Sustainable choices and quality of life

Attempts to live more sustainably remind me of the saying, “cheap, fast or good – you can have any two, but not all three.” Take breakfast for example:

Leslie and I were grocery shopping. She wanted little packets of apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal. It’s fast and (relatively) cheap. But I think it’s slimy and involves wasteful packaging. So I bought oats in bulk, and apples for applesauce to stir in. Simmering the apples made the whole house smell wonderful. I used the hand-crank food processor we got at the fair instead of the electric processor. It was easy and gave me perfect control over the texture. The sauce is delicious, and the reusable container won’t have to be thrown out or recycled.

But Leslie was skeptical, objecting to the time it would take to make “real” oatmeal in the morning. She could have it good and cheap, but not fast. I offered to make it for her because I usually get up first anyway. But it makes me think about the choices, drawbacks and benefits of more mindful living. We have to slow down, be more mindful and adjust our routines. So far, I am enjoying the creativity and higher quality results.

About thinkofitasanadventure

We are a 50-something couple living in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. We attended a sustainability conference at our local high school in November 2010, with keynote speaker Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. What we heard shocked us deeply. We finally understood the need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We immediately began to change the way we live. We joined together with other folks in our neighborhood to learn more, to do more and to have fun doing it! We're part of Transition Longfellow. We're choosing to change now and to "think of it as an adventure." If you are on this journey too, we'd love to hear from you.
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4 Responses to Sustainable choices and quality of life

  1. Liz says:

    You got a hand-crank food processor at the fair? Would that be the state fair? Eco building? I don’t have a food processor and was thinking perhaps I need one. Love the idea of a hand-crank and if I can get it at the state fair, that would be quite perfect.


    • Peter Foster says:

      Yes – the Minnesota State Fair. Not sure which building, but this thing really does work well. It has a couple different attachments and blades. We use the electric blender mostly for margaritas. I expect switching to shaved/chipped ice will be one of the LAST conveniences we willingly give up. LOL!


    • This is Leslie. I got it on the first floor of the grandstand building.


  2. Celeste says:

    Nice! An even easier way to get a similar result would be to use organic apple juice in place of the water for cooking. If you like steel cut oats, you can get them to cook quickly by putting the oats in the liquid and letting soak over night. In the morning, bring to a boil and simmer for only 10 minutes, sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener of your choice. 🙂


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