Friday, March 23, 2012

Reducing Waste One Step at a Time

In the last few days I've taken these steps to start our waste reduction journey:
  • Ordered from Etsy some bulk bags. Two great things about this: I'm supporting home-based businesses in the United States and I'm getting some awesome reusable bags.
  • Found a local resale shop that I will be taking the kids' outgrown clothes to.
  • Called my local Whole Foods to confirm that I can use my own containers in the bulk aisle and in the meat department. I took my containers in, they weighed the tare no problem, and I didn't have any issues at the meat counter when I asked to have my chicken put in a tupperware container.
One of my friends took a trip to Toronto and brought back this beautiful jar full of syrup for our family:

I love the glass jar -- it's a beautiful maple leaf. I took it to Whole Foods and refilled it with bulk syrup. (You can see the green sticker that shows the weight of the jar on its own.)

I won't be buying any more tupperware containers when I can reuse the glass jars that are coming into my home (salsa, apple sauce, etc.).

I purchased a large container of yogurt today (as opposed to six small containers) and will be able to reuse that container as well.

We've started going through our cabinets and are putting items we don't need or use in boxes to get out of our house.

I feel like I'm being flooded with information. My friend told me this morning about a website calling for "Collaborative Consumption." We talked about having a toy swap with our kids (DVDs, Wii and Nintendo games). We can recycle our games, get new-to-us fun stuff and not spend a dime. Apparently the site includes a video you can show the kids. I'm going to check it out.

There's so much to learn. I really feel like my eyes have been opened. I'm tired of being suffocated by the stuff, by the trash, by the waste of it all.

It's going to take time to get all of the excess out of our home, but I feel good about it.

I'll start posting again on my shopping, recipes and the budget, too. For now, I'll leave you with this picture of my kitchen:

What started out as putting together a list of projects for the house very quickly turned into this. It's going to make the kitchen a lot more open (there was a wall there with a peek through window). Since we are purging our excess, there should be plenty of room for our stuff even though we've lost six upper cabinets. Thank goodness my hubby is handy. He's doing all the work himself. At least all of the work for Phase I. Phase II will require a plumber, but we won't be tackling that for a long time.

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