Garbage-Free Update

I am officially one week into Garbage-Free February. I have produced more trash than hoped, but I have a good excuse. Jupiter gutted a toy filled with synthetic stuffing. Without the toy guts, I am below probably half a jar of waste, and I’d say that’s a good start!IMG_4617
Here is my landfill bound waste so far:
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Here is my worm compost bound waste (beware, dog poop photos follow):


We freeze our organic waste before it goes to the worms to kill of any fruit fly eggs that might be present. Since we keep out worm bins indoors we need to be careful of pests!

Interestingly, I didn’t actually produce very much recycling this week. I produced so little that I forgot to put out my recycling bin out for pick up this morning! I think that speaks to the fact that being more aware of what I am purchasing is reducing my consumption and waste overall, not just landfill bound waste.

I’ve also used this opportunity to make more things for myself. It is a fun learning process, with some yummy results.

I have a batch of chocolate brownie granola bars (thanks Minimalist Baker!) and a batch of apple cinnamon nut-free granola bars (improvised recipe by yours truly) in the fridge. Both are simple vegan recipes and delicious!


I find myself craving salty things like chips, crackers, and cheese that usually come in wrappers and film plastic, so I made some vegan cheez its (again thanks to a Minimalist Baker recipe!)  It has been a challenge not to eat these babies all at once. Nutritional yeast and garlic create a very satisfying cheese favor.

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And lastly, but certainly not least, I have begun my first adventure in fermentation! I am trying to make my own yogurt. On an impulse I bought some fancy yogurt starter and am now hoping I haven’t killed my expensive bacteria. I am nearly certain my first attempt won’t set because I impatiently stirred it prematurely, but hopefully I didn’t overheat it, so the bacteria survived and my second try will turn out better.

*Update, since drafting this post, the first yogurt set!!!! Hurrah! Time to scale up production!

Hopefully, I didn’t spoil your appetite too much with the photos of garbage and dog poop before the food 😛 Something I’ve learned already in this month is that though the world is making progress with more recycling opportunities and municipal composting programs, the systems are not in place to make going garbage-free truly convenient. However, this little bit of inconvenience is the perfect push to get you started on a valuable skill and knowledge building journey. By making things for yourself you learn where items you use and eat everyday come from, fundamental knowledge that most people of my generation and probably even the generations before me have lost. If I could buy everything in 100% recyclable and compostable packaging, I might never try to make things for myself, and therefore never understand the products I consume. I am just about out of my current toothpaste, so my next concoction will be some homemade teeth cleaner. I invite you to try some recipes with me and share your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Hana says:

    Hey Starr! This is so cool! I’m also attempting to transition to zero waste, I’ve been using TIFT’s Toothpaste recipe (coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint/spearmint oil), it does a better job than normal toothpaste for me. Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you Hana! I was using a very similar recipe before, but I read an article that made me a little concerned about the effect baking soda might have on my teeth long term. With this and similar articles, it can be difficult to tell if the authors are really concerned about the negative effects, how often negative effects actually happen, or if authors are just uncomfortable with the idea of someone not using commercial products.

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      1. Here is the article
        http://www.md-health.com/Brushing-Teeth-With-Baking-Soda.html
        Interestingly, this article says baking soda won’t fight bacteria, while the EcoWatch article linked in this post says it will fight tooth decay.
        I am thinking I might actually make two different batches of tooth paste. One coconut oil and antibacterial essential oil batch for daily use, and one more abrasive batch including baking soda and sea salts that I will just use a couple times at week.

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      2. Hana says:

        Interesting, I wasn’t aware of that.. let me know how these two work out.

        Like

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