to do list

You’re already a model citizen when it comes to organic. You belong to a CSA, are on a first-name basis with the farmers at your local farmers’ market, and you can recycle in your sleep. But what about those last few things? You know what I’m talking about… those few pleasures that are still holding over from those ignorant days, before you knew about buying organic eggs and biodynamic wine. Well, the time has come: here’s your guide to phasing out those last few guilty pleasures, once and for all.

Day 1: Make Your Own Coffee

One of the guilty pleasures many of us are still holding on to is that morning cup of coffee, bought at a commercial shop. While many of these coffee chains offer organic options, the most responsible thing to do is buy your own organic coffee and make it at home. Not only is your carbon footprint reduced when you have coffee at home, but you can control the quality of everything, from the water to the cream to the sweetener. You can also reuse the coffee grounds for your compost and even in your beauty routine.

If you’re not certain of what coffee brands to try, check out this guide to fair trade and organic coffee or our very own coffee guide. And if it’s not plain black joe you’re going to miss, Organic Authority has you covered, with both a delicious latte and an Organic Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe to rock your world.

Day 2: Make Your Own Lunch

You dash out the door in the morning so scrambled, you’ve hardly had time to make yourself breakfast. But now that you’ve taken the time to make your coffee at home, consider making yourself lunch as well. Both can be done the night before: set up your coffee pot with water and grounds, ready to brew the second you turn it on, and throw together lunch for yourself at the same time, ready to grab from the fridge.

Even if you shop at responsible vendors, there’s really nothing better than making your own lunch at home. The more control you have over what goes into your body (and those of your family!) the better. Try our no-bread sandwich ideas for delicious and quick lunches. If you have kids at home, you can make everyone the same lunch with these lunchbox ideas!

Day 3: Make Your Own Bread

Yesterday, you made lunch in the evening, so it was a breeze to grab it on your way out. If you made a sandwich, you likely made it on an organic storebought bread… but even organic breads aren’t nearly as good as the kinds that come out of your own kitchen, and bread is surprisingly easy to make. Start tonight by making the dough. Let it rise once, and then put it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge when you get home (or have your kids do it) so that it can come to room temperature, and bake it up alongside your dinner. Make enough for sandwiches for the next day, and throw your next batch of dough in the fridge. Any dough recipe can work this way; try our sourdough if you’re feeling adventurous. Pretty soon, it will become second nature!

Day 4: Really Start Composting

You’ve been meaning to for months, but you just haven’t gotten around to it? Well now you can… even if you live in an apartment. You’ll be surprised at how empty your garbage can is now that you’re composting most things coming out of your kitchen. If you don’t have a garden, you can give or sell your compost to others; try Craigslist to find interesting parties. This is a great way to pay it forward! All you need to do is find the appropriate composting container, and you’ll be on your way.

Day 5: Organic Beauty Routine

Even if you’re buying organic beauty products (we all know what’s in those other products), the packaging is not so great for the environment, especially when you have all the secrets to at-home beauty in your kitchen already, like baking soda. Even if you have trusted products that work, you’ll be surprised at how nice it is to put only truly organic and whole products on your skin. Try some of our favorite at-home DIY beauty treatments and DIY spa treatments. Give it four weeks to see if things are working for you; it often takes a bit of time for your skin to get used to a new beauty routine.

Image: courtneyrian