I admit it. I am a very lazy blogger. It doesn’t mean that I am not doing things to remove waste from my life and to be more green. Au contraire. I wanted to at least write an “update” blog about what I have been up to lately and layout a plan of future blog posts.
Mid October to mid November (30 days) I decided to do a no-sugar, no-flour cleanse. Other than the obvious, I also didn’t use milk, cream or fried foods. During this process I found alternatives to almost everything I ate. I was able to stop my lunch addiction of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after this challenge. I also mostly stopped drinking milk. I have switched to coconut milk (unsweetened). I was surprised by what foods had lots of sugar in it: Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, milk and lots of ingredients to my favorite stir fry recipe. It’s just not the same without all of that sauce. I don’t think I will ever be a vegetarian, but my husband and I have been making purchase decision for more organic produce and meat selections that are more humane. We have definitely cut back on the amount of meals we make that contain meat because there are so many soy/meat alternatives that are a good substitute.
Due to me switching to coconut milk, the only downside is that they come in non recyclable containers. However, there is a solution. I found a recipe for EASY homemade coconut milk that I will blog about once I use up my current purchased supply.
This is the first year that I haven’t sent any food scrap to the trash, with exception to bones. I have diligently been collecting scraps in the freezer until I have enough to bring out to my compost bin. Since it’s winter here the less trips outside the better. I have also been reading up on the proportions of Carbon to Nitrogen in the compost pile so next year I will be more prepared. I may even buy some worms. Sounds like they speed up the compost process quite significantly because they eat half their weight per day of compost.
Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has really inspired me. I haven’t bought the book or even read it all. I read a chapter or two while at a popular clothing store. It spawned change in me to really consider why I have so much stuff and what do I really need. What brings me joy? I have broken down my possessions into categories and purged, sorted and donated within one category at a time. This is an ongoing project and I am still working on it, but making a lot of progress. What do I hope to gain from this? The idea that I don’t need to buy so much. I can eliminate duplicate items since everything has a spot and should be easy to locate. I will have more free time since I will have less time finding things and cleaning. The current thing I am working on is contacting junk mail companies to remove myself from mailing lists. Less physical clutter makes a more peaceful mind.
One of the things that I have been doing lately is taking inventory of items we throw away. Especially items that are in plastic packaging that cannot be recycled. I ask myself, “Is it something that I can replace with an alternative, eliminate or make myself?” One of these things is deodorant. These things can almost never be recycled. Not even the cap. I found an alternative: Crystal Deodorant. It is a mineral salt deodorant that doesn’t clog pores with nasty chemicals. I find that I don’t sweat or get stinky using this every day. I also found a recipe for homemade deodorant on the Trash is for Tossers website I plan on trying out. I figured on days I forget to use Crystal, I will have a stash at my work desk so I won’t worry about giving off an unpleasant odor.
I was excited to find that our local grocery store has a selection of certain items in bulk. I plan on using the bulk section more often for certain staples. With this, I needed a means to take home these items without generating a plastic bag and tag that would go into the trash. My solution was to make some homemade bags. One that I created was from a pillow case that had torn. I was able to make a bag to bring home my cereal without producing waste. I made two smaller bags from the bottom of pajama bottoms that had also torn. I made bags from the usable portions. This solves the issue of plastic bags, but I still have to bring something up to the register to indicate the number of the purchase. I plan on making reusable bag tags from tags I already created from wrapping paper waste. They can do double duty in the form of gift tags. I look forward to starting that project.
I don’t necessarily think of my cats as “things” but maybe they are. I tried switching their litter to one I can flush. They shut that down pretty quick. I had to switch back to the clay litter, but I am going to integrate back the non-clay variety back slowly. America’s Best Cat Litter is not only flushable (which would eliminate half of my trash) but it’s also healthier for the cats. I am focused on getting them switched, whether they like it or not.
These are just a few of my ramblings on how I plan to reduce waste. I don’t think I will be able to get down to 100% waste-free since Fargo ND doesn’t have as many option as I’d like. But I am going to try. I would love to hear about your ways you are reducing waste. If there is anything you want to share, please leave me a comment below.