This might make me sound like a crazy hippie, but I have decided to introduce more eco-friendly (greener living?) to my new house and husband.

Eeeek.

I’ve always been fairly environmentally-conscious, but mostly in the animal-impacting way. I refuse to buy anything that might have been tested on animals and I would love nothing more than to raid a puppy mill and string up the operators by their toes.

That said, that’s about as far as I have gone in being environmentally friendly, but I would like to change.

This really spurred from a documentary I couldn’t help but watch on one of our environmental channels. I really wish I could remember the name, but it was basically an inside look of how chickens are kept. Yeah, chickens. Random? Yes. Heartbreaking? Absolutely. I have no love for chickens, they freaked me out ever since I had my first up-close encounter at a friend’s farm when I was young, but the sight of the conditions that chickens are kept in (doesn’t matter if they’re raised for eggs or meat) was enough to make me sob. Seriously, I never thought I would find myself crying over chickens, but there you have it. Watching that led to my first truly conscious more environmentally (or at least more animal-friendly) change: I will only buy free range eggs and meat from now one. I’m not, nor will ever be anything resembling vegan. I firmly believe in the food chain and that we, for the most part, happen to be on top of it. That doesn’t mean that the food we consume should be that of tortured animals.

Call me a bleeding heart, but I’d rather have a bleeding one than none at all.

So I’ve already made the chicken change, so now what? Time to change all the rest of the meats I buy. I used to be happy purchasing all my meat at Walmart, never thinking about all the crap companies add. Well, lo and behold, the house we purchased it literally up the road from a local-run meat market! I stopped in on Monday and loved it! It’s a cute little old-fashioned country store with local produce and a huge meat selection. Meat problem solved! The meat was better quality for about the same price. It also is nice to know that it supports local business and farmers. I will only be buying local from now on.

What other changes are brewing? I finally have room for a garden! I love veggies, and if given the proper opportunity I could probably live happily off of tomatoes. Nom.

I plan on starting a garden this year with things that Justin and i eat regularly. That includes lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (all kinds), eggplant, squash, and perhaps corn. I also plan on buying a few grape vines online and seeing how I do with starting my own little mini-vineyard 😉 We have an actual root-cellar in our basement and it would be a shame to leave it wine-less.

I also plan on having my garden remain completely organic. I’ve been reading up on companion planting which seems like it is all kinds of brilliant. Basically companion planting is planting a type of plant that bugs hate near the plants bugs love. If i get into a pinch and companion planting doesn’t work, my grandma used to spray her plants with a type of hot pepper water. That always worked for her tomatoes.

To follow up with my garden plans, I’m also attempting to…compost. This may or may not turn out to be a complete failure, but I love the idea behind it. Garbage into plant food? Sure, why not? I have a little canister sitting under the kitchen sink that I’m slowly filling with goodies like pear peels and coffee grounds. I’ll eventually get a garbage can and start a real production if it seems to work.

That concludes this Inner Hippie installment, please check back for Part II: Operation Bleach-Free.

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