Mar 22, 2017

Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop 3/22/16

Blog Hop Zero waste plastic free less waste sustainable

A blog party focused on environmentally friendly practices: zero waste, recycling, gardening, homesteading, sustainability, living plastic free and upcycling.  It is live Wednesday at 12:00 am CST through Friday at 11:55 pm CST. 

The Host:

Katy writes at SkipTheBag about her experiences trying to minimize waste, avoiding plastic and homesteading with her garden and chickens. If you love her posts you can follow her here:





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Not sure what a blog hop is? Click here

The Rules:

  • Link up to 3 original blog posts relating to environmentally friendly practices. Posts can be zero waste, living plastic free, sustainability, less waste recipes, homesteading, upcycling or anything else to do with helping out the environment.
  • No links to stores or link parties. Giveaways are OK as long as they are accompanied with a post.
  • Please visit your fellow bloggers: they care about the environment just like you!
  • In addition to featuring the most visited blog, the "most social" person will be featured. It's hard to track, but use the hashtag #WasteLessWednesday when commenting on people's blogs and sharing posts on social media to qualify.
  • Posts will show in a random order.
  • By participating you give permission for any part of your post, including pictures, to be used for party promotion. Don't worry all credit will be given to the original source. You will also receive a weekly email reminder for Waste Less Wednesday. 

Features from Last Week:

Most social:

Link Up Below!


Mar 20, 2017

How To Do A Trash Audit


The average person creates 4.3 pounds of trash per day. That translates to 30 pounds a week and over a 1500 pounds of trash per year. The unfortunate part is that two-thirds of what is put in the trash can, like food, could be composted.

Are you doing better or worse than average? The best way to find out is by doing a trash audit.

What is a trash audit?

A trash audit is where you examine the trash you have created over a given period of time. It can be done daily, weekly or monthly. The contents are recorded, analyzed and weighed. The weighing is optional, but it can help you keep track objectively and see how you compare to the average of 4 pounds. 

Once you know what you are throwing away you analyze it to see if there are improvements that can be made. Are you throwing away recyclables or food that should be going to the compost pile?

Remember to include all trash cans, from the kitchen, bathroom, offices and other rooms of the house. Also if you want to be really thorough be sure to include trash from outside the home like while shopping, dining out, or working. Including trash outside of the kitchen can sometimes be more enlightening. For example I realized that I would recycle quite a bit in the kitchen, but was not recycling plastic bottles I used in the bathroom.

What to ask while analyzing the trash:


  • Can you recycle it? Check with your local recycling agency to see what they recycle. The contents vary by location. 
  • Can you compost it? If it is a food or paper product it can probably be composted. Some lucky areas have commercial composting facilities, but most of the time this means starting your own compost pile.
  • Can you get it with less packaging? Shopping at other locations may provide you with alternatives that have less waste.
  • Can you get it with recyclable packaging? Glass and metal are always best. Then comes paper, then plastic, then non-recyclable items. It's a little counter intuitive, but getting milk in a plastic container rather than those paper tetrapak containers might be a better option as recycling facilities for the tetrapak are less common. And remember plastic can pretty much just be downcycled
  • Can you make your own? Are you finding lots of packaging from processed food? Start making your own. Sometimes you'll find it is so easy to just make your own you'll wonder why you ever bought it in the first place. Or maybe your trash is filled with health and beauty products. You can find homemade alternatives to just about every makeup or beauty product. 
  • Can you get a reusable version? Are you finding that you dispose of a lot of a specific kind of product like straws or napkins? Purchase reusable ones that can be washed and used over and over.
  • Do you need that product at all? This probably should be the first question, but most people's gut reaction is "yes." So after analyzing the packaging you may be more willing to say "no." 

After analyzing the trash start to make some changes and implement those alternatives you found. Then repeat the audit after a few months to see how much things have changed and if there are any other changes you can make.

If you want to take things a step further than you can do a recycle audit. It works very similarly to the trash audit, but this time you analyze what you send to the recycle bin and see if you can find any package free alternatives there.

Have you done a trash audit? What did you find?


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Mar 17, 2017

The Aha Moment of Zero Waste


Parking lots aren't usually the location for aha moments. You expect them in classrooms or presentations or during conversations, not while walking into the grocery store.

I think everyone who starts living a zero waste lifestyle has an aha moment. The point in time when the veil starts to be lifted and their eyes are opened to the amount of trash that is created personally and by society as a whole.

Mine started in the parking lot walking into the grocery store. I was passing cart after cart filled with groceries and plastic bags. As I entered the store I saw a row of cash registers filled with hundreds of plastic bags and people accepting them without thought. Now I'm sure this is a common sight throughout the US and the world, but for me it was a rude awakening. I was no longer in Hawaii!

Leaving Hawaii I experienced all sorts of culture shock. There was so much space, so few people, cold weather, inexpensive food, and plastic bags. The plastic bags was one I could do something about. While I was living in Hawaii Oahu pass its plastic bag ban. Each island had passed a plastic bag ban effectively making Hawaii the first state to ban plastic bags. By the time I moved back to Florida it had been 6 months since the law went into affect and a year since I basically had given up plastic bags.

So suddenly being surrounded by something I had barely seen for the past year was shocking to my system. I started researching about plastic bags and their impact.I found out that plastic bag bans are illegal in Florida so if something was going to change, it was going to be on the personal level. I then started reading about how all plastic has environmental and health impacts, so I wanted to reduce the amount of plastic our household consumed. That then lead me to the zero waste movement where the goal is to reduce all waste whether it is plastic, recyclable or compostable.

I think my path is similar to that which most people go on. They are busy living their lives when BAM! Suddenly they are confronted with something that doesn't jive with them. Maybe it's being introduced first hand to the ill effects of all the packaging or maybe they see someone doing something radical which opens their eyes.

Either way they start looking at how they do things and seek for options that produce less waste. They have their aha moment and are motivated to change.

What was your ah-ha moment?


Shared on Home MattersPretty PintasticShare The WealthHealthy Happy Green NaturalHomesteader HopHomestead HopWaste Less Wednesday

Mar 15, 2017

Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop 3/15/17

Blog Hop Zero waste plastic free less waste sustainable

A blog party focused on environmentally friendly practices: zero waste, recycling, gardening, homesteading, sustainability, living plastic free and upcycling.  It is live Wednesday at 12:00 am CST through Friday at 11:55 pm CST. 

The Host:

Katy writes at SkipTheBag about her experiences trying to minimize waste, avoiding plastic and homesteading with her garden and chickens. If you love her posts you can follow her here:





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Not sure what a blog hop is? Click here

The Rules:

  • Link up to 3 original blog posts relating to environmentally friendly practices. Posts can be zero waste, living plastic free, sustainability, less waste recipes, homesteading, upcycling or anything else to do with helping out the environment.
  • No links to stores or link parties. Giveaways are OK as long as they are accompanied with a post.
  • Please visit your fellow bloggers: they care about the environment just like you!
  • In addition to featuring the most visited blog, the "most social" person will be featured. It's hard to track, but use the hashtag #WasteLessWednesday when commenting on people's blogs and sharing posts on social media to qualify.
  • Posts will show in a random order.
  • By participating you give permission for any part of your post, including pictures, to be used for party promotion. Don't worry all credit will be given to the original source. You will also receive a weekly email reminder for Waste Less Wednesday. 

Features from Last Week:

Most social:


Link Up Below!

Mar 13, 2017

New Year Green Resolutions - 1st Quarter Update



Less that 10% of people feel they are successful at keeping their new years resolutions. That's not overly surprising. Most people aren't making clear goals or keeping it simple (remember the KISS principle?)

Well 2017 is almost a quarter of the way gone. How have I been doing on my 2017 Green Resolutions?

1. Get reusable napkins

Success! My sister-in-law got me a set of napkins for Christmas. (I didn't get them until she visited for New Years, so don't worry, I didn't cheat with this resolution). She got us a set of 6. Three matching pairs with them all having the same pattern. It's awesome because any of them really 'go' with all of the rest.

In related news I think Hubby and I just finished up the last of our paper towels. We would have been done months ago, but some friends stayed at our house and bought some paper towels as a replacement/thank you. We have some rags around the house, but I'm guessing we may need to pick up some more towels or rags to fill the gap that paper towels had been filling.


2. Pack my lunch at least twice per week.

Success! I'm glad I set the bar pretty low on this. I have for sure averaged more than twice per week and I think I still meet it by the strict definition of bringing it twice per week. I have probably saved 30 styrofoam containers and forks from the landfill since making that decision so far. It's not always easy, but I usually have time to at least make a sandwich before heading off to work in the morning.

3. Shop at the bulk store at least once per quarter.
Success! I have gone once in the quarter. It was a great trip and I was able to iron out my bulk food shopping tips, so it was really easy. We've also got fruits and veggies from the large store that sells them mostly package free. So I'm definitely doing more than I was, but could always do more.


4. Purchase reusable menstrual products

Fail! This is still on my radar and something I want to start doing soon. I'm totally in the preparation phase. So if you have a product recommendation, that might just be what I need to be spurred into the action phase.


5. Make a food product each month

Success! I could have never told you that I would make soft pretzels, no-bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies or roasted red pepper baba ganoush. But I did and and I would love to make them again...especially those cookies. I'm excited to see what I make the rest of the year.

So how are your resolutions coming? Are you in the 10% that is still on board with them?



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