Eco-Friendly Zero-Waste Cruelty-Free Vegan-Warrior

That title is a little far from our reality, but in April, Linda and I began a journey to healthier eating while making less of an impact on our planet. It wasn’t all intentional, but our little baby steps are growing into something great. Let me roll back to the beginning and then I’ll lead you to where we are today, and where we think we are headed.

Zero Waste Movement

Health(ier) Eating

This is what kicked off our loftier goals. Mind you, we’ve always tried to be somewhat environmentally conscious, buying products not tested on animals or from companies that are dicks to the environment. In April, we wanted to make a change to our eating habits (which were crap) and decided to kick out anything that has eyes from our plates as well as processed foods. Though we’re still early on, we’re comfortable with the idea of being vegetarians and are making steps towards a vegan / total plant-based lifestyle. Full disclosure, we’re not there yet, but we’re also not looking back.

Pad Thai in 5 minutes could be one of our new favourite dinners, give it a try for yourself. Super quick and this feeds 3 people very substantially. :D Sorry we don't have a written recipe for this! We're currently working on an updated and improved version which will feature in our new book (to be launched in Spring 2018)...

We’ve tried this in the past and failed, but are having such an easy time this round thanks to the super-easy vegan recipes from The Happy Pear (check out their books on Amazon - Kindle editions = zero waste: The Happy Pear: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Food to Change Your Life, The World of the Happy Pear, and The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness). I’d say 90% of the meals I cook are from them, or at least based on them with minor modifications.

To the right is the video that started it all for me - holy crap is this a great, fast meal that I make every couple of weeks. Our staple used to be steak on the grill with spuds - but now it’s this. In another post, I’ll share my top seven meals for a week that I have been doing. For the most part, I follow their directions but will note my substitutes.

Also, we’re using our own freshly grown herbs when we can - I am thinking this might lead to finally planting a proper garden. For now, local farmers markets and natural food shops will do. Anyhow, we found that the more we were eating this way, the more we wanted to find ways to live in better unison with the planet. Like I said at the start, it wasn’t a planned journey; just something that grew organically in us (see what I did there?)

Plastics and moving toward zero-waste

The next phase that kicked in was reducing plastics. I know you’ve seen the videos on your social media about the tragic amount of garbage and plastics in the ocean. Our family has always been pretty anti-water bottle (this bottle from Healthy Human never leaves my side - it’s awesome), but our daughter got us to be anti-straw as well last month. I didn’t realize they couldn’t be recycled and the amount of harm they were causing sea-life, so we picked up a set of metal straws from Amazon to keep with us at all times. Of course, this lead to digging deeper into the issues and what other garbage we could avoid - aka, the zero-waste movement.

Now, as we are running low on things like paper towels, we are starting to swap things out for more environmentally friendly products, like the washable un-paper towels you can see below. There are a million ideas like this on the web and can easily start helping us save money while helping save the environment.

We are also starting to buy replacement items that are packaging-free or use totally recyclable, non-plastic packaging. Simple steps like saying no to plastic bags by using cloth grocery and produce bags at the store, switching from plastic wrap to reusable eco-friendly vegan wraps, like those from Outback Collectives. (The bees-wax ones are great too, but not vegan). We are also saying no to things like the “free” plastic toothbrush and floss from the dentist and switching to a bamboo toothbrush and eco-friendly floss. Again, I will begin to work on a page to list all of the things we are figuring out.

Cruelty-Free

Linda has always been fantastic at buying products that do not test on animals. I have bottled (plastic) soap and shampoo in the shower right now that is not as environmentally sound as I want - and I found through research that their parent company (Colgate-Palmolive) is working towards stopping animal testing, but isn’t there yet. So through more research, my new products will be coming from Friendly Soap and shampoo from J.R. Liggett's Old Fashioned Shampoo Bar (vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly packaging). We just learned about this one from YouTuber Sedona Chtistina this weekend.

We’ll be doing a lot of research in the future to find things we use in our home that tick all the boxes that coincide with the lifestyle we want to live. Things like vegan, cruelty-free, minimal and recyclable or zero packaging and so on. It’s going to be a long road, but we are going to make small changes when we can, as every step counts.

Future of this blog

I am not sure exactly where I want to go with this blog right now, but I do want to share our lessons learned as we go. I do want to share my top recipes I have found, as well as start working on some lists of everyday items we are finding that meet our needs. I hope that you give some suggestions if you have any and share this with others looking for the same kind of journey!