Ah, my poor hair. I’ve put it through a lot of different shampoos, then vinegar and baking soda, then nothing. Finally, at long last, I found a natural product that worked, but then I went and messed with my conditioner, unplugged my hair straightening iron and restricted my time with the blow dryer. In the end, I just chopped it all off.
Miraculously, it hasn’t started sprouting anything or wound itself into dreadlocks, and as far as I know it doesn’t smell. Besides, at this point in the challenge, having pretty hair is the least of my concerns.
This month has seen a couple major changes, the biggest one — both literally and figuratively — being my humongous compost bin. It took multiple trips to Home Depot (thanks, Bruce!), a lot of drilling, stapling, screwing and hammering, hours of researching vermiculture and a whole bunch of soil, worms, damp newspaper and food scraps to get it going… but so far, so good. Well, truth be told, it’s a little fuzzy in places and the fruit flies have already invaded, but I think after a few months I’ll have it figured out.
My big moves food-wise were to limit myself to organic-only dairy and free-range eggs, as well as cutting out all canned and bottled beverages except alcohol — speaking of which, I’m now only drinking hard liquor if it’s organic or comes from an eco-minded distillery. Really, though, drinking warm gin is just not that pleasant.
This, coupled with my previous restrictions on meat (it has to be grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, hormone-free and preferably local and organic) as well as produce that comes from within Canada and the U.S. means that dining out is getting a bit complicated. Take-out and delivery are not an option unless I bring my own containers, and even if I sit down to eat at a restaurant there are fewer and fewer options.
Basically, I’m sticking to places like Fresh or Sweet Lulu, or if I’m on the go, I’ll get hand-held stuff like a falafel or a veggie dog. What’s really killing me is not being able to get take-out sushi (it always comes on styrofoam or in those plastic containers).
That said, farmers markets are still in full swing here so I’m not suffering entirely. And you’re right, Greenpa, I don’t really miss my fridge. I invested in a neat little butter bell, I keep my veggies in a bit of cool water from the tap and I can drink my way through a container of soy or almond milk in a few days. Everything else I simply purchase in the afternoon and eat it by the evening — although, I won’t lie, this has resulted in the consumption of entire blocks of cheese within a five-hour time span.
Other than food, I think the biggest change was making sure that all clothing I buy from now on is from a local and/or environmentally friendly, sweatshop-free company. This hasn’t been a big problem yet, but then I haven’t attempted any big shopping sprees. I think when Fall hits and all the stylish sweaters and cardigans start cropping up in store windows it’ll make me cry inside.
This month was also when I went on vacation, which has given me a great energy boost and insight into other cultures’ green — and not so green — habits. But it also meant that I had to break a few rules, like the no-bottled-water thing and the fair-trade-coffee-only thing. Travelling from one place to the next every few days has led me to realize that it’s much easier being green in an environment you know and can control.
Just over 200 days to go now. Is it too early to start counting down?
Cartoon by the ever-uproarious Natalie Dee