Life goals, Lifestyle, Vegan, Yoga, Zero waste

Back into blogging

Hey guys this will be super short. Sorry for not posting often and like not at all, I needed some mental health days like desperately bad. Which ended up with me playing lots of Minecraft and falling in love with survival mode. I also became addicted to streaming on Twitch because if I’m going to waste the day playing I might as well share right? Gaming therapy! Weird, but I do love me some good games. So now that I am back to my fully peppy self I am planning lots of blog posts to come with some super tasty recipes! I have a homemade vegan pasta, homemade vegan cinnamon rolls AND homemade vegan chocolate cake all coming up as well as some zero more zero waste tips including how to deal with being zero waste when you’re just not feeling it, what to do about books and paper and more.

I also have some exciting yoga news as well coming soon, and I am making up flows like MAD and will soon be sharing those as well that you can totally feel free to take, use and modify for your own use.

Comment below if you would like it if I started doing some yoga flows on youtube plus some other things like baking and shopping.

Okay so I have already run the limit on this short post, that’s all I have for now. If there are any topics that you want me to cover please comment down below. I thrive on feedback so please feel free to pester me 🙂

Thank you for all your understanding and I promise to be back on schedule very soon. Also kitten picture because they are so cute! I love my kitties.

Zero waste

A Guide to Zero Waste Shopping

Before we had decided to go Zero Waste we had played around with the idea. We weren’t sure how to go about it or even if we would be able to go about this lifestyle. We live in the metro of Iowa, good ol middle of nowhere state. We are so forgotten we are literally the LAST to get any trends. The lowest on the chain. The thought of having to shop entirely zero waste left me feeling slightly hungry, as if we would starve if we had to follow this life. But we researched it, and looked into grocery stores that have bulk etc. We really put a huge effort into making lists of what we would need to be able to survive. A LOT of research went into this before we started making the switch. It was a long and rather difficult process. We are STILL trying to find things that we need without any packaging. While we are not able to get ALL things without any packaging we have managed to get about 95-99% of our items that we need either in bulk or biodegradable packaging. We also only try to buy those items in packaging that can be 100% recycled over and over (so items like glass, paper and metal) so that when we do recycle we are ensuring that it won’t be reused just once. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best that we can do.

So how does one Zero Waste shop when you live in an area where people think of Costco or Sams club when you say you need to shop in bulk? With a little work, but it’s honestly not as hard as I had initially thought. Our locally bases grocery store pretty much has everything that we need, and in the event that we need something else we are lucky enough to have a Whole Foods store in the area. Although I try to avoid them since they told us we are not allowed to bring our own containers and the only thing they offer are plastic baggies.

Most grocery stores are set up the same way, they either have 2 doors labeled “Home goods” and “Grocery” or they just have the one door. The grocery door usually leads to the fresh produce right away, and if there is only one door that usually leads straight to the fresh produce first. I will be following this pattern as I go through this guide, mostly because that is how we shop but also because it is good to have a plan when shopping zero waste.

So let’s dive right into Zero Waste shopping:

1. Bring your own bags and jars for fresh produce, bulk and checkout. We bring reusable bags for our produce and check out. We opt out for jars when bulk shopping because our bulk bins offer paper sacks vs plastic and we have no way to weigh the tare of just the jar. If you are able to though, I recommend bringing your own jars. Don’t ask if you can do this, if you have a the means to weigh the tare and all that then just bring the jar/container and fill it. When bringing your own bags to a store that offers plastic ones, hand those to the cashier first and say “I brought my own so please use these” and always, ALWAYS be polite but do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Ask to see rules in writing, or to speak to a manager if someone says you can’t have your own container. Most of the time it is not worth the fight and they do not actually have these rules. Just remember to be nice and polite about it.

2. We always hit the produce first, since it’s the first thing there as we walk in the door. Our local grocery offers pretty much everything without plastic except for berries and sugar snap peas. Which is kind of a bummer since berries are a staple in smoothies. We stock up on apples, citrus, bananas (we buy bananas in bulk and freeze them in a baking dish), potatoes (thankfully these come in singles that you can bag yourself) lettuce, kale, onions, radishes, carrots and whatever random lose food item we feel like buying that week. It will take some time, and you may have to scope out a store first to see that kind of produce that they have in stock. Some items will also be loose and some will always be in packaging. You will have to decide if you really need that item anyways or to just find a way to live without. What I find helpful when shopping is to just follow the rainbow diet. I try and find items of every color so in the end I have the whole rainbow and try and vary that throughout the day.

3.Next up is bulk, again you may want to make a pre-trip and see what they have. Our bulk bins offer a large range of rice, nuts, oatmeal, granola, snacks and nut butters. We also have a bulk candy section so that is a plus when it comes to finding snacky items. We fill up on oatmeal, chia seeds, flax seeds, nut butter (fresh pressed and free of any additives) as well as granola, various snack items, rice and what ever grain like couscous or quinoa that we need. Unfortunately we have not been able to find bulk pasta anywhere. Don’t be afraid to get too much. Bulk tends to last a while and you might find you’re eating a little more if you aren’t used to fresher items from the store.

4. Our next stop is the baking aisle, if we need anything. We still buy flour and sugar and basic baking items because we can’t find them easily or at all in bulk and they come in paper packaging which we can compost or recycle. We can get most spices from the bulk area so we usually try and do that, or we buy spices in glass. If you do fill up spices (or tea of coffee) at the bulk section than use the same method you would with jars and bulk bins. A plus side is if you have cloth bags they don’t weigh that much and can be weighed without knowing the tare. Old pillowcases can be good for this.

5. Canned goods. We still use canned items for some things. It is up to the buyer if they feel that is not making any waste. For us we do not have the time or the means to cook that many items, and while we are switching to dry bulk beans we can’t cook tomatoes every time I want a pasta sauce. It is too much and too time consuming, so I buy cans and recycle them appropriately. We don’t like most canned items though and prefer fresh to canned.

And that’s it, that is how we shop. We are usually done in about a half hour, depends on how long we debate on the things we need. We don’t hit any other areas of the store unless I need sparkling water (which comes in cardboard and aluminum cans that are infinitely recycled) otherwise we just stick to the fresh or canned items and I started making most items at home. I just made homemade vegan tortillas, I can make pretzels, bread, pancakes, cookies and cake all from home so we don’t worry about a grain intake. My next task is homemade pasta and we should be set on everything we need to eat and enjoy.

Zero waste may seem like an impossible thing to accomplish but it really isn’t. And if you start small you can make huge strides in reducing waste for the environment. Instead of grabbing a pre-packaged bag of lettuce, or apples, grab the fresh unpackaged kind. Sometimes it’s cheaper! I really like being able to pick each individual fruit or veggie personally. Then I know that I’m not getting a rotten or smooshed one at the bottom. You may not be able to find iceberg lettuce without plastic but Romaine lettuce comes loose. And while buying unpackaged certainly helps reduce waste we still have to deal with the pesky stickers and rubber bands on items. While we may not be able to 100% reduce waste we can make huge steps by making little changes.

We have found it is easy to make these changes and to start making most items at home. If we want juice, we just juice it. It’s tastier and healthier. This lifestyle also forces you to eat healthier since you can’t really get unhealthy items in bulk. Besides the occasional bulk candy (which I hardly buy because I forget candy comes in bulk 99% of the time) we eat a Whole Foods, no meat diet and it’s so much healthier. If you still eat meat and animal products you can still do this life. Some milk comes in glass bottles, you can bring your own container for meat and buy eggs in cardboard containers vs styrofoam. Once you start you really see how simple this life is.

So, happy zero waste shopping. If you want to see how I zero waste (and naturally too) clean then comment down below! I have tips on how to keep your cleaning routine safe, natural and pretty much zero waste. What are some zero waste tips you can share? I would love to hear from other zero wasters on how they manage in their area.

Have a great, trash free, day!


“Yoga isn’t for me”

Yoga. What do you hear when someone says those words? Do you envision someone twisted up? So flexible you can’t figure out which part is up or down? Or do you see a group of people bowing down to a statue, humming along with their movements in some strange form of worship. Or do you see a fitness group that is only for those thin girls that are able to manipulate their bodies into a pose so difficult your body aches just thinking about it?

No matter what we know about yoga, we all have these preconceived notions about what it actually is. We have this picture about what it’s supposed to be, and we think that we need to fit into these narrow standards. If we don’t fit into the standard view of what yoga is then clearly, it’s just not for us.

So many people have said this to me, I have to literally bite my tongue and watch myself for fear of rolling my eyes and lecturing every person who has those words fall from their lips. As I explain to someone that I am a certified instructor, I get the typical “Oh that’s so nice for you to be doing that. There is no way I can do that.” That’s just the most basic of replies I get, I have gotten several other replies before consisting of “I’m not flexible enough” “don’t you need to be able to touch your toes?” “Yoga? Isn’t that a load of hooey??” just to name a few. In response to these, yes it is nice, yes you can do it, no you don’t need to be flexible and you don’t need to touch your toes. And NO it is not a bunch of “hooey” since yoga in itself isn’t actually promising some magical cure all. I might be getting a little bit snarky, but the amount of people who have never tried yoga but tell me that it would be impossible for them to even try gets so old so fast.

I’m not sure what started this idea that you need a perfect body, perfect flexibility and vast knowledge of all things yoga to attend a class. But that is not the case, in fact it is so far from the truth I can’t even imagine how we came to believe these lies society gives us.

Yoga is not about doing each pose perfectly, matching some model pulled off google who has been twisted into the most complicated version of whatever pose is being modeled. No, yoga is so much more than those ideas we somehow have come to believe. Yoga is a way of relaxation, a form of semi intensive exercise and breathing practices. Breathing actually plays a huge part in yoga, although in the modern world of yogic exercise this part of yoga generally gets forgotten.

Yoga helps with my back pain, it can help focus and ground my mind. It can bring peace, and it can help to loosen up some very sore muscles. And it did all that before I learned to touch my toes. There are actually so many poses that I am still unable to hold. My handstand looks more like a wobbling pillar (or more like a crumbling, collapsing pillar), and I still have trouble balancing on my left side. Me and the ground are really good friends when I practice balance.

And I know that yoga isn’t for everyone, I don’t like every form of exercise out there. That’s fine, I don’t mind if someone doesn’t enjoy doing it. But to have never even tried and then say that you can’t do yoga isn’t an accurate statement. It’s just that so many people jump to the conclusion before they even try. I used to be the same way, I loved the idea of yoga and I had always wanted to try. But I was telling myself I just wasn’t flexible enough, and that I didn’t know enough about it or how to do it.

But this is why we take classes, to learn. We don’t tell ourselves we can’t have an eduction because we don’t know it all, we don’t say that we can’t learn something knew because we don’t fit some standard. So why do we do this with yoga? Once I got out of my head and tried it out, I loved it. So much so I became certified. And I am so glad that I did.

So give it a try, because yoga can fit all types. With props and modifications anything is accessible in yoga. I still use a strap for my practice, and I love doing so. It makes so many poses more accessible to me. Instead of saying that you can’t do it, ask how you can do it. Yoga is a practice that can be beneficial to all, if only we take the time to try it out.

So yes, yoga isn’t for me, at least the preconceived notion of perfection and flexibility isn’t for me. However the practice of yoga is for me. Because that’s just what it is, a practice. We don’t call it a yoga performance, because we aren’t perfect. Practice is what we do to get better at something, and that is what we are doing with yoga. And literally anyone can practice yoga, Buzzfeed actually made a pretty good point of this when they made a video on yoga. Actually they have made several but this is my favorite one. Another good one is plus sized women prove yoga is for everyone.

And while it may seem that yoga studios or classes only cater to a certain group, we can change this way of thinking if we learn to embrace something new and stop making assumptions that are purely from bias and not fact. Not every class or studio is going to be perfect. Not every class or studio will be welcoming. It might actually take a while to find something that specifically fits your needs. But it is so worth it. There have been a few classes that just did not click with me. I have a couple awkward yoga stories (for another post) that shamed me to no end. But all in all I had found that this practice was for me and that I need and wanted it in my life.

So before passing judgement on something you have never tried, try it. However, if you have tried it and hated it then judge all you want. At least you tried.


Life goals, Lifestyle, Zero waste

Should I recycle?

When I decided to become a zero waster I figured it would be a snap. I thought I could just Recycle as much as possible and still live the same lifestyle. It made me feel better to know that I would be putting something in the bin with the promise of reuse rather then sending it straight to the landfill. Honestly, I didn’t know much about recycling or what any of the numbers even meant. I was assured and confident that if it had the triangle symbol of it then I was doing the world some good.

But are we doing any good if we still continue to buy into this plastic packaging industry? If we want to stop something the quickest way is to stop the demand for it. If we still continue to indulge in the plastic world then we still create the demand for those products and they still continue to be produced. I hadn’t even considered this, nor did I consider the plastic things that I bought and consumed at alarming rates would never be reused as the same product.

Also, I had no clue what the numbers on the bottom even met, nor did I feel it was useful when I started to look up what they meant. So what do those little guys mean?

1: Polyethylene terephthalate; recycled into tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, fiber, and polar fleece

2: High Density Polyethylene; recycled into pens, recycling containers, picnic tables, lumber, benches, fencing, and detergent bottles

3: Vinyl; recycled into paneling, flooring, speed bumps, decks, and roadway gutters.

4: Low density Polyethylene; recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes

5: Polypropylene; recycled into brooms, auto battery cases, bins, pallets, signal lights, ice scrapers, and bycycle racks.

6: Polystyrene; recycled into egg cartons, vents, foam packing, and insulation.

7: Other, Misc; recycled into plastic lumber and other custom-made products.

See article on plastic recycling for more information on recycling and the numbers.

These numbers are actually quite alarming, A little research goes to show that at best these plastics are used twice. While that may be better than sending them to a landfill that still isn’t a long life for something that sits on the earth and clogs the lands with disgusting single use items. The absolute best thing on this list is number 1 because those things at least are used for a longer amount of time but then again that is one of the least safe plastics according to various sites. In reality it’s a no win situation, and recycling can seem very daunting and altogether pointless.

Recycling can also have a negative impact as well, causing more gases to be released in the process or creating toxins through oil refinement. (See list of negative impacts here for more info) As well as not being as effective as proclaimed, and false hope to those who think recycling is the best option. A lot of plastics can’t be recycled anyways, and contamination still gets around with this method. Recycling, in truth is not the end all be all that people (and society) has made it out to be.

So then is recycling pointless and worthless as a zero waster? Not necessarily, but in reality we need to be smart about what goes in the bin. Plastic is not an infinite recyclable, aluminum and metal however are labeled as infinite. Glass is also infinite.Paper is recyclable up to 5-7 times, but it is also biodegradable so it can be composted. For more information on recycling lifetime see article here.

Okay, so that’s a lot of info. Not going to lie my head is spinning a little bit. What does this mean? How should we go about recycling and what does this mean with a zero waste lifestyle. Before you go ahead and toss out your recycle bin just think about what is in your bin. Is it mostly plastic? Find some alternative options.

Some alternatives to plastic everyday items are:

Shampoo/conditioner- buy bulk or shampoo/conditioner bar

Razors- safety razor or not shaving at all are the best options. Homemade sugar waxing is also a more and more common option.

Bubble bath- reusable bubble bar or bulk liquid soap

Soap-unpackaged bar soap or naturally biodegradable packaged bar soap

Floss- biodegradable floss, or refillable biodegradable floss

toothbrush- unpackaged or biodegradable packaged bamboo tooth brush

Toilet brush- bamboo brush

Dish/bottle/straw scrubber- knitted scrubby or bamboo scrubber

Straws-bamboo or metal (silicone is an option but still not recyclable or biodegradable)

Menstrual cycles-reusable pads, diva cup, free bleeding or period panties

Medicines/band aides- alternative practices like essential oils or natural remedies, cloth bandages made from old shirts or clothing (100% cotton is best.) Please note that I am not a doctor and you should inquire before you change anything with your medical lifestyle. If you need something do not give it up, your health is ultimately very important and don’t feel as though you can not accept any medicine if you do need to do so.

You can find a lot of these products here at package free shop by trash is for tossers, as well as many zero waste ideas on her blog.

Packaged food: Buy bulk with your own containers and unpackaged fruits/veggies. If you are a meat eater you can try bringing your own containers to the meat counter-but don’t act like you are unsure in this practice. Be confident when asking, simply say “blank pounds of that meat in this container please” if you are confident your are more likely to be accepted and unquestioned. Also for meat eaters buy eggs in cardboard not styrofoam.

Opt for glass packaging where ever possible if needed, glass is an infinite recyclable.

Once the plastic side of life is cut out of our lifestyles as best as we can, we are able to focus on the other recycling uses. Obviously it is still not the greatest, but still better than sending our cans to a landfill. If you are a person who is busy and do not have time for massive meal prep canned food is the best option sometimes. We buy canned beans still and canned tomatoes/sauce simply because these are the items that take the longest to cook and we eat them on a daily basis. We do not have the means at this time to cook massive amounts of beans and canned works best with our life. We rinse the cans according and recycle them. Along the lines of things like this are sparkling water cans, metal straws and metal cutlery. Straws and cutlery are harder to know what to do with so research those items before tossing them in the bin.

Okay, so paper items. It is best to just compost these items if you compost. If not recycle them accordingly. Boxes can be reused by putting donations in them or using them to ship back for charity-see link here. Otherwise recycle cardboard boxes accordingly. Otherwise another great option to is try and go paperless, in a technology world this is more and more popular. Recycle/reuse or donate old electronics accordingly.

So, then recycling? Is it good? Bad? After all this research and information I can conclude it’s a neutral topic. Should we recycle more? No, we should cut out plastic from our lives. We should compost (if possible) everything that we can, cut out the packaging that is not necessary and then we should evaluate what is left and recycle accordingly. The end result should be no trash and very little if possible in our recycling bin.

Zero waste may seem daunting or impossible, especially depending on the region. But as someone who has no bulk stores or zero waste stores in their area we have somehow managed to make it work. Mostly thanks to metal, glass, bulk sections of our local grocery and lush cosmetics (which recycle everything, offer naked packaging and have compostable paper packaging.) we have managed to fulfill a minimal waste lifestyle. Now we are focused on using up the plastics that we have before we went to this lifestyle.

Recycling can be a wonderful tool, but we still need to be wary of the impact that it has and how many of the items are actually going to be reused/recycled. If you are serious about this life, research everything you can and evaluate what items in your life can be replaced by other more environmentally friendly products.

Happy Zero Wasting!

Lifestyle, Vegan

Quinoa Meat(less) balls

I am back with another quinoa recipe because quinoa is life and these meat(less) balls are the bomb. Non-vegan approved too, so these are sure to wow friends and family. The recipe I have will serve 4, if you want less just cut the recipe in half.

What you’ll need:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

4 cloves (chopped and crushed) garlic

6 tbsp soy sauce

4 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

Lots of flour

Oils of choice


Cook quinoa according to directions; bring quinoa and water to a boil then cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 3-5 minutes to soak up remaining water.

Add all the seasoning ingredients (expect the flour) to quinoa and mix

Add the mix to a food processor (make sure it is a big enough, or do it in batches) and pulse a few times until mixture is sticky and slightly blended.

Add flour to the batch, you will have to eyeball it until the mixture begins to resemble a meat like dough texture. You will have to keep adding flour throughout as well to keep the mixture from being too sticky

Form balls by rolling them in your hands, adding flour to batch as needed. More flour is never a bad thing. Flour is what keeps the recipe together.

In a frying pan heat up your oil of choice (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan fully.

Once oil is hot cook the meat balls until browned on each side

Now eat and enjoy! Or add to spaghetti or just have them with homemade marinara sauce! We served these to our meat eating friends and they really liked them! After having these I don’t think I can ever go back to meat again, so delicious! You can even add some other spices or maybe even some onion to spice them up. The possibilities are endless with quinoa.

Happy eating!

Life goals, Lifestyle, Zero waste

Going Zero Waste

As we move into the new year and decide as a household to become, or move toward the ultimate goal, of being a zero waste we have a seemingly daunting task ahead of us. Attempting zero waste can seem crazy, radical, and even a little mental. We have been sitting on this idea for a while, and now we have settled that this is going to be something that we are actively doing and working towards. While it may seem like something out of the ordinary and difficult to do, it really isn’t. Okay, it’s out of the norm to do this but it’s not as difficult as it seems.

Now if you’re reading this and are thinking that this is impossible, that it’s crazy or that we are just some crazy tree hugging earth loving people who don’t bathe then let’s take some time to talk about why we decided to do this and the benefits that it holds for our household. And we still bathe, I promise.

It started a while ago when I had watched the documentary (warning, graphic images of dead birds in the trailer) Plastic Paradise. I tried to find the full movie but it looks like it has been taken off Youtube, however you can rent it I believe and it is well worth the watch. Basically, we live in a single use world. Obsessed with ease and comfort we have mass produced plastic as a norm and it clogs our oceans and collects in many places. One of these place is The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastic is mainly a single use items in things such as cup lids, straws and even in our shoes/clothing and many other daily use items. It doesn’t easily biodegrade, if even at all. It clogs our oceans and causes damage to the world and animals. By our obsession with ease and comfort we have created a plant of plastic. And with items we don’t even need to live in our everyday life.

After watching this, I felt hopeless as to what I could do. I looked around at what we had and half of the products we own are plastic. Now that isn’t to say we need to turn around and trash those items. That would be so pricey having to replace all those products we own and they would just end up in a landfill sooner. Instead we are currently focusing on using up all the items we have that are plastic while refusing to bring any more into our home. Our end goal in this is to eventually find that we no longer need a trash can.

Wait, what? That is so CRAZY! I know right? I agree, but it’s crazy good. Think about it, if we in turn stop all flow of plastic into our house we have no packaging that needs thrown away. We don’t have plastics that need recycled (we are focused on only recycling those items that are infinite like glass,metal and aluminum) and we have officially set up a compost for for everything else in our life. Eventually we will have no need for trash bags and even no need for paper towels if we switch to reusable and washable items.

Okay, so that is a lot. And it seems super crazy. Like insane. I know how crazy it can seem, having been on this thought of zero waste for quite some time I had already told people our goals and gotten the responses of how crazy this venture is. And in a world obsessed with the easiest products it certainly is a goal that seems to have no feasible way of actually being attainable.

So what does zero waste even mean for us?

Firstly, stopping the flow of all plastic. That means refusing anything plastic. Bringing our own cups, saying no straw, buying only bulk and unpackaged items and bringing own containers or composting the ones provided in stores. No more plastic containers, instead we opt for glass ones or metal cans etc. We have to bring our own grocery bags (not to bad since it’s more and more common) and our own produce bags. We have to take extra steps though by refusing plastic straws that are automatically dropped onto tables and into drinks. 500 million straws are used everyday, to give you an idea of just how large this problem really is. Instead we got reusable metal straws, which we mush be vigilant in bringing with us. We will need to prepare ahead and bring our own utensils/plates if we know that we are going places that won’t offer those items.

I invested in a safety razor with refillable blades; I have recipes for homemade cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash etc. We are using up the last of our shampoos/conditioner and I have switched to unpackaged bar shampoo/conditioner and deodorants well as unpackaged soap. I have bought recyclable or unpackaged face care products that I do need. I made myself some reusable cotton pads out of an old t-shirt, which was a heck of a lot of sewing let me tell you. I plan to make reusable cleaning cloths, paper towels and handkerchiefs. We have several options with toilet paper, as that traditional ones come in plastic, we could buy bulk from a hotel or other bulk seller or we could invest in a bidet which is the most cost effective one. The rest of the toiletry items I have I am using up, after I do so I will decide which items I need to buy such as lotions, perfumes etc.

These are just the small steps we are taking to achieve this lifestyle, just a start to a long journey which will be so worth it in the end. While we still have so many items that are plastic I feel that it is best to either keep them for the time being and use them until they are no longer good or donate/sell those items that we no longer need. The hardest steps will be refusing, especially around holidays or with mail. Also gift giving will become a lot harder, nowadays it’s extremely difficult to find items that are unpackaged. Buying clothes will change with more trips to a thrift store to find untagged items. Wrapping gifts is a new task to tackle but we can wrap items in cloth or newspaper. So please, I ask people that are close in our lives be patient and understanding as we task ourselves with this new journey.

So why are we doing this? And what are it’s benefits? We have tackled what plastic does to our environment, but why specifically are we wanting to do this? Simply because I feel that as a Christian woman I still need to take care of what we are blessed with and for me this means that I will no longer be a contribute to the pollutants of this world. It’s a healthier lifestyle anyways, with ridding ourselves of the majority of chemically made plastics and opting for natural biodegradable items instead.

The benefits include a cheaper grocery bill, while many people claim buying fresh and bulk is not cheaper if we opt for things in bulk that are unpackaged and buy only those fresh items we need and use in a timely manner we save a lot more money than if we bought all the packaged items we think we need. That means a lot of making our own foods, but I find that I enjoy the fresh items a lot more now than packaged and preserved items. We still buy canned goods but those can be bought for about 40 cents a can. We also save money by not buying trash bags, paper towels, disposable cleaning items, cleaning supplies (I make my own natural ones) new clothes or new items in general. The only thing we have not found a solution for yet is pet food and liter. I am working on that however and if I find a sustainable solution I shall gladly share. For now, the containers we buy those items an can be recycled or upcycled.

So this is the biggest goal that we have for this new year. It’s a task, it’s daunting and it certainly will be some work right now. But I feel passionate about this, and it’s very doable. So we are attempting to be a zero waste house. Feel free to ask any questions about this lifestyle, I am no expert but I have been making switches in my life and doing a ton of research on this top. I am happy to share anything that you guys might want to know.

Resources to check out:

Zero Waste Home

Sustainably Vegan

Clean my Space (not zero waste but great for making your own cleaning items and general organization.)

Plastic free shop by Trash is for Tossers

Life goals, Lifestyle, Minimalism, New Year, Vegan, Yoga, Zero waste

My 2018 New Year Goals

I know that it is a little Cliche to be posting my New Years goals or resolutions. I am not really an advocate for resolutions because I feel as though if you are wanting to change you can do so at any time and you don’t need a whole new year as an excuse. But there is also nothing wrong with sitting down and writing out what you want to accomplish for this year. Goals can be a wonderful thing, especially those goals that help to better your life. So this post isn’t really about the resolutions that I am trying to hold myself up to. I don’t want to set some crazy standards about how I need to be this year, and I don’t feel that I need to change who I am. I just want to better the lifestyle that I already am living. So here are my goals for this New Year, the things that I want to accomplish and work on the most.

1. Go fully vegan: This is probably the biggest goal, and the worst thing coming from a self proclaimed plant eater. I have always tried to use plant powered wherever possible because in reality I eat about 90-95% plant. As a transitioning vegan, it isn’t always easy to switch over cold tofu. I hadn’t properly prepared or made it clear to friends and family that I was eating this certain way and did not want to stray. So for holidays or special occasions I would let it slip. Why bother others with my requests, why tell them that I can’t eat that? It was just easier to eat the meal they prepared. But for this year I want to eat 365 days no meat. 365 days of making my own thing, requesting something else and saying “I can’t eat that”. 365 days of refusing the normal holiday fare. We shouldn’t let a good habit slide because of those around us and we shouldn’t compromise our goals just because it’s a holiday or because that was the food that was made. I am going to have to get really good at making and/or bringing my own things. The hardest part-explaining to my mom why I still can’t eat the veggies because she put butter on them.

2. Go full zero waste: We have slowly been transitioning and moving to this lifestyle. I have all the packaged things we have left over in their own area waiting to be used. The main goal is to get rid of the trash can and potentially just have a jar. We have a compost set up, recycling for stuff that can be that we still had and we buy in bulk and unpackaged when possible. My next step is to announce to everyone that we are doing this lifestyle because I do not want to receive anything in packaging anymore. Thankfully this Christmas people got us useful gifts that are actually minimal waste. So we are off to a pretty good start.

3. No spend year: I talked this over with my husband and we agreed to a no spend year. The rules: no spending anything unless it’s a needed item, a holiday in which you give a gift or the occasional game because we are currently trying to build up a gaming collection. But wait, doesn’t that go against minimalism and zero waste? Well yes, kind of. But the way that I do minimalism is if it brings me joy then I keep it. I am a lover of movies and games (both video and board) so that is something that I still need to explain to people that I won’t stop buying because I actually use them. However, I can start buying used ones instead of the packaged new ones in store. That can at least cut down on the plastic packaging we get from games. Also I do weed out those items that we no longer watch or did not like. I either donate or sell them. And even though it would be minimalistic to ditch all their cases, I keep those because I do not want to toss that much plastic just to have nothing on my shelf.

4. Blog more: I always have so many ideas for blogging but I go stretches without doing anything. I need to keep up on it, mostly because blogging for me is kind of like my journaling. I also need to stop worrying about numbers, which is something I am always concerned about with social media. If people like what I post then they will follow, if not oh well. Not the end, not everyone likes everyone’s content.

5. Do yoga every day: I know, I know. I am an instructor for goodness sake. But honestly I slack so much in this department. Not only do I want to do yoga every day I want to accomplish some hard poses and become more flexible. I want to make more flows, share them with people and just feel good in my body by doing what I know I should be doing everyday. So no more slacking. Yoga everyday needs to happen.

6. Last but not least, have an awesome year: Honestly our lives are what we make them. I have seen so many people complaining about how crappy 2017 was. And the same went for 2016 as well and so on. But honestly, despite all the bad I had some great years. I became a certified yoga instructor that; is pretty awesome. So I want to focus on positives this year, and really make it a great year. Because 99% of the year is how we react, perceive and make things. So here is to positivity and joy this year!

What are some goals you guys have? Some things you want to really focus on? Let me know in the comments, if we have similar goals don’t be afraid to chat with me. We could be buddies and help each other get to our goals this year.

Happy New Year guys! Let’s make this the best year yet!