Two People, One Car

Just over a year ago, I sold my car. It needed repairs I could not justify paying for, and I had found a decent alternative to driving to work. Yes, it is hard to believe I ditched my Honda Civic almost thirteen months ago.

I am so glad that I did.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned how to get around without a car. I rode my ebike to a doctors appointment. Kelsee and I have walked to the grocery store several times. Any of my readers know that, most notably, I’ve been riding to work every day.

(Just before sitting down to write this, I rode my bike to the bank to get a cashiers check for closing on a house tomorrow. Stay tuned for more on that topic!)

I’ve benefited greatly from the daily rhythm of physical activity. Every work day starts and ends with 20 minutes of light bicycling. It wakes me up and gets my blood flowing. Breathing fresh air and being surrounded by trees and sunshine have been great for my mental and emotional well-being, too.

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A foggy sunrise on my morning ride to work.

Becoming a one-car couple meant that we wanted to take extra-good care of our single vehicle. We also had extra motivation to pay it off early. Saving money by not having a second insurance policy, second registration, and extra fuel made it easier to do so. Having no car payments at all is nice for our monthly cashflow!

I could wax poetic on the great aspects of being car-free. But, I wouldn’t be telling the full truth without sharing what else I’ve learned.

Not Having a Car Sucks (Sometimes)

Honestly, Kelsee and I have never been stuck in a bind with only one car. There hasn’t been a time that one of us had the car and the other needed to urgently get somewhere else without the ability to do so. I chalk that up to a small sample size (one year), and careful planning.

But, sometimes you don’t want to have meticulous plans. For example, this week Kelsee is meeting a friend on Monday night, and I’m meeting someone Tuesday night. We’ll each use the car to do so. Keeping dibs of who needed the car and when they needed it made scheduling these get-togethers a bit more tedious.

If we had two cars, we could have both met up with our friends on the same night. That way, we’d have the second night night free to spend together. This kind of flexibility is something we took for granted until we lost the capacity to do so.

On a personal level, being car-less can feel like a burden. That burden often gets cast onto others.

If someone wants to do something with me while Kelsee has the car, my options are having that person come to my place, or having them transport me to and from the destination. Sure, my friends are all nice and willing to do so, but I can’t help but wish I didn’t need them to bend over backwards because of my choice to be car-free. There is, of course, a third option: not getting together at all.

The last 18 months have been a more reclusive period of my life than most others. It was partly intentional, and partly a side-effect of not having a car. I’m in a place now where I want to be more outgoing and social. Sharing a car with my wife is now a barrier to that goal.

No Regrets

As I reflect on this year of being car-less, I see the whole experience in a largely positive light. I unlearned how to live life with a car. I learned how to get creative in the lacking of a vehicle. I’m ready to be assimilated back into the boring world of car commuting. But, I have better perspective moving forward.

So yes, I’m planning to buy a car soon. As we get back into climbing, I’ll need a way to get to the gym on my own. We’re also at a point in life where having independence is becoming a necessity instead of just a luxury. All of this is compounded by the underwhelming transportation infrastructure of the city we live in.

You can bet I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about and researching my car options. The “I bought a car” post is coming.

I’ll still spend a majority of my daily commuting on two wheels wearing a helmet though. Being forced to try the car-free lifestyle helped me fall in love with biking for transportation.

I’m really glad my last car kicked the can when it did.

 

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

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Goodbye Meat

I keep track of noteworthy things that happen in my life in my tracking sheet. As of the time of writing, it’s been 362 days since I’ve eaten any meat. I’m fairly confident I’ll make it the full 365.

Over the course of this year I’ve had people ask me why I changed my diet. It all started with a focus on the cost of meat. Because I was picky about the quality of poultry, pork, and beef I ate, the money I spent on “good” meat added up.

To try and save money and challenge ourselves, Kelsee and I decided to see how long we could go without eating meat. We lasted 10 days, until that last BBQ chicken meal we had at my grandma’s house. (By the way, I eat more BBQ now than I did when I ate meat.)

The cost savings of ditching meat have been significant. We buckled down our food expenses and now save about $400 dollars a month compared to how we used to eat. Pricey meat was a majority of that savings.

There’s a notion that vegan/vegetarian/healthy food is more expensive. Guess what? High quality meat is expensive, too. If one pays a chef at a nice restaurant to make one’s food, it’ll be expensive regardless of if it contains meat or not.

I replaced the animal protein in my diet with legumes/beans. My digestion is happier. My wallet is happier. I still get to eat my favorite foods.

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Meat-free veggie pizza (vegan)

My initial reason for going meat-free was money. After a year of living this way, I have some stronger convictions that justify my eating pattern. Two in particular stand out.

New Motivation

The environmental impact of meat is significant. I had no idea the affects of meat on the environment at the start of my meat-free shift.

We are experiencing a climate crisis. Earth takes a beating with pretty much everything that humans do to it. Thankfully, we are becoming more aware and cognizant of the impact of our choices. One of the best ways to lessen our blows to the environment is to eat a plant-based diet.

The environment is better when we stop eating meat.

We eat to live. We nourish ourselves by consuming food that gives us the various vitamins, minerals, micro- and macro-nutrients that we need to flourish. I knew that some people lived well while choosing to not eat meat. Yet, it took some time for me to truly realize that people do not need meat.

Humans do not need meat to live well.

As I started to understand this fact, I began to wrestle with how one could justify eating meat. I did plenty of research and reasoning. I came to this conclusion: there is not a moral justification for killing an animal for food in modern society.

Fried chicken tastes good. Quarter-pound cheese burgers taste good. BBQ pork sandwiches taste good. I still believe that. However, the taste of these foods is not worth the price. Not the price in dollars, but the price in blood. There is a victim in each of these meals. You cannot eat meat without an animal dying*.

A Change of Heart

I never wanted to kill an animal to eat it. But, I realized that I would gladly eat an animal if the act had been carried out by someone else on my behalf. It wasn’t possible for me to have these conflicting stances. My heart for animals has been dramatically warmed towards animals by seeing this hypocrisy that I lived in for 24 years of my life.

I’ve never been an “animal person.” I don’t have pets and don’t aspire to own any. But now, I truly have compassion for animals. I can relate more to friends and coworkers who love their pets as if they were a sibling or child.

I saw meat as a pricey food choice at the start of this transition. Now I see it as a byproduct of death. It comes from a victim. We use words like beef and pork to distance the output from the process of production. I was just as desensitized as anyone!

Anyone can make this shift. Some people do so slowly. Others have a quick and unexpected transition like Kelsee and I did. I’m convinced that it’s inevitable for humanity to make this change as a whole.

It’s not just a trendy thing. It’s important for the future of the planet. It’s choosing to live and let live.

This year has been one of the best years for my health of my entire life. The environment is better when we stop eating meat. We do not need meat to live well.

Here’s to many more years without meat on my plate.

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

 

* This won’t be as black and white in the future. Clean Meat is coming. I won’t be partaking, but I believe it is a great technological development that will lead to less environmental damage and personal harm to animals.

 

 

Evolving Faith

This past year has been a season of intentional living. I’ve been taking inventory of things that were just the norm, and asking if there’s something better; challenging the status quo.

I started riding my bike to work, began paying attention to the food I eat, and revamped much of my spending habits. I created this blog to share my thoughts along the way.

The most recent area that’s been receiving some close inspection and reflection is my spiritual life. It makes sense that I’d feel the urge to examine what I believe about God and religion.

My faith has looked different at various points in my life. There’s been apathy, and enthusiasm. It has spanned a Catholic upbringing to an Evangelical rebirth.

For a while, I naively understood this as the spectrum of Christianity: that you were either a Protestant, or a Catholic Christian. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Now, I’m at least aware of the other groups of Christ followers who don’t neatly fit into these two categories. To be fair, I was still a teenager when I had this line of thinking.

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A Greek Orthodox Icon of Jesus Christ. This is one of the traditions I was uninformed about.

Six years later, I find myself moving away from the Evangelical world. I haven’t felt it truly fits me for quite some time. I suppose if Evangelical only meant spreading the good news, I might still be one. But people within and even outside the Evangelical world agree that it includes more specific characteristics. I’m realizing that I can’t check many of those boxes.

You don’t have to be an Evangelical to be a Christian, though. Unfortunately, many people don’t have this understanding. For a long time I didn’t either.

What is a Christian?

To be honest, I have some days where I don’t know what Christian really means to me. I still want to follow Christ. For now, that’s enough for me. That’s mostly what I wanted to do in the first place when I started down this Evangelical path eight years ago.

Some will say one must land on the correct side of a certain issue to be a Christian. And yet, there are faithful people following Christ on the other side of said issue. The people on both sides of the coin might actually fall under the umbrella of Christianity despite their disagreement.

What often follows is the policing of the Christian label by saying, “but they aren’t Christians!” or, “but a Christian wouldn’t believe that!”. Sometimes both parties are pointing fingers at each other. They want their group identity to remain intact.

I used to be the person that passed this labeling judgement on others. I would effectively say, “you can’t be a Christian unless you pick this side.”

Sometimes these judgements were kept to myself, other times they were said to the person’s face. I always thought or convinced myself that I had good intentions. But it’s taken years to realize how much baggage this has built up.

I felt superior for having the “right” conviction. I thought I was doing better for taking my faith “more seriously” than others I knew. When someone had an opportunity to take their faith “more seriously” and didn’t, I looked down upon them.

But now I’m in that other person’s shoes. I’m coming to the same conclusions that I excluded people for in the past. I’m realizing the pain and feeling of isolation that comes from drawing a dividing line. Even if it isn’t said in this way, it can feel like, “you don’t get to be a part of this.”

An Ongoing Process

So while I can relate to the other perspective now, I haven’t really been on the receiving end of the judgement very much. I might be asking for it with this blog post, but I’m prepared.

The past several months have been extremely humbling. I’m recalling interactions and feelings from my past that I owe apologies for. I’m doing my best to make amends. And I’m still not perfect.

But I’m not abandoning faith. I trust God. I want to follow Christ. Even if, day by day, those things begin to look different. It’s been hard, but also life-giving. I’m more uncertain about my spiritual path than I’ve been in a long time, but I’m also more comfortable in the uncertainty. 

I’ll share more over time. I’ve had apprehension with sharing about my spiritual life here for a while. I believe it was rooted in fear of being deemed wrong by the people who are in my in-crowd. I’m not concerned about being in the in-crowd now.

I’m not concerned about whether someone else thinks I’m a Christ-follower, or an Evangelical, or an agnostic, or a spiritual person, or a Christian, or an atheist, or just a dude.

I’m going to keep following and loving and doing.

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

Are Two Screens Always Better Than One?

Have dual monitors contributed to a downfall in my productivity? I actually think so.

Cal Newport’s work on productivity and digital minimalism really has me thinking lately.  To paraphrase him: multitasking is really just mono-tasking with frequent context switching. Context switching harms productivity. Therefore, multitasking isn’t a productive approach for doing work.

Having two screens helps me in my programming work, no doubt about it. Having my code on one monitor and a task list or the software I’m interacting with on the other is extremely helpful. The alternative would be using a single monitor and switching between windows as I need. So primitive!

With my work example, it makes sense having two different windows open because they are serving a single task: writing the code.

But what about when I have tried (and failed) at doing programming work while listening to a podcast? Now I’m multitasking. I’m trying to simultaneously do mentally demanding programming while also hearing people talk about something unrelated in my ears. I’m mentally switching contexts between the podcast and the programming so frequently that eventually one has to overtake the other.

So what are the down sides of two monitors?

Let’s depart from the work example and look at my leisure time on the computer at home. I also have two monitors at my personal desk and use them simultaneously. My main screen has my web browser of what I’m focusing on, and my secondary screen often has a YouTube video, Twitch stream, or a podcast playing.

My main screen may also have the video game I’m currently playing. Possibly the game window and a web browser window with a guide for the current part of the game I’m working on. Add all these up: I might have a video, a tutorial article, and a video game in front of me at once.

Don’t forget my phone is next to the keyboard, ready to keep me connected with friends or family via texting.

All of these stimuli easily overwhelm the senses. I’m visually and audibly satiated, with multiple sources of input for each. There’s always something to redirect my attention to when I lose interest with the current focus (again, I’m mostly mono-tasking with frequent switching).

It can seem pretty innocent to go back and forth with my attention between a computer game and a video on two different monitors, but I’m starting to think it might be having some negative side effects long-term.

For example: when I get frustrated with the game. Say I make a mistake and have to try again with a new approach. If I was solely focused on the game, I would have a brief break of action before trying again. But with another source of input, the video playing on my second monitor, I can redirect my attention to keep the stimulation going.

It’s such a small, harmless response. Second nature, really. What do we do when we are bored? We find something to do, something to make the boredom go away. But when I have a second source of entertainment right in front of me, the boredom never comes.

That tiny window of boredom is the real crux of my problem.

I think I’m forgetting how to be bored. The discomfort is never there. My mind is in a constant state of entertainment bliss, always something else to redirect my attention to.

But that’s not how life is.

Life is boring. Or at least, life has lots of boring moments.

Being present in the boredom is how I am the most creative. Suppressing those bored moments means less creative juices flowing in my brain!

When I’m not at the computer, the challenge is to not depend on my phone to keep my mind stimulated. I’m actually pretty good on that front.

When I’m at the computer in my leisure time, I’m going to start being cautious about the habits I have for curing my boredom.

Focus

Another, more detrimental side effect of constant stimulation is a weakened ability to focus.

This is evident for me when I try to read a book. My mind wanders and I realize I’ve “read” two paragraphs without engaging with any of the words my eyes have parsed. I’m not a big reader, but if I want to get better at reading I need to be able to focus enough to do so.

My difficulty focusing is also noticed when I am at work. It sucks. When I get frustrated with something that doesn’t immediately make sense to me, my brain is telling me to tap-out and check my phone, open a website, or check my email. Pressing into those moments of frustration is necessary to overcome them. By resisting doing so, I’m likely cultivating more moments of frustration because I’m “out of shape” in my problem solving and focus.

Yes, there comes a time when taking a break from a problem is needed and the most helpful thing to do. Having a walk around the office and looking with fresh eyes at a technical problem can do wonders. I’m good at doing these mental resets.

So the idea I started with was two monitors degrading my productivity. I’m convinced that the monitors are great, and my own human nature and habits are the problem. Identifying when focus is needed and setting myself up for success is the best course of action. That means while at home just as much as at work.

Coincidentally, my second monitor just stopped working at home. I’ll be forced to mono-task a bit more as a result. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.

 

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

Cutting Our Cell Bill In Half

About a year ago, we switched to Google’s up and coming wireless plan: Project Fi. Twelve months later it’s now called Google Fi. I have numbers to report back, and they look pretty good:

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Our wireless plan bills for the last year

The average we spent per month was just under $36. Our plan includes my and my wife’s cell service and unlimited data. The catch is that, with Google Fi, we only pay for the data we use. That means the less we use mobile data, the less we pay on our bill.

Personally this has been great for me. It incentivises me to only use my mobile data when I actually need it. Like many people, I feel the same urge to pull out my phone at the first trembling of boredom. I want to push against that, in order to be more present socially and to be less dependent on my devices to keep me stimulated.

Some of my most creative moments come out of boredom. So, fighting the urge to suppress boredom with scrolling through a news feed or social media timeline is something Google Fi’s pricing model actually helps me do.

Math

One of the reasons why our bill was so cheap was because we took advantage of a limited offer from Google to buy two lower-end phones. At $250 each , they were already pretty cheap. The real savings was the buy-one-get-one free offer. We paid for both phones up front and have been getting the savings from the deal reimbursed back over the course of each month.

According to my spending logs, we’ve spent $966 on mobile phones and plans over the last twelve months. If you subtract the 2 x $250 value of the phones we now own, it comes out to $466 for the service (~$38 per month for twelve months). The math checks out!

Before switching, we were paying ~1800 a year on our phones and plans. Saving $900 bucks a year is great, and it adds up! If we invest the difference every year and get a 7% return, we’re saving $12,900 every decade.

Basic Isn’t Bad

Having cheaper phones has been great. Three weeks after I had my new phone I bumped it off the sink into the toilet. I was bummed! But, I felt a lot less terrible bumping a $250 phone into the toilet than I would have an $800+ iPhone or nice Android device. Thankfully a night of drying in a bowl of rice made it good as new. It still works great.

The more basic phones get the job done. The camera is decent, but there’s not many bells and whistles. If you don’t have a super fancy phone, you’re less likely to want to use it all the time. That’s a plus in my book!

My only gripe is the call signal has been mediocre at times. It seems there’s a tiny lag when talking to people over the phone. It’s just large enough that it can make you talk over the other person and vice versa. If I had to talk on the phone daily or for work, it might be a deal breaker. I probably talk on the phone less than 90 minutes a week at most, so it’s not a big issue. I’m not sure if this is an issue with the phone, the service, or both.

What I Really Care About

Reflecting on my priorities is what brought me to switching to Google Fi. Do I care that much about my phone? Nope! I just want something that gets the job done. A year later, I’m completely satisfied with my phone and the extra cash still in the bank.

Some people love tech enough to get a new device every year. Good for them! They get joy from it.

Asking the question, “Do I care that much about this?” is how I figured out where on the spectrum I fall. I’m glad I asked the question!

If you are interested in Google Fi, all the links in this post are referral links that give both of us $20.

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

Gateway to Metal

My taste in music has grown and diversified throughout my life. My aunts and uncles led me to The Beatles and the oldies’ radio station when I was young. Playing in jazz band opened my ears to more refined instrumental music. Guitar Hero II and III helped me fall in love with classic rock, and also modern rock with bands like Muse and Wolfmother*. And then there was church worship bands, concert choir, and marching band to boot.

I was surrounded by many hardcore- and metal-heads in marching band. Yet, I found myself having a distaste for it the heavy music. Upperclassmen would give me rides after practice while blaring the chugging riffs and breakdowns of Christian Hardcore, Christian Deathcore and Metalcore bands. Even my now wife, Kelsee, was known to join mosh pits at heavy music shows not long before we started dating. To many of my friends’ dismay, I was never quite into heavy music like they were.

That began to change when my drum line instructor** introduced me to a new band. I couldn’t resist checking them out upon hearing the description. This band is comprised of two 8-string guitars and a drummer. There are no vocals in their music. And, they are described as progressive-metal jazz-fusion.

The guitarist in me was captivated at the thought of what an 8-string guitar would look like, much less how it would sound. And they had two of them! How did they have no bass player? How in the world does a genre combination like that even work? Little did I know the music would be even more intriguing than their description.

Animals as Leaders

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The band was Animals as Leaders. Fronted and led by Tosin Abasi, this trio produces some of the most engaging music I have ever heard.

You know how a good movie is even better the second time? Or maybe even the tenth time? The finer details that you missed on first viewing become noticeable the more you watch. Those details help the experience be more vivid. They help shape and enhance the story in their nuance. You can attach to the vocal delivery of a key line or the emotion of the music guiding the scene as you become more familiar with it.

The best movies give you something new on the second, tenth, or even fiftieth viewing.

That quality is incredibly abundant in the music of Animals as Leaders. The combination of their odd and complex use of time signatures and song structures, the sophisticated voicings and harmonies, the technical proficiency of all of the musicians, and the emotions that they invoke are a treasure trove. Every time I sit down to listen to their music, I find something new I haven’t heard before. After four albums, this still holds true.

My first introduction was the song CAFO. The questions were answered about what an 8-string guitar looked like, and I was mesmerized by the emotional intensity of the music. And they were shreddddding! The music sucked me in.

I got my hands on their first album and it lived in my car’s CD player for months. I listened to it every moment in my car, wrestling through all the interesting time signatures. I learned how to jam to 9/4 and 7/4 from that album. Instead of singing along to the words (there were none), I would hum along to the beautiful lead lines and solos. I’m listening to their albums as I write this and can still “sing” along to every song!

 

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That first album is what inspired this blog post. On it’s ten-year anniversaryAnimals as Leaders is just as fresh and adventurous as it was for me on the first listen. Except now, I can headbang on-beat.

Their sophomore release, Weightless, was pretty good. Their third album, The Joy of Motion, was incredible (I recommend the song Physical Education for a more approachable piece by AAL). Animals as Leaders’ fourth album, The Madness of Many is a creative masterpiece. If you can’t tell, they’re one of my favorite bands!

Gateway

I was enamored by the music as I was first falling in love with AAL. However, what I lost track of was how heavy they truly are. The heaviest music I was a fan of until this point was Helter Skelter and some early Black Sabbath. But Animals as Leaders felt like skipping to the far end of the heavy spectrum. I suppose “heavy” was an acquired taste for me, and they were how I learned to not only tolerate, but enjoy it.

It didn’t take long for me to start venturing out into other heavy music. I knew Metallica’s relatively mainstream songs like Enter Sandman, but over the past few years I’ve really dug into their first five albums and have discovered that I actually like the Thrash Metal of their hayday after all. I can also listen to Slayer and Megadeth and find some value from listening now.

Even crazier now, two of my favorite groups are Death Metal bands: Gojira and Opeth. I’ve also become slightly more educated about the unendingly vast Metal sub-genre landscape. You could say it’s complicated…

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And if you think this is complicated, there are countless people that would argue this map gets something wrong.

I also want to give a special shout out to Lost In Vegas. They’re two hip-hop-heads that do music reviews. Two years ago they branched out into Metal. I’ve been discovering and rediscovering music by watching their reactions and it’s been so much fun. They’ve shown me new sides of bands I thought I didn’t like and helped me realize why I appreciate the music I already do.

It’s about time I finally wrote about music on my blog. Let me know what you think about heavy music. I think it’s an acquired taste, and I’m glad I like it now!

From my mind to yours,

Quinn

 

*Guitar Hero also introduced me to An Endless Sporadic, which was my pregame for Animals as Leaders. Their Ameliorate EP did give me a bit of a hand getting used to double-kick and heavy riffage. AES was probably the first progressive band I ever liked!

**He also introduced me to Tower of Power!

 

Earth

Happy Earth Day!

I have to be honest, I’m not a particularly festive person. Most holidays I’m doing the bare minimum to celebrate. Earth Day is no exception.

I’m not planting a tree. I’m not going to be basking in the sunshine. My festivity this year is writing this blog post on my patio (and that’s okay).

But I do love the Earth. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever not loved this planet. And I care about it, too! Today I want to take inventory of where my actions are meeting my affections for our shared home.

How am I doing?

About a year ago I started riding my bike to work. It’s been awesome. Living as a one-car couple has been fun but challenging. Some times I wish I still had a car of my own. But on a day like today it’s really satisfying knowing that I can keep an entire vehicle off the road by choosing a bike instead.

Not everyone can opt for a bike. But what about public transportation? Or car pooling? You might be surprised when you look at your options. I never thought I’d be car-free and biking 5 miles to work, but here I am!

 

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

You have to admit the branding is phenomenal. The three-word saying is, too. My only critique (and I can’t take credit for this) is that we’ve taken a backwards approach to how we embrace it. We often think of recycling as the end-all, be-all. But I realize now that there’s something even better than recycling: reusing. And even better yet: reducing.

What’s better, recycling your waste, or reducing your waste to begin with? Or what if instead of recycling an old plastic container you can reuse it a few more times first? We could even reintroduce a fourth word, re-purpose. We’ve re-purposed some unwanted coffee mugs for herb plants in our small garden.

Thinking this way has led to the more practical steps taken in the past year for Kelsee and I. We now try to avoid one-time-use products, especially plastic. We also try to buy things in larger quantities to reduce the amount of packing that is involved. I intentionally started buying the peanut butter that comes in a glass jar because it means every time we finish the peanut butter, we have another storage container!

And yes, we started recycling this year, too.

Taking steps to care for our planet better can take many different forms, but one of the most surprising is by choosing what you put on your plate. Yes, the food that you eat has a price tag and also a price that is paid by Earth. A plant-based diet helps fight climate change and animal foods like beef are damaging the environment.

Eat more plants! We eat a plant-based diet and it’s been wonderful for our bodies and minds. It’s great to know an animal didn’t die to feed me. But knowing it also helps this planet that is our shared home is great, too.

Beyond the kinds of food to eat, we also try to source our food well. We’re buzzing in anticipation for the farmers’ market season to start back up so we can get some local, organically grown food. And as unfun as it is to think about, I’ve also been faced with the facts that flying food from other countries isn’t quite the best thing for the Earth. avocado’s are becoming a bit more of a special occasion for me for this reason.

Yes, bananas and plenty of other foods come from across the nation or across the world, too. So let’s not respond with a, “well then why bother,” attitude and instead take interest in sourcing locally and helping people that are growing the foods in the patches of mother Earth we live in ourselves.

There’s plenty for me to improve on. We recycle a lot of stuff, but I’d really love to have less things to recycle! Less waste altogether. Finding other waste-minded people to share ideas with is a goal of mine. Here’s a start.

Tomorrow is also Earth Day

And so is the day after. It’s easy to lose track of the giant sphere zipping around the sun that we’re all riding through life together. But, until we are colonizing other places in this universe, we live every day on spaceship Earth. So another goal I have is to reflect on the Earth on more days than just the one that has a trending hashtag.

Don’t get me wrong, hashtags are good! This holiday is great for spreading awareness. So let’s be more aware together! But I think there’s a hurdle between awareness and action. It’s called apathy.

I feel like I’m recovering from apathy about a lot of things lately. The importance of my home and habitat is one of them. All these years I could have been doing better. There’s damage that I’ve already done. And thinking about how much there’s left to do to fix it can be daunting. It can seem like it never ends, and that I won’t be able to achieve a “perfect” state of being, so why bother trying?

But when I reflect on living these ideas out, I realize this: There is no perfect, there is only better.

So let’s do better.

 

From my mind to yours,

Quinn