Looking For Inspiration?

My writing mojo has taken a hit this week. I have to be in the right frame of mind to write. My thoughts have been elsewhere. This is not something I’m proud of. I feel I should be able to write-through whatever life’s throws at me, but I can’t.

So, looking for inspiration I put out a call to action on Facebook. To which Shelley kindly responded. It was suggested I post about saving on electricity by line drying etc…

Well…

I do line dry, but I don’t think I could write an entire post about it. However Shelleys’ much-needed suggestion made me think.

What is it that we do each day that makes a difference, not only to our wallet, but to reduce waste of resources?

It’s the classical win-win situation. Okay, so maybe the retailers and manufacturers don’t win, but my opinion is that there are way too many of them anyway! Brace yourself… there’s a controversial statement for an aspiring frugalista coming… but my ideal would be to produce and consume less generally and if that increases price, so be it. Maybe more people would buy what they need or truly desire rather than making reckless purchases (that tend to accompany low-pricing). These purchases impact on not only personal finances long-term, but so many other factors also.

Living a simple life is a frame of mind, it encompasses many things. It isn’t the same experience for all. There are degrees of simplicity and minimalism, of which frugality is just one facet. For me frugality isn’t the prime-motivator. It’s a very welcomed by-product of other changes I’ve made. After all, for me it isn’t all about the money.

One area I really want to work on is the amount of general (non-food) waste I produce, though I doubt I’ll be able to achieve what’s going on at Zero Waste Home (way to go over there!). For example, I know that by packing lunches in reusable containers I can reduce waste. This also means I can reduce time dealing with packaging waste as well as benefiting from significant cost benefits from not buying individually packaged convenience servings. I know Donna over at GRS is a fan of brown-bagging also.

But what else could I be doing?

I line dry, pack lunches, meal plan and have reduced our grocery spend. We turn lights off, wear a jumper instead of cranking up the heating and try to walk whenever possible rather than drive.

And of course I avoid reckless purchases by conscious spending.

But what else could I, could we all be doing?

I’m a huge believer that once you’ve covered the big stuff, that it’s the small, seemingly insignificant changes that make the difference day-in day-out, going forward.

One of my small changes is that I make my “coffee to go” at home, and I top up our water bottles before leaving the house. I know I’m not the only one. The Frugal Girl isn’t down with bottled water either.

I’ve been doing some reading to inspire me to push it further. Rachel, The Minimalist Mom kindly provided a great reading list yesterday, and ex-consumer Jenny has listed how some of her readers (me included) are doing it all over the world.

The floor is open – Please inspire us all!

{ 62 comments… add one }
  • Danielle May 23, 2012, 12:11 pm

    I actually think your view on frugality is actually quite frugal. Better to spend a more up front to buy what you really need rather than multiple not quite right but less expensive items. I remember reading an article about the man who saved all his trash for a year (this strategy seems to be perfected at zero-waste home) and his comment that the vast majority of his waste was from the packaging of his food. We are big consumers of yogurt in my house, which creates a great deal of empty plastic yogurt containers. Apparently yogurt containers aren’t recycled everywhere either. I am thinking about making our own, yet I hesitate to buy a yogurt maker and add another appliance to my kitchen – which goes against my attempts at minimalism.

    • EcoCatLady May 23, 2012, 8:23 pm

      You don’t need any special appliances (other than a thermometer) to make yogurt – you just need to scald the milk by heating it to 185 F (some people say this step is not necessary, but I haven’t had good luck when I don’t scald it first) then cool it to around 110 F, then add a spoonful of active culture yogurt (any plain yogurt – if you make it regularly, you just use a spoonful from your last batch), then keep it around 110 F for around 8 hours.

      All the yogurt appliances do is keep it warm for you – but there are lots of ways to keep it warm. Some people use a heating pad or a crock pot – I got the best results by submerging my jars in a cooler filled with warm water. I just put them in the cooler, close the lid and put it in a warm place.

      Good Luck!

      • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:03 am

        I’ve never made home-made yoghurt, but I read The Frugal Girl daily, and she talks about it a lot! It’s one of those things I’ve been resisting, but know at some point I need to get with it…
        As for appliances, I wouldn’t buy anything and try Cat’s method. I’d never buy a bread machine, there’s no need, so I reckon it’s probably the same for most things. For example I’m planning on making ice-cream this summer, and again it’ll be done by hand.

      • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:07 am

        Cheers Cat – reckon you may just have given me a much-needed nudge to give it a go! I know where to come should I want added spinach!

      • Danielle May 24, 2012, 12:36 pm

        Great! Thanks Cat for the instructions. I think I’m going to give it a try next week! Looking forward to learning more about your upcoming experiment on dealing with excess food packaging Jo.

        • Danielle May 24, 2012, 12:53 pm

          Sarah – I have heard that adding a little skim milk powder helps with runny yogurt. Jo – let me know when you are going to give it a try – we can compare results/outcomes! I’ll have to try the homemade ice cream this summer too – sounds like a delicious idea.

        • simplybeingmum May 25, 2012, 10:38 am

          Hey Danielle – I’m going to give it a try next week… looking forward to comparing! 🙂

        • EcoCatLady May 25, 2012, 7:49 pm

          I’m not sure where in the string this comment will end up – I was getting a bit confused with the nested stuff… anyhow, I’m writing in response to runny yogurt.

          I had the best luck when I used whole milk. Using 2% or less generally led to runny yogurt. I have heard that adding some powder helps, but that it should be the non-instant variety of powder. The other thing that is supposed to help is instead of just heating the milk to 185 and then cooling it promptly when you scald it, keep it at 185 for 20 minutes or so. I haven’t tried either of those last two, but they did come from reputable sources.

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:06 am

      Danielle – the food packaging is something that is weighing heavier on my mind each week. I spend such a lot of time dealing with it – it seems disproportionate. I have a little experiment up my sleeve, which has been on the backburner. Might be time to take another look! ps check out Cat’s reply ref yoghurt – I reckon it’s saucepan job! If you will – I will! How about that eh? Never done it before and slightly lacking in confidence. Need to know how to flavour it – although may just go with natural and then add in fruit.

      • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 24, 2012, 11:12 am

        Totally agree Jo, for us too it’s not about the money (to quote Jessie J!), but thinking about the bigger planetary picture too. Ironically Husband and I always talk about all the thrifty things we could do if we had more money (install solar panels, get a super duper condensing eco boiler). Meanwhile we continue with the micro frugal things like rinsing out cereal packets for reuse, and knitting our own yogurt! (My only advice after a couple of very runny homemade yogurt incidents is that the thermometer is crucial…I have yet to get one!)

        • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 11:31 am

          Didn’t know it was called ‘knitting’ when you make yoghurt. It’s getting more and more alluring by the minutes. that’s it, gonna go for it. Need to get a thermometer though…unless I can find the one I had when kids were tiny. Very likely that’s been re-homed or sold though! Question – how do i store it in the fridge? Do you use jars (I’ve been keeping jars from other stuff – as I am making chutney etc later in the year)? then pour into a bowl to serve?

        • EcoCatLady May 25, 2012, 7:50 pm

          Sarah, I got totally confused about where to post… but see my comments above about runny yogurt.
          🙂
          Cat

  • Danielle May 23, 2012, 12:11 pm

    I actually think your view on frugality is actually quite frugal. Better to spend a more up front to buy what you really need rather than multiple not quite right but less expensive items. I remember reading an article about the man who saved all his trash for a year (this strategy seems to be perfected at zero-waste home) and his comment that the vast majority of his waste was from the packaging of his food. We are big consumers of yogurt in my house, which creates a great deal of empty plastic yogurt containers. Apparently yogurt containers aren’t recycled everywhere either. I am thinking about making our own, yet I hesitate to buy a yogurt maker and add another appliance to my kitchen – which goes against my attempts at minimalism.

    • EcoCatLady May 23, 2012, 8:23 pm

      You don’t need any special appliances (other than a thermometer) to make yogurt – you just need to scald the milk by heating it to 185 F (some people say this step is not necessary, but I haven’t had good luck when I don’t scald it first) then cool it to around 110 F, then add a spoonful of active culture yogurt (any plain yogurt – if you make it regularly, you just use a spoonful from your last batch), then keep it around 110 F for around 8 hours.

      All the yogurt appliances do is keep it warm for you – but there are lots of ways to keep it warm. Some people use a heating pad or a crock pot – I got the best results by submerging my jars in a cooler filled with warm water. I just put them in the cooler, close the lid and put it in a warm place.

      Good Luck!

      • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:03 am

        I’ve never made home-made yoghurt, but I read The Frugal Girl daily, and she talks about it a lot! It’s one of those things I’ve been resisting, but know at some point I need to get with it…
        As for appliances, I wouldn’t buy anything and try Cat’s method. I’d never buy a bread machine, there’s no need, so I reckon it’s probably the same for most things. For example I’m planning on making ice-cream this summer, and again it’ll be done by hand.

      • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:07 am

        Cheers Cat – reckon you may just have given me a much-needed nudge to give it a go! I know where to come should I want added spinach!

      • Danielle May 24, 2012, 12:36 pm

        Great! Thanks Cat for the instructions. I think I’m going to give it a try next week! Looking forward to learning more about your upcoming experiment on dealing with excess food packaging Jo.

        • Danielle May 24, 2012, 12:53 pm

          Sarah – I have heard that adding a little skim milk powder helps with runny yogurt. Jo – let me know when you are going to give it a try – we can compare results/outcomes! I’ll have to try the homemade ice cream this summer too – sounds like a delicious idea.

        • simplybeingmum May 25, 2012, 10:38 am

          Hey Danielle – I’m going to give it a try next week… looking forward to comparing! 🙂

        • EcoCatLady May 25, 2012, 7:49 pm

          I’m not sure where in the string this comment will end up – I was getting a bit confused with the nested stuff… anyhow, I’m writing in response to runny yogurt.

          I had the best luck when I used whole milk. Using 2% or less generally led to runny yogurt. I have heard that adding some powder helps, but that it should be the non-instant variety of powder. The other thing that is supposed to help is instead of just heating the milk to 185 and then cooling it promptly when you scald it, keep it at 185 for 20 minutes or so. I haven’t tried either of those last two, but they did come from reputable sources.

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:06 am

      Danielle – the food packaging is something that is weighing heavier on my mind each week. I spend such a lot of time dealing with it – it seems disproportionate. I have a little experiment up my sleeve, which has been on the backburner. Might be time to take another look! ps check out Cat’s reply ref yoghurt – I reckon it’s saucepan job! If you will – I will! How about that eh? Never done it before and slightly lacking in confidence. Need to know how to flavour it – although may just go with natural and then add in fruit.

      • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 24, 2012, 11:12 am

        Totally agree Jo, for us too it’s not about the money (to quote Jessie J!), but thinking about the bigger planetary picture too. Ironically Husband and I always talk about all the thrifty things we could do if we had more money (install solar panels, get a super duper condensing eco boiler). Meanwhile we continue with the micro frugal things like rinsing out cereal packets for reuse, and knitting our own yogurt! (My only advice after a couple of very runny homemade yogurt incidents is that the thermometer is crucial…I have yet to get one!)

        • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 11:31 am

          Didn’t know it was called ‘knitting’ when you make yoghurt. It’s getting more and more alluring by the minutes. that’s it, gonna go for it. Need to get a thermometer though…unless I can find the one I had when kids were tiny. Very likely that’s been re-homed or sold though! Question – how do i store it in the fridge? Do you use jars (I’ve been keeping jars from other stuff – as I am making chutney etc later in the year)? then pour into a bowl to serve?

        • EcoCatLady May 25, 2012, 7:50 pm

          Sarah, I got totally confused about where to post… but see my comments above about runny yogurt.
          🙂
          Cat

  • Apple May 23, 2012, 1:01 pm

    We are trying hard to be zero waste, unfortunately it is hard to find shops here on the Green Isle which sell cereals, rice etc as bulk, without packaging. When shopping I use my own bags, for fruit and veg I take along my own flip&tumble bags.
    The kids (on their own accord!) stopped asking for a happy meal on the rare occasions when we go to McDonald’s, as they do not want the crappy toys that’d end up in the bin anyway.
    Also, in my DS2s class, all of us mums agreed no presents or small specific presents for birthday parties, and we host joint birthdays for the kids. ( ie 2-3 kids who are born in the same month have a joint b’day do)
    I don’t and have never sent our bedsheets or my husband’s shirts out to get washed and ironed.
    I use bicarbonate soda, lemon and vinegar to do clean.
    I buy very few clothes and shoes, but they tend to be of good quality (and expensive). I have dresses and coats that I have been wearing for over 10 years, still looking great! 🙂
    The vast majority of things we have are things that we regularly use.

    No earth-shattering things, but still…

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:10 am

      Laura – you are a great example of someone who is living it! Hat’s off!
      I’d love a ‘weigh out’ type store nearby. But alas nothing apart from pick and mix shops. There must be a market here for some grocer. I reckon the Big Boys need to take it on and integrate a section into their stores, they could do it logistically. For an independent it would be a difficult business model I reckon. Absolutely love what the school Mom’s are doing. Fantastic. What wonderful memories also. Way to go Laura!

      • Apple May 24, 2012, 11:35 am

        Thanks Jo. 🙂
        Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the ‘Big Boys’ sold their own brand of cornflakes, rice etc by weight? Should we start a campaign? I am serious. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead) 🙂

  • Apple May 23, 2012, 1:01 pm

    We are trying hard to be zero waste, unfortunately it is hard to find shops here on the Green Isle which sell cereals, rice etc as bulk, without packaging. When shopping I use my own bags, for fruit and veg I take along my own flip&tumble bags.
    The kids (on their own accord!) stopped asking for a happy meal on the rare occasions when we go to McDonald’s, as they do not want the crappy toys that’d end up in the bin anyway.
    Also, in my DS2s class, all of us mums agreed no presents or small specific presents for birthday parties, and we host joint birthdays for the kids. ( ie 2-3 kids who are born in the same month have a joint b’day do)
    I don’t and have never sent our bedsheets or my husband’s shirts out to get washed and ironed.
    I use bicarbonate soda, lemon and vinegar to do clean.
    I buy very few clothes and shoes, but they tend to be of good quality (and expensive). I have dresses and coats that I have been wearing for over 10 years, still looking great! 🙂
    The vast majority of things we have are things that we regularly use.

    No earth-shattering things, but still…

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:10 am

      Laura – you are a great example of someone who is living it! Hat’s off!
      I’d love a ‘weigh out’ type store nearby. But alas nothing apart from pick and mix shops. There must be a market here for some grocer. I reckon the Big Boys need to take it on and integrate a section into their stores, they could do it logistically. For an independent it would be a difficult business model I reckon. Absolutely love what the school Mom’s are doing. Fantastic. What wonderful memories also. Way to go Laura!

      • Apple May 24, 2012, 11:35 am

        Thanks Jo. 🙂
        Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the ‘Big Boys’ sold their own brand of cornflakes, rice etc by weight? Should we start a campaign? I am serious. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead) 🙂

  • joanna May 23, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Unfortunately our most wasteful activity is the one we least want to give up but also the one that makes the most negative environmental impact — travel. Crossing the pond or going halfway across the country leaves a huge carbon footprint and typically costs a lot of money. We try to reduce our impact by packing few clothes and doing laundry, buying groceries and picnicking instead of going to restaurants, and taking trains instead of flying or driving whenever possible. We don’t feel great about it, but at the same time we feel it’s important to see the world to understand the impact our actions have on others.

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:13 am

      Hi Joanna – Travel is a biggie for us also. I’d love to do more and yes that may sound hypocritical, but it’s not about going without completely but focusing on what is important – of which I’d say travel is top of the list when it comes to non-essentials we pay for. Like you, once there, it isn’t a major splurge and a “well we’re on holiday” mindset, conscious spending and actions are still at work.

  • joanna May 23, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Unfortunately our most wasteful activity is the one we least want to give up but also the one that makes the most negative environmental impact — travel. Crossing the pond or going halfway across the country leaves a huge carbon footprint and typically costs a lot of money. We try to reduce our impact by packing few clothes and doing laundry, buying groceries and picnicking instead of going to restaurants, and taking trains instead of flying or driving whenever possible. We don’t feel great about it, but at the same time we feel it’s important to see the world to understand the impact our actions have on others.

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:13 am

      Hi Joanna – Travel is a biggie for us also. I’d love to do more and yes that may sound hypocritical, but it’s not about going without completely but focusing on what is important – of which I’d say travel is top of the list when it comes to non-essentials we pay for. Like you, once there, it isn’t a major splurge and a “well we’re on holiday” mindset, conscious spending and actions are still at work.

  • anexactinglife May 23, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Sorry for the self-promotion, but I posted on this last month: http://wp.me/p25oSj-f3

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:14 am

      Great post – have been over and “liked” it! Self-promote away ;-)! It’s all about sharing information here!

  • anexactinglife May 23, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Sorry for the self-promotion, but I posted on this last month: http://wp.me/p25oSj-f3

    • simplybeingmum May 24, 2012, 10:14 am

      Great post – have been over and “liked” it! Self-promote away ;-)! It’s all about sharing information here!

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer May 25, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Hi Jo! We’ve been really trying to cut down on our a/c usage. Our house gets really hot in the late afternoon, so I’ve been turning on the a/c for a few hours just to take the edge off. If I don’t run it at all the kid’s bedrooms are so hot they can’t sleep at night. We have train tracks near our home too, so we can’t leave the kid’s windows open at night because the trains keep them up!

    The other thing we’re pretty good at is finding free ways to entertain ourselves. When the weather is nice, a trip to the park or bike ride and a picnic are fun. If the weather isn’t cooperating, we hit up our library and pick up books, music and movies. 🙂

    I had a really great and unique idea for you the other night, but I can NOT remember what it is! Grrr. I’ll keep thinking and report back if I remember!

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:17 pm

      A/C what’s that 😉 Move to the UK Jenny, it’ll be redundant pretty quickly!
      To coin a phrase ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ Thanks Janet and Luther! Nowt better than a sunny day with the Kids outside… That’s what we are doing today. Bikes out and pizza in the garden!
      As for the library, with you on that also… we do it on a set day, and the Kids love it, it’s as good as any treat.
      Get your thinking cap on – I’m intrigued! Have a fab weekend!

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer May 25, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Hi Jo! We’ve been really trying to cut down on our a/c usage. Our house gets really hot in the late afternoon, so I’ve been turning on the a/c for a few hours just to take the edge off. If I don’t run it at all the kid’s bedrooms are so hot they can’t sleep at night. We have train tracks near our home too, so we can’t leave the kid’s windows open at night because the trains keep them up!

    The other thing we’re pretty good at is finding free ways to entertain ourselves. When the weather is nice, a trip to the park or bike ride and a picnic are fun. If the weather isn’t cooperating, we hit up our library and pick up books, music and movies. 🙂

    I had a really great and unique idea for you the other night, but I can NOT remember what it is! Grrr. I’ll keep thinking and report back if I remember!

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:17 pm

      A/C what’s that 😉 Move to the UK Jenny, it’ll be redundant pretty quickly!
      To coin a phrase ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ Thanks Janet and Luther! Nowt better than a sunny day with the Kids outside… That’s what we are doing today. Bikes out and pizza in the garden!
      As for the library, with you on that also… we do it on a set day, and the Kids love it, it’s as good as any treat.
      Get your thinking cap on – I’m intrigued! Have a fab weekend!

  • Amy May 25, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Go for it with the yogurt making – it’s a lot cheaper than buying and certainly cuts down waste especially if you already have containers. I use screw top plastic containers to grow and store my yogurt – I already had them (originally came with peaches in). Anything with a good seal will work great. Have been using The Frugal Girl’s recipe the past 6 months or so and have found it great except that to get the thick consistency I like I needed to leave the containers in the cooler a few extra hours. It doesn’t do any harm. I tend to do the stove top stuff in the morning first thing when I making breakfast as I’m in there anyway then put the containers in the cooler and set a reminder for when I get back from the school run. In the fridge for a few hours and viola!

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Thanks Amy for the encouragement. I know Kristen is the yoghurt and braed guru – so I’ll check out her recipe once more. I did look for it, but there are a lot of posts mentioning yoghurt that I struggled to find it yesterday. Will try again.

  • Amy May 25, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Go for it with the yogurt making – it’s a lot cheaper than buying and certainly cuts down waste especially if you already have containers. I use screw top plastic containers to grow and store my yogurt – I already had them (originally came with peaches in). Anything with a good seal will work great. Have been using The Frugal Girl’s recipe the past 6 months or so and have found it great except that to get the thick consistency I like I needed to leave the containers in the cooler a few extra hours. It doesn’t do any harm. I tend to do the stove top stuff in the morning first thing when I making breakfast as I’m in there anyway then put the containers in the cooler and set a reminder for when I get back from the school run. In the fridge for a few hours and viola!

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Thanks Amy for the encouragement. I know Kristen is the yoghurt and braed guru – so I’ll check out her recipe once more. I did look for it, but there are a lot of posts mentioning yoghurt that I struggled to find it yesterday. Will try again.

  • Amy May 25, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Oh I also line dry – actually use a couple of clothes horses on a balcony (or indoors if it’s raining) mainly and the shower rail in long bouts of rain. I don’t own a dryer. I use cloth nappies with my 2 and try to make all our own bread and buy food in bulk. I use hessian shopping bags and make do or mend as much as possible. I’ve deliberately spent extra to get very efficient low energy appliances – fridge, washing machine and Tv. The Tv also turns off after a few minutes if people leave the room which is nice. I want to work on further cutting down our reliance on packaged foods as it’s a our biggest wastage right now. We do recycle though most of it. I also can’t wait until we’re able to buy a house and have a little garden to start growing some food 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:20 pm

      That garden sounds perfect! Good luck on your quest. Sounds like you are doing a lot to reduce waste generally. I too have the packaging problem, but it’s a tough one…

  • Amy May 25, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Oh I also line dry – actually use a couple of clothes horses on a balcony (or indoors if it’s raining) mainly and the shower rail in long bouts of rain. I don’t own a dryer. I use cloth nappies with my 2 and try to make all our own bread and buy food in bulk. I use hessian shopping bags and make do or mend as much as possible. I’ve deliberately spent extra to get very efficient low energy appliances – fridge, washing machine and Tv. The Tv also turns off after a few minutes if people leave the room which is nice. I want to work on further cutting down our reliance on packaged foods as it’s a our biggest wastage right now. We do recycle though most of it. I also can’t wait until we’re able to buy a house and have a little garden to start growing some food 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:20 pm

      That garden sounds perfect! Good luck on your quest. Sounds like you are doing a lot to reduce waste generally. I too have the packaging problem, but it’s a tough one…

  • WilliamB May 25, 2012, 5:31 pm

    I don’t insist on absolutely no waste. [WilliamB gives Jo’s readers time to recover from their faints.] Specifically, I don’t insist that the produce I buy is in perfect condition. See, grocery stores don’t pick out rotten berries and keep the rest, they throw out the entire box. Boo! So I buy the box, or don’t complain if I find one or two later, and thereby do NOT cause the store to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

    I sometimes hit farmers’ markets toward closing, and make an offer for “seconds,” the less than perfect produce that is hard to sell. I’m fine cutting away bad parts and for some uses – such as applesauce – funny looking fruit or small bad parts make no difference at all. I get a good deal, the farmer sells a bit more food, the farmer doesn’t have to haul away the discards.

    I used to gather food trash from the local farmer’s market for my compost pile, but the circumstances that made that possible no longer apply.

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:29 pm

      I had to go and have a cup of tea before responding…what ‘absolutely no-waste’?;-).
      Is it a little strange that I can now see you as ‘no-waste man’ clad in a superhero costume coming to the rescue of potentially discarded produce? (Seriously – I think it’s great you are prepared to do that extra bit for what you believe in…)
      ps – we had a show over in the UK in the 80’s that was well known for it’s funny looking fruit and veg slot!
      http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoafYboN.html

  • WilliamB May 25, 2012, 5:31 pm

    I don’t insist on absolutely no waste. [WilliamB gives Jo’s readers time to recover from their faints.] Specifically, I don’t insist that the produce I buy is in perfect condition. See, grocery stores don’t pick out rotten berries and keep the rest, they throw out the entire box. Boo! So I buy the box, or don’t complain if I find one or two later, and thereby do NOT cause the store to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

    I sometimes hit farmers’ markets toward closing, and make an offer for “seconds,” the less than perfect produce that is hard to sell. I’m fine cutting away bad parts and for some uses – such as applesauce – funny looking fruit or small bad parts make no difference at all. I get a good deal, the farmer sells a bit more food, the farmer doesn’t have to haul away the discards.

    I used to gather food trash from the local farmer’s market for my compost pile, but the circumstances that made that possible no longer apply.

    • simplybeingmum May 26, 2012, 12:29 pm

      I had to go and have a cup of tea before responding…what ‘absolutely no-waste’?;-).
      Is it a little strange that I can now see you as ‘no-waste man’ clad in a superhero costume coming to the rescue of potentially discarded produce? (Seriously – I think it’s great you are prepared to do that extra bit for what you believe in…)
      ps – we had a show over in the UK in the 80’s that was well known for it’s funny looking fruit and veg slot!
      http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoafYboN.html

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 28, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Just in case anyone’s still reading this epic comment thread…thanks for all the tips for making my runny yogurt more like a food and less like a drink! I am inspired to try again! (And Jo, I think ‘knit your own yogurt’ is a tongue in cheek term (not created by me I hasten to add), along the lines of ‘bearded, sandal wearing, lentil-eating hippy’ sort of thing ! 🙂

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 28, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Just in case anyone’s still reading this epic comment thread…thanks for all the tips for making my runny yogurt more like a food and less like a drink! I am inspired to try again! (And Jo, I think ‘knit your own yogurt’ is a tongue in cheek term (not created by me I hasten to add), along the lines of ‘bearded, sandal wearing, lentil-eating hippy’ sort of thing ! 🙂

  • Panama June 9, 2012, 5:30 am

    the Zero Waste Education Program will be touring to regional elementary and high schools. Students will learn ‘beyond the bin’ where their waste ends up, conduct waste audits, and enter the zero waste reduction challenge. This blog will follow the program and track results of the zero waste challenge. The Zero Waste Eduction Program is an action initiative of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan. The goal of this plan is to reduce the regions per capita solid waste by 67%.

  • Panama June 9, 2012, 5:30 am

    the Zero Waste Education Program will be touring to regional elementary and high schools. Students will learn ‘beyond the bin’ where their waste ends up, conduct waste audits, and enter the zero waste reduction challenge. This blog will follow the program and track results of the zero waste challenge. The Zero Waste Eduction Program is an action initiative of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan. The goal of this plan is to reduce the regions per capita solid waste by 67%.

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