10 Low Crap Habits for Conscious Citizens

10 Low Crap Habits that most Conscious Citizens are currently implementing or at least thinking about. If these are not regular habits of yours, don’t worry, you can easily catch up.

1. Reusable Shopping Bags. You should have a supply of reusable cloth shopping bags and keep them handy in the car, the house, and one in your suitcase. Almost all stores now sell reusable shopping bags at minimal cost so there are no excuses. On the rare occasion when you forget your bag, use your purse, or arms, or ask for a paper bag (its easier to grow a tree then to clean the ocean of plastic; besides trees produce oxygen, plastics produce toxins.) Don’t limit reusable bags to groceries - also use them for clothes purchases, drug store purchases and other shopping excursions.

2. Reusable Coffee Mug. This is especially important if you purchase take out coffee daily. You should by now own one or more reusable mug that is kept handy and clean. Purchase mugs with closable, leak proof lids, that won’t drip the last few drops into your backpack or purse. If your reusable mugs are sitting in the back of a cupboard, dig them out and place them on the table by the door so one is always handy to grab as you run out the door. And don’t be shy; proudly hand over your personal mug with your coffee order – you may even get a discount.

3. No More Bottled Water. Bottled water is an example of a good idea gone bad, terribly bad. If you still need some incentive for getting off bottled water, watch Blue Gold World Water Wars. Tap water is safe and inexpensive. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, purchase a filter jug or a filter that attaches to your facet. Another way to deal with the taste of tap water is to squeeze a little lemon or lime into your glass. One lemon or lime costs about 50 cents and will freshen eight or more classes of water and there is no crappy plastic to deal with, only compostable rind.

4. Cut back on purchases in one-time-use packaging. By now it should be habit to purchase products with minimal or no packaging. When that is not possible choose glass, paper or cardboard packaging over plastic, foil or tin. Better yet consider making your own. Soup is a good place to start. Learn to make your own soup at home using fresh ingredients, rather than buying the tinned variety.

5. Recycle everything: cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, tin. It has become socially unacceptable to not recycle, which means you are already recycling as much as possible … right? Ok, maybe some of you are storing recyclables in the garage because you don’t have time to take them to the bins? No worries – make that your first weekend project of the spring. Recycling isn’t the answer to all our problems (reusable is better), but it will buy us time until we can get manufacturers changed over to minimal or reusable packaging.

6. Get off the ‘Sugar-Free’ and ‘Low-Fat’ bandwagon. These ideas didn’t work, and we need to let them go. We gave them a good try for a decade or two, but we are unhealthier and more over weight than ever. So if you haven’t already, give up these food imposters. You don’t need them. They pollute your body and pollute our planet. Remember food close to its original form is better than manufactured food. Granulated sugar and honey are better choices then artificial sweeteners. As far as fat is concerned, your body knows what to do with the real thing (in moderation) such as nuts, avocados, coconuts, butter, eggs, olives and even a little organic meat fat. Your body doesn’t know what to do with hydrogenated or genetically modified vegetable oil and artificial sweeteners. If you are still eating foods sporting ‘sugar-free’ and ‘low-fat’ labels, you may as well be wearing head bands, stirrup pants and big hair.

7. Eliminate soda pop, including diet pop, from your life. Are you still drinking pop? Stop! Just do it! There is no food value in pop. It is damaging to both the body and the environment. Would you put pop in your dog’s water dish? Didn’t think so. Pop is unnecessary. It should never be considered a ‘treat’ for the kids. It is a life depleting slow poison that damages body, mind and earth. And don’t use the excuse ‘its diet pop’, because that it even more damaging than the regular kind (reread #6.) Need a low crap replacement for pop? Try sparkling water with fresh juice or fruit slices.

8. Each month learn one new, prepared from scratch, real food recipe. Most of us have one meal that we can prepare from scratch using real food. Friends and family know that dish as our ‘specialty’. But why have just one specialty? To stay enthusiastic about eating home cooked meals made from real food, commit to trying one new recipe each month. Keep the recipe in sight and the ingredients on hand. Prepare it several times until you have committed the process to memory and it becomes another one of your ‘specialties’.

9. Compost Vegetable Waste. When vegetable trimmings go into the regular garbage, and eventually the landfill, methane gas is produced (bad stuff). A much more efficient way to deal with organic waste is to compost. If you’re not already composting, contact your local garden society to learn how to get started. It’s easier than you think. Properly composted vegetable waste produces a potent fertilizer that can be used to grow more food. Not only that, but our landfills won’t fill up as fast, garbage trucks won’t have to make as many trips to the dump and you’ll purchase fewer plastic trash bags. Maybe your not a gardener. That’s ok. A pile of compost in a corner of the back yard is better than a landfill spewing methane gas. And if you don’t use it, I’ll bet you can find a neighbour who will.

10. Hug a Farmer and High-five a Trucker. You may not think that hugging and high-fiving are part of a Low Crap lifestyle. But think about this. If fresh produce and meat are not available in your community, eating a low crap diet is next to impossible. As romantic as it seems, growing food takes hard work and expertise. There are very few people around who are both able and willing to grow quality produce and meat for a living. And until we get a better system in place, it’s the trucker who moves the fresh food from the fields and barns to the local stores in a timely manner. Not many of us are willing or able to drive to a warmer climate every week to purchase our food. Of course a visit to your local Farmer’s Markets should always be your first choice for fresh from the farm food. And while your there express your gratitude with hugs and high-fives.

So there you have it, ten Low Crap Habits that you can embrace today. If you currently practice one or two of these habits – good on ya! You are well on your way to a healthier you and a healthier planet … the low crap way!

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