Meet Dmitriy Orlov, another one of our Citizen Profile winners. Today we share his quick n’ easy, green alternative to fast food and his admittedly not-so-green car racing pastime. Dmitriy, like many of us, walks the line of eco-contradiction, fully conscious of when were not being so eco-conscious. TreeHugger’s thoughts: That’s a big step forward, so long as we are open to change and substitutions. To us, Dmitriy and our past CitizenProfile winners have demonstrated this uber cool flexibility. But enough about us, we want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments section and don’t forget to tune in tomorrow and Friday for the final two citizen interviews!How old are you?
Where do you live?
I live in Bethesda, MD.
What do you do for a living?
I am a student, and I work part time doing marketing for a property management company.
You’ve chosen tofu and paneer cheese as your guiltless pleasure; why is making sustainable food choices such a central part of your green life? Do you have any recipes you can share with us?
I like tofu and paneer cheese, and reason I chose that was not so much out of being environmentally conscious or anything (I was introduced that that benefit later). It was appealing to me, because of the ease of preparation, its multi meal application, and its ease of digestion. The food is simple and healthy. There is no worry of whether it's cooked through or not and how its should be prepared. Also, there is a myriad of recipes which vary in taste, country and culture. Being a student and living in a big city, the speed at which life is around me is very fast, so most of the time I look for fast and easy food to eat. I stay away from fast food for health reasons, and tofu/paneer come in to be very fast and easy - just what I need. Furthermore - after eating, I am not weighed down by heavy meat products in my system. Tofu and paneer cheese is easy and quick to digest - and doesn't slow me down.
A simple recipe that I like includes about a cup of paneer cheese (cubed), half a cup of plain yoghurt, a third cup of water, an Indian curry powder, a red onion, cauliflower, grape seed oil, and ginger. I would heat up some oil in a pan, add the onions, until they become golden a bit, and then add some paneer to sauté it for a minute. Then I would add three table spoons of the powder, and cauliflower, mixing that up. Then I would add the water and cover with a lid. This will cook the cauliflower till its soft, and then I would add the yoghurt and ginger, and stir that for a minute and its done. (Overcooking the yoghurt makes the meal grainy, as the powder does not mix well). All that gets served with some basmati rice, and makes for a delicious meal. Takes 20 minutes to prepare - so it’s also very quick.
What is something you can't live without? Is it green? If not, are you willing to seek out a green alternative?
I guess something I can’t be without is my car - and it’s not green. It’s my primary hobby and it connects me to my interest in engineering and technology. I love to take it apart, improve on design and such, and I always learn something from it. I also race it, and compete with others - so it’s also my sport if you will. It does run on regular gas, has an internal combustion engine and does have exhaust gasses and such, but I would be more than happy to move on to something that’s greener, or to even experiment with developing greener alternatives, from optimizing what is current or changing out the engine to something completely different. Electric motors are better than engines for they provide a constant rate of power and don't need a transmission, which takes away power. Cars have the potential to be greener and sportier at the same time - and I am referring to the Tesla Roadster as a good example of that. So as we see the new trend and desire for power in modern cars - for some reason car companies keep to the internal combustion engine - where there is so much more power to be tapped with other motors with increased efficiency. (I guess it’s too much to ask for, eh? It’s really that hard to put those same millions that are put into developing new gas guzzlers, and stick them to look for new technology.)
Would we find any eco-products in your closet? Your fridge? If so, what? We want to hear brands.
I try to have all my cleaning products be eco friendly. Anything from cleaning the car to cleaning the house and myself. Almost everything I have I take from the local Whole-Foods store, and the main brand for my cleaning products is Seventh Generation. They have all sorts of soaps and detergents that are easy on my sensitive skin, don't smell like chemicals when you clean the kitchen or the bathroom and are easy on the lungs. I use their paper towels and napkins, made of non bleached recycled paper. I also find that a lot of the time the eco-friendly cleaners get stains and dirt off the same as other cleaners, if not better. I also use Toms of Maine for my toothpaste, which I find is a lot better tasting and cleaning then your average Colgate (also doesn't burn away at everything in your mouth). I use primarily Seventh Generation products because they are readily available down the street in the Whole Foods. If there were more stores around, or other companies around, I would give them a try. From my experience - eco-friendly household products are just as good as others in their cleaning power, but better when it comes to the environment and, more important, yourself.