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UB has a new blogger! Meet Kim!

It's not always easy being green...but it certainly is getting easier! I live outside of the city and across the Hudson River with my boyfriend Mark in a cute little brownstone apartment. We have been in this part of Jersey for about 9 months now and have used this time and our location to better eco-fy our lives. You see, we actually both grew up in Morris County and never heard too much about Green living or Eco-friendly lifestyles while we were younger. I have to admit, for a long time all I thought there was to "doing your part" was to make sure that you recycle...but oh man, there is so very much more!
Transitioning yourself to make better, healthier and more eco-friendly choices is a constant learning process. Mark was definitely skeptical and hesitant at first...and sometimes he will still poke fun and tease me, but he's come a long way and has become incredibly open to making these changes in our lives as well. In fact, he recently added "reusable cups" to our grocery list, which prompted us to go out and purchase our own set of reusable stainless steel bottles. A little back story on our drinking water - previously to moving out here we were both use to drinking water straight from the tap. I never really drank filtered or bottled water. Once we moved, we heard from the landlord that many people filter or buy their own - so, as an effort to both avoid bottled water AND save money - we went with a filter for our tap. It has been great! I love not having to purchase water each time we shop and it feels great not to add to the world's never ending collection of plastic bottles. We also had a recent renovation to our bathroom that really made me smile. It's tough sometimes when you rent and some of these choices can not be your own because you do not own the property, but our landlord decided to replace the toilets in our building with ones that use about 2/3 gallons less water with each flush than the old toilets we had. There are 4 toilets in our building...that's quite a lot of water saved! I'm sure he did this in an effort to cut back on water bills - but what a smart way to do so...but, enough about water for now.
We are certainly still in the exciting phase of eco-fication - or let's be honest, I'm definitely the ring leader of this whole lifestyle makeover in our home - but it's something that I've become more and more passionate about, to the point where it just feels right. I witness acts of careless, thoughtless, wastefulness and it just hurts my heart...and I'm not completely innocent myself. If you went back a couple years and told me I'd be saying things like this I would probably laugh at you. But I think one of the huge attractions to me - was that not only can these changes that I make help to reduce my impact on the world around me, but they can actually benefit my own personal health and the health of my loved ones. These are things that you just can't help but feel good about. I'm sure you've all read Lindsay's blogs about produce and the horrible chemicals that can be found in our everyday food. Not to mention the intolerable treatment of factory animals. Because of everything I'm still learning, I started purchasing organic options whenever and wherever I can. Let's face it, this is not always the cheapest way to go, but personally, it's worth it to me. And call me crazy, but I swear I notice a difference in freshness, taste and even the overall health of my body. You just can't beat that. The best part of doing all of this right now is that organic options are more readily available everywhere you look. The closest Whole Foods to me is a good 20-30 minute car ride away, same with Trader Joes. But the selection I've lucked out with at my nearby Stop & Shop really makes grocery shopping that much more enjoyable. Just this week I noticed something new that reminds me again of why we shop there. They had a whole section of their produce department set up with local state produce, from local farms. Jersey Fresh - I snapped a picture really quick of the sign - I'm pretty sure that was the point in which my boyfriend walked away acting as if he didn't know me...

Everything we do is still just one step at a time, but each day they grow together in order to become a piece of the bigger picture... I look forward to sharing more of my adventures and steps along the way with all of you!

That's all for now,
xoxoxo - Kim

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