ME money. See more at http://www.drmomma.org/2011/04/chemicals-in-disposable-diapers.html
- Putting Poo into the toilet: yep, all you disposable users should do this too!! Ever heard of landfill leachate? You do not want human poo in landfill, it belongs in the sewage system, where we can manage and treat it.
- Breastfeeding: not only does it save bottles, sterilisers etc (I've only ever bought 3 "eco" bottles & one pump), it doesnt put money in the hands of formula companies (http://www.thealphaparent.com/2011/10/why-way-you-feed-your-baby-is-my.html), and it has been PROVEN to correlate with IQ so that one day my bubbah can make informed choices about HIS health and how he can be kind to the earth. This is also a good reason I dont use CIO method, and wont smack my child.
- Recycling & upcycling: having a child is the perfect reason to keep toilet rolls & old magazines (also it indulges my inner hoarder!)
- Buying Organic: my dad said once "we never had this stuff when I was growing up" and my response was "you also never had as much chemical crap put into everything you eat, use or wear" and he did agree. Our soil is far less nourishing than it used to be, meaning that our fruit and veg can be compromised. Most foods are better when they are less treated.
- Trying to eat whole foods: the more processed the food, the less likely we benefit from it. Period.
- Phthalate and BPA- free: these endocrine disruptors are baaaaaaaad. Phthalates are linked to cancer and genital/fertility issues and BPA interferes with brain development among other ill-effects. Read more here http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style/family-home/nine-steps-to-a-healthier-greener-household-20100705-zxr7.html & http://zenki.com.au/Pages/about-bpa-a-phthalates.html
cheers & giggles