So my list for June will be productive (hopefully) and non wasteful:
1. Cut down waste even more - more bulk bins, more learning new recipes.
Cooking in larger quanties so that the summer lunch crew at my house has leftover food for daytime.
recipe for gluten free pancakes was a good one, so thats one less thing to buy with packaging; gluten free waffles did well so also will be used in place of regular waffles
recipe for chocolate cake
learn a recipe for gf crackers
make lots of salsa and hummus
just ordered a tortilla press online. My first purchase new since my renewed commitment to not buying new. Oh well. I looked all over for a secondhand one and could not find one and firstborn keeps eating the GMO infested corn tortillas from grocery. Something had to give.
2. Read 4-5 books - just finished 'the Husband's Secret' by Liane Moriarity, really good book, but counts as nothing for June since it was not read in June. Duh. Next up is "If I Stay " by Gayle Foreman.
3. Cut down even more on utilities, if possible. Line drying more that its sunny outside. Keeping lights off until sun goes down.
4. Cut workouts down to 30 minutes each. The daily 40-45 was making my legs hurt and apparently counterproductive to fitness?
5. Unclutter more before Cerebral Palsy pickup this month. So far, two large boxes full.
6. Drink 10 glasses water a day.
Here are some plastic free meals that I know I can cook using only bulk bin ingredients and produce-
- Egg, deli turkey and veggie frittata (we try to get local eggs from the farm, they take backand reuse the trays)
- Refried bean, guacamole and tomato tortilla (as soon as I figure out how to make corn tortillas from scratch)
- Quinoa pizza bites (quinoa, tomatoes, spinach and cheese)
- veggie and egg fried rice
- black bean soup
- lentil curry soup
- turkey sandwiches (turkey bought at the deli without packaging, hoagie rolls without packaging at the bakery)
- vegetarian spaghetti (homemade marinara, pasta from bulk bins)
- sweet potato and black bean enchiladas (again when tortillas are finally made)
- pizza with homemade dough, homemade sauce and mushrooms/onion/broccoli, cheese
- beanloaf (oats, smashed pinto beans, spices, egg, & marinara from glass jar)
- pancakes (bananas or blueberries optional)
- chickpea and potato curry
- stuffed baked potatoes (if I can get cheese from the deli)
- veggie soup (carrots, tomato, brocolli, barley, onion and garlic)
- egg sandwich with capers and tomatoes(deli rolls from bakery)
Okay, so I noticed all of them except for turkey sandwiches and the frittata are vegetarian. We are not fully vegetarian so once in a while (twice a week?) chicken, grass fed beef or chicken apple sausage is part of the menu. These plus the dreaded tetrapaks I cannot figure out how to go plastic free. Until then we are 'almost' plastic free. I know that I could by myself be totally nutso plastic free lady but I do have the rest of my family to think about, so we all make a bit of a compromise.
So here is May trash - (yes, I am adding my trash photo in my food post, gross I know) I put the mug there just for size reference. And cause it was just right there anyways...
Here is my list. Yes, another list.
- 3 tetrapak cartons coconut milk
- 1 tetrapak carton coconut water
- 1 bag raw cacao powder
- 1 bag frozen peaches (this is from before and will not be bought again)
- 1 broken wine glass (ugh)
- 4 wrappers from ice cream cones ( brought over by friends )
- 1 waxed bag from cereal used twice
- 1 small can of tomato paste (still using what is left)
- 1 small can coconut milk
- 3 small plastic bags from arare crackers
- 1 bag of nut mix brought over as a gift
- 4 small bags from wrapper on organic chicken
- 2 wrappers from organic chicken sausage
So looking at this list I think I can get it down further. I'm hoping June will be easier, BUT kids are off starting next week, so I am hoping it doesn't mean more trash. They know I am checking....
To force myself to take a look at what I can improve on and how much progress I have made so far in lessening my trash and plastic, I took a picture of the fridge. Yes, my exciting life, so very glamorous.
- assorted organic grains from bulk bins / assorted beans and nuts from bulk bins (top shelves and the grain bags on the bottom shelf)
- assorted produce purchased unpackaged bottom drawer and left pullout drawer (we are a bit bare now, I haven't gone to the store yet for more produce - and our fruits are usually left out on the counters)
- Tetrapak of coconut milk
- Black box Cabernet next to coconut milk(we are oh so classy)
- Gluten free flour in paperboard box
- leftovers (the glass containers)
- organic farm eggs
- shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar
- organic peanut butter
- mango jam (homemade in glass container)
- tortillas bought in bulk in bottom pullout (corn and flour)
- organic bread hidden in drawer
- large jar pesto in plastic container
- organic chicken broth in glass jar
As far as the main portion of the fridge we are pretty okay - the side doors, however are pretty full.
As far as the doors, there are much too much condiments - this I am working on. I want to pare down to ketchup, mustard, worshestershire sauce, oyster sauce, mayo, ponzu and capers. So as the rest gets used nothing is hopefully replaced. Most are in glass so I dont feel too bad but the ketchup and pesto are not and I cannot find glass alternatives.
For now this is the run down of the door storage-
marinara in glass jar
capers in glass jar
ketchup in plastic container
mustard (one dijon in glass, one regular in plastic)
black bean paste in glass jar
hoisin sauce in glass jar
oyster sauce in glass container
worchestershire sauce in glass jar
teriyaki sauce in plastic container
ponzu sauce in glass container
bbq sauce in plastic container
salad dressing in plastic, only one serving use left
semi chocolate pieces in cardboard box -for baking only
I will try and pare all this down and not buy anymore (except oyster sauce, pesto and ketchup since that goes fast in this house)
Things to work on right now-
- Dressings homemade only
- use up the sundried tomatoes in something, it doesn't get much play around here
- use up tonkatsu sauce and make my own
- use up bbq sauce then make my own
- use up jams and jellies, this will take time, we dont use much and seem to have gathered a bunch of them
- wanted to make my own pesto and I have before, but the girl eats pesto daily, I truly cannot keep up with that. Maybe I can make half of the pesto so I am buying less often. I need to plant some more basil if this is the case.
- possibly learn how to make my own tortillas, I heard its not hard, just have to find some time.
- make bread, this works only for breakfast with pb and jam, but as sandwich bread I need to figure out an alternative or find a bakery that will sell it to me without packaging.
- peanut butter we have in plastic because we go through a lot and Costco is cheapest for organic. I am thinking of switching to the almond butter I can get from the bulk bins instead in my own container. But, they do not offer organic almond butter this way and that is important with almonds. I may end up buying the more expensive glass jar Laura Schutter pb instead.
These are all thoughts swirling around in my ocd head and journaling them here makes it more concrete and hopefully do-able. We shall see...
My plants. I love watching these guys grow
That my daughter went to the Big Island with her school and was able to stay there for a week without too much homesickness. I know she says she didnt like it, but everytime she does step out the of her comfort zone I am hoping it makes her grow and learn even if she doesn't realize it. Inside I was a big baby about it, so in the end I'm sure it helps me to learn how to step back and let her go. sniff sniff.
He still gets excited over looking for those Easter eggs. Even in the rain this year. :)
Happy that although he broke his wrist he still healed well and played all his games without (more) injury. He really should have rested it but evidently we are that family (which if I had my way he would have rested).
A wonderful past few weeks and truly grateful for every minute of it.
Okay, so some years ago, maybe around 2007, I made the Compact pledge to buy nothing new. I have lived on and off that pledge and continue loosely to do so. That's not really a pledge I understand, but it is what it is. Yes, in other words I feel I have become too lax.
The past few years I bought secondhand everything for the most part, except for workout shoes, and this year I bought 2 new jeans, 2 workout shoes, one tank top and a pair of ray-bans. Last year I believe I bought one pair of jeans, a pair of Keds, a pair of aviator sunglasses, one olive green t-shirt and a tank top new. That has got to mean something that I can remember what I bought new right off the bat. I did however buy makeup, but I think that has to be new, but really is eyeshadow necessary? Eh, sometimes.
I am renewing my pledge. I think. Okay, so I would LIKE to renew that pledge. So I am saying it now. I think. NO, I am.
There are so many reasons to leave the consumption train, but more and more I am seeing so much cheap clothing bought like it's disposable. Its not, it has to end up someplace. Thrift stores are over run with clothes. If you go down the racks in secondhand stores, lots of Forever 21, American Eagle, Gap, Old Navy, A&F etc. The clothing is incredibly cheap in these stores that people forget that it needs to be made someplace(cheap unfair labor, not to mention the energy to produce the fabric, then more energy to transport it) and then it has to end up someplace eventually. Which means more landfill fillers. So.much.clothes. Totally unnecessary to keep buying new clothing when there is too much already secondhand.
I've never been one to get the latest and greatest, to buy what everyone else has, or to show how much money I make via my purchases. Shopping for that stuff is all shallow lost energy I can better use to hang with the kids or you know, watch Netflix. My friends know what's up, they know what I do, I don't need a Gucci bag to make a statement. I think that if you want one fine, but it doesn't do anything for me really. Give me a nice roomy secondhand bag that I can easily find the phone that's ringing at the bottom of it (I HATE THAT) a place to throw my beat up wallet and my keys and its all good.
So here's my own rules/exceptions that I will follow based somewhat on the old Compact rules...
- Medical and hygiene necessities not included (underwear, bras, toothbrush, blah blah blah...)
- I have always LOOKED for workout shoes but never found a decent pair second hand that didn't make me cringe. These I will buy, I workout everyday and they need to be supportive and fit well. I just bought two pairs new as I mentioned, so I am probably good for the next two years. If I find a pair of secondhand cute ones that fit and support then okay, but life is too short for fugly workout shoes. I kid. No, really, they have to be kind of cute.
- I have always not followed the no new toys for birthday presents for other kids. I cannot. I live on an island, that has no really great kids subscriptions to anything that I am down with. Sorry Zoo, you do not lure me with your sad cages. Tickets to see dolphins in captivity, no thanks. Museums, okay really, lets get real here, for kids? Sooo, toys or clothing for kids are okay for birthday gifts only. And the kids are kind of old already, not much to buy in the toy area. I try to stick to sustainable clothing if available for gifts otherwise. I cannot buy uncool gifts for the kid's friends, my kids won't let me, apparently I have tried.
- Christmas, again with the gifts. This does not count, it's stressful enough and since I do sacrifice throughout the rest of the year I am okay with buying some of my gifts. The kids are not demanding material-wise, they never have been, so I buy what they might want, sometimes its just a few clothing requests and books, I can live with that. They have to live with the strange parents that don't allow sugar or packaging, and talk way too much about landfills, I have to know their limits. Except with the request last year by the boy for a bigger yard for his present (wut?) they are not extravagant by any means. As for neighbors and older relatives, really good local food gifts in reusable thrift store baskets or pretty plants. For nieces, nephews and friends kids, same as my kids apply, I try to buy as consciously as possible with as little packaging as I can get away with(I save all my gift bags, ribbon and paper that can be salvaged from the year before).
- Makeup I buy usually when I only need to replace something, so this may or may not happen this year or next. I do have enough for this year which I had bought last year(bb cream, sunscreen, eyeliner and lip pencil is all I really get). I make my own moisturizer and lip balm so I am good for now. I also have some skin allergies that can get out of hand, so as little experimentation as possible is best.
- I may be going to the Jack Johnson concert in August(cross fingers) so I will make the exception of a concert t-shirt. I know it's not necessary, but moving on. Crap I hope my kids dont want one too. ugh.
- Stuff my kids have to get for school reasons or for sports are ok, they have school uniforms and sport uniforms, and have to buy their own school books so this is definitely an exception. We do Kindle and check out of the library for all other books.
So this is self imposed until I decide its not anymore. Once I started doing this years ago though, it was so easy and really common sense its not a question of going to back to being a heavy consumer. How much do you really need? That shiny happy feeling I get when I buy something new, it only lasts a little while, and then I just feel guilty. I rather feel happy about buying something secondhand, at least I saved it from its ultimate demise for a little while, then if I get tired of it, I just take it back to the thrift store. I do sometimes get out of hand with the secondhand purchases, I will be watching for that too, I don't enjoy clutter of any form. But any truly guilty buying will be posted here.
Okay another pic that has nothing to do with this post except this post is about helping mother earth and this is a pic of part of the earth....ok that was stretching. This is of Haleakala at sunrise....
So pretty up there.
Ok, gonna try this again. As much as possible. NO.TRASH.
Possible trash that my family apparently cannot function without....
- Coconut water tetrapak
- Coconut milk tetrapak
- chips (big bag from Costco only)
- organic chicken plastic shrinkwrap
- other possible subjects that wander through the house without my permission or knowledge...
- plastic bag from Gluten free child's GF bread. No luck on baking this, she eats them too fast. and possibly pita bag(large bag from Costco), and english muffin bag for wheat eating part of family. I will try and reuse the bags, I keep them but if they pile up I know that they are not going to be all used.
-Plastic bag from bulk chocolate chips from Costco. We do not buy snacks but use these for baking and because we do not buy snacks this BECOMES the snack. I tried to buy bulk bin choco chips from Down to Earth store but seriously they did not taste very good and I was the only one partaking in that nongoodness. Plus they are super expensive there. Will try and reuse this Costco size bag too.
We are big smoothie breakfast drinkers, so sad that I cannot get around the Tetra Paks but since we don't drink much dairy at all this is one of our only options for coconut water and coconut milk- aside from climbing my moms trees and making my own which is not gonna happen as of now. Or as of later. Sorry earth.
this is a link saying how that packaging is not very green. :(
- Cans. Okay this one is not so bad, I only really use cans for coconut milk (cooking/baking kind) and for tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. I am trying to switch to glass jar tomato paste but I am using up what I have in the meantime. I will still try and use more fresh tomatoes if I can get away with it but possibly will still be using some cans here and there. Our cans supposedly go to H-power for fuel but still when I throw it in the garbage bin, its still garbage to me.
- Plastic bag for bulk cheese. I have tried getting cheese in my own container at the grocery, its not the same. Its much oilier or something? Well, I may try this again but I do have a lot of cheese that I bought in bulk a couple weeks ago, so for now I'll think about it until I get desperate. Yes, there is a thing called 'cheese desperate' I'm pretty sure.
Going try and outline what I can on this blog so that I can track progress -
Twice per month starting May - ok this is almost mid-May but whatever- I will document progress of how much we are making. This will hold me accountable next time I try and buy some Puffins cereal and I pretend that it never happened. Stupid cute birds and their deliciousness get me every time. I cut up the box and wait until there is a use for it, there rarely is a use for 'puffin boxes' so there are a few in my pantry drawer right now just waiting for their star moment.
Cross fingers :).
And so I do not end with a picture-less post, cuz what am I posting with not throwing away trash?? Oliver Mcpoodles- the hyper dog ball stealer of course. Makes so much sense.