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      News — How to start zero waste

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      Seven Years of Zero Waste

      Seven Years of Zero Waste

      I’ve written about my zero waste journey beginning in 2017.  Mostly in the forms of lists ‘cause that’s how I roll.  Each year, I added an action until Covid.  We all know how challenging that was!   

      If you are wanting to start 2023 by reducing a bit of your trash- go back and read any of the blogs.  All the info is valid, you will have to makes tweaks to fit your life style.  Please remember going zero waste is like any goal or accomplishment, it’s a dance.  Two steps forward, one back, a bit of spinning in the same space and then two steps forward.

      I’m not going to add to that list but I’d love to hear your suggestions and strategies.   Instead I'm sharing another list with ideas about how to help address the imbalance in our economy.

      I believe if you want to help heal our planet one step you can take is to “buy local, shop indie”.  Sure I’m biased because I have a small business but I have a small business because I want the world to be a better place. 

      Here’s my list of ways to support small and indie businesses-

       Word of mouth really matters- take the time to tell others about your favorite businesses and why you like them.

       Sign up for emails- in the ever changing word of social media an email list is a godsend to a small business, it’s where they can actually connect with people who are interested in their product or service

       Unsubscribe from emails you never open.  In order to sent out batches of emails you need to subscribe to an email server and you pay for the service.  If you are on someone’s list but never open an email you still count in terms of payment.  It’s very helpful for a small company to have you unsubscribe because they safe money and you will stop getting an email that you’re not interested in.

      Post a nice comment on social to help the algorithms used in social media sites.  The way this works is a site limits access to how many folks can see a post because they want to make money.  Liking, sharing and commenting on a post makes it more “popular” and visible.

      Post a picture and tag a business to help spread the word.

      Use locations and hashtags, another way to help a business be visible on social media. 

      Write reviews and share your positive experience.  If your experience was negative contact the business first before posting on social media.  Social media thrives on negativity so post with caution and kindness.

      Say “thank you” whenever possible and be understanding with problems.  Chances are if you have a problem you’ll get way better service and results than with a big business.

       Buy gift cards especially at busy holiday seasons.  It can be quite challenging in today’s ever changing world to keep items stocked and gift cards do help.

       When it’s time to make a purchase investigate options and if possible buy small, local and indie first before giving all the big boys your money.

       Consider a subscription service.  Similar to a CSA for farms a subscription service helps weather the year during slower times.  Subscription services are also a great way to support a creative that you admire.  The way social media works makes it easy to expect information and inspiration for free but it’s a lot of work and a subscription helps someone stay creative.

      Enjoy your zero waste journey and share your success.

      Your Zero Waste Journey for 2022

      Your Zero Waste Journey for 2022
      My 2022 Zero waste/plastic free blog dives a bit deeper into three areas, closet, kitchen and bathroom.

      Read more

      Mend Along- Let's Mend the World Not Trash It

      Mend Along- Let's Mend the World Not Trash It

      There are so many reasons to mend and we hope you'll join us in Feb to be inspired and connected with fellow menders.    We'll be posting on social media tips and tools as well as putting together videos with techniques and DIY.

      Here's the schedule for the month-

      Week 1

      Patches- we'll explore fixing knees and elbows, crotches and reclaiming ugly jeans 

      Week 2 

      Sweater Mends- dealing with moth holes, rips and tears and fuzz balls

      Week 3

      Stains- decorative patches, embellishment and dying to add new life to worn clothes

      Week 4

      Socks, Gloves and Mittens- toe and heel holes and repurposing items that are too far gone

      We hope you'll join us.  "Clothes worth wearing are worth repairing."


      Food Waste Free Tips for October

      Food Waste Free Tips for October

      October is a world wide focus on not wasting so much food and we have some easy tips for you.  

      First steps are always the hardest but trust us it gets easier.  We’ve included a few of our favorite tips and tricks for reducing your personal food waste.  At the bottom of the blog you can find links to learn more about food waste, the consequences of not changing our habits, and other people and organizations working on this problem.

      Tips to stop wasting food.

      Let's start with garden guilt.  When our garden dreams in the spring are bigger than our stomachs and when fall rolls around and food rots on the vine or languishes in the back of the fridge.  Our gardens were just too big.  But the problem is even bigger than that. Beyond our kitchen garden waste 1 in 5 grocery bags of food is wasted; thrown into a landfill.  It’s a massive problem both in terms of economics but also for the health of our planet.  If food waste were a country it would be ranked third in terms of CO2 emissions.  This is such a huge and pervasive problem that it's hard to even wrap your head around the numbers, the sheer quantities, the mountains of wasted food.  But as with all problems, little first steps add up to huge change when we all work together. 

      Tips to reduce food waste

      Food Scrap Stock: this is a simple and tasty trick to make great homemade soups, stews, and risottos.  Keep a mason jar or bag in the freezer.  Every time you have scraps from cooking: carrot ends, squash tops, onion bits, tomato ends etc.. add it to the freezer bag.  When the bag is full it's time to make stock.  Get out the slower cooker and add your scrap bag, a hunk of seaweed (we recommend sugar kelp or oarweed), and your favorite blend of spices and some water.  Let it simmer for at least a few hours but the longer the better.  If you want a meat stock then save your chicken, ham, or beef bones or lobster shells and add them in as well.  When the stock looks and tastes good, chill it, strain it and turn it into your favorite comforting soup or stew.  If you're not feeling like soup then freeze the stock.  A friend of mine just gave me an awesome tip for this.  Pour your stock into a freezer or silicone freezer bag.  Close it tightly and freeze it flat on a baking tray.  When it is frozen solid you end up with a little sliver of stock that takes up hardly any room in your freezer!!!!  For more details check out our blog Easy Peasy Soup Stock

      Too Much Garden Produce Freezer Meals: Ready to go homemade freezer meals are a mainstay in our house in the winter.  They are the perfect way to make sure that we use everything in the garden and are eating lots of vegetables all year long.  The three I make every year are vegetable lasagna (which is awesome cause you can use extra tomatoes by making the sauce yourself and an overabundance of eggs by making homemade noodles), chicken pot pie, and shepherds pie.  The key to all of these meals is they start with roasted vegetables.  I throw everything that is ready to be picked onto baking trays and roast away.  You can add in summer squash, carrots, beets, potatoes, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, winter squash, eggplant, and tomatoes or whatever combination is ripe.  Even if you don’t have a garden but bought too much at the farmers market or have a CSA box that you can’t finish, this is the perfect way to make sure that nothing goes to waste and you're eating well in the winter.  My pro tip is freeze everything!!!  Do you have too many peas, beans, carrots, name it.  Blanch it, spread it on a baking tray and freeze it.  When it's solid, scoop it up and put it in a freezer bag then any time you need some veggies you just have to reach in and grab the perfect amount for any meal. Spice up eggs with some frozen kale and corn, make your soups swoon worthy by adding in all your summer veggie favorites. Veggies are expensive in the winter here in Maine and come from far away. By freezing my garden I am able to eat well and eat locally all year long. We have LOTS of recipes on our blogs including Zucchini Tots.

      Tips to eliminate food waste.


      Cheese Bin: This is a trick that Claire learned from watching a Jamie Oliver program.  Keep a bag or jar in the freezer where you can stash ends of cheese.  Many households end up buying too much cheese and it molds.  Especially if you are single, buying the right quantity of food is super hard and lots goes to waste.  The cheese bin means that all your cheese gets used.  Use the harder cheeses for soup stocks or save up until you have enough to make a bomber mac and cheese.  Freezing cheeses can affect the texture of some types of cheese so it is best to make something where the texture doesn’t matter. 

      Baking sweets with vegetables

      Cupboard Crisp/Veggie Baking: Yesterday both Claire and I ended up making an apple dessert.  The really good farm stand apples we had bought a week ago weren’t so crisp anymore and we only had a few left.  Instead of chucking them in the bin Claire made a small apple crisp and I made an apple cake.  Everything got used, nothing was wasted, and we got a tasty dessert.  Another great way to use up extra fruit that is a little past its prime to is make and then freeze fruit desserts.  That way you don't feel like you have to eat a whole pie, crisp or cake.  Freeze individual desserts like hand pies, slices of cake, or turnovers, which means you can always have the perfect portion of dessert. Another great dessert trick is to make desserts using vegetables.  In Maine, it's much much easier to grow vegetables than fruit.  We always have too much summer squash, carrots and beets.  All of these make fabulous desserts, cakes, cupcakes, even frosting.  The best part is that all these desserts freeze great too!!!  Here's the link for our beet and seaweed cupcake recipe.

      Don’t Follow the Recipe: The last tip is that recipes should just be a guideline.  Sure for baking you should take less liberties since it is a science but everything else; change it up.  If you have more veggies then add more veggies.  If you have one ingredient but not the other substitute instead of a shopping trip.  Get creative and use what you have.  Especially these days when going to the grocery store is a scary ordeal you really don’t need that special ingredient. 

      To learn more check out the following:

       1 Million Women: Food Waste Free October

      Jamie Oliver’s Food Waste Campaign