i’m dreaming of a green christmas

whoa, life just got REAL busy, huh?

i’m feeling it. i know you’re feeling it, too. i keep reminding myself: “don’t just get stuff done, get the right stuff done.”

but anyway,

i was starting to let myself get sucked into the consumerism culture that is christmas this past weekend. my mind was dwelling on hypothetical presents darla should get so she doesn’t feel deprived when she is older. guffaw.

well, the universe knew what to do with me and put this book in my path. literally in my path when we spent monday at the library. i was reminded that christmas eve and day are the two most waste producing days of the year around the world. it brought me back to center.

greener christmas

my child does not need an abundance of toys or candy. she just needs a few carefully selected gifts and a whole lot of love.

i wrote a bit last year about our homemade decorations projects – our snowflakes from coffee filters and junk mail, our popcorn garlands, handmade wrapping paper from re-purposed darla art. I think we’ll carry on those traditions this year and add a few more. I came up with an advent calendar from some reused wrapping paper.


what about you? have you thought of ways to reduce your waste output this christmas? what tricks have you come up with?


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.

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 :)