Green Grocer

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Today marks five weeks since I moved to Chicago. (yay!) I’ve been exploring shops, clothing stores, bars, restaurants, and grocery stores to figure out where I might fit in to become a regular. Being a student, I’m looking for places where I can spend money sparingly, since I have none. I’ve found this is much more difficult in a big city, where money seems to just slip right through my fingers without my knowing, on things like taxi cabs, club covers, expensive drinks, $10 french fries… and everything else I apparently can’t live without.

Buying organic food is an expense I wasn’t sure I could afford. These products are usually more expensive, because people that really want to go this route care more about what they’re eating than how much they’re paying. Trader Joe’s has quickly become my go-to grocery store, as I can buy all organic food and their products are actually very cheap. I spend the same amount of money here that I would at any other grocery store. And I must say, they have a great selection of cheese and wine, two of my favorite things.

This inspired my easy green tip for week 2. Since I go grocery shopping probably twice a month, I figured out that I was using about 12 plastic bags a month (6 per trip), at the grocery store alone. That would mean I’m using almost 150 plastic bags per year (!) and honestly, they don’t always get recycled.

Although plastic bags are awesome to keep around for small trash cans and things, it’s just a waste. (Check out these biodegradable trash bags). I purchased three Trader Joe’s cloth shopping bags to reuse every time I visit the grocery store. If I can save 150 plastic bags a year, think of how many we can save together! Try it out yourself, they’re only around a dollar to three dollars each, a small price for what you could be doing for the environment. (And they’re pretty, too :D)

Free Water

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My idea for week one is a very simple and easy way to save some plastic waste. In my personal, sometimes snobby opinion, plastic=death. It’s awful. One of mankind’s most destructive discoveries. Although, most manufacturers would argue that it propelled industry forward; it’s used in almost every sort of product and brings in an uncanny amount of money.

Even though people have generally started recycling, think about how many times you’ve had a water bottle, and as soon as you finish it or get sick of carrying it, you throw it away wherever you can. There aren’t always recycling bins around, and the truth is, we’re all about convenience.

My latest purchase was this Camelbak water bottle, courtesy of Moosejaw and an Amazon gift card from my brother. So yes, it’s made of plastic. That’s an obvious downfall. But, it’s BPA free (Bisphenol A), which, according to the FDA is a toxic substance found in many water bottles. And, I’m reusing it and reusing it, therefore it’s not one of the millions of bottles thrown away in a given day. It’s a great thing to buy, I would recommend this brand to everyone—and the spill proof, easy-to-drink style makes me want to drink more water, which is always needed. :)

I’m on my way to greendom! This is a first, tiny tiny baby step. But it’s something.

On A Mission

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I’m starting a project today. I’m on a mission to discover how big an individual’s carbon footprint really can be.

Every week, for one year, I’m going to make a small adjustment to my daily life, or perhaps just find something new and interesting on the topic, to eventually become “green.”

How many people do you know who want to get involved in this new, health-kick, earth-loving frenzy our current culture is going through? It seems like such a daunting task to know where to begin in the process, and most of us are too lazy to make changes. I’m definitely one of these lazy people. (I’m writing this in sweats on my couch, football playing on our 3-D Vizio TV.)

But, I’m determined.

After my fifty-two weeks of new discoveries and ideas, I’m going to look back on the changes I’ve made, and the new things I’ve learned. Hopefully my time and efforts will prove successful, and I’ll have some hefty stats to show an individual can slightly alter the earth’s lurking doom.