Be it resolved that from December 1st – 31st, we will reduce our kitchen waste to zero.
How can we live and function in our culture and still be environmentally conscious? It’s a challenging question, and even just considering all of the ways our North American lifestyles aren’t very earth-friendly can be enough to cause us to dismiss the idea altogether.
After reading the book “No Impact Man” by Colin Beaven, we were inspired to start making some (admittedly small at first) changes to our consumption-heavy lifestyle. We, like most people, create a LOT of waste in our day-to-day existence. Without consciously thinking about it, it’s all too easy to just take garbage creation as a fact of North American life. While Beaven began his no impact adventures by cutting out all garbage production, we decided to start in the kitchen because a) that’s where most of our waste is produced and b) we wanted our first few steps to be manageable and successful. We’ll talk a little bit more about the bigger reasons why we want to make these changes, and our differing individual motivations in our upcoming posts.
That brings us to where we are now, as we begin!
We were already using reusable grocery shopping bags (though we were occasionally letting ourselves off the hook if we forgot them – no longer!), as well as saving our dairy containers and old ziploc bags to re-use as food storage. Our tea ball and strainers are a kitchen staple as well, and now we have a concrete reason to stick with bulk loose leaf teas. One of our major grocery store lamentations has been the plastic produce bags, which we were able to replace with the cotton ones pictured above, thanks to The Better Good. They also had all manner of other exciting organic/environmentally friendly/sustainable products that I’m sure we’ll explore over the upcoming months. We included a picture of Basil our basil plant, mostly because we love him, but also because he represents one of our kitchen goals – growing more of our own food!
Here’s our little compost bin! This is another practice we adopted over the summer which has cut down substantially on the amount of garbage that exits our kitchen.
Our first waste-free grocery excursion will be this weekend, and we’re stoked to put ourselves to the test. No packaging will be admitted into our shopping cart, which means that this weekend will also be our first bulk cooking session to round out our fridge for the week. Some of our favourites, like apple sauce, hummus, and pizza crusts are on the idealized menu, and we’re excited to develop some specialized recipes to share here.
Our hope with this blog is to document our path from a very humble beginning, to share our experience as Saskatoonites moving in a more sustainable direction, and to invite others to share their own ecologically-minded journeys.