Helpful Apps

     Technology can be a very useful tool when trying to reduce waste. It can be difficult to find your local stores that carry bulk items, or how to get the junk mail to stop piling up in your mailbox, and subsequently your recycling bin/trash can, however I have run across some really helpful apps that can assist you in navigating all of these issues. 

https://www.paperkarma.com/ –Stop unwanted mail with your phone

http://talkto.com/ – Talk to stores via text to find out what they have

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Zero+Waste+Home – Find which stores carry bulk items in your area (also available for iphone)

http://www.greeneggshopper.com/ – Manage your shopping and helps you save food from going to waste. 

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Do you Reddit?

Reddit Alien

 Over the last year or so I have found Reddit to be a great resource for ideas and help. This subreddits are not necessarily trash-free but they definitely have good tips, and plenty of people on there who can help with with whatever.

 

 

What websites do you find helpful?

Plastic Bag Ban – Poll

reusable bag

To achieve true…

To achieve true sustainability, we must reduce our ‘garbage index” – that which we permanently throw away into the environment that will not be naturally recycled for reuse – to near zero. Productive activities must be organized as closed systems. “Minerals and other non-biodegradable resources, once taken from the ground, must become a part of society’s permanent capital stock and be recycled in perpetuity. Organic materials may be disposed into the natural ecosystems, but only in ways that assure that they are absorbed back into the natural production system.”
-David Korten

Steps to Get Started

1. Shop with reusable bags. Most stores sell their own or you can use a canvas tote.

2. Use reusable mesh bags for produce
3. Use cloth diapers if you have young children.
4. If you can, find somewhere that sells milk in the glass jars. When you are done drinking the milk, you simply rinse it out and bring it back for the deposit.
5. Composting!
6. Make your own baby food.  I had a Baby Brezza that I really liked and have since gifted to a friend.
7. Try to shop at the Farmer’s Market. This way you are also helping out the local economy!
8. Store your bulk food items (pasta, grains… whatever. ) and meats and cheeses in seal-able glass jars or Tupperware. I like the glass jars personally. I like that they won’t absorb odor or stain.
9. Cleanse your home of all unnecessary and unused items. Craigslist, goodwill, and other thrift stores are a great resource for getting rid of stuff.
10. Make my own household cleaners with natural ingredients and put them in reusable containers.
11. Use actual kitchen towels instead of paper towels.
12. Get rid of the swiffer, hard to do i must admit. But use a reusable mop head! I have even know someone who just puts a towel (wet or dry) on the end of their swiffer so they don’t have to get the disposable pads.
13. Go for quality when buying things. Though it may be cheap now, it will end up in the garbage most of the time.
14. Let’s bring back the handkerchief  No more toilet paper, Kleenex or paper towels for our noses! I use a birdseye cloth diaper that has been cut in half. (never used as an actual diaper of course)
Remember that it is one step at a time. As with anything, if you make too many changes at once it won’t stick. So go slow and be proud for the changes you do make no matter how small.

Reviving Old or Broken Crayons

Still not sure what to do with the
Crayon paper. Ideas?

I stumbled upon this while browsing the Internet and I thought it was a great idea that combined the idea of the Crayon Rocks I talked about a while back with repurposing old, broken crayons. So I decided to do this with my son’s old crayons which were stored in a jar and actually pose a choking hazard to my 11 month old daughter so he doesn’t get to play with them very often.

place crayons of complimenting colors
together in the muffin tin.

 

     First I had to remove all the paper off the little stumps of crayons which wasn’t fun and I am still trying to figure out what I can do with the little bits of shredded crayon paper. If anyone knows if it is compostable or recyclable please let me know!

Anyway, after all the paper was removed, I took out a muffin tin and put the crayon bits in the compartments of the tin by complimenting colors. The last compartment was just whatever was left over. Then, I put the muffin tin in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Right out of the oven. This color I did not swirl together.
I thought it looked good like this.

When I took them out of the oven, I swirled some of them with the end of a fork and some I just left the way they were for variety’s sake. Then I put it in the freezer, muffin tin and all until the was was solid again and I popped them out and Ta-Da! I call themcrayon circles! (for the sake of my son needing a label because he insisted they weren’t just “Crayons”)

The finished product!
So easy and we saved a bunch of old crayon chunks
that would have otherwise gone in the garbage.
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