Q1 2019 Update

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Photo taken at the Mount Purro Nature Reserve by yours truly

I am proud to report to you, my invisible Trustees of the Board, that the first three months of the year did not go by with much waste. I didn't get to accomplish all my goals or make a dent in each facet, but most are moving. I still take that in positive light.

My most active facet was the physical one. I kept up with the commitment of having one meatless (animal-less, rather) day a week. So far it's been good. For the first two months, I cooked solely plant-based dishes. I used lots of veggies and tofu. I also discovered that in the supermarket I go to, you can ask the employees if they have vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic. By the time March rolled up, I realized we had so much frozen meat in the freezer no one was touching. I ended up cooking them instead of buying more food for the sake of my plant-based day. On my meatless days, I would end up buying food instead. My favorites are Aboy's and Salad Stop.

I tried to organize a Q1 hike to Mt. Maculot, since I've been wanting to go for years. I wasn't successful. Thankfully, a friend wanted to celebrate her birthday at Mount Purro Nature Reserve. It's a forest at the foot of the Sierra Madre in Rizal. It has several activities like hiking, river cruises, and cooking classes with a local indigenous group.You can choose to do the easy, medium, or hard hiking trail. We went with the medium trail (in cover photo), which took us about 60 minutes. There's a really great story on how the owners of the reserve restored a part of the forest, but I'll save that for another entry.

As regards to my expenses, I've been spending considerably less on useless things. A part of my is a notorious impulse buyer, but the other part is cautious about where my hard-earned money goes. My best friend came up with a helpful technique to avoid impulse purchases. Before buying anything, I ask myself "para saan?" ("what for?"). It allows me to pause for a moment and think about my actions. If I can justify what I'm buying, then I buy it. If not, I put it back on the shelf or delete it from my cart. So far the things that have made the cut are a couple of study leggings to replace old worn-out ones, and a few books. Last year, I started shifting to "better buys" so I don't have to keep throwing out or replacing stuff.

My other facets have been moving slowly, except for the cultural one, which I expected to be the most difficult. I've purchased a bokashi compost pack to kickstart my environmental perspective, but I haven't set it up yet since I haven't been cooking plant-based things. To get my social facet going, I've been writing more and sharing it here. It's not as frequent as I would have wanted, but it's definitely more than what I've written in 2018. My professional facet is my online Coursera course on Sustainable Development. It's been a slow but steady learning process.

Overall so far so good, except no new friends. Nevertheless, I'm motivated to keep going and taking things one step (or seven) at a time.

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