Are You Really Purchasing In Bulk?

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When most people think about buying in bulk they think bringing their own jars is best. But really, it’s probably not. And it’s costing you a bundle, to boot.

I’ve seen so many people post that they were at the store, with their jar in hand, only to see an employee fill the bin from a bulk bag. They get so upset that there was still packaging involved, but it makes me wonder if they think about how it would get to the store without packaging. It has to come in something, right? I mean, they can’t just send the store rice without it being in something. That would be a huge mess.

Just like everything else, when it comes to staples like flour, rice, beans, etc., the smaller the amount you buy, the more you are going to pay for it. It is a lot less expensive to buy the 10 pound bag of beans rather than the 1 pound bag. Beyond that, the more smaller amounts are purchased, the more packaging is being used and the more demand there is for those long rows of plastic dispensers that you’re buying your “bulk” goods from. What if we could eliminate the needs for those dispensers in the first place? That would be a good thing, right?

Seeing the whole picture

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the entire picture, especially when you’ve worked so hard to get to the point that you’ve reduced your trash to nearly nothing. But that doesn’t mean that your purchases didn’t come in packaging. It just means that you didn’t have to look at it. It’s sort of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. And it’s really no one’s fault because we’ve been fed the idea that if you purchase everything in your own containers you’ve done one of the best things in the zero-waste movement. And honestly, that’s a heck of a lot better than not bringing your own containers, so I would never discourage that practice. It’s a great place to start!

However, there are ways to go even farther and further reduce the need for packaging. Let’s look at flour (or any grain), for instance. In order to get flour, the wheat has to be ground. The wheat arrives at the processing plant in bags that can hold up to 4000 pounds of wheat, but guess what…they’re plastic. Once the grinding is done, it’s packaged up into 50 pound paper bags and sent to the stores. The store open up the bag and fills the plastic dispenser, then you come in and fill your container from the dispenser. Wouldn’t it make more sense to eliminate the flour bag all together?

There really isn’t anything we can do about the 4000 pound bag, but we can certainly eliminate the bag that the flour comes in. If you were to go and purchase a 50 pound bag of wheat berries you would eliminate the need for the flour bag and get a much better deal in the long run. Next step: grind the wheat.

You just upped your game

Investing in a grain grinder is probably one of the best zero-waste steps you can take. And not only that, the nutrition value of your food will skyrocket. We love our Country Living Grain Mill, but I will say that is an investment. If you are looking for something more budget-friendly, you might want to get started with something like the Victoria Cast Iron Grain Mill.  But, as with everything, you get what you pay for.

So now you’re grinding your own flour! You’re saving money, reducing packaging, increasing your nutrition, and best of all, when you start with the very base ingredient, it usually stores much better than the processed version. Wheat berries will last for decades when stored properly, while flour will eventually attract bugs and go rancid.

Where to put all of it

One of the biggest arguments that I hear about buying in real bulk is that not everyone has a place to store 50 pounds of black beans. There are ways to get around this and still reduce the packaging and get the great deals. Do you have friends that eat black beans too? Why not go in together and buy the 50 pounds and split it? If you order several things at once you can have a “distribution” day and make a party of it too! Now you’re cooking with gas!

Even though we buy our staples in real bulk, we still break it down once we get home. First it goes in the deep freezer for at least 48 hours to make sure to kill any bugs that might have hijacked a ride in the bag. Then we dump the bag into 5 or 7 gallon food grade buckets (you can usually get these really cheap or free from bakeries), add in some oxygen absorbers, dessicant packs, and bay leaves (to further keep the bugs out), and that goes in the pantry. I also fill half-gallon mason jars for easy access and they sit on the shelves in the pantry. It might sound like a lot, but really, when you do it, you realize how simple it is.

Bonuses of bulk

One of the bonuses of buying in larger bulk is that you reduce your need for going to the store. I don’t know about you, but I have a really bad tendency to be an impulse buyer, so the more I stay out of the stores, the better. I always seem to come home with something that I didn’t intend to buy!

Another bonus is that you will tend to eat healthier. Cooking from scratch with whole, real ingredients adds more nutrition and tastes a lot better too. The human body wasn’t designed to cope with food that lacks nutritional value. Real food is real fuel for the body.

Have you ever been snowed in for days on end? If you have the staples at home already because you decided to buy 40 pounds of beans rather than 1 pound, you’ll always have food to eat. Or even something like unemployment can derail even the best of zero-waste plans because you’re having to figure everything out on the fly. If you have plenty of staples at home and don’t need to buy more for several months, then at least you’ll  have the peace of mind knowing that you’ll always have food.

Start with one thing

Like anything else, the best place to start is at the beginning, so pick just one thing that you’ll buy in real bulk. I would suggest choosing something that you use a lot of, so that you’ll see the real savings over time. Do you eat a lot of jasmine rice? Buy the biggest bag you can find of it, either locally or online, and make sure you store it properly. We buy popcorn in 50 pound bags because it’s one of our favorite snacks and boy, do we go through it!

Don’t try to do everything all at once either. If you do, you’ll probably drive yourself crazy (I know I nearly did!). Just pick one thing. Start at the beginning. Then when you’ve got that one figured out, move on to the next thing. I guarantee that you’ll not only see the benefits, but you’ll be eliminating waste even farther up the chain, which is always a good thing.

*Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay

Mushroom Ketchup

Mushroom Ketchup

If you haven’t noticed yet, I really love food. For me, feeding my family real, nutritious food is what it’s all about. Everything else that I do comes from my desire to keep them happy and healthy.

One thing I really love is food history. There is so much that we can learn about our ancestors and our heritage by looking to the past and how they nourished themselves. Most food was simple, sometimes very economical, and very tasty. It was real food, with no weird preservatives or chemicals to interfere with the body’s ability to use it as fuel.

Because I do love food history, one of my favorite YouTube channels is Towsends & Sons, which is where I got this recipe. It looked delicious and I wanted to try it, and boy, it didn’t disappoint! It’s really easy and will add so much flavor to your dishes. I also dehydrated the mushroom mixture “pulp” afterwards and powdered it, so I’ll be able to use that as more seasoning. Nothing wasted here! If you want to watch the video from their channel, you can find it here.

I used baby bellas because I’m not adept at wild mushroom foraging and it would be bad if I killed all of us on accident. But if you’re good at it, I say go for it!

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh brown mushrooms, chopped small

2 Tbs salt

2 Bay leaves

1 chopped onion, diced small

Zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbs finely grated fresh horseradish

1/4 tsp cloves

Pinch of cayenne

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

What to do: 

Wipe the mushrooms clean. Do not wash or rinse, as this will make your mushrooms mushy and dilute your final product. Then chop them up into small bits. The smaller, the better. Put the mushrooms in a bowl that you can cover or has a lid, sprinkle the salt on and add the bay leaves, mixing them well.

Now you can use whatever you have to mash and smoosh it all down. I used a potato masher, but a fairly wide wooden dowel would work just as well.

Cover it and let it sit for about 10 minutes, just to make sure that they’re macerating (releasing their juices). After the 10 minutes check the mixture and if they’ve started macerating, cover them and set them aside overnight.

In the morning you can add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

Allow it to cool until you’re able to handle it without it burning your skin off.

Put a colander over a bowl (to catch the liquid) and line the colander with butter muslin or something that will let the liquid through, but not the bits. Strain the mixture into the colander, gather up the sides of the muslin, and squeeze the heck out of it, getting as much of the liquid out that you can.

Voila’! You’ve just made mushroom ketchup! Store it in a glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator. And don’t forget to dehydrate the mushroom stuff!! Waste not, want not!

Heaven Help Us Mashed Potatoes

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Many years ago I determined that the only wrong thing you can do to a potato is not eat it. I love potatoes just about any way I can get them and this is, by far, one of my favorites. You can “lighten it up” if you want, but why in the world would you want to do that? Using real, whole ingredients gives us a creamier, smoother, and richer flavor, which is exactly how mashed potatoes should be. You can also add all kinds of stuff to these to make them even closer to heaven; roasted garlic, scallions, crumbled bacon bits, all kinds of cheeses (try Gorgonzola!!!), etc. Use your imagination and your taste buds will thank you.

Oh, if there happens to be any leftover, they make incredible potato pancakes for breakfast too.

Ingredients:

Potatoes (I like to use russets with some red potatoes), large to medium, about 10-12 of them, depending on the size of your stock pot, large diced (we like them with the skins on, but you can peel them if you want)

Homemade butter, about 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick-ish, maybe a little more if you love butter

Homemade sour cream, about 1/4 – 1/3 cup

Homemade cream cheese, about 1/3 cup

Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, about 1/3 cup

Heavy whipping cream or 1/2 & 1/2 (you may or may not need this, depending on how creamy you like your potatoes)

8-10 cloves roasted garlic (optional)

Scallions, sliced, about 1/3 – 1/2 cup, depending on how much you love them (optional)

Hot sauce, about 2 tsp (we like either Texas Pete’s or Frank’s Red Hot, but this is also optional)

House seasoning (a mix of garlic powder, salt, and pepper) – I use Paula Deen’s recipe and just keep a batch of it in the cupboard, about 1 – 2 Tbs, or to taste

Emeril’s BAM, about 2 Tbs, or to taste – I make this from scratch and keep it in the cupboard. You can find the recipe for it online

What to do:

Fill a big ol’ stock pot with water and chopped potatoes and bring to a boil. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re soft, but not sloppy/falling apart. Drain the potatoes.

While the potatoes are boiling, put the butter, sour cream, and cream cheese in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid (or stand) mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, just use a hand held one.

Dump the potatoes into the bowl on top of the dairy goodness. Let it sit there for a minute or two so that it will melt the butter and everything gets nice and soft. Using the batter attachment (easier cleaning this way), mix the potatoes and dairy goodness together. Add the ranch dressing. Here is where you need to start watching the consistency. Use less if you want them dryer. Use your own judgement here. Add the optional garlic and scallions and mix well. Add the rest of the seasonings, mix well, and taste. You might want to add more seasonings or dressing or some cream here. Or you may not.

Take several bites before everyone else gets to them, because they’re gonna disappear FAST.

Let me know what you like to add to your mashed potatoes! I’m always up for suggestions!

*Photo credit: Hebi B. on Pixabay

A Sustainable Mindset

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When you buy something what do you think about? The cost, value, availability, desire, and needs are certainly in the picture. Sometimes we even purchase things mindlessly and wonder where all of our money went at the end of the month too. We all have our weak moments, to be sure, so there is no reason to feel bad about that. The more important issue is to just keep moving on.

Having a sustainable mindset means more than just buying what you need or want. It means looking at everything and quickly following that item (including the packaging) back to their origins. What raw materials were needed to produce the item? Are those materials abundant and easily harvested with little to no impact on the environment? Or do they contribute to the destruction of entire ecosystems and put our ability to live here in danger? If you’re not sure, make a note of it and research it the next time you have a few free minutes. If you still can’t figure it out, you can simply email me and I’ll see what I can do to help.

We might not see the results of our actions right now, but I can guarantee that our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will. What kind of message do we want to send to them? By acting and purchasing without thought to the future, we are telling them that we care more about our comfort and convenience right now more than their welfare and for them to have a clean, healthy, and viable plant to live on. It’s like telling them that we love them only as much as it is convenient to do so. The moment that I realized this point, which is the most important, in my opinion, is when I was ready to go all in.

Brushing Yourself Off

I will admit freely that I falter often and give into marketing ploys and convenience. But it’s like with anything else, you just get back up, brush yourself off, and keep going. No one is perfect at anything and because we’re humans it would be ridiculous to think that we are. But we do the best we can in any given situation, then look back and figure out how we can do it better next time.

That doesn’t mean that we should excuse ourselves and think, “well, it happened again and it will probably happen again, so it’s no big deal.” When you really think about it, everything is a big deal, even the small stuff. Everything in this universe is made up of its smaller parts, so the better the smaller parts, the better the result. Think of it like a recipe. The better your ingredients, the better your dish will be. Would you rather cook with clean, healthy, fresh ingredients, or use spoiled milk, rancid butter, and wilted vegetables?

Getting Started

My mother told me that the best place to start something is at the beginning, so I always recommend my clients start with just one thing. Here’s a tip though: don’t try to go plastic-free all at once. It will drive you crazy, drive your partners crazy, and just make you so frustrated that you want to quit. It’s better to do this type of journey in small steps. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

So choose just one thing that you want to change that would be more sustainable choice. Most people start with food because it seems to be an easy go-to. Choose loose potatoes instead of a 5 pound bag. I take small produce bags, like these, with me to the grocery store and just wash them when I get home. When they’re clean, I put them somewhere near my purse so that the next time I go down to my car I can grab them. Of course, you don’t have to choose potatoes as your first thing, but you get the idea.

If you want to do something that won’t cost you a dime (or very little), you can opt for rags instead of paper towels. I received a big trash bag of old t-shirts from my mother-in-law that I cut up into usable rag-size pieces. I keep them in a vintage lard bucket on my kitchen counter. We use them for everything that you would use a paper towel for, wash, and reuse them. I do actually buy paper towels, but one roll lasts us easily 6-9 months and we use the cardboard center roll to help start the fire in the woodstove in the winter months. If I hadn’t had taken them she would have sent them to a thrift store where some, but probably not all, of them would have been sold. All of the rest would go to a landfill in the end. So I’ll use them until they’re falling apart and then toss them in the fire when they have no more uses left in them.

A New Perspective

Looking at everything we do and everything we purchase with a sustainable mindset takes practice, and just like our muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it. You can look at absolutely anything around you right now and think about the carbon footprint that it created. That includes the raw materials, the transportation of the raw materials to the processing plant, the resources used to transport and process them, and then the packaging of them to the factory where they will be made into an end product. Once that product is made, which also takes more energy and resources, it needs to be packaged and transported to a selling point. Once there, the facility requires energy and resources to even be there in the first place and to operate, so the carbon footprint becomes even larger. Then the product is sold and taken home, where it is used and the packaging discarded. As you can see, something as simple as a lamp can have an enormous carbon footprint, depending on what it is made of, where it was made, if it was sold directly to the customer or went through several middle-men, and the packaging it came in. Even the packaging must be taken into account, but it too has a carbon footprint.

This Is A Choice

I will say that at the beginning, it can be overwhelming, but if you do just one thing each day, those changes will add up. Choosing to live lightly on the Earth is just that, a choice. At first you look at everything, analyzing it, but eventually it just becomes a part of who you are and doesn’t take nearly the effort that it did in the beginning. But then, anything worth doing is worth doing well, right?

I have a teacher that told me that Native Americans, before they do anything, they look seven generations into the future to try and see what the impact will be on those that will be here then. I love this concept and try to remember it when making daily choices. Seven generations would be my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren and so many of the things that are happening right now will impact their lives. I want my family to look back and know that I did everything I could to show them that I love them, even if I’m not there to tell them.

The Challenge

I challenge you to start today, right now, and practice looking at how your actions and purchases affect your family, the environment, and your health, because they are all connected. We are so lucky that we have the ability, opportunity, and responsibility to make our own choices and all of us, myself included, could benefit from making the best ones that we possibly can.

*Image source: Pexels on Pixabay

We’re joining the Farm Fresh Bloggers!

Farm Fresh Bloggers

We’re very excited to be joining the Farm Fresh Bloggers! All of the participants create original content on homesteading and natural living to share with you! So, no matter where you live, in the city, on a rural farm, or in the suburbs, you can find information here that will help you on your quest for a homesteading lifestyle. They even have a Blog Hop Tuesday, featuring topics that are current and useful.

We encourage you to follow all of the bloggers on social media, ask questions, provide insight, or just become part of the community! I hope to see you there!

The “Essential” Upgrade

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The consumer culture has convinced us that we need the latest and greatest (insert desired item here) all day, every day. But do we, really? Do you need a new phone or is your current one dying? Do you need a new car or is your current one on its last legs? Determining the difference between need and want is a skill that, sadly, many people do not have anymore. The culture of instant gratification, with overnight delivery from Amazon, drive-through “food”, and the keep-up-with-the-Joneses attitude has done more to hurt our self-esteem, wallets, and environment than so many other things.

We’ve been convinced that if we decide to be frugal, buy only what we need, and reject the consumer culture that we are anti-American, that we are holier-than-thou, and that we are simply strange. Why would we not want that brand new, shiny Mercedes or BMW in the garage, for all of our friends and neighbors to see? After all, you work hard for your money and you should be able to show it off, letting everyone know how well you’re doing. The downside to this is that it puts us in a cycle of never being able to be satisfied with what we have, never being able to find joy in just being comfortable, and constantly being on the look out for next biggest thing. It can also lead to unnecessary stress, debt, and even sometimes, suspicion of our friends. If we continually seek out the thrill of a new purchase we eventually become desensitized, which is just another cog in that endless cycle of never being satisfied.

Whatever happened to use it up, wear it out, or do without? Instead of mending that hole in a shirt, it is just tossed away (which, by the way, there is no “away”), and new one purchased without a second thought. Or Apple comes out with a new iPhone, so everyone rushes to the store so that they’re not left behind with the non-cool kids who use their phones until they absolutely have to be replaced, even if there is nothing wrong with the one they have. Why do we feel this need, this push, this compulsion to always have the latest and greatest? I’m convinced that our consumer and throw-away culture wants us to believe that if we don’t keep up then we’re less-than, that we’re not cool, that we’re not worthy, and that we just won’t be happy without whatever product they’re trying to hock. Just look at some of the advertisement slogans: “because you’re worth it”, “breakfast of champions”, “have it your way”, or “have a Coke and smile”. Aren’t we able to smile without a Coke? And if we’re not doing well enough to just be able to throw away our current item and get a new one then we’re not working hard enough, we’re not contributing to the American way, and we’re less-than.

There are also the deals that you get with upgrading (or, the so-called deals), when making an initial purchase. Great, you want to buy this refrigerator? Well, if you upgrade to this other one right now you’ll get an extra 10% off and it’s the one that everyone is buying right now. Do we really, really need a refrigerator that has a television on it, that talks to us, that hooks up to our phones, and that dispenses ice and water on the door because opening the door to get a few cubes of ice is just too dang much trouble? Do we really need to replace all of the cabinets and appliances in the kitchen just because we’re tired of looking at them? Everyone that I’ve ever seen who wanted to buy the newest, latest and greatest whatever always had problems with them. All of that technology might be great, but it’s also a lot more stuff that can break. A simpler model that will last much longer will save you money in the end and it will be one less unwanted, less-desirable item going to the landfill. The upside to buying basic models is that many times, if something goes wrong, you can fix it yourself, instead of having to pay through the nose for a repairman to come and do it for you. Bonus: you’ve just gained another skill too.

There are times when we obviously need to upgrade, but when we do, we should get the best that we can comfortably afford with what resources we have. Look for longevity, not which one sparkles more. Yes, it probably won’t be nearly as impressive to your friends and family, and it might sting the self-esteem a bit in the beginning, but knowing that you’ve done the right thing for yourself and the environment will long outlast the disappointment of not fulfilling that need for immediate gratification. You’ll also find that there is less and less of an urge to go out and get the newest model, because you’ll be satisfied with what you have.

Here are few questions to ask yourself before jumping on the bandwagon to purchase the latest and greatest:
1. Do I really need it or do I just want it?

2. What are my specific needs and which of these items fulfills those needs?

3. Is there a way to make do with what I have until I’ve used it all the way?

4. Can what I already have be repaired, eliminating the need to buy new?

5. Who am I buying this for? Is it really to fulfill an actual need or is it because it will boost my self-esteem?

Once you go through these questions you might find that you really don’t need that new iPhone and that the one you have is perfectly fine. Then again, you might find that yes, the one you have is dying and does need to be replaced. In that case, I would buy the very best that I can reasonably afford. And if you can get a little upgrade for the same amount of money, then more power to you.

Physical possessions are nice and they make our lives so much more comfortable, but we need to find a balance between the over-consumerism and our actual needs. There is nothing wrong with buying something that brings us true joy (or that we really need, like a toilet plunger), but we’ve lost the skill to determine the difference and it’s high time we re-learn how to do that.

So really, upgrades aren’t nearly as essential as the consumer culture would like us to believe. In fact, last year $58 billion was spent on advertising that was trying to convince us that we need their stuff to be worthy of love, friendship, fun, and any other number of things that make us human. Well, I for one, am not buying it, quite literally.

Photo credit: Zane Lee on Unsplash

10 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

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I like a fun festival just as much as the next person, but I don’t like all of the trash and consumerism that is created from them, including Earth Day celebrations, so I tend to stay away from most of them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate Earth Day by doing just that, celebrating the Earth? It doesn’t have to include thousands of people, vendors who hock their wares and encourage consumerism,  loud music, or any of that. It can be simple, joyful, and a way to connect us to that which sustains us, the Earth. In the end, without it, we’re in a world of hurt.

Here are just a few ways that you can celebrate Earth Day that cost little to nothing, have either no impact or a positive impact on the environment, and provide a perfect example for others. Choose one or choose all of them, because you don’t only have to do these on Earth Day. You can do them every day, because when you do, that’s when real change can take place.

  1. Take a walk. We live in the mountains, so we love to go for hikes, explore the waterfalls, or just spend time down by the creek. But if you live on the coast, go and dip your toes in the ocean. Live in the desert? Go and check out the spring blooms out there. The stark contrast between the desert and the flowers is pretty amazing. Some animal shelters will even let you “check out” a dog to take for a walk! How much fun would that be?!
  2. Visit your local farmer’s market. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to create a feast of locally grown, organic, non-GMO & harvested food? You’ll support your local economy, get to know your farmers, and eat a delicious seasonal meal.
  3. Start your garden. If you live in warmer climates then you might be lucky enough to have already started your garden. For those that live in colder climates, it might be time to transplant your seedlings into their new garden home. You might be able to find some good plant starts at your local farmers market if you don’t have the space or ability to start seeds indoors. Growing your own food and getting your hands dirty connects you to what nourishes you, what sustains you, and gives you the ability to control what goes into your body and how you choose to live on the Earth. And don’t forget to plant things for the bees and butterflies!
  4. Participate in a clean up project. There are organizations everywhere that arrange environmental clean up days. Some might be at the beach, along creeks and rivers, on mountain trails, or even on the side of the highways. There seems to be a never-ending supply of trash that makes it’s way into the environment and every little bit we can do to keep it clean makes a difference. By volunteering you are doing your part to keep the environment clean and saving your local town money since they won’t have to hire someone to clean it up. Encourage your town to use that saved money to support healthy environment programs!
  5. Volunteer at a local farm. I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that most farms can use all of the help they can get. Farming is hard, dirty work and the farmers work long hours to provide local, healthy food for their local communities. They are up before dawn and drop into bed late, exhausted from yet another day of shoveling, digging, or what ever other jobs need to be done. I’m sure they would be happy to have some help for a day, share how the farm works, and probably teach you some new skills at the same time.
  6. Make something from scratch. Instead of running to the store for supper, try making the entire thing from scratch. Marinara sauce can be made from fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices and is really easy. Need some cheese? Try your hand at homemade mozzarella! It’s simple and actually pretty fun to make. Homemade bread is a big favorite in our house, slathered with homemade butter and locally source honey. It’s right next to heaven. There’s also no reason to run to the store for just about any condiment, because the majority of them can be made at home, from real ingredients, and will taste amazing. Once you’ve had homemade mayo, you’ll never go back to store-bought.
  7. Go paperless. I know everyone that we all get bills from encourage us to go paperless, getting our statements and doing payments online. I also know that it saves the company money, since they don’t have to send out paper billing statements and they don’t have to wait for a check in the mail. And by not mailing a check, you reduce the carbon footprint of that payment, since it doesn’t have to be physically delivered. If you feel like you need a paper record of your payment/statement, just print it at home or take a screen shot and save it to your computer, which is even better.
  8. Go fishing or hunting. No you don’t have to go and hunt big game…you can hunt for ramps, mushrooms (make sure you know what you’re doing if you’re hunting mushrooms), wild onions, or anything that is edible and grows wild in your area. It’s a great skill to have and will guarantee you that you’re eating seasonally. If you enjoy it, or even just want to try it, go fishing! I never thought I’d be a gal that liked fly fishing, but here I am, rocking it. Being out in the woods, by the river is so calming and you just can’t beat the view. If you get lucky, you’ll get to catch your supper! Again, this is another great skill to have, especially as we see our economy becoming more and more fragile.
  9. Visit a wildlife preserve. Just about every area has some sort of wildlife preserve that works hard to make sure that the balance of nature stays that way, balanced. Go and see what animals are endangered, what they’re doing to help them, or even how you can help. My best friend volunteers at a wildlife preserve in Louisiana and she really enjoys it. The volunteers are happy to show you around, share information, and answer any questions you might have.
  10. Celebrate Earth Day every day. It’s great that people “do their part” on Earth Day and I want to encourage them to keep doing that. But Earth Day is really every day, because we live on this Earth every day. We should be concerned about how we affect the environment every day.  Make it a goal to make just one change that you will adhere to every day that will help the environment. The Earth will thank you for it, your health will thank you for it, and our children and grandchildren will too. It’s our job, it needs to start with us. Be the first one, don’t be shy, and be proud to be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Photo credit: Lukas on Pexels