zero waste efforts

on of my goals for next year is to dig further into the zero waste lifestyle and see what else we can implement here.

we’ve had a pretty good start this year: added our laundry line for use in good weather, started relying on our bikes as our main transportation during good weather and worked on our food system and grocery shopping. I think i’ll break it into two posts, this one being about modified containers and the second being the actual food itself.

of course the first step is to start eating more fresh foods – the whole shop the perimeter concept. but this made me cringe at how many plastic bags i was adding to the cart. so i bought these reusable mesh produce bags. no more coming home with 10 extra plastic bags inside my reusable grocery totes. they are very inexpensive and worth the peace of mind.produce bags

my next step was to visit the deli counter more. i knew i was against getting pre-packaged sliced cheese bc it would get under my skin every time i had to deal with the packaging and extra pieces of paper and think to myself “what a waste.” so i started getting our sliced cheese and meat at the deli counter and bringing our own containers.

i know for a fact that every house in america has an abundance of tupperware containers. so why not put them to use? I just have the deli counter salesperson put the barcode receipt on the paper, where it is clearly visible and scannable under the lid, and skip the plastic bag. plus it’s a lot easier to stack and store in the fridge that way.  on occasions that i have a more opaque top container i just have them put the sticker on the outside. it peels off very easily when i’m putting groceries away.

this also enables me to get a larger amount at one time instead of like 8 measly slices of cheese wrapped in 1 pound of plastic packaging thus less waste.

i also did this for the olive bar because i have to have a daily ration of olives.

reuse containers

the last step is a fairly new one for the year. I have started shopping the bulk items section and reusing the containers. one of our local grocery stores has an abundance of bulk items and i kinda went into a crazy reverie of zero wasting.

granola, cranberries, oats, snacks, trail mix. these are all things we use on the reg and we can avoid the packaging now thanks to market district. they have all kinds of grains, pastas, nuts, even honey. i filled up a honey bear that we can reuse from now on.

bulk items

they have machines that you can print out the stickers for them but we happened to have an erasable crayon that I brought along to write the PLU #s on the top. this wipes off easily to be re-branded the following trip.
bulkfood

now, i know this might sound like it’s a lot of extra effort. i thought so too when i first started reading up on zero waste efforts. like anything else, it just becomes a habit. yes, there are times i forget but most of the time we are reusing our containers and reducing our waste. even just a little bit helps.

do you take your totes with you to the store every time? if you don’t then you are a rotten human being….just kidding. but really you should. if you do then all you need to do is store your produce bags and a few chosen containers in your tote to ride along to the store next time.

next post i’ll talk about food choices – which i did touch a bit on here. I am REALLY interested in hearing about new tricks. what do you do? please tell me. i want to change what i can. thanks!

ps. my main resource and place of information = here. feel free to add any other websites that are good resources and inspirations in your life :)

breezy

our latest eco-effort has been the near-effortless laundry line. husband came home and i finally had the gumption to install it. now our laundry has been a breeze.

pun. laundry pun.

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this has been a pretty simple step. i’d say about a third of the wash still goes through the dryer b/c line-dried towels and sheets don’t feel so good. but knowing that at least 2/3 of our wash is being dried by the natural elements makes me feel just a little better.

little by little, right?

bulky

on tuesday morning i got out my note pad which had been partnered up at the bar with my gal pal and and i to re-read some of the snippets of the previous night’s convos. if some of you are not narcissistic enough to have done this yet, i highly suggest it.

my eyes settled on this one: “the only thing you should buy in bulk is peanut butter.”  hmmm when taken out of context it actually sounds like good advice. i can assure you that during the actual conversation, it was not.

nevertheless, i put that on my to-do list for the week and little lady and i stopped into Krema today for an out-of-this-world peanut butter and strawberry jam sammich and our bulk butter.

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in case you missed that it says 5 LBS! 5 lbs of natural peanut butter goodness and it’s all mine….i mean ours. i guess i could spare a pound.

i’m pretty happy about the idea of getting this little guy in bulk and not dealing with at least 7 little jars it would take to equal it. can i count this as a zero-wasting-the-home effort?

welcome to the good life where the peanut butter flows like mead. now i wish we had 5 lbs of mead.

oh and by the way, peanut butter paired with grape jelly is total bullshit. peanut butter paired with strawberry jam is, well, the JAM. never. looking. back.

Ruby Juice

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hello everyone, meet Ruby Juice. she’s our newest and shiniest member of the family. why Ruby Juice? well, because i tried to name her Ruby Mae and Darla said “NO! Ruby Juice” but she said it with a really drawn out middle i.e. juuuuuuiiiiiiiiice. so Ruby Juice she is and just now while typing it i’ve decided to make it a compound word such as Beetlejuice. RubyJuice.

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so, since i splurged on RuJu i’ve decided it’s necessary to ride her as much as possible. i’ll be keeping a weekly log of how many miles we ride to see how long it takes us to ride back the cost of her. i’m hoping to save lots of gallons of gas this summer + fall. yay environment! Let project Iron Thighz commence!

yeah, that’s what i’m calling this – Project Iron Thighz.