Thursday, November 6, 2014

Decreasing Waste

I just finished reading "The Humanure Handbook". I know, eewww, right? It got me back to thinking about decreasing the amount of total waste I generate. Living in a trailer with limited water capacity and living on the homestead, where we have to haul all our water in, has made me very conscientious about my water usage. 

Humanure Handbook

This isn't just about water, though. I also stumbled upon a site about living without plastic. Now that's drastic! On the homestead, we recycle or burn almost all our trash. In the trailer, we have not been consistent with this. There is also the issue of how much we bring in that ends up going out as waste. Not just packaging, but also all the plastic shopping bags - ugh! I am getting better at remembering my reusable bags, but not all the way there, yet.

I use a lot of plastic ziploc bags. We frequently brown bag our lunch on errands and day trips and I do a lot of cooking from scratch, so prepwork also gets bagged. I also stumbled upon How to Store Produce Without Plastic. I had just bought some veggies, so I decided to put some of these tips to use right away. We had a whole bunch (bunches, actually) of carrots, so I washed them and put them in the veggie bin, with the broccoli and covered it all with a damp towel. The lettuce, celery and green onions I washed and wrapped in damp towels. After sitting overnight, I went to make my lunch and everything was still fresh and crisp. I cut up some of the veggies for our bento boxes and put the rest in a bowl, covered with a damp towel, in the fridge for tomorrow. At lunch time, everything was crisp and delicious. I have already eliminated the lunchtime ziplox with the bentos and sandwich boxes (um, plastic ones...) and now I can eliminate the refrigerator storage ziplox. I like. Not that I don't have other uses for ziploc bags, but this cuts down a great deal. 

Now that I have my sewing machine set up for a few days, I can whip up some more cloth veggie bags and towels and some cloth sandwich bags. Yes, I know, bacteria. That is why we wash things and let them dry thoroughly. We wash plastic and we wash cloth. And believe it or not, bacteria does grow in plastic...

There are things that I do prefer to use plastic for, however. The sawdust toilet would be one. (See the Humanure Handbook.) Also for water jugs that I have to be able to lift and maneuver. Not to mention that it cuts down on the weight in the tiny trailer/mobile homestead. But I am, once again, conciously trying to reduce my own waste and use more enduring containers.

I had a few more pictures to post, but my systems are working against me, so I am going to go ahead and post this as it is.

What are you inspired to do to reduce your waste?

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