We cook a lot in our house (at least 4 times a week). Sometime I get adventurous, like the time I made gyro meat and tahini sauce from scratch for homemade gyros. They were amazing, but too much work. Other times it’s a game I like to play called what can I make with the random things in the pantry and fridge, I mostly win. Mostly is the keyword here.
For Christmas I decided to cook my first whole Chicken. I found a rosemary chicken recipe that I was excited to use. The chicken was great so I decide to save the carcass in my freezer for making chicken stock at a later date. And in the mantra of zero waste I started saving the scraps from onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and was storing in my freezer.
Yesterday was the day! I pulled the chicken and leftover scraps out of the freezer. Filled a pot with water and started cooking. About 4 hour later I have almost 5, 24 oz jars of stock.
Instead of throwing away your leftover onion, garlic, celery & carrot scraps put them in a glass jar in your freezer
Do the same thing for meat bones
Substitute the stock for recipes that call for a cup or two of water like rice or quinoa
You can use the onion peals, but it can add a bitter flavor to the broth
Store the stock in the fridge or freezer in a reusable container. These are the 24 oz jars I use which are also great for bulk grocery shopping because they have a wide lid.
Make sure to write the date somewhere on the container
The following four products were easy to start using on my Zero Waste journey. When I say easy I mean it, these were simple swap outs of existing products and I either didn’t need to change my behavior or only made slight modifications. All four are now staples for me and my family.
Bamboo Toothbrush – Most toothbrushes are made of plastic. Not only is this brush compostable, but the packaging it comes in is too.
Wool Dryer Balls – We use this instead of dryer sheets, they cut down on waste and dryer time. You can make your own using wool yarn or purchase ones already made.
Reusable snack and sandwich bags for school lunches – why throw away plastic when you don’t have to, plus my son thinks they are super cool.
Mesh Bags for buying fruits and veggies – great for the grocery store and farmers market to cut down on plastic.
Hope you find these products of interest and start joining me along this life changing journey. I am planning a future post around more advanced products that I use and some other products that just haven’t stuck for me yet.
My journey towards Zero Waste started earlier in 2015 so once December had rolled around I had already created some good habits and a minimal waste mindset around what I wanted to accomplish for Christmas. Some initial plans rolling into the holiday season were to make our own christmas tree, focus less on buying things we didn’t need, to enjoy time with friends & family, and to take some time off from work.
Last year we decided that we no longer wanted to cut down a tree. Since we are big crafters making our own tree made a ton a sense and got everyone really excited. This year’s tree was made from upcycled fence posts left over from a project this summer and other items we had around the house.
This year we also focused on fewer gifts. In total we got our 7 year old; a used dictionary (something he requested), an atlas (because he wants to travel the world), a stop motion animation toy so he can create movies, and last but not least a family trip to Hawaii (we found a great deal on flights). Focusing on experiences has been more meaningful to us.
Other Accomplishments included:
I took sometime off from work and the world didn’t end.
I was able to spend quality time with friends and family without feeling like I needed to attend every event that I was invited to.
Decorating the house took about an hour and putting everything away after Christmas was a breeze.
We didn’t purchase a single holiday candy, cookie, decoration, card, or wrapping supplies which saved us money and time.
We didn’t have overflowing garbage and recycling cans.
All and all I am really happy with how the entire month played out. I think it was the first time EVER I wasn’t stressed out about the holidays.
While I was producing less garbage I was just producing more recycling. Something that should make you feel good right? But it just didn’t feel right to me.
I started to do some research on recycling and garbage alternatives, and I came across a phrase I had never heard before, Zero Waste. Zero Waste is a lifestyle that promotes reducing your carbon footprint by creating little to no garbage.
On this blog I will share the tools, products, and tips that I have found successful for me.