I have a distinct memory of being about 5 and hearing an older family member refer to my mom as a “tree hugger”. I remember being confused as to why they said it in a way that made it seem like it was an undesirable thing to be. I couldn’t understand this. Surely, hugging trees is the right thing to do!
As I grew up and heard more and more about trash in the oceans, acid rain and deforestation, I was devastated by it. Fern Gully shook me to the core. I wondered how we could do this to our beautiful planet? Why did humans feel entitled to destroy the very thing that supports all life?
I felt small and helpless, but HOPEFUL that someone who find a solution, make changes, “fix” these problems. I never thought of myself as s person who could make a difference.
25 years later, and these problems are as prevalent as they’ve ever been. We have a trash island that is larger than some countries. Animals are dying at an alarming rate, and plastic is polluting nearly every inch of our beautiful planet. Facebook feeds are filled with videos with the plight of mother earth and her inhabitants.
I now know that we each as individuals can affect positive change, and in reality, it is the ONLY way we can truly save the planet. It has to be a collective shift of conscious (read more here) of the masses to change the direction that we are headed.
What can I DO?
In starting my journey to financial freedom, I felt a bit of an identity crisis. I kept waiting for my “niche” to reveal itself to me, and asked myself incessantly “What are you passionate about? What is something that you would want to pour your heart, soul and time into?”
Truth be told, I am passionate about saving money. Not just for the sake of having money, but for the freedom it brings you. It is hard to pour your heart and soul into anything when you are worried about finances.
Having grown up in a low income household of 6, I was taught from an early age how to be frugal, we knew no other way.
Just as important as SAVING money, is creating passive income streams. To truly help you gain financial freedom and live the life you’ve always wanted, it is important to have that money coming in. To learn more about setting up Sales Systems, read here.
I am also passionate about doing right by the environment. I feel a responsibility to do my part, and make changes in my life to reduce my footprint on this earth. One of the biggest contributions I can make is by switching to a plant based diet. This is not only good for Mother Earth, but also for our health.
Amazingly, being frugal, and eco-friendly often go hand in hand! Small changes can make a big impact, not only on our precious world, but on your pocketbook!
Wallet, Waistline, World
We were inspired by my husband’s sister, who was one of the biggest foodies we know–she LOVES food. She told us that she was considering giving up meat all together, and I must say, we were shocked! At that point we started doing a few “meatless” meals here and there, but didn’t pursue it wholeheartedly.
One night we watched What the Health. We were appalled and disgusted by the meat industry, and the Standard American Diet itself. We knew that it was unhealthy, but this was really in your face proof. We decided right then and there to make the change. We threw out all the meat, cheese, eggs and dairy. I haven’t had a glass of milk since.
We maintained nearly true veganism for 3 months. In that time I had dropped 15 pounds without trying (whoo hoo!) and we both felt fantastic! We needed less sleep, yet felt more energized, had clear skin and felt happier overall. My periods were much lighter and we both had a much stronger sex drive (Rrrrrrrr!)
Unfortunately, life happened, and well got off track. We moved again (3rd time in one year–relocations are EXHAUSTING!) We did some international travelling (yay!!) followed by the Holidays, which led us back to some less healthy eating habits (Can you say Malteasers? The English do AMAZING Christmas hampers!) Subsequently, our bodies felt the effects. I gained back half the weight, our skin worsened, and we both had less energy…for anything:(
It was incredible to see the near immediate difference. We knew we had to get back on track, and FAST! Not only had it taken a physical toll, our bank account noticed! I started getting notifications that we were overspending on eating out, man, eating out adds up quick!
The Health Factor
We have been back to plant based, non-processed eating for several weeks, and feel SOOOOO much better for it. For us, it’s a true testament to how powerful your diet truly is, and how many aspects of your life it affects.
I took a Nutrition course in college taught by a Naturopathic Doctor. He told us that the first thing he has ALL of his clients do is to fill out a food diary, because what you eat affects your health so dramatically. He said something that really stuck with me: “If someone comes to me for chronic headaches, I don’t prescribe them ibuprofen…they are not suffering from an ibuprofen deficiency.”
He looked at what they were eating and drinking, and got to the root of the problem, which is usually our S.A.D. (Standard American Diet–SAD indeed!) Many times it was a nutrient deficiency, lack of hydration, over consumption of sugar and chemicals that was causing the issue. Watching What the Health reminded me of so many of the things I was taught in school, wish I would have paid more heed then!
Eating whole foods, and plant based has done wonders for our health and waistlines, so it’s already a no-brainer in my book. (We do still eat “meat as a treat” as my husband says, but stick to mostly plant-based) Not only is this decision good for us, but also for our bottom-line, and also our precious planet.
The exciting thing is that there are so many like minded people out there now! Eating a plant based diet is bigger than it’s ever been, and the impact of that alone is astonishing. In recent years there has been a 600% increase in veganism in the US, and Read more astonishing facts by Food Revolution Network here.
We are starting to see mainstream health organizations recommending a plant-based diet. This is a huge breakthrough! Some big names include; Kaiser Permanente (the largest healthcare organization in the U.S.) the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Eating a plant based diet has such a far reaching effect, and I had never realized how much impact eating meat has on the environment. You’re actively doing your bit to save the forests by being vegan. Forests are alarmingly cleared so that the land can be used for crops so that meat-based diets can be produced. Every year, just one person who sticks to a vegetarian diet will save an entire acre of trees.
By not eating meat, you’re also helping to ease the problem of pollution. Almost 20% of pollution that is man-made originates from the meat industry. This has placed factory farming ahead of transport in how much it contributes to the planet’s greenhouse effect! It got me thinking, what other small changes can we make to impact our world in a positive way?
Read more at: The Daily Vegan
Small Changes, Big Impact
Think about adopting “Meatless Mondays”, it will help you stretch your dollar, save calories and cholesterol, and has a huge environmental impact. Make conscious decisions when you buy new products, is it possible to buy second hand? Is there a plastic free version? Is it good quality, that can last a lifetime, or is it junk that will end up in the landfill (or the ocean) in the next year?
We cannot all live like there is a spare planet waiting for when this one is full of trash and depleted of resources. Since the advent of plastic ONLY 100 years ago we have polluted our earth and oceans with 100’s of TONS of it. It cannot break down, it harms sea animals and turning the beaches into literal dumpsters. This is not sustainable. We must take action, as a whole.
What can we do to start today?
Here are some simple ideas we have tried, and you can implement to make a difference:
-Buy a glass water bottle
-Use an awesome stainless steel bento box or reusable glass meal prep containers
-Walk to work or errands if able (Use the Sweatcoin app and get PAID to walk!)
-Buy a bamboo tooth brush or hairbrush (boooo plastic!)
-Choose reusable face cleaning cloths over wipes
–Shampoo bars (smells amaaazing, lasts forever, and no plastic!)
-Meatless Meals Check out our favorite easy meatless meals here
-Buying in bulk, ditch the packaging!
–Reusable straws (this adorable set comes with a handy pouch)
-Up-cycle glass bottles into vases and candle holders (check out ideas here)
-Buy corked wine, not screw top–use corks for awesome up-cycling projects
-Use glass cleaning bottles–try these chemical free recipes for cleansers
-Buy clothes and household items secondhand when able
-Buy bamboo or sustainable cleaning tools–check out my new ones!
What about you?
What is your best idea for saving money and the environment?
What small changes in your life are you willing to make to create an impact today?
We would love to hear your ideas! Comment below so we can learn from you!
Glitchy Panda Xx