Last night I had a dream that involved eggplants. The details of the dream are foggy but for the fact that these eggplants were flawless, beautiful, and most likely organic. A year ago my dreams would never have gone into eggplant territory. To celebrate Earth Day I will explain how I have come to this.
1) Having children makes you start thinking about safety, purity, and the health of your home. Part of toddler-proofing my house was switching to non-toxic, natural cleaning products from Method and Seventh Generation. A paramedic told me that the most dangerous substance in your home for a child to ingest is the powder you put in your dishwasher. Seventh Generation dishwasher powder is a safer, phosphate-free alternative that actually works (you can buy it at Publix).
2) Although I am not always so great at buying organic and local produce, the idea of a CSA food buying club sounded pretty cool so I joined Flagler Organics. The benefits have been incredible! Not only is the food my family is eating healthier, it tastes better. I have also had to rise to the occasion and learn how to make new dishes such as oven roasted vegetables recipe, celery soup, eggplant (!) parmesan, and recipe for love salad.
3) Because of all the extra produce in the refrigerator now, I had to find a way to store it so it stayed fresh. A friend recommended 2-gallon Ziploc bags and I winced at the prospect of that much plastic. But what I found is that they are easy to wash and reuse. I ceased purchasing the smaller sizes of Ziplocs and discovered that these little landfill-fillers are not at all necessary. It is easy to reuse bread bags or utilize washable containers. I also stopped buying plastic wrap because aluminum foil works just as well and in most cases you can recycle it.
In terms of living a sustainable life, I am by no means perfect. I am not (yet) a vegetarian and my foray into raw and living foods did not go as well as planned – in fact I did not last 24 hours before I needed lots of coffee and a generous helping of fat-rich foods. But I am happy that I have come this far and I know that treating the earth and ourselves better is actually quite fun and rewarding work.