Have questions? Go to the expert!
My Zero Waste is an AWESOME resource for all things reduce, reuse, recycle. I am so excited that she was willing to answer some of my silly questions about how to reduce our waste and what alternatives were available to change our habits. So below are the experts advice on the things that I (and a couple of you!) was thinking about after how How Disposable is Your Life Day.
1. What kind of snacks does your family eat? Do you make your own or buy in bulk?
I make all our cakes, biscuits and treats; even ice cream! I tend not to buy in bulk as these types of products are still individually wrapped; usually in composite materials which can't be recycled. The only thing I don't make is crisps (potato chips) but fortunately we have a way to recycle the packets, so it's not a problem.
2. What do you do with your dryer lint?
I don't have a dryer, but if I did I would compost it or stuff it into cardboard toilet roll inners and use it to light the fire during the winter and put it into our hedges for the birds to use as nesting material during the spring.
3. What about crackers and cereal? Both of these items have those awful plastic insert bags that aren't recyclable but my kiddos are addicted to cheerios and I am not sure that I can live without my wheat thins. Have you found alternatives that don't have that non-recyclable bag?
For crackers, these are pretty easy to make - you'll find all sorts of great recipes on the internet. We don't eat much cereal; I tend to buy just two varieties; oats, which come in a cardboard box and no plastic inner which I make porrage from (oatmeal I think you call it) and something called Shredded wheat which come in a cardboard box wrapped in paper.
Our breakfast tends to be pretty much 'outside the box' - we're not big cereal eaters!
If your kids are addicted to cheerios then go ahead and buy them - you could reuse the plastic inner bag for wrapping sandwiches or storing other items to help ease your conscience! Your kids won't be at home for ever so give them what they like and ditch the guilt.
4. Do you home compost or do you send some stuff to a municipal compost?
We home compost the small things such as vegetable peelings and grass clippings while hedge trimmings go into municipal compost.
5. I love your meal plans. Does having these in place not only cut trash but cost too?
Reducing food waste is my number 1 way to save money. The simplest way to do this is to view your leftovers as ingredients and base your meals around what you already have at home. Before you go to the store check your fridge, fruit bowl and vegetable rack to see what you could as the base for the next few days meals. It's a fantastic way to experiment more and get more creative in the kitchen too.
6. Do you take your own to-go containers with you to restuarants in case you have leftovers to bring home?
We don't eat out much, but I think I might do. Taking home leftovers is not done much over here and to be honest I think I might be embarrassed, so perhaps I would call the restaurant first to check their policy and pre warn them what I would like to do!
7. Do you pratice zero waste at work, restuarants and while traveling as well?
Absolutely - this is a lifestyle commitment for us. I've been known to come back from holiday with things in my luggage to recycle at home!
8. What was the hardest thing for your family to give up? Find a replacement for?
Probably not one particular thing, but general convenience. It's much easier to grab a pack of apples that have been selected for you and wrapped in plastic. It's much easier to take what you want from a shop without having to think about end disposal. it's much simpler to buy things that are easily transportable (such as biscuits and cereal bars for children's lunchboxes) than taking the extra time to bake and then wrap things, but it's the commitment you make and I feel good about our choices.
Thanks so much for giving up some advice and a little insight on how to be more waste conscious! I hope everyone will get more educated (GO HERE!) on this topic and make changes in their homes to reduce their waste! And we all love new blogs to read, so add this one to your list!
The Nitty Gritty!
Today was the big birthday party which I will share a few pictures from and some stories about tomorrow. But right now I am SO tired that I just need to lay on the couch and watch basketball.
But I did have to admit a failure and make an apology really quickly.
I have been talking up this Zero Waste Day and linking to a site that I LOVE for information. But somehow got my links mixed up and was not linking to the site that I thought I was. So, PLEASE visit the links that I listed above. Rachelle has been gracious enough to work with me on this project, inspire me and answer my questions. She deserves a little link love, which I have been failing to give her. I feel so awful for my mistake and owe her my sincerest apologies.