This post is a follow up to my “Disposable Society Post”. I had a request from Jessica to show how I try to make a difference in my household to be as conscientious as possible in regards to cutting down on waste. I’ve gone around my home and taken some photos to illustrate simple and effective ways to cut down our waste and make a difference for everyone! First is a photo of food that needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Rather than using plastic wrap we try to use other dishes to cover the tops of odd shaped bowls or plates.
I try to have water in the sink to rinse dishes throughout the day for the dishwasher. The dishwasher has been shown to be better on water consumption then washing dishes by hand. (Large amounts) When I am washing dishes by hand I fill the sink so that the tap isn’t constantly running. I use washcloths for the dishes rather than disposable options. In order to maintain sanitation I ensure the washcloths are changed and washed frequently.
Instead of using paper towels or napkins we use cloth napkins and cloth “T” towels. Once there’s a good amount of wash cloths, napkins and “T” towels dirty I do a load of them all at once to use the washing machine efficiently.
Here’s my load of clean cloth diapers! I never fold them, so I didn’t for this photo! They’re out and ready for whenever we need a change! I also use cloth wipes. I have to carry a bag to bring the dirty diapers/wipes home when we go out, but it just becomes part of what we do. There was a quote I saw saying “Always have enough diapers…said no one…ever!” We actually do have enough diapers! We just have to make sure we wash them when needed!
I aim to make snacks from scratch and then store in reusable containers. This cuts down on packaging and waste from store bought snacks.
When I do buy snacks from the store I try to buy them in bulk and then store them in containers to keep them fresh. For example our oatmeal sits on the counter and is refilled when needed:
My kids snacks are packed in reusable containers, taken from the bulk packaging I purchase. We use reusable water containers and have a water filter to refill when empty! The bag that our snacks are carried in is reusable and can be washed when necessary!
When I buy my groceries I try to support businesses that are trying to make a difference. This product is from a company started by 2 guys wanting to bring farm life to the city. They’ve persevered and grown into a thriving business that gives back and makes a difference through their efforts!
My friends and family…especially my husband laugh at me when I pull out these dishes. I purchased these 4 years ago and they come out at every event! They’re getting a little bent and twisted but I never have any cup or plate waste after a fun get together!
Lastly, when we go shopping we bring our bags. There are a lot of stores that are getting on board with this concept. You get money back, or store “points” for using your own bags. The trick is to be organized enough to have them with you! I’ve often forgotten them but simply load up the car and then bag my goods in my driveway when I get home!
As for food prep I try and have quinoa and/or brown rice cooked in the refrigerator. If I’m organized enough then I have my veggies chopped and ready in the fridge as well…but I’m not always that organized! At least if my base is cooked then I have the last minute ability to chop/cook my veggies and add beans to the mix. Crock pot meals are not always the most nutritious because they cook for so long, but they can be a great way to have food ready when you are, and I do use it from time to time. I try and think about dinner in the morning (I’m home so that’s possible) so that if I have to pull out anything frozen to thaw, it is ready by dinner time. If you’re on the run you’ll probably want to plan your meal the day before or even at the beginning of the week for the entire week.
I’ve used websites before to make shopping lists that plan out meals and the shopping list required for those meals. That way when you go shopping you have everything you need and you can make different meals from the similar foods that you’ve picked up. This is a very cost effective plan as well as less food waste. I highly recommend using sites like these: Meals for under $5.00 , 7 day meal plan on a budget
I always make substitutions based on health and organic living. Use these as a guide and then make the adjustments that sit right in your household. Farmers markets are great for all of your fresh goods, and butchers are a good option for fresh and healthy meat cuts. I know it’s hard to run from one place to another for everything you need. I try to make my visits enjoyable and personal as I meet the local people that work in the shops!
And of course we recycle and compost. We have a compost pick-up in our community, but in the warm months it’s nice to have that soil for gardening purposes, so we have a compost bin in our yard.
That is a little taste of my household! I try and do what I can to make a difference, I know you do to!
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