Several weeks ago the Sunday LA Times had a story (by Steve Lopez) about a 101-year-old woman who was inspired by 17 year old Greta Thunberg, to figure out what she could do to help save the planet. Spoiler alert: she convinced her assisted living facility to start having meatless Mondays.
I spent the rest of Sunday (in between glimpses of the Super Bowl) watching Eco House Challenge on Amazon Prime Video. This Australian series (just 1 season?) featured 2 families competing to cut their environmental impact by at least 40%. I really enjoyed their trials, because I’ve been there, too. I could relate to the difficulties of maintaining each little change over the long term.
In moving from the homestead, to the RV, to dad’s house, I have had to let go of many of my ideals. This weekend inspired me to start enacting new ones. Maybe I can’t raise my meat, milk, and eggs in the backyard anymore, but I can put more effort into raising fruits and veggies. I may not be able to go car-free and certainly don’t want to give up the RV lifestyle. But I can surely cut way back on my use of the vehicles and get more exercise by walking and bicycling.
I already have a nice compost heap
and water the fruit trees and the small patch of grass with the laundry water. My backyard fountain recirculates its water. The goldfish eat some of the algae (not enough!) and the water from cleaning the fountain goes on the container garden, fertilizing it with the fishy waste.
I have cut out most paper product use –
paper towels, napkins, paper plates – and substitute with washable/reusables. Fairly clean, non-greasy ziplox get washed and reused. I still need to make my beeswax food covers. Clean rags with rubber bands do the trick with most food storage containers, though. Or a clean plate set on top.
I am fairly content with the status of our water and gas usage.
However, the electric bill has been taunting me. Solar panels are very popular around here, but I want to own my system, so “free” panels and installation are not an option and a paid system is too expensive. There are a few other options I am hoping to try.
In the last few years I have been making our diet more plant-based.
We still eat a lot of meat. But I am conscious and intentional about keeping lots of beans, greens, and other veggies on the daily dinner plate. I try to have one soup night and one or two meatless nights a week. Not a meatless Monday, because I usually have plenty of time to cook on Mondays. But Friday, which is more in our tradition as Catholics. And my meatless meals are pretty simple. Usually, veggies paired with rice or noodles cooked earlier in the week, or some kind of soup and salad or sandwich combination.
Do you have your own version of meatless Monday? What little changes have you made lately, to be less consumptive and more sustainable?