No More Plastic Bottles?

no-bottled-wate2r

So, about 2 weeks ago, I noticed I was going through about 48+ water bottles every month. I would buy a pack of 24 and use them to shake up my flavor packets and then discard them. Not only that, I would keep a case in my car for easy access.

And then 2 weeks ago, I noticed I was using way too many for it to be normal or okay. I decided to not purchase any more water bottles (as long as I can help it) since then and so far? It’s worked.

What do I do then? I fill a pot with tap water and let it boil a few minutes. I do this to let any bacteria that may have contaminated the water die. That’s it! Every since I lived in China, I’ve been iffy about water quality, no matter the country but if it’s ‘safe enough’ to easily boil, I’d much rather do that.

So what do you use then? Stainless-steel water bottles and a glass jar. I have one Hydroflask, a S’Well bottle, and one huge bottle my previous company gave me. I use these because if I needed hot water, they’d keep it hot. I also use my Yeti cup that a friend bought for me. That’s mostly used for what I call ‘current water’, it’s ready to drink and accessible.

Since I do live with my parents and those Mason jars can get bulky, I only put the Mason jar in the ‘fridge. I’m more okay with room temp. water than I am with too cold or too hot (that’s why I was able to keep water in my car with no problem). Since I’ve been trying to control myself more, I’m also looking at ways to avoid generating so much dang plastic waste.

But getting things in bulk or ‘package free’, can be a hassle depending on where you live. I know, I know Wal-mart, but a lot of their fruits and veggies are non-packaged (as with some other local grocery stores). I would much rather travel to the Neighborhood Walmart than buy an entire bag of kale when I’m only going to use 2 leaves.

It’s also about balance. Living a more structured lifestyle has helped me eat more veggies! I try to make them about 85%-90% of my entire meal. I do have gastrointestinal issues so this amount works perfect for me AND I don’t have as many dairy ‘flare ups’ as I used to. I’m learning to manage myself by managing what I use.

What about your future? I hope that when I do move out, I’ll have enough storage to easily keep myself plastic bottle free. I plan to get different sized jars (I have the large mouth ones). And using them for canning, and just plain storing. I would like to start composting too! My mom wouldn’t let me make one here but if I plan on buying a house, I can take the opportunity to explore that side.

What are some tips that you have for lightening your ecological footprint? Drop them down below! And also, how can you make it work with feeding dogs? I’ll never try to give them any diet they can’t (or I can’t) handle but I would like some ideas (I know I could cook for them but I just got a job so there’s not a lot of funds going around).

Picture from: https://aquariumworks.org/2014/06/06/how-to-celebrate-world-oceans-day-and-raise-ocean-conservation-awareness/

Life Update!

Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so let’s chat shall we?

Job? I finally got a job and received a job offer in Charlotte, NC. I, unfortunately, have to decline the NC job due to making a much more financially sound decision. Working closer to where I live.

If I would have lived closer to Charlotte, I might’ve taken the gamble but metropolitan traffic is unpredictable and I didn’t want to risk being late to work. I’m taking a lower pay for safety that I can be home in 30 minutes versus 1-2 hours on the road every day after working 12 hours.

I’ve accepted a job helping people with their insurance. I’m about to embark on a journey to obtain my insurance license for all 50 states. Another credential to add to my resume which is an amazing thing.

What else? A good friend that I met in China is starting her own business and I’m helping her with it! I’m also looking at starting my own business soon. I want to become my own boss one day but it’s going to take money to start it and I’ll have to work.

Gym? I’ve added doing a HIIT class on Saturday’s and it’s been fun. I’m starting to define more of my arm and leg muscles. Hopefully my stomach and thighs follow soon.

Moving out? I plan to move out of my parents house by the end of the year. I would like to start the process of purchasing my own home. I’ve been working steadily for over two years but because I went to China, it may be difficult to prove I paid taxes (which is what one bank told me I needed it for).

My word for this year was: growth.

It took awhile for the cog to start to turn but growth is happening.

Minimalism update!!

I stopped buying plastic bottles. I now take the water from the tap, boil it, and “package it” in stainless steel and glass containers. I looked at how much I was wasting. I was doing terribly. It was actually a WASTE. I’ve juggled with becoming more eco-friendly but once I got tired of myself, I made the change, much like my weight-loss. I also don’t use plastic bags at the grocery store. I always have my reusable ones. When I get fruits and vegetables, I don’t grab the plastic to put them in. There’s no harm in my taters rolling around a bit.

Coming up?

I hope that everything goes well with the job and I can move somewhere soon. I want to start my own things. I want to be happy. And I’m reaching for happiness.

I’m trying…minimalism…?

A few years ago, I started to become more aware of the environment and my impact. It can be insanely difficult to start being minimalistic with so much coming to your mind at once. Since coming back to America, I have done nothing but consume. Our kitchen was being remodeled when I arrived so cooking was one of the things we couldn’t do. We had no running water and no space to do anything.

I had no choice but to spend a lot of my money eating at restaurants and getting fast food, even to this day–now that the kitchen is 95% completed–it can be difficult to not just get in the car and go get something quick. I was consuming so much that looking back, it was crazy and I am ashamed of myself for letting it get to the point of me losing my morals.

Since December came in and the money that I saved is finally getting low, I’m rethinking what I did. Some of the things I purchased was a long-term investment. Like the KitchenAid mixer and Chrissy Teigan pot set (I actually got this extremely discounted at Ollies). The mixer is an investment, it can last years longer than a cheap one (from what I’ve read during my research). I have a nice Rachel Ray pot and pan set but I wanted to add to it. Currently, I live with my parents and don’t use my pots but I thought, hey, it’s discounted and you can never have too many kitchen accessories. Then I realized, you can, but I won’t take them back.

Going forward, I’m going to try to buy less or if I need to buy something, buy it for a reasonable price (on sale or with a coupon). I actually started this last night, my mom and I went to Walmart and I picked up 2 new workout shirts ($3/item, regular $8.88 & $9.96), a Harry Potter shirt for $2 and a long sleeping shirt for $7. My total was under $15 including taxes. I was very happy. I had stuck to my guns and only bought things that were on sale and that I would use. I love to wear activewear even if I’m not working out.

This morning after dropping my diabetic dog off at the vet for her monthly sugar testing, I wanted to stop by a coffee shop and get a chai tea, but I realized that I didn’t have a spare cup in my car for them to put it into, so I came home.

Grocery shopping is an activity that I usually do just for myself (my parents don’t usually eat the same foods that I cook), so I’ve started getting “off-brand” items and only buying exactly what I need. Instead of shopping big name, I go to our local grocery store and ALDI’S! I can’t tell you how much I love Aldi, I’m even in a group on Facebook. We swap recipes and ideas and I love it because a lot of people only have just enough money these days. I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t have a lot of money anymore, I’m basking in the fact that I have to really get myself together until I get a stable income.

I’m also looking to get rid of things. I’m sad about how much stuff I throw in the trash and over time, I want to reduce what I send to the landfill.

Where will I start? With myself. I need to look at what I’m doing from an overall standpoint and a micro standpoint. Where is my money going? Do I use Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc enough to pay for a monthly subscription. My credit card, how much will I pay if I just pay the. minimum amount? How can I get this lowered. I need to do better for myself so that when I do find the job of my dreams, I can easily focus on work and leading the life I want to live.

In addition (hehe, why does this sound like a paper for college), I’m going to include more local vegetables and fruit. This is not to give up meat but honestly, for my digestion system. I’ve found that having a meat heavy diet only makes me sick and that when I put more veggies/fruit in it. It seems to go smoothly. It’s winter in South Carolina which means lots of imported goods and that’s okay. Spring/Summer/Autumn is coming.

Let’s have a chat! How has minimalism been for you? Do you want to give it a try? What questions do you have about veganism, being a vegetarian, or minimalism? Leave comments below! I want to see what questions you have! But more importantly, I want to open a discussion about this and do you think we can really stop being massive consumers?