Trying to Live Green-On a Budget

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Begining at the begining… who what why and the rest. October 4, 2009

I guess I will begin at the beginning.  Which brings up that age old question, which beginning?

I would first like to say that I am new to blogging.  I tell people what I think all the time, so I’m not sure how hard it will be…  But doing so with electronic pen to paper seems so permanent.  Then again, I guess that could be a good thing.

So, what is this blog about?

That’s a very good question, but it is hard to answer.  The short version is that I am going to write about the journey my husband and I have made on our path to improve our health, our life style, and our planet. It all started in that order, so that is the order I will leave here.

As we are a normal Bush-era middle class family of two (plus or minus a few pets), we are always (all too) conscious of our budget.  That being said, we have found that living a sustainable life, and eating healthy, can be very expensive. This blog is about the changes we are making to our daily lives to improve our health, that benefit the environment and promote a sustainable way of living – on a budget.

So who are we?

Mike is a computer programmer working for a mid-sized corporation, who helps develop and maintain software that helps companies save money. He has a bachelor’s degree in history, and is going back to school in December to get another degree in Project Management (I know, right?) and a PMI certificate. Mike will make random comments throughout my blog from his own, picky eating, selectively lazy, computer guy stand point.

I (Amanda) am a Mary Kay beauty consultant, and have been growing my business for two years by beautifying Spokane one face at a time.  I’m doing all that while finishing up my two bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and business.  Previously I was a Cardiology Tech, and CNA, with a promising future in medicine, which I had to give up when a Drunk tried to fall at me, and I caught him instead of letting him fall on his behind.  That bulged a disk in my back and pretty much ended that career.

Additional info:

  • We both enjoy playing computer games, reading, and staying still.  We are kind of nerds.
  • We are also very busy people.
  • We are on a budget.
  • We need a solution!

A solution to what?  (This is all a set up, so I hope you will stick with me.)  Long story short, we have a few health problems that started out small, and cascaded into multiple, more serious, health problems. The doctors solutions include loading me with medications, constantly, until the end of my days, and invasive surgery… just to see if it helps… which may or may not not fix anything.  Having worked in health care for four years, I decided to do some research on my own and discovered that the majority of the problems we have been having are very closely related to the food we are eating!

Surprise, surprise. I know, all you people out there who were raised on a holistic, healthy diet, and who enjoy eating healthy food are rolling your eyes at me. Stick with me here. There are other people out there who were raised in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s like we were, and had a diet consisting of pre packaged meals, simple carbs, mass produced, preservative laden, hormone and anti biotic injected meat, and fast food more than twice a week.  We’re the people who have vegetables as an afterthought, and processed foods as a staple of our diet.  The start of this whole food trend is a whole different animal. Suffice it to say, we were eating bad diets that made us very ill.  Sadly I’m pretty sure we’re not alone in that.

SO, several emergency room visits and long wait’s in doctor’s offices later (and a mound of medical debt), what did we decide to do? Well first up, we decided to change our eating habits to eat healthier all at once!   After all the doctor’s all said loose weight (note: they did not say to eat healthier, just to be less fat)!  So we went out and bought a whole lot of veggies, fruits, and whole grain what-nots, and were ready to fly right and eat the way we should!  Except, we were in hell…  Nothing tasted right, it was really expensive, and it took a lot of time!  Mike eats at work so we also tried to get the healthy microwave meals, but those are really pricey…   So, we ran out of money.  Then went right back to our old eating habits.

Does any of that sound familiar?

So, I went back to the drawing board and did a lot of research.  This time I started finding all this information on environmental impact of food, quality of food, the environmental impact of life styles, etc…   We decided to try again.  This time we took a slower approach.

That is one thing I’m starting to learn about this whole sustainable living thing.  You need to slow down.  Go ahead, smell the roses.   Take the time to do the things that are important.

I think we’re getting to the heart of what this blog will be about.

I want to write about how we’re going on this “great journey” towards living a more sustainable, healthier and (hopefully) more fulfilling life.  We all want to think we are doing what we can do to offer the next generation some hope. That their world will be a better one than the one we live in today. I’d like to live in a world where corporations can’t buy carbon offsets, but actually have to take responsibility for their actions.  Where we hold our selves and others accountable to our actions and the impact we all have on this planet. We only have one, and the resources we have are limited, so we must use them wisely and to the full potential.

Getting off my soap box, I’m going to focus on what people in the Inland Northwest are doing to live more sustainably.  I’d write about other places, but this is where I live.  My goal will be to point out places where you can find great organic meat and produce (or as close as I can find), local farms, farmers markets, co-ops, grocery stores and restaurants that support local food, and all of that.  I want to discuss the cost of what I am doing both in dollars and in time.  Because that’s the trouble.  We’re on a budget.  We have bills to pay, and we don’t have a lot of time to spare.  I’m guessing you’re like me.  I’m thinking you might need the same things I do.  Then again, would you be reading this if you didn’t?

I would love to hear your thoughts to the posts, and if you know any local haunts that I should check out or cover, let me know!  I am writing this because I think we can do this.  I think change doesn’t have to be scary and painful.  I’m also pretty sure that I can’t do this alone.  There is this ‘big progressive movement’ but it doesn’t feel like they’re targeting me.  But from what I have observed historically, as well as in all the reading I have done, I’m pretty sure the point they’re trying to make is valid.  I just don’t think there’s some perfect solution out there for us Bush-era middle class.  We can’t all just check out tire pressure and the world will be fixed.

So this is my mission statement.  My grand objective, if you will.  I am going to tell you what I decided to try.  Why I decided to try it.  And I’m going to tell you how it went.  Where possible I will make an effort to cite my sources (give you the URL’s I’m getting my info from, or where I read something) so you can follow along, and call me on it if I messed up.  Last but not least, I’m going to try to write something every two weeks or so.

Maybe we can steal the movement, and make it our own.  Who knows? Call me the Ninja of Going Green.

Well, thanks for reading this.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy this wonderful fall weather!

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2 Responses to “Begining at the begining… who what why and the rest.”

  1. Dad Says:

    Amanda,

    This was a good read and you have a practical approach. I look forward to your next post.

  2. Dinglemeyer Says:

    Having just read your post, I’m hoping to get more. I like your ‘mission statement’ so far.

    I think that a blog is a good idea


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