Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. I have a Christmas cold so haven’t gone anywhere or purchased anything in several days.
  2. Bought no new gift wrap this year. We largely reuse gift bags but, confession, we did use some gift wrap that was already in our possession.
  3. I am mapping out plans to institute more practically waste free ideas in my home next year!
  4. We ate all of the sticky rolls we made for Christmas morning. I know, a true hardship, but these super easy sticky buns from Minimalist Baker are just so delicious I had to mention them.
  5. I wanted to make our guest sleeping area a little more user friendly so I shopped in-house and found a nightstand for next to the bed and used a cedar chest with a blanket on top as a suitcase stand.
  6. We passed along some household items that we no longer needed.

Happy New Year!

Practically Waste Free Actions

Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. I replaced the flapper in the toilet tank. While I have to throw out the old flapper and the new one had packaging, it does save us plenty of water. I am curious when I see a year’s worth of trash in a mason jar and you never see toilet or faucet repair parts in there. Am I missing something?
  2. Our furnace has kicked on a handful of times even set at 61 degrees but I am wearing a beautiful hand knit birthday scarf around the house and keeping warm.
  3. We have been using our gas fireplace to heat the room we are in most of the time. The fan is noisy so I have never been one to turn it on, but when the technician told us how much heat we were wasting by leaving it off, well, I have been dealing with the additional noise.
  4. It has been a bit since I posted so I will throw this one out there: we ate Thanksgiving dinner 3 days in a row in order to eat it all up (Do not take this as a complaint! I love Thanksgiving leftovers more than the original meal).
  5. I am reading through some books that I own with plans to donate them to the local library or putting them in a neighborhood Little Library.
Practically Waste Free Actions

Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. I am knitting with yarn I already own.
  2. Making meals at home and largely from scratch.
  3. We celebrated a birthday and decorated with the same minimal but lovely ┬ádecorations we use every year. We also used reusable gift bags for one “need” and one “want” gifts.
  4. We have been doing well keeping track of and eating leftovers.
  5. Using our gas fireplace to take off the chill when needed instead of turning on the furnace.
Practically Waste Free Actions

Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. I bought a reference book I wanted from the library’s used book sale. For a “used” book from the 1970’s it is in perfect condition.
  2. Ate leftovers for dinner.
  3. I made two loaves of bread this morning. The bread was a delightful addition to dinner and a nice afternoon snack.
  4. Ate an apple from the market instead of a sweet (sugar) dessert. I am working to eat more fruits and less cookies.
  5. Using the end of an old plastic spatula to scrape cookie sheets and plates for cleaning. The handle broke once and I continued to use it as a spatula, it broke a second time and is now a scraper.
Practically Waste Free Actions

Baby Steps

Some days I feel well on my way to living practically waste free and others, like today, I do not.

All day I had been looking forward to making the Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole from Vegan With a Vengeance.

This afternoon I cut up the vegetables and cooked the chickpeas so that assembly would be a quick running of ingredients through a food processor before mixing and baking in the oven. I was feeling prepared and looking forward to dinner.

Sadly, a piece of my food processor bowl broke off while I was processing and I didn’t realize until I had mixed all of the ingredients. Instead of risking eating bits of ground plastic I had to bin the whole lot and we had baked beans and rice for dinner.

The motor is still good so I think I will probably buy a new work bowl for the processor. I use it on a regular basis and am not sure what plastic-free alternative there is out there.

It’s all about baby steps. Some days you are moving in the right direction and some days you are just hoping your feet are still pointed in the right direction.

Baby Steps

Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. We ran errands in the car yesterday and left it parked today.
  2. We walked through a park today to go to the market where we bought vegetables.
  3. The cloth bag we brought to the market is probably 15 years old and still going strong.
  4. I’ve been eating fruit for breakfast.
  5. I put some dinner leftovers on top of a salad for lunch.

Waste free grumble: Have you ever noticed how much plastic packaging comes with new windshield wipers? Windshield wipers are not at all optional so am not sure what others do about this (other than not own a car).

I would love to be inspired by some of your waste free actions.

Practically Waste Free Actions

Trip Successes

imageWe were recently on the road for about 5 days and I was striving for some waste free successes. Two nights were in hotels and 3 were in a kitchen-less cabin. A few ways we worked to reduce our waste:

  1. When we ate out we ordered dishes to share and left very little behind.
  2. We brought our camp stove and cooked out all but two dinners. We also used it to heat water to make coffee in our French press. The coffee was transferred to travel mugs for consumption. There is really nothing better than making coffee outside in the morning.
  3. We brought reusable plates, bowls, and silverware (the plates are actually stainless steel pie plates). We drank water out of stainless steel water bottles.
  4. Each day I brought a bag with lunch food and assembled lunch at our destination. Kids used reusable containers to eat out of and I just ate my sandwich out of hand (we are super fancy in case you couldn’t tell).
  5. We washed up dishes in our room/cabin and dried them using the cloth dish towels I brought with us.

There are certainly things we can work on to reduce waste when traveling (and yes, traveling itself is not waste free)  but that is a post for another time.

 

Trip Successes