Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reducing waste

Happy New Year! Feliz novo ano! 

I'm mostly posting on my To Brazil blog, however few posts will still make it to this page when they feel relevant enough of the general theme of a more sustainable life. 

It’s the start of a new world. A new life. I feel motivated and inspired to really change my life. 
My biggest dream in the world is to see a more sustainable planet. And in order to do that, I realize that it has to start within. Yes I'm still working on sustainable projects here in Brazil, very initial stages and I'll be elaborating more on them with time. For now I'll keep you up to date with my progress in becoming waste free and more sustainable. 

For the last few months, I've been really thinking a lot about it, but in the last week I've been making progress with daily sustainable goal setting, which has been amazing. 

I've also garnered a lot of inspiration from the book "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. 
Basically just putting 100% into your passions and not expecting anything in return, because you love them. And not getting pulled down when things don't always go your way, because that is also life, and what matters is your dedication and nothing else. Your passion also doesn't owe you anything, it doesn't owe you rewards of any kind, monetary, success or anything, it's there to just be there, so we can enjoy this experience on earth, knowing that we lived it with full heart. 

I've started creating goals for myself every evening for the following day, of course I've been learning portuguese so they have involved that, they have involved step by step processes of starting my personal projects and carrying them through, also involving personal health -- so whether it's healthy food prep or exercise, meditation and then also daily journaling at the end of the day to track my progress and prepare for the next day. This has really fueled my motivation in a beautiful way, helping me keep on track with my work and my goals. 

In the past few months, I have stopped using shampoo from plastic containers -- I use bar soap now for everything. I have started making my own toothpaste -- my latest recipe is 1/4 cup of coconut oil 10 drops of organic mint oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil and 2-3 tbsp of baking soda. It seems to work great. However I think for best results also couple it with oil pulling and flossing using -- smartfloss -- I use smartfloss because it is amazing and can absorb essential oils. I realize smartfloss comes in a plastic container but one of my goals is to contact the company if they can sell the product with the plastic/ create a petition for them to sell the product without the plastic container-- or some kind of recycling/reusing program for the container. 

In the past few days, I've also started using water instead of toilet paper. This is no big deal for many other countries, in particular india where I've spent a significant amount of time, yet for other countries, this is unfortunately a new and bizarre concept, with bathrooms not set up for using water. So I bring with me a small bag with a small bottle of water and cloth so I can be prepared, the water for the washing and the cloth for drying. As I write this, I realize that this makes it much easier for women in the west to go toilet paper free as they often carry bags that can accommodate this, for men perhaps its more difficult. But a good start is start in the home. When traveling people usually have to bring some sort of back bag or bag anyway, even men. So anyway. All is possible! Lets save our trees!! 

The other thing is, I travel a lot. I'm not even sure what I can call my home and what isn't anymore.. because wherever I am has suddenly become home.. because I feel like a total vagabond. But anyway. Previously I would only compost in compost friendly homes. Yet now, I am finding ways to compost in homes that aren't set up for it. I recently stayed in an apartment where there were only potted plants. So what I did was make a veggie scrap smoothie and poured it onto the plants -- in particular the plants that were having pest issues. Who knows maybe it can help :) This way the scraps break down much easier and assimilate into soil faster. Helping the plant. 

I've also started to reconsider while shopping and avoiding things that come in plastic, this has meant that sometimes I buy conventional foods over organic foods because they don't come in plastic. However this is a lose lose situation. My heart can't figure out what is better.. conventional foods with agrotoxins.. or organic foods wrapped in material that doesn't decompose. Eeek. Best is to grow my own food... or work harder seeking out organic plastic free foods. Unfortunately I have yet to find in Brazil organic plastic free grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits.. etc. I will have to meet farmers and see what is possible. I have a friend starting a company where he will sell organic produce straight to consumers.. I feel there is an opportunity here, to sell bulk organic foods... but time will tell. Else some kind of movement, petitions, contacting farmers.. may also work. 

Also, a huge part of waste free living in my opinion is reducing our ecological footprint overall. Plant based eating/ eating more plants can help with this. Check out my other blog here, for recipes and ideas :)

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