We have been happily taking a jaunt down the path to simple living for a little while now. Over the last few weeks I have been making small, sustainable changes to our life.
I think that's the trick - taking baby steps.
Which is hard for me, being the perfectionist that I am. I want it all done now, and done properly and perfectly.
But I'm being tough on myself and doing this one step at time so that I don't go into overload mode and give it all up.
Here are some of the changes to our lives I've made recently :
* I now buy all our fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and milk at a nearby Farmer's Market. Not only is the food fresher and cheaper, you can actually taste the difference. Also it means I'm buying food in season, rather than food that has been artificially ripened, modified or just arrived straight out of months of cold storage. As an added bonus most of the produce is locally grown, meaning less impact on our earth from a transportation/use of fossil fuels/pollution point of view.
* I'm trying to reduce the additives we consume in our food. It's appalling how difficult it is to find food that is in it's natural state. Our bodies are so overwhelmed with the pollution (in many forms) from our modern world that it can only be a good thing to reduce all the added colours, flavours and preservatives in our food. I'm now one of those annoying people you get stuck behind in a busy aisle at the supermarket, as I take each product off the shelf and read the label to find which one is the best option. Take strawberry jam for example, the most popular brands not only have huge amounts of sugar (to be expected in jam I know but not that much sugar!), but they also have lots of added colour, flavour and preservatives. Yet on the bottom shelf, is a little known brand of jam which suprisingly has only two ingredients - strawberries and sugar. I know which one I chose!
* I am no longer buying sandwich meat. Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients? There are more numbers signifying artificial additives than there is actual meat in there. I now buy a large piece of roast beef or other meat and pop it in the oven to cook one evening when I'm already using the oven for something else, then just slice it up and freeze it in small packs ready to defrost and use in sandwiches. How easy is that? And so much better for us. And also so much cheaper than buying packaged ham.
* Currently, I'm waging war on plastic around here. I've been researching how the use of plastic in EVERYTHING these days is harmful to us, and it's confirmed my long held suspicions. Plastic is evil.
When you stop to think about it, almost every bit of food we buy is wrapped in plastic, our homes are filled with plastic, our cars are more plastic than metal, we just can't escape it's evil clutches.
And, shock horror, plastic is made from chemicals. Bad chemicals. That leach into our food, our water and our bodies. This is not good. Not good at all.
One of the worst types of plastic is the 'soft' plastic, such as sandwich bags and plastic food wrap, as being in such a soft state it easily leaches into the food we eat. Go look in your fridge and pantry, I would take a guess that most of the things in there are wrapped in plastic.
I've started using glass jars, tins and ceramic containers to store our food in, as much as possible anyway. I've also started to wrap the boys lunches in paper bags, and I now even use a plate to cover a leftover bowl of food in the fridge rather than use plastic wrap.
These are just little things I do, as I think of them. I plan to add to these things as alternative ideas occur to me. These are my baby steps along the path of to simple living.
I'm realistic enough to know that I won't be able to eliminate additives and plastic entirely from our lives, but even reducing them has to be plus.
I know it won't be an easy thing to achieve.
But I'm prepared for battle.