Tuesdays are my Mondays. I woke up this morning generally happy because I had a nice night’s rest, but then realizing that this Tuesday was the day I started my lifestyle project, my morning took a turn for the worse. Well maybe I’m being dramatic, but I realized I had to take a 5 minute shower. Now let me be clear, I had the best intentions when I consciously told myself that I was going to take a 5 to 7 minute shower, but as the shower grew longer, I realized that 5 to 7 was quickly turning into 7 to 10. I followed my rules. Wet, turn off water, lather, rinse. I followed my rules yet I failed to recognize one thing… my hair. My hair almost reaches to the small of my back. This being said, I was rinsing my long hair as ravenously as possible, but that conditioner just would not get outta there! Anyway, it wasn’t bad for my first lifestyle-change shower. I kept it to 10 minutes at the maximum, and really tried to be as efficient as possible—with the cold morning air giving me a great sense of urgency. I didn’t have a great “water presence” during the course of this first day. The only other big water-change was that I bought a water filtration device over the weekend and found an old sports water bottle to use in place of my usual disposable plastic water bottles.
After my somewhat miserable shower, I got my day started and made my first meal for the day while also packing my lunch. Now to be perfectly honest, my breakfast this morning was almost exactly the same as how it usually is. I make a very delicious and nutritious “breakfast shake.” I normally combine one very ripe banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, 1% milk, a palm-full of cheerios, and a couple good shakes of cinnamon into my Magic Bullet (the only thing worth buying from a corny infomercial, by the way), and blend! It’s delicious and I make one for myself every morning. I usually get tired of the same food very quickly, but I’ve been drinking this consistently since the beginning of this semester and I still love it. It is somewhat calorically heavy, but I don’t mind because it keeps me full until lunch and gives me a great source of protein, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and cinnamon—which is very good for your heart (…and soul). The peanut butter only has natural ingredients so that was okay. I changed out the milk for organic, and the palm full of cheerios was replaced by rolled oats. For lunch, I packed myself a salad of baby arugula, spinach, green onions, roasted beets, sunflower seeds, a hard-boiled egg, feta cheese, and homemade balsamic dressing on the side; organic tea with spearmint and honey; a Luna nutrition bar (70% organic); rice pudding with all natural ingredients; and a plum from my backyard. For dinner, I had pasta with red sauce, spinach, and broccoli. If you haven’t noticed I put spinach in almost everything I eat. If it weren’t so gross, I’d put it in my breakfast shake too. I somewhat surprised myself concerning how I did not miss the meat as much as I thought I would. Obviously, I was a vegetarian for a long time, but since I’ve been eating meat again, I have grown a dependency on it. I usually crave it, but today I had three great meals, all of which I made. At the end of the day, I was satisfied. Maybe that satisfaction stemmed from knowing that in 12 hours, I could indulge in fleshy, delicious meat if I so pleased, but in any case, the satisfaction existed.
During this day, I feel like the waste management sect of my lifestyle change was the most anxious, least confident and, as bizarre as it sounds, awkward part of my day. I went into the day confident that I’d keep my shower short and planned out my meals leaving me no room for error. However, with my waste management, I really surprised when I realized how insecure I was. With every little piece of trash I used, I found myself not knowing where I was going to put it. Let me point out that I am on campus from before 8 AM to around 8 PM on Tuesdays. I organized waste bins at my home, but I didn’t even think about what I was going to do when I was at school. Around lunch, I had this alarming anxiety about what I was going to do with all of the waste I accumulated from my lunch bag. I could throw this pudding cup into the recyclables, but would it really end up being recycled?! From work experience alone I have come to realize that when it comes to businesses, people don’t take the time to really make sure their recyclables get recycled. I used to work at a fine dining restaurant in Signal Hill, and I can’t tell you how many plastic milk cartons I’ve seen thrown away in the regular trash. Cardboard boxes were not put in a separate pile. The only recycling that was done was with some of the food. (Don’t worry, nothing too gross).I now work at Ralphs Fresh Fare at the Marina Pacifica. I can’t tell you what kind of concoctions I’ve seen in our regular trash cans. From food scraps, to paper towels, to unused paper, to plastic bags, to plastic bottles. Recycling isn’t profitable to big businesses, so why care? Why take the time to organize your trash? Time is money. You can see with this mentality that I’ve accumulated from my time in several businesses, I’m very skeptical of not just businesses, but the community as a whole, and their concern for sustainability. With that, all I could think of today was how this plastic pudding cup with an aluminum top was NOT going to end up recycled if I put it in a recycling bin at school. All I kept seeing in my neurotic brain of mine was these blue bins being emptied into one giant garbage truck on its way to the landfill. Anyway, it got awkward. I was scared to use extra napkins from school. I confirmed in my head that I’d make sure to always bring my own silverware from home. And of course, I kept all of my trash in my lunch bag and emptied it when I got home into my own bins.