So you’re making the transition to a plant based diet. Here’s the part perhaps no one has told you yet – Being aware of where food comes from raises the level of consciousness and suddenly you begin to wonder where other things come from too. Day by day tiny new revelations seem to pop up out of nowhere. Your thoughts go from regular ol’ you to hyperconscious-obsessive-worry-syndrome. Maybe they sound something like …
In the grocery store: Wait, where did this produce come from? Should I buy organic? I just read an article about how pesticides pollute our waterways… Is it fair trade? Were the farm-workers paid a living wage or are they suffering in poverty so that I can save at the store? Is it local, or is it out of season in my area and therefore picked while unripe and flown in from another country? Talk about a waste of fuel and energy! Hold on, I wonder how many of these plastic bags for fruits and vegetables I’ve used in my lifetime… Hundreds? A thousand? I should buy reusable ones… I recycle them, but reusable bags will help to reduce the demand to create more. Hmmm and what else… Oh My Goodness look at all the packaging! I’ve never thought about it before! Plastic bottles of juice and salad dressing, plastic bags of cookies nestled in little plastic trays, all of the jarred and canned convenience foods… I recycle but not all of it is recyclable, maybe I should reduce my consumption of processed foods…
In restaurants: Why did the server give us so many napkins? They’re just going to be thrown out. I should take them with me. And the straws! I have never considered straws before! I need to start asking them to hold the straw. Styrofoam containers?! This place is a mine field! Will they allow me to bring my own containers? And these plastic wrapped forks, what a waste, I have silverware in my house.
In the home: Excuse me, my Tide laundry detergent is carcinogenic?! Holy crap ALL off my cosmetics and soap and moisturizer and shaving cream are made by companies that test on animals! And they contain poisonous ingredients too?? And these cleaning products, and my palmetto bug spray… I guess that stuff can’t be good either. I haven’t been minding my water or electricity usage, I’m going to have to start paying attention to that. While I’m at it, I think I should start an organic garden in the yard. That will save some of that waste from getting things at the supermarket.
It sounds stressful, right? Don’t worry there are solutions to all of these issues. What is really depressing is NOT knowing that the problems exist. These questions are just a few examples of the countless realizations that will come to mind as you continue on a path of becoming conscious of the world around you and the impact of your choices. The best part of all of this is being able to change your choices, one at a time. It takes years to shed the old habits that we have known our entire lives. Stay strong and keep at it. You are making the world a better place, just do the best you can.
It’s easy to start by just going to the closest health food store and looking to see what kind of household products are sold. Maybe after buying Seventh Generation or Meyers detergent you can work up to making your own household cleaners. Here are a few links to eco-friendly websites and products for living out your newfound awareness:
These are just a few ideas, I highly encourage that you harness your Google powers and click around to discover more. Do your own research, and the internet is the best place to start because it’s the freest information exchange that exists. You can find a website or a blog that sheds light on information because it’s real and vital and true and honest, not because their advertisers are paying them. CNN, FOX, and NPR simply cannot give you unbiased information because of corporate advertisers. Be your own reporter, heck start your own blog and document your discoveries. Please comment and add a website here that you think can help others just beginning their journey. Now get out there and change the world!