It feels sometimes like I can only focus on one at a time. I’m not vegan, only vegetarian, so I’m not perfectly ethical. I’m certainly better than I was though. I’m trying to be thrifty at the moment but that doesn’t always mesh well with being green. I’m not buying organic produce or meats for the family. I’m making soap from soap base instead of totally from scratch, so there are still things in it I can’t pronounce. Right now, thrift is paramount. We are in debt and can’t afford to be paying premium prices for things. I’ll stay as ethical and green as I can, but there is a trade-off sometimes. I am still composting, and I’m being mindful of what I buy and trying to keep it mostly fresh and minimally packaged and processed, but I’m not paying the inflated prices for organics and specially made compostable things. If recycled paper products are comparably priced, I’ll totally get them, if not, it’s going to have to wait until we have money again.
I’m buying bread from the discount bakery outlet where it’s a dollar a loaf cheaper than the grocery store. I’m using coupon apps and rebate apps for grocery shopping. I refuse to buy newspapers just for coupons – it’s wasteful when I can get so many online. I am shopping at the stores that I have determined are cheapest. We aren’t cutting back on things like karate for all of the boys, but we are cutting back on the amount of money we spend going out and on groceries. Less junk food, more veggies.
So many people think that being vegetarian or vegan is too expensive. Balderdash. Fruits and veggies are not terribly expensive and neither are beans or pasta. It becomes expensive when you start buying meat substitutes and exotic ingredients from the regular grocery store (ethnic grocery stores are generally cheaper, with a wider variety of exotic ingredients). You don’t need to be a gluten-free, organic, tofu eater, either. I don’t particularly care for tofu or soy at all. Silken tofu in a smoothie instead of yogurt to make it creamy is fine because you can’t taste it, but tofu as a main ingredient isn’t my thing. So, I stick to pasta and bread, veggies that I like, and beans. I get plenty of protein and am healthy as can be without meat substitutes (except on occasion) and minimal dairy (cheese mostly).
Anyway, thrift is what’s up with me right now. I’ll keep hanging laundry (or at least get back to it now that we’re finally caught up), making soap (because even from a base it’s cheaper than buying bars) and detergents, start washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and making sure my family is well fed (on an actual budget). I’ll be on the lookout for ways to be greener and more ethical in my dealings with other people and animals as well, and be pleased when all three goals intersect.