Well I’m finally back in Van after 2 years away. And while I don’t have my papers just yet, they ought to be coming in a matter of weeks so I ain’t going anywhere.
It feels good to be back in my own space, my own apartment. I missed the things I left behind (including a cat and a husband), I missed the culture, I missed being able to walk or bike everywhere. Mostly, though, I missed having much more of a zen environment. I know exactly what comes into the house, and I know what goes out. This includes food, garbage, knick-knacks, everything. We toss out a gallon of trash a week between us – not including pet waste, unfortunately. I don’t have things foisted on me anymore – “Surprise! I got you this dietary nightmare!” – and my don’t have my time constantly vied for from being in close proximity to way too much family.
I started eating meat again as soon as I got here. Not the most environmentally-friendly thing to do, but we hope to buy as much local and pastured or grass-fed animal products as we can afford. My stomach, too, is growing less and less tolerant of carbohydrates the longer I go with my LFHC diet, so beans, starchy grains, and sugar are no longer viable food sources for me. The dark, malty beers I used to love to drink? A single pint is almost enough to make me nauseous now. And things that spike my blood sugar are right out.
But I also haven’t boarded a plane in 2 years, so that’s a lot more than most people can say. I don’t plan on making air travel an even occasional luxury anymore. The politics, plummeting quality of customer service, and security rigamarole have just not made it worth my while. The dreams I once had of visiting Japan, Taiwan, Scotland and Ireland? Not worth the cost, and not worth the headache. There’s plenty to see in British Columbia. If we can’t drive or take the train there, and unless it’s a family emergency and I need to hop on a plane ASAP, then we’re just not going.
We also don’t have kids, so that’s another carbon footprint win for the environment. Because if there’s one surefire way to undo all of the work you’ve done being green and environmentally-conscious, it’s making more humans who eat, crap, bathe, and inevitably grow up into good little consumers who may or may not share one iota of mommy and daddy’s values because, hey, since when has it ever been cool to obey your parents?
Another thing I’m doing a lot less of is drinking coffee. Environmentally-friendly tea is significantly cheaper than environmentally-friendly coffee, and besides, at least it’s a lot easier to drink the former without cream. (A cup of straight black tea made at home produces less than one-tenth the carbon than ordering a large latte at your cafe of choice.)
Grass-fed meat, in the end, isn’t even that bad. Pastureland encourages perennial plant growth, healthy soil, and results in a much stronger carbon sink than, say, a field of soybeans that are harvested to the bare ground every year. Also, since the livestock isn’t eating an unnatural diet of grain for the purposes of fattening them up, they’re not farting out all that methane.
And since I’m not eating a bunch of stuff my body doesn’t like, I’m not farting out all that methane either!
I just feel better all around, really. And I feel free to live my life my way, eat the way I want, do the things I want, without being goaded back into the status quo by peer pressure.
Mostly, though, it feels good to be home!