This is first in a series of posts I will be doing throughout the year showing how I have “greened” my life and I See Beauty Photography, along with ideas on how you too can take small steps in reducing your personal carbon footprints. With the redesign of the I See Beauty website came the announcement that I am also an eco-friendly photographer. The last two years I have spent shifting my business practices to be in alignment with my personal convictions of living a sustainable life.
As I was preparing for the dinner party I hosted the other night, I took a look at my kitchen and realized this small corner of my home is a good example of just a few of the steps I have taken towards a green lifestyle. Here is a snap shot of my humble kitchen which exemplifies 9 ways that I have gone eco-friendly.
1) I use a faucet mounted Púr water filter for all my drinking water, preventing the unnecessary waste & expense of plastic bottles.
2) I have taken almost all of the plastic out of my kitchen and replaced it with glass, including for my water storage needs. I love drinking out of glass bottles, it feels so fresh and clean, and not as heavy to carry around one may think.
3) All my cooking utensils are made from sustainable bamboo, and so are the utensil and napkin holders. My natural olive wood cutting board is not only beautiful, but is even more fun to chop on.
4) I found a set of 15 vintage napkins at a yard sale down in the Tower district a few years back which have replaced the wasteful paper version. They take up no extra room in my laundry and I feel good every time I use them.
5) I also purchased a set of organic Un-bleached “paperless towels” off of Etsy which I absolutely love. A guilt free way to do the usual jobs of a paper towel, and in the last year of using them I think they have paid for themselves.
6) The parsley I used in my meal was freshly picked from the organic community garden which we have here in Co-Housing. Having a small organic garden or even a few herbs growing on your window seal make all the difference in your family meals.
7) Fresh, local, organic produce like the asparagus I used for dinner is the best, but going to the farmers market or maintaining your own garden is not always convenient. Belonging to one of the 3 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in the Fresno area is probably one of the best kept secrets. They are all year around, and two of them even come with home delivery! If you do not live in the Fresno area, check out www.localharvest.org to find a CSA near you.
- T & D Willey Farms is out of Madera is the most established CSA I know about in the area. You pick up the in-season produce once a week from a choice of several drop off locations. Their boxes of produce is always fresh, and a surprise each week. The unusual items come with recipes to inspire your inner cook.
- Farmer and the Dale is out of Reedley, you choose what you want each week from their in-season produce and they deliver it right to your front door.
- Whole Farms I just recently heard of from my neighbor who started using them last month. They seem to be the most flexible with home delivery of your chosen produce available a couple of times each week. In addition to produce, whole farms also has other organic products such as nuts, eggs, milk, honey and oils just to name a few.
8) Most of the plants in my home are succulents, they not only require very little water and maintenance but most of them are cuttings from my friend’s established plants.
9) Most of my cookware is stainless steel and my baking dishes are made from stoneware. Although I do have one non-stick pan that is the exception. I searched high and low for an eco-friendly and non-toxic pan to make sure my morning eggs don’t stick, and I found EcoPan as my solution. It has a ceramic non-stick surface free of the heavy metals and chemicals that plague most non-stick cookware surfaces.
Other things you do not necessarily see in the picture that make me eco-friendly in the kitchen is: I am an avid recycler, have been a vegetarian for more than 5 years, have solar panels to meet my electrical needs, use natural non-toxic cleaning supplies, only run the dishwasher when full, and on a daily basis use a smaller electric toaster oven to cook in rather than the large conventional oven which I find is a terrible waste of energy.
I hope this gives you a few ideas and inspires healthy change in your life. If you have more ideas for me please let me know! I am always growing and looking for new and improved ways of living green.