Archive | February, 2010

Guilt Free

28 Feb

A little update…

The pantry is noticeably emptier and so is the fridge. I can’t believe that I am still alive after nearly 2 months of this experiment.
The truth is that we have been buying some stuff. We have identified the things that we go through quickly and have included these in our purchasing list. Things like tofu, flour, pasta and cous cous have been updated.

The funny thing is that I could very happily survive on the things that we have allowed through this experiment: eggs, soy milk, vegies, flour, tofu. So much of the other stuff we use has not even come close to running low.

We ran out of shins and weet bix but that was seriously all I’ve even noticed. I’ve got a stash of muesli to get through and once that’s gone I’ll see how creative I can get with breakfast before I cave in and buy something. Last week Bob and I ate an egg and some spinach most morning for breakfast and that proved to us that we could live like this well after the experiment is over. Well it sort of already is over – we are still buying less crap but adding in some necessities to keep us going and have somewhat succeeded in cleaning out our pantry. Even though the experiment rules have relaxed, I’ll still keep you updated on our progress.

I am still avoiding supermarkets.

I’ve started volunteering here and not only do I get a wicked discount, it’s 100% organic, local and packaging free. Bob and I got a few things there on the weekend and we just brought our containers from home – the exact containers that the products would end up in if we bought them in plastic packaging. It is so freeing to know that we are not generating stacks of rubbish when just shopping for regular things.

I had a brief moment where I felt the way No Impact Man did – and then Bob and I went out for a late breakfast and the waitress brought us ‘disposable’ serviettes and I realised that I was a long way from environmental enlightenment.

But… life goes on, even in crab town!

Rivulet hibernated for a week in his sand cave while he was malting, danger changed shells and then changed back and then changed again – into the shell that he tried the first time. Plankton tired every shell in the tank and decided that she liked her original shell best. The next day she tried on one of the shells for a second time and again decided that she didn’t like it. As she went to hop back into her original shell, Danger cam along and tried to steal it. They battled for a while before plankton finally won. The next day, as if out of spite, Plankton moved into Danger’s old shell. Such a drama it is to be a crab.

Also – I think I’m addicted to the tip shop. In the past two weeks we have discovered 2 new tip shops that we didn’t know about before. This is my most treasured score so far.

I don’t reckon the fountain’s ever even been used! Lucky for me. Bob and I have found all sorts of cool stuff at these junk shops – it’s so wonderful to give something a new chance. I feel like I’m saving these things considering that they were really close to ending up in landfill!

When I was a kid, my mum used to drag me around to junk shops, op shops and antique stores. I hated it. My clothes were second hand and I felt as if I wasn’t worth the money to buy something new (here stems the root of my money/self worth issues I’m sure). But now I’m exactly like her – thankfully without the collections of porcelain animals and kerosene lamps – instead I have developed an aversion to buying new shit. I don’t want old stuff because it’s cool or retro or valuable or historical, I just want it because it means I can save something new form being introduced into the world.

I recently went on the hunt for a clipboard. I really wanted a wooden one (partially because they are cool but mostly for practicality) but I didn’t expect that I would have any success. I passionately wanted to avoid the urge to just go to officeworks and buy some plastic covered, cardboard, made-in-china shit – and I’m so glad I did. Last weekend I found it! At the tip shop! It was priced at 50c but when we got to the counter, everything was rounded down so theoretically it was free. All I needed was a little patience. Little things bring me such joy.

Finally – here’s some of our recent experimental tasty creations

This year I’ve been to the supermarket once

9 Feb

I’ve noticed that my blog has not done all that much apart from report on how the experiment is going. This does not mean that other things haven’t been happening I assure you.

My hermit crabs are going well now that we have put sand in their tank instead of gravel. They are digging tunnels and having the best of times. We recently learnt how to identify the gender of hermit crabs and discovered that plankton is a girl! I find this upsetting only because she is the slowest and most boring but otherwise I am indifferent about it.

Interesting huh?

Today I went to the Newtown Greenstore and did a little shop. I allowed myself to get a few special treats for my wedding-anniversary-rage-a-thon this weekend and otherwise just picked up the essentials. The thing I love the most about the green store is that they will order any product I like for me. They even started stocking vegan cheese because I asked them to.

I have decided that I hate supermarkets.

Actually I’ve hated them for a while. They’re so cold and stark and full of things that someone who is only interested in making money has decided that I should need. But I’ve realised that I don’t need any of this crap.

There are only three things that I can think of that I would want that I can’t buy anywhere else but the supermarket: 1) Toilet paper 2) vegan puff pastry that isn’t gluten free 3) Cat litter.
Every other single thing on my shopping list I can get from either the market, greenstore, health food shop or online. AND the only reason that I’ve even been to the supermarket this year at all is because it’s more convenient to get to – that’s it.

Nothing else is convenient about it whatsoever. The packaging, the additives & preservatives, the limited options. Shit. Not to mention the fact that most large supermarkets own half of the shit they put on their shelves. They kill the small business owner, the local grower and the hand made delicacies and replace them with mass produced, cheap to manufacture, low quality crap!

I’m over it.

This year for me is about connecting with my true values and making conscious choices – because I really want to… never before have I felt so excited about creating change in my life. This year I am going to make every attempt to go supermarket free.
I might need to grab the odd thing from time to time but the more I can avoid it, the better.

And just a note about gluten free stuff… I think it’s great that the gluten free product movement has generated a new wave of vegan products but seriously I’m quite comfortable with gluten, I don’t have celiac disease – make vegan stuff for vegans dammit. Gluten me up.

I washed my hair with baking soda

2 Feb

So it took me a while to get back to you about this. I did do it.
My hair was real dirty beforehand and had not been washed for 8 days

I mixed a small amount of water with a heaped teaspoon of baking soda and mixed it up. It was fairly watery and ended up being way more than I needed. I really enjoyed using it and the result was amazing. My hair was clean and shiny…

but… similar to using it as toothpaste, it was fairly stingy. My scalp stung and was itchy afterwards. I have been told that the stinging goes away with time but it’s just a little bit too concerning.

So I’ve been back on regular shampoo when I do actually get around to washing my hair. I’m very keen to try one of those shampoo soap bars and have been shopping around recently to find one that is vegan and doesn’t contain sls. I’ve found a few options now and will order one this week.

Managing Temptation

2 Feb

We are now a few days past the 4 week mark and we have not even made a significant dent on the crap in the pantry or the freezer.

I’ve stopped taking photos of everything because if we keep going at this rate then we could be doing this experiment for a long time – and I’m sure you are not all that interested in what I have for dinner every night…

Last week we ran out of sweet biscuits and flour and I found this to be rather challenging. We improvised a little by making a chocolate pudding with a base made from nuts & banana which was pretty good.

But at the 4 week mark we decided that we needed to go shopping for some essentials. We bought plain flour, shampoo, handwash for Bob and I caved in and bought a packet of plain chips. I had been craving them for over a week and I couldn’t resist when I saw that they were on special!!

We also got some white chocolate and Bob just had to get some blue maize tortilla chips. We then visited a new asian grocer and bought some steam buns and mock meat. When we got home I realised that I didn’t really need most of what we bought and I noticed that as soon as I gave myself permission to buy some stuff I just turned into this crazed buying machine.

Why? I’ve definitely noticed that I experience enjoyment when buying stuff, even when the packaging goes against my ethos on wastage and pointless plastic. Do I buy a product I like or avoid it to avoid all the packaging that’s involved? It’s a tough choice that I think many people are facing now. When we have the technology to produce PLA and other plant based, biodegradable alternatives to plastic I’m amazed that plastic is still legal!

But anyway… the title of this posting is ‘Managing Temptation’ and I need to confess that I obviously haven’t done that very well this week. I do however think that the flour and the shampoo were necessities.

Well it’s good to know I’m still living by my values to some extent, last night I made capsicum & basil pesto and I’ve gotta say – it was better than any pesto I’ve ever bought.

When I quit smoking everyone would ask “Are you saving any money?” and if I was I never really noticed it but since we’ve committed to buying less impulsive crap I have actually noticed a significant amount of savings. It’s awesome, not to mention it’s the first time in my life that I’m saving money without even trying.

So the experiment continues on. We are on the verge of running out of some major staples (shin noodles included) so hopefully things will get start to get exciting before too long.

Here’s some little pics of some stuff we’ve been cookin!

Oh yeah and the reason I haven’t made a post for a while is because Livejournal suspended my account because they suspected that my page was some sort of evil bot. I’ll let them apologise for the delay.