Friday, January 10, 2014

7: Month 5: Waste Not

Month 5 focuses on reducing waste.  I had a hard time deciding what to do this month because I think we are fairly conscious of this area already.  In the book, Jen Hatmaker chose gardening, composting, buying local, buying secondhand, driving only one car, recycling, and conserving energy and water.  I overseeded my garden with grass last summer so that's out.  We already compost--as in we take our table scraps out to the field. 

We chose to:
  • Use cloth napkins.  The girls seem to really like taking them with their lunches.  They feel "fancy."  Although we lost a cloth napkin the very first school day to a helpful lunch aide.
  • Recycle glass.  We already recycle paper, plastic, and metal but glass can't go to the prison enterprises that handle our company recycling.  So, we now have another trashcan to hold all of our glass.  I've even dug through the trash to retrieve a bottle already.
  • Using only cloth grocery bags.  On my first trip to the store I forgot to take my bags in with me.  Fortunately, the overflowing container of plastic bags to be recycled reminded me before I had a heaping cart.  On an awesome note:  On my first trip to the store with cloth bags I had the world's best bagger.  She opened up several bags at a time and bagged my groceries by type.  I felt like I had gone to heaven.
  • Reduce water usage.  We are officially on water restrictions.  We all enter the shower with timers--max 7 minutes for the kids and less than 12 minutes for me, shaving and all.
  • No extra trips for errands.  Since only using 1 car is almost impossible with us traveling to any of 3 locations on a given day, I've decided to limit my errands.  There will be no extra trips.  All my errands must be run on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday nights when I'm already at church.  (Unless the destination isn't open during the evening)
  • Reduce our food waste.  We are doing everything we can to avoid wasting any food.  In honor of not wasting we found out that a little bit of sour cream + heavy cream + mayo = a suitable substitute in my recipe for Beef Stroganoff.
  • Reduce our electricity.  No more lights left on, cell phones overcharging, etc.
It may not seem like much but hopefully we are more aware of all the resources that we use after this month. 

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