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Tips for Transitioning to a Green Life

Going green can be overwhelming. If you take it one step at a time though it’s not so hard and can be rewarding. 

Tips for Transitioning to a Green Life, Eco-friendly Tips

Being green sometimes seems like a never ending and expensive adventure. Seriously, how much do I have to change in order to “be green?” It can feel like you are going to go into debt just to switch over to being green!


Well personally, I feel that it is an one step at a time process. Pick the things that matter most to you and start there. Work your way into the other areas that might require more money and/or time. While I love living as naturally as possible every little bit matters. I’m still taking it a step at a time. So even if you are only doing a few things that are “green” it makes a BIG difference in the long run!

Green Living Tips

Here is a list of some things you can do in your home with/for your family to live more naturally.

  1. Recycle. Many communities offer free curbside recycling. But if not, there are often locations in the community where you can drop off your recycling. And for older kids it can be a project you give them, I know I did that as a kid- e.g., collecting old soda cans.
  2. Organic. It can be expensive to buy all organic. So, if you’re like me and can’t afford to go all organic right now, purchase organic items from the Dirty Dozen list.
  3. Meatless Monday. Reducing the amount of meat we eat is healthy for ourselves and the environment. Try cutting back one day a week. It’s also a fun day to try creative new recipes. Check out Meatless Monday for more information.
  4. Homemade Cleaning Products. Making your own cleaners is super easy and very effective. A solution of half vinegar and half water is an all natural disinfectant that can replace conventional disinfectants.
  5. Cloth Diapers. If your baby is in diapers consider switching to cloth diapers. There are less toxic chemicals exposed to the baby’s skin and they are better for the environment. Check out the Real Diaper Association for more information.
  6. Save Energy. Turn the lights off when you’re not using them. Also, when the light bulbs in your house need replaced, choose the energy efficient ones.
  7. Reusable Shopping Bags. Reusable shopping bags are a great way to save trees and avoid plastic. I have decided to just buy a few bags each time I go to the store, until I get enough to completely sack all my groceries in them. This way I don’t have to spend money all at once on bags.
  8. Read Labels. Try and not purchase processed foods. This can be hard for some families who are very busy, so read the labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Both are very bad for our bodies.
  9. Be Informed. There are many things in our products that we are unaware of, check your cosmetic products with the Skin Deep Database and join the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families petition for congress to have stricter regulations and guidelines for chemicals in our products.
  10. Be An Example. You don’t have to make a massive transition overnight. Show your friends and family that it is easy to make changes that are good for you and the environment, by simply taking it one step at a time. Share what you know!

Additional Resources


Join our email list for even more green living tips! And share your tips in the comments below. 

Field Peas with Ham

Field Peas with Ham - Little Family Adventure - Simple Field Peas cooked with Ham. It's Southern Comfort at its best. #glutenfree #paleo #cleaneating

This winter, I picked up a few things from local producers, Cattle Tracks and Rowdy Stickhorse Wild Acres. Both are family farms here in Oklahoma. I wanted to introduce you to these great local farms and share with you a tasty dish I made with their products. I created Field Peas with Ham with Dried Field Peas from Cattle Tracks and Ham Hocks from Rowdy Stickhorse. Simple, tasty, and great for this winter that just won’t end.

Cattle Tracks/John’s Farm 

A family owned farm in Fairview, Oklahoma. They are Certified organic, non-GMO project verified, Animal Welfare Approved farm. They offer beef, wheat, flour, seasonings, and beef jerky. They have numerous retail locations around the state. I order their products through both the Oklahoma Food Co0op and at the OSU-OKC Farmers Market on the 1st Saturday of the month. 

Rowdy Stickhorse Wild Acres

A certified naturally grown family farm located outside of Covington Oklahoma. They offer Beef, Pork, Lamb, Goat, Eggs, Bird Feed, Goats milk herbal products (Soaps, Creams, and Laundry Powder, etc.) I have also ordered from them through the Oklahoma Food Co-op and the Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market truck. This truck is an old yellow school bus that travels the state of Oklahoma (on a schedule).  A group of Oklahoma farmers gathers together to bring you farm fresh, clean food directly form theirs farms to you. You can find everything from local meat, cheese, bakery items, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and household items like laundry soap with goat’s milk. I usually pick up at Mercy’s Heart Hospital North on Memorial in Oklahoma City Thursday afternoons.

Cooking Peas and Beans


The field peas from Cattle Tracks/John’s Farm were a combination of organic Black-eyes, Victors, Chinese Reds, Red Rippers. With any dried bean or pea, soaking overnight in water is the preferred method to remove make them easier to digest . You could also do the rapid soak method of bringing the peas to a rapid boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. 

Dried peas and beans can cause some to get a little gassy. I add a 2″ x 2″ square of dried kelp (seaweed) to all my beans and peas to help eliminate the “toot”. It doesn’t add any flavor to the dish and is removed before serving. You can pick it up at most large grocery stores or any Asian market. I get mine at Cao Nguyen on Military and NW 26th in Oklahoma City.

This dish, Field Peas with Ham is a simple and delicious dish I know you are goingto enjoy. Serve it with cornbread, corn tortillas, or try something different with my Irish Soda Bread.

Field Peas with Ham 

1 pound dried peas
3 cups chicken broth + water to cover peas
1 ham bone or 2 ham hocks
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or 1 Tablespoon dried cilantro
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
2″x 2″ piece of dried kelp, optional

Garnish: freshly chopped cilantro, optional

Directions:

  1. Soak peas overnight.
  2. Drain peas and place them in a large Dutch oven. Add fresh water to cover them by 2″.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Remove ham bone or ham hocks, kelp, and bay leaf. 
  6. Once ham has cooled enough to work with, remove the meat and return to the peas.
  7. Spoon peas into individual serving bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired and serve.

Have you purchased anything from either of these two Oklahoma farms? What have you enjoyed?

 

For more great recipes and family related articles, be sure to check out my website, Little Family Adventure.

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, Animated

Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle made this animation based on Michael Pollan’s talk “Food Rules.” It was created for the RSA/Nominet Trust film competition. It’s a great way to visually understand what Pollan is talking about in his speech.

This speech of Pollan’s expands on his “food rule”, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” If you want to learn more about Michael Pollan’s “food rules” check out his book “Food Rules.” And if you like this video be sure to vote for it in the RSA/Nominet Trust film competition.

“Food Rules” by Michael Pollan – RSA/Nominet Trust competition from Marija Jacimovic on Vimeo.

 


About the Author



Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.