You know it’s Tuesday when your ipod’s batteries die and you still have 4 miles left to run…
With no music to distract me I was left alone with my thoughts. I planned my dance class for this afternoon (turns out it’s nearly impossible to plie and run at the same time), pondered plans for an upcoming performance, and day-dreamed about cracking into the coconut in my fridge.
High potassium coconut water is the perfect post-super-sweaty-run recovery drink!
A local grocer sells whole coconuts for just $1.50-less than a container of coconut water and you get all the nutritious, delicious meat!
I am working on making more ecologically sound choices in my grocery shopping so I rarely buy packaged drinks, especially not single servings. [I do, however, have a wine clause to the packaged drink rule! A girl’s gotta have her exceptions. ;)]
I love coconut water but don’t like the idea of how much energy is used to produce one little container. Don’t get me wrong, a fair amount of energy went into growing, picking, shucking, and shipping my whole coconut but there’s very little processing and the “packaging” (the shell) is natural and biodegradable.
My effort to be a more ecologically-minded shopper has also led me to lower my grocery bills. Making kombucha, yogurt, and beans from scratch take a minimal amount of time for a minimal amount of money and produce a minimal amount of “wasted” resources!
I know DIY yogurt is not for everyone but there are simple changes and switches that we can all make. Do you buy single serving containers of yogurt because you always bring one with you fro lunch at work? Switch to the biggest container you can, buy a few 8 ounce canning jars (or better yet, reuse a jar you already have, like a small jelly jar) and divvy out your servings to grab-n-go.
Do you use canned beans because it doesn’t seem worth it to cook them from scratch for just a few servings? Beans freeze really well. I always make a huge pot of them, put a few days worth in the fridge and freeze the rest in pint jars (the same size as a can!). When we run out of beans I just grab a jar and let it defrost in the fridge. Freezing dries out and expands food so make sure to put a little bit of bean water in the bottom of the jar and leave some head space at the top.
Many times the environmentally friendly choice is also the local choice; shopping at the farmers market (no packaging/super short shipping distance/unprocessed), buying pastured eggs, milk, and meat (less energy goes into producing their food/often short shipping distance), or growing a garden (no packaging/shipping!!).
Does the environment factor into your trip to the store? If so, how? If not, why not?
I was hungry for an orange so I picked one up from a local store. The orange, however, was not even close to being local. I knew it would’ve been grown somewhere else because oranges don’t usually grow well in Kansas but when I looked at the label – it said Australia. On top of that, it wasn’t even a good tasting juicy orange. I still have a long way to go to get the local, environmentally sound shopping down. One item at a time for me.
Johanna, checking where a piece of produce is from is one of the transitions I’ve noticed in myself over the last year or so. If there is fruit available locally than I will not buy an imported melon, even if I have to choose a different fruit when I am craving melon. I honestly didn’t pay much attention until recently but these days it’s just makes sense to me. Tate and I have talked about going all local for a short (very short!) time (like a week in the summer) but I have no desire to give up imported avocado, mangoes, and bananas!
Yes, one item at a time and we all just have to do what makes sense for us and our lifestyle.
BTW – I love your ideas. I do make my own yogurt and cook beans from scratch. I’ve been saving glass jars, too. Not brave enough to try the Kombucha. I’ve never even tasted it.
I love kombucha but it’s not for everyone, it is kind of vinegary.
I love this! Dave & I have been working really hard to reduce the amount of waste in our home — we are making more from scratch, sourcing locally, avoiding packaging as much as possible (Dave even takes a large glass container to the store for his bulk meat & cheeses instead of using their paper/plastic). Even with not owning our home (which I feel we could do even more & properly compost), we have reduced our waste immensely. I can be really hard on myself, because we’re not “perfect”. Dave is good to remind me how far we’ve come & the direction we’re moving. Every bit helps! Your suggestions rock.
Coconut water is definitely one of my exceptions/splurges; I’m always looking for better packaging alternatives & wish it wasn’t traveling so far. Whole young coconuts are certainly Not $1.50 here, if we can even find them. Lucky you. 🙂 We sipped from coconuts straight from the tree when we were in Thailand — the best ever! Keep it in the fridge, & it will be nice & cool for you.
I have been trying to make better choices, and your above suggestionns are great! I always feel so guilty about throwing away packaging and if at all possible I recycle when I can. Every little bit helps. I am definitely going to try making my own coconut water.
If you can find cheap coconuts it’s a totally fun novelty but honestly, I won’t be doing it regularly. 🙂 It takes a while to drain the water and you’ve got to get out your toolbox to crack ‘er open. I do love the coconut meat though!
Aww now you’re makin’ me feel all bad about myself!!
Sounds like a personal problem to me. 😉
I’m focusing right now on trying not to buy things that I don’t need. I also like to avoid extra packaging, particularly plastic (I certainly don’t need a plastic bag for my bananas. There are some things that I’m torn on though, things that are more cost efficient or more time efficient, but create more waste.
Out of curiosity, what is cost efficient that creates more waste?
I am always a little surprised when I see people putting bananas in a bag!
Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
Just found your blog through Kath’s blog & I’m so glad I did!
Silent runs are sometimes exactly what you need, even when they come unplanned. I was training with Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and they encouraged us daily to run without music because it was a “great time to be alone with yourself”
The occasional music is always nice too 😉
So true Brittany, silent runs are an awesome time to just be with your thoughts-or to not think! I get to reliant on my music for distraction and motivation that it’s a good challenge to run without it.
Sarah@The Flying ONION
I had no idea that you could freeze beans (duh!) I’ll have to try that, as this was one of my greatest deterrents against boiling my own. Thanks for the tip! 😀
Oh yeah, it works like a charm!
Stupid question here, but, how do you crack into the coconut and drain the juice! Our local grocer always has fresh coconut but i’ve been too intimidated to buy one cause I have no idea what to do with it!
Such a good post. You make really great points. There are so many little changes that can be made which add up to really big impacts to yourself and the environment. Keep sharing. You’re an inspiration!
Happy Hump-Day! « Mindful Muchies with a Military Mrs
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love this. I’m not even super into environment stuff…more that I just hate the unnecessary waste factor. I’m always amazed when people buy water bottles (especially super expensive ones) and then throw them away after 1 use. I guess that’s why I eat carrot tops and fruit peels and cores-why waste when you don’t have to? I’m so tempted to try this coconut thing-how did you get it open?
You brought a big smile to my face when you mentioned eating cores and peels and carrot tops! Love it. 🙂
The coconut required many bangs with the hammer on my front sidewalk!
I feed the carrot tops, etc. to the hens who live next door. They roam the neighbors backyard freely and they seem to love my “scraps”. I don’t see that as waste.
Tate is trying to convince me to get chickens…
Candy (Healthy in Candy Land)
I definitely make an effort to think about the environment when I head to the store. I buy from the bulk bins as much as possible, use my own bags, and even quit shopping at Costco over a year ago, partly due to the excess in packaging. I never buy single serving anything–even with two kids around. It doesn’t take long to portion out servings and put them in reusable containers to go. There are many ways we can all be more conscious of our impact when at the grocery store.
Thanks for the freezing beans idea! It is a pain to cook them every time I need them, but if I did a huge batch and froze them–easy peasy!