Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring Be-Green-Ings

March 4th proved to be quite the beautiful SUNday!

"Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities." - William Bridges
Even my scallions basked in the

It is a gorgeous Sunday out in Boise! I have enjoyed this day just like most other City of Trees citizens.  I basked in the sun going for a North End bike ride and took a walk to a neighborhood favorite, Camel's Back Park, and spent more time outdoors going on a book picnic with trail mix, Week 3 of The Artist's Way to finish reading, my journal and some good old fashioned vitamin d to enjoy.

The sun is such wonderful source of energy giving life to everything.  There's a reason why all of Boise came alive today with the sun shining and a comfortable temperature of 60 degrees to break us all out of our winter blues.  As the first leaves of a plant emerge so do we.  It's like nature's new year giving us a fresh start and granting us happy beginnings.

I've recently began to feel more connected with nature and my environment.  I have been searching for that bond between my home and myself and I am beginning to discover the pathway.  I have been eating, reading, taking action and overall informing myself of how our Earth works and how to accomodate to what our planet needs from us as inhabitants.

I've been continuing The Artist's Way and I keep finding many others who have received this book as a gift and are happily reading it or excited to do so.  This book - given to me by my wonderful neighbors with possibly the most stunning garden I've seen - has seemed to find me at the right time in my life.  I am learning so much that has been a bridge to why I feel the way I feel and how to put ideas into action and motivate you to fight for what you believe in.  Week 3 touches on using anger  to guide you to what you believe in and to set boundaries for what you do not.  News of Monsanto coming out on top over thousands of lawsuits from organic farmers (read about it here), watching this video of a community picnic being raided by the health department and forced to pour bleach over their food and a few life situations had me angry this week and now I am able to turn this healthy anger into fuel to go after these issues and to express how I feel in order to have the changes that I want to happen take place. When you know what you stand for you can firmly hold your ground.

A while back I watched "No Impact Man" - an awesome video I highly recommend featuring a small family living on 5th Avenue and their journey to lessening their global footprint step by step - or leap by leap I should say.  They find alternatives to their fridge and also shut off their electricity.  They made these changes over the course of a year.  This documentary is one of my faves and has definitely planted the seed in my mind to become open to living a more green lifestyle by making my own changes - even if they are on the smaller scale.   My recent discovery (and second push) urging me to make more of an effort to be conscious about the environmental impact I may pose came from author of Sleeping Naked is Green Vanessa Farquharson.  She also took a one-year pledge to practice being more environmentally friendly with her everyday life and listed a new thing a day on her blog.  These daily changes were put into a list of 366 changes she made over the course of that year.  You can see her inspiring list here.

It prompted me to make my own list  of things I have done in the past seven months to minimize my enviromental impact.  Curious? Here is my list:
#1 + #4
1.  Eating a vegan diet.
2.  Using and buying drastically less makeup.
3.  Refilling my water container instead of purchasing water bottles.
4.  Easing into a raw diet which uses a lot less electricity.
5.  Going thrifting for new clothes (both fun + frugal).
6.  Exercising outdoors in the sunlight.
7.  Walking or biking everywhere I go.
8.  Unplugging devices that are not in use.
9.  Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.
10.  Using a natural toothpaste.
11.  Replacing my old shampoo with natural shampoo.
12.  Switching to natural deodorant.
13.  Lathering up with natural bodywash.
14.  Eating as organic as I can.
15.  Starting a compost with organic vegetable, fruit and plant matter.  You'd be surprised at what you can compost!
16.  Using my natural soap as a face wash.
17.  Being conscious about how much toilet paper I use.
18.  Switching to eco-friendly toilet paper made with recycled materials.
19.  Using green matches instead of lighters.
20.  Using paper bags as canvases for paintings.
21.  Refusing plastic bags at stores.
22.  Cooking and preparing my own food.
23.  Refilling old soap containers.
24.  Attending ladies night parties where there are clothing swaps.  Swap your goods, don't trash them!
25.  Letting my hair air-dry.
26.  Hand-picking weeds - needing NO pesticides.
27. Recycling as much as possible.
28.  Raising environmental awareness via social media.
29.  Going thrifting! Both fun + frugal.
30.  Making my own kombucha.
31.  Washing laundry in cold water.
32.  Making my own avocado hair treatment.
33.  Using candles and incense instead of artificial fresheners.
34.  Combining laundry with roommates to have fuller, more efficient loads.
Green is Good!
35.  Making my own halloween costumes from recycled garments.
36.  Using natural remedies and tuning into Eastern Medicine practices.
37.  Cancelling my magazine subscriptions.
38.  Having bills be electronically delivered.
39.  Buying used furniture.
40.  Using one fake christmas tree year after year.
41.  Avoiding the purchase of anything genetically-modified.
42.  Using a broom and dust pan limiting my use of a vacuum.
43. Saving and reusing rubberbands vs plastic clips.
44. Supporting local and organic restaurants when dining out.
45.  Sharing clothes and accessories with my roommate.
46.  Cutting back on the length of my showers.
47.  Using a french press to make coffee.
48.  Saving fruit pulp from juices for recipes.
49.  Making my own almond milk.
50.  Interning with a local organic farm!
Boots, bag, hankies, gloves, journal, wool socks + jackets! All items I found thrifting for my farming internship! 
That's right, I landed the Farm Internship! Tomorrow is my first day and I couldn't be more excited!  I put everything I had into my application, spoke from the heart at my interview and was selected for this year's group.  One of my fellow interns seems to be quite the cool cat.  He has a great blog that dives into the issues with our diet and covers the bases on just about everything from the natural to the unnatural.  His blog is full of awesome information - check it out + learn a thing or two!  I went the green route while preparing for my March-October internship by purchasing all of my gear from second-hand stores!  I got a pair of boots to get me through the last leg of cold weather, a fleece zip up, a lightweight Columbia jacket perfect for rainy days, a journal for notes and other recordings of my experience, some never-worn wool socks and a lightweight sack to carry everything to and from the farm.  My grandmother - a gardener herself - gave me 3 pairs of high quality gloves she has never worn before.
I will be riding my bicycle to and from the farm plots and working my bum off in between!  This is a huge step in the right direction and further proves that when you really want something and put yourself out there, the universe will bring the you what you need.

VGGF RAW Cran-Apple Crisp
One of the benefits of this farming internship besides the life-changing experience I'm about to embark on is the weekly CSA share of fresh, organic, local veggies grown by yours truly + my fellow interns.  Good food makes everyone happy - especially THIS LADY!  With my shares I will be able to do more with one of my dietary goals - eating more raw foods.  Lately I've been cooking - preparing rather - up a storm!  I have conquered a RAW (NO tofu) Egg-less Salad, RAW Pesto + Sunflower Seed Cheese stuffed Portobellos even a RAW Stir Fry!  Don't think I forgot about my sweet treats! I've made some RAW Banana Nut Cookies for my friend Leslie and her mother who were looking for options for a gluten free cookie.  Just this evening I made a RAW Cran Apple Crisp that a perfectly tart alternative to the over-the-top mushy apple "crisp"I used to know.  This dish is light yet very pleasing to the senses!
Leslie-Inspired VGGF RAW Banana Nut Cookies

This is my second round with eating raw.  Before becoming vegan I ate a vegetarian diet and started incorporating vegan dishes in here and there.  I have reached a milestone for my vegan diet this marks my ONE YEAR of being a vegan!  This is just the beginning to a more whole foods raw vegan diet and I am excited to look back next year and see all of the accomplishments I'll have made on my quest for  nature-approved optimum health.
Great message on the wall at Crooked Fence Brewery
 I'd like to cheers to two new businesses in the Boise + Garden City areas.  I checked out the opening of Crooked Fence Brewery and their 3 Picket Porter was decided by my group of pals to be the best beer!  Go support another fine addition to Boise's local breweries!

"Don't waste water! Green Toilet! This toilet uses recycled water from the sink to fill and flush the toilet." At The Crux
If Crooked Fence leaves you thirsty for more beer and you're headed downtown The Crux is Boise's new laid back spot for beer, wine or a coffee pick me up.  They are the only people in Idaho to sell Stumptown coffee and word is their St. Patrick's Day Party will be one to not be missed!


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