Whether it has been out of necessity or a desire to lessen my environmental footprint I have made a very conscience effort to waste less, reduce, reuse and recycle more.
WASTE LESS/RECYCLE: Three weeks ago I decided to see how little trash I could create. I have always recycled paper, cardboard and most plastics, however I knew I could do better. The main thing was realizing how much trash is created by what we buy. It is unbelievable how much packaging there is for even one small item. I compost faithfully and what can’t go in the compost is either fed to the chickens or the dogs. I tend to feed the chickens first since they provide food for us but I can’t bring myself to feed them meat (especially chicken!) so if there is any meat scraps, these go to the dogs. It is still hard to know what to do with paper items that can’t be recycled, like butter cube wrapping, paper plates, used wax paper. Since we have a fireplace I just burn these things – which helps heat our living room too! Needless to say, in these last 3 weeks I have not even had one full kitchen garbage bag full of trash. Just a note: the paper plates, once gone, will no longer hold a place in our home much to the dismay of my husband. AND the paper towels – I didn’t use ANY for 2 weeks, but this past week have used a few. Some out of habit and I haven’t figured out how to blot cooked bacon without them. However, the paper towels that aren’t used for greasy things go into my compost bin so I don’t feel quite as guilty using them and I burn the greasy ones.
I have been using reusable grocery bags for quite some time now, but hadn’t given a lot of thought to the plastic produce bags. It is such a habit (bad habit) to thoughtlessly grab these bags. So, I came across a use for old sheer curtains…..I made reusable produce bags. They are lightweight (.5 oz) and are see through enough to see what is in them. I also made a ‘wallet size’ fabric shopping bag. It actually folds to wallet size so it fits in my purse, but when opened up it is full size. This is the most convenient item, since I usually forget to grab a bag from the back seat before I go into the store. The next thing was making bulk food bags. I searched the internet and all I found were sites to purchase bags. I couldn’t see spending money for something I knew I could make and I had the materials already.
Here are the bulk bin bags and the produce bag. The smaller bag has dry pasta in it and holds about 1 lb. The larger bag easily holds 2 lbs of dry kidney beans.
Here is the shopping bag – folded and opened up.
Well not too bad on the creative side and with the holidays fast approaching these items may be on the gift giving list. Such a good way to use up my stashes of fabric and notions.