Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend
Labels: green living, green living tips organization, smoothie, summer cuisine.
8. Good Girl Gone Green
Here are my favorite environmentally mindful resources
Find out HOW and WHERE!
(a book) by Beth Terry
Labels: green living, green living tips organization.
Amber, interesting point! I have never thought of these festivals from this perspective, but its true. One would think that festival organizers would be mindful of selecting earth friendly vendors, but I guess this isn’t always the case! Please keep up your kitchen friendly tips, they are great and written in a very non-intimidating way. I’m still working my way to someday being as green as you and your tips are helpful. I am proud to say we are now a paper towel free house and have been for some time.Reply
For years, we heard how, as a family of six, we were stomping out the very ground we were living on, and we were the major factor behind all of the waste on the planet. Interestingly, our garbage can contained much, much less junk than some of our attackers, who were in families of 1 or 2. No pizza boxes in our can. A compost pile sure helps, as does cooking fresh, as you observe. Now, if I can figure out a way to eliminate the paper junk mail!Reply
Oh Amber, I love this! You are so right on the festivals and really everyday should be earth day! I’m now following you on pinterest too! I’m always looking for more earth friendly info! Thank you friend!Reply
Here is a closer look:
6. Create a place for those miscellaneous items. I use a top to a box from Ikea. This space is STRICTLY for things I plan to pay attention to in the immediate future. These items USED to go on my cork board, but I am disciplined enough now to put them out of sight (as I know I will not forget about them). So, what’s in this miscellaneous space you ask? Well, this week, an old envelope with notes on it regarding an product I want to buy, a nice letter from my son’s childcare that I will show Scott later when he gets home, a rolled up piece of paper with a recipe on it (that I will blog about later), a piece of business I will discuss with Scott when he gets home, and some pictures from my friend’s wedding (that I plan to frame and make into a gift). All things I don’t want cluttering up space, so I put them in their own box or a “to take care of box.” They will not be forgotten.
And here it is all tucked away in my desk
Okay, we’ve covered some essential items to organize your mail. Let’s get started organizing shall we.
Organizing your mail:
First, get a large empty box and put ALLLLLL the mail from all over your house in the box. And I mean everything, grocery store ads, coupons, magazines, papers, etc. Everything.
Second, clear out your schedule, I would do an entire day (a Saturday or Sunday). Get yourself some snacks as rewards. Locate your favorite music to play as you go through this box of mail (and NO TV – too distracting).
Finally, with adequate time, a quiet house perhaps, snacks and music at the ready, it’s time to go through the box.
Here we go…
#1. Pick up 1 item at a time from the box. Look at it and determine if fits into one of these five categories:
#2. Make 5 separate piles on the ground. Go ahead, spread yourself out. Label the 5 piles so you don’t forget. Just use a sticky note or something for the label.
#1. Now take away the recycling and put it in the recycling bin
#2. IMMEDIATELY shred everything you have in the shred pile
#3. Place your “bills to pay” in the appropriate holding area
#4. File what you can. If you don’t have a file for that subject, write it down so you can make a file later. Or store in the appropriate file holding area
#5. Place all the coupons in your coupon box
#6. Place all informational items on the cork board
#7. Place everything else into your miscellaneous box (just DON’T forget about…promise!)
#8. Tired of all those magazine catalogs? Best way to stop them from coming is to call the phone number in the catalog and tell them you want to be removed from their mailing list. I do this often. Easy way to decrease waste too!
*Taking control of your mail is easy, you just have to stay on top of it.
*Once you clean up all the mail and clutter that’s been sitting around your house for months…perhaps years, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment. You will feel light, happy, in control, calm, and centered.
*You have to want this. If you’re not ready to make the change and keep at it, then wait until you are. Some people like having their piles of mail around, there is a method to their clutter, and that’s totally fine.
*This post is meant for those who are ready to make that change, ready to organize their space (mail in this case) but having trouble taking that first step. This is truly the hardest part – that step from thinking about doing it to actually doing it. It can even feel scary for some people. This is all normal. But you CAN do it. Behavior can change. And this small change might provide a great sense of accomplishment and control in your life.
Labels: green living tips organization.
I wish I could be this organised but I’m getting there! At the moment everything gets piled on my desk or hubby’s desk so we always know where everything is!
I do shred junk though! We got rid of the cork board because everything seemed to get pinned there and nothing removed!
Great tips Amber, I’ll try to take some of them on board!
Hi Vicky. A shredder is key. And I know what you mean about the cork board. I find the most helpful thing is to (1) keep the board small (mine is only 17″ x 17″) so pretty tiny, but large enough to fit papers. And to only put things on there that will get immediate attention. Everything else is filed away. So, for example, here are the things pinned to my cork board: something that needs to be returned to my daughter’s school next week, a flyer for a Goodwill pick-up, and a reminder of an E-waste pick up on Monday. So these will all come down next week and anything else pressing will be pinned up as reminders. I don’t keep things on there long-term, again, those things are filed. But again, good point. Don’t let your cork board be a clutter space either, right. It all happens so quickly.Reply
I need this system badly, but, honestly, I get overwhelmed just reading the instructions and looking at the photos. Glad you’ve got it working for you, Amber! You could probably get folks started doing this on the side as extra income. Seriously!
Hi Shirley…and thanks.
When I was 18 I was in fact hired as an organizer. A family friend (and professor) hired me to organize her house, including a room covered in mail, and years of research and papers. I loved every minute of it.Reply
Can you come over and organize our new home Amber?! I will fly you out Thanks for the awesome tips. Your system is brilliant and I love the labels you made. Your organizational tips are very motivating as I organize out of obligation-wish I had the same passion for it as you do!Reply
OK Amber. You’ve officially inspired me!! THanks!! Hugs!Reply
1. Make a list of things you want to organize. Keep it realistic.
2. Carve out some time to complete the object. Running out of time is your biggest enemy. Once you start, it’s important to follow through until your finished.
3. Start small. If you’re not used to organizing things, start with a small project, such as under the kitchen sink, or the bedside drawer. Start small and get yourself accustomed to the behavior of going through things, looking at things, and (perhaps most important) letting things go.
4. Tell someone about your project/intentions. This is a great technique in preventing procrastination. When you verbally express your intentions to do something to someone else, there is not only personal accountability but someone else will have knowledge of your intentions and hold you accountable.
5. Include others. I prefer to organize alone, but for the starter, you might want to include your partner or children. I always include my kiddos when we clean and organize their art bin or play room. Together we decide what we are keeping in their art journal, what are we hanging up on the wall, what can we give as gifts (grandparents just love getting those sweet pictures), what we can donate or sell, and what goes into recycling.
Goals of Organizing:
1. Purge. You want to get rid of stuff.
2. Recycle or sell what you don’t need/want.
3. Cleaning. Diving into a space you don’t pay much attention to allows for the opportunity to clean it.
4. Make room for more important items. If you clean out a drawer, you might very well make room for something more important in that space. For example, your bedside table can store books you’re reading opposed to old papers, magazines, mail or old socks.
5. Take inventory of what you have. This is a great point to remember when organizing your closet. Above all, the goal should be to KNOW what you have. It’s like going shopping. “Oh, there’s that super cute little summer dress I haven’t seen in five years.”
Labels: green living tips organization.
what a lovely home you must have:) I do like to be organised – I just find it difficult to maintain!Reply
Thanks Christine. We have a pretty small space for a family of 4 so, for me, it’s crucial to make sure things are organized and that everything has a place. Things can get crazy really quick and if we all don’t keep on top of it, the house can get just thrashed.
My house is in desperate need of spring cleaning! I especially have trouble organizing the kids rooms, I can’t wait for your series!Reply
Thanks, Cassidy. I find the biggest help in a kids room is to have only the bedroom essentials in there and overall as few items as possible. We have two dressers (one for each child), a bunk bed, a bookshelf, and a basket with stuffed animals…and that’s it. I use under the bunk for some storage (blankets and pillows in airtight bags), but overall keeping it simple is key for me. The kids share a room right now and it’s a pretty small space. All toys are in the toy room which helps keep the spaces divided and helps keep things together.
I’ve noticed that a kid’s closet tends to get very messy and packed full of stuff, and often forgotten (especially if there are doors) I like taking the doors off the closets and using the space as part of the room. We house one small dresser in the closet, the laundry basket, and a few bins for misc clothing like bathing suites, gymnastics and ballet clothes, slippers, etc. And I have items hanging as well. Each child gets 1/2 of the closet for their clothes. I go through the hanging clothes every few months and donate or give away clothes that don’t fit or the kid’s just don’t wear. So everything hanging is used and worn. I also keep a basket on the top shelf in the closet for hangers. When I get an item down from hanging, for example, a dress for my daughter, I don’t put the hanger back on the rod, rather, I put it in the basket. This just helps keep the hanging clothes tidy and neat with no loose hangers.
More to come…
Have a great week.Reply
Labels: green living tips organization.
Love that ! Amazing ! I love when our everyday actions can be broken down by their impact. My favorite part is how it takes a 1/4 of a water bottle filled with oil to produce it and 3 liters of water. Three liter! So that we can buy 1 liter! It’s those types of facts that stick with a person and make a difference.Reply
Labels: green living, green living tips organization, how to decrease your kitchen waste.
Lots of great tips here Amber! I need to get my own produce bags, I always feel so bad using them!Reply
Thanks Gabby! I think that’s a great place to start. Good luck!!Reply
Great advice Amber! I feel so guilty! You really are super efficient! I love those carebags especially, I wonder if they sell them here?Reply
I always feel guilty, so you’re not alone. But, we do the best we can…right! Nobody is perfect. And we all work toward finding that balance. I do believe Carebags ship worldwide. I just love them.Reply
Oh I totally agree, we have to find a balance! Thank you, I’m going to have a look on their website, they look great! I had a look in this country and there doesn’t seem to be anything like them.
Take care xReply
I wish I was organised enough to write out menu plans, but I tend to buy, then create a meal based on what’s around – life’s full of surprises that way:) I always re-use bags, and made some cotton grocery bags for shopping. I’ve recently decided to cut out plastic storage and am well on the way to using glass jars now, though I’m terrified of dropping them and smashing them!
You’re so right, we can all do what we can and feel comfortable with, and it all helps:)Reply
Thanks for your message. I love your idea of making cotton grocery bags. So clever. I’m so glad to hear you’ve cut out plastic storage. That’s a great step toward decreasing toxins too.
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever dropped one of my glass containers. But my kitchen is pretty small, so they are never in my hands for long.
Keep up that great work! Every little bit helps.Reply
Great advice! I bought some cloth produce bags, and I never remember to use them. I also have metal lunch boxes for the kids, but my dh never grabs them. As you said, baby steps. If I make it easy for my dh to use stuff, I’ll get it done.Reply
Thanks so much Barb. Yes, baby steps to behavior change is the way to go. Good luck.Reply
You are so organized! I don’t do menu planning yet, but have been pondering it when the chaos of selling our home is over. I love those eco bags you use…need to buy some!Reply
When life gets crazy, it’s okay to feel crazy right along with it. It can feel exhausting to try and keep up and do everything perfect. Go with the chaos right now, just SURVIVE! Everything will settle down soon and you’ll get back into your routine. Hugs to you my friend.Reply
what great tips! i’m definitely going to try having a plastic free crisper! thanks for the wonderful ideas!Reply
Thank you my dear. Good luck with your plastic free crisper.Reply
It is glad to hear that you are functioning green kitchen. First and foremost we need a plan to control it. I didn’t try anything but I must avoid wastage and go for an eco-friendly environment. Thanks for inspiring me to do it.Reply
Labels: dairy free, drinks, green drinks, green living tips organization, SCD, summer treats, vegan.
Sounds lovely Amber … and great tip! I wish it was strawberry season here!Reply
I love strawberries in smoothies. Yum. It’s very much strawberry season here! I love the first berries of spring. SO wonderful after a long winter.Reply
I was just thinking the other day how ginger in a smoothie would taste really delicious and unique. Strawberries and ginger together in this drink sound so refreshing! Thanks for a healthy drink recipe-I am going to make this tomorrow. It’s been crazy hot here for May!Reply
Yum! That looks gorgeous. Didn’t it turn green with the spinach? It’s strawberry season in the UK now so I’m going to take full advantage and give this a go. It looks so refreshing. Also great idea to freeze strawberries as I can’t get hold of them frozen either.Reply
Shared on: Whole Foods Wednesdays
Labels: green living tips organization, how to decrease your kitchen waste.
Wow – you have some fabulous ideas here! I have a huge bag of lemons in the fridge – I never even thought of freezing the juice! Think I will check out those glass containers too. Thanks for all the great ideas!Reply
I’m so glad you found this tip for you lemons! They are very expensive in the store. My neighbor dropped off a huge bag yesterday. Looks like we will both be juicing lemons today!!Reply
Excellent article with very useful ideas. I am bookmarking this page for future reference. I use glass jars all the time for my dry products, but never thought to use them for my produce. I also use the reusable, mesh produce bags instead of plastic. My husband and I make a lot of smoothies. I like the processed, frozen fruit idea; it will come in handy for future smoothies.Reply
Thank you! I’m just thrilled that my ideas are inspiring others to “greenify” their lives. Glad to hear you use those non-plastic produce bags! We also love the smoothie ideas. So simple, yet very effective.
Amber, I’m loving the lemon juice, grated broccoli and frozen fruit ideas! I recently used a bunch of my left over veggies to make veggie broth and I froze it. You inspire me to become more and more green. Good job lady!Reply
Wonderful to hear Laura. Thank you!!! It warms my heart to know others are interested in reducing their waste. Really and truly!!
What is wrong with me that I don’t freeze my own fresh, organic fruit? It would cost less and probably taste better! I’m a smoothie lover too, and I’m going to start doing that…great ideas! Love the frozen milk idea (we use unsweetened almond milk in our smoothies, so that’s a great tip). I also don’t use plastic produce bags…at the market or when I get home, but I DO forget my eco shopping bags a lot! Maybe I could store them in the car…
Anyway, thanks for the great post!Reply
Thanks for much Rachel. Glad I could offer you some inspiration today. Step by step, little by little, we can all make a difference in our homes and lives. Thanks for the feedback. Have a great day!Reply
I have more then three gallons stored in the freezer from this years harvest and I gave away at least 80 lbs of lemons away!Reply
WOW!! Lucky you.Reply
These are great tips! I especially loved the one about using broccoli stalks, I’m definitely going to try that. Check out my green kitchen tips here: http://site.thegreenlifeonline.org/tag/green-in-the-kitchen/Reply
I LOVED your green kitchen tips – fantastic. I couldn’t find a place to leave a comment. Thanks for the link.Reply
Labels: green living tips organization.
I would never have thought of this! Great idea!Reply
I am a bootaholic I love my boots and this trick is brilliant my dear!Reply
Oh I hear you girlfriend!! Same here. The bottles work so awesome. Makes my closet nice and organized! And you know how I feel about that. Ahhhhhh!!Reply
When you think of kitchen waste, what comes to mind?
I’m guessing food. Yes food is a huge waste that adds a bulk to your garbage bag that turns against you rather quickly. But what else? If you live in a town that recycles, first off, hooray for you, but secondly, weekly recycling doesn’t take care of everything. I’ve heard of some pretty picky towns where only cans, plastic bottles and cardboard is allowed. What about the bread packaging, inside the cereal plastic bag, frozen veggie plastic bags…if you eat cheese, the plastic around the cheese and don’t even get me started on PLASTIC BAGGIES. The list goes on and on in the plastic department. What about paper towels and napkins? Foil? Styrofoam? The wrapping from your deli meat?
These are all sources of unwanted waste. I say unwanted because the recycle folks don’t want this stuff. So it goes in the landfill.
My kitchen waste revelation came one day a few years ago when my garbage can smelled so horrid I just couldn’t take it any more…okay, enough is enough. We didn’t use those hefty plastic bags, we used recycled brown paper bags from our weekly grocery shopping for our garbage, so all our food waste and other gunk was exposed and oh boy it started to take on a life all its own.
I said to myself…I know I can do better!
I started very, very slow and assessed my waste. Food was at the top of the list so I started there and slowly worked my down the list finding alternatives and replacing old habits with environmentally frienldy behaviors. So if you are new to the concept of decreasing kitchen waste, please see below for some very easy ideas to get you going on your journey.
*We made a very modest 5×5 box out of redwood in our backyard and started to pile in our uncooked kitchen waste with equal parts carbon and nitrogen. And I read this quick, simple guide to composting. There are so many other composting ideas, many I found in the book, but you can also research on-line and find what works best for you. For example, we are going to start a worm bin soon for our cooked food waste!
*Okay, let’s be real for a moment. Plastic baggies are a hell-of-a-convenience, and if you have kids, well, they may feel like a must-have necessity. It was difficult, but these were #2 on the list to go for me. I stopped buying them and looked for alternatives.
*This solution is three-fold. First of all, milk alternatives are EXPENSIVE. I did the math and I started saving serious money when I stopped buying packaged milks and started making my own. Second, you have total and complete control of the ingredients when you make your own milks – awesome for you! Third, and let’s be honest here, those milk alternative containers are not recyclable. I shed a tear of guilt every time I had to throw away those huge cartons. Okay, so problem solved. Making your own nut milks is so super easy. I make the following: almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk and hazelnut milk. You can find a slew of how-to videos on the internet. And you don’t technically need an expensive high-speed blender to make these milks. Before I purchased my vitamix, I used a Ninja Blender for years and it worked fine. Don’t be detoured my friends!!
*Ahhh, this was so hard at first! I had a very unhealthy addiction to paper towels. I would use them for everything…if I had them I would go through them like crazy. I had zero control. So one day I just stopped buying them and also stopped buying paper napkins.
*I used foil for so many things in my kitchen. This was difficult at first too. I tried very hard to clean the foil and recycle it, but it didn’t always work. And my philosophy wasn’t, “well, it’s okay to throw it away once in a while,” it was to “never again throw anymore foil away into garbage ever again.”
One day I purchased a pork shoulder from the meat deli at our Coop and I was appalled when I got home, unrolled it, and saw how much paper and plastic waste was from this single (albeit rather large) portion of meat. My next trip to the coop I was equipped with my snap glass and Pyrex storage. It takes some planning, but if you know what you are going to be purchasing it’s not a problem – plus I highly recommend going to the grocery store with a plan and a list. This saves time, energy and money.
Labels: green living, green living tips organization, how to decrease your kitchen waste.
Great ideas!! Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday….hope to see you back next week!Reply
Do you have a suggestion for a ZipLoc alternative for use when freezing food? That’s what stumps me.Reply
Glass does not seal, so, for the freezer, you have to put the glass inside a larger plastic ZipLoc than you would have had to use if you didn’t use glass. You decrease the plastic in contact with the food, but you increase the plastic in the landfill and you use a lot more freezer space than you would have with flattened ZipLocs.
Any other suggestions for the freezer? The market is wide open for anyone who wants to invent new, safe products for the freezer?Reply
[…] How to Decrease Kitchen Waste: 101 @ The Tasty Alternative […]Reply
Hi, I'm Amber. Welcome to The Tasty Alternative. This blog is dedicated to holistic healing and green living. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2004 and heal myself naturally with food and lifestyle. Join me as I share with you easy, healthy recipes free of gluten, dairy, and cane-sugar. While you are here, check out my very popular healing homemade lotions great for eczema. Finally, don't miss my tips on how to create a "green" kitchen by decreasing kitchen waste. You can read more about me here.
What a great post. I also really hate plastic bags. So much of the packaging that goes into products nowadays is completely unnecessary.
Thanks so much for these helpful tips!
Great tips as always Amber! I am guilty for buying frozen fruit bags at Whole Foods, but now that our Farmer’s Market is finally in full swing, I have no excuses! I am also going to try to freeze more frozen fruit in the colder months too by remembering to plan ahead
I’ve been doing this for quite some time. I freeze all of my fruit I use in smoothies, as I prefer a more slushy/frozen smoothie. I also make coconut water and milk ice cubes. It is soooooo easy to do, and as you mentioned waaaaaay cheaper. I love it when I tell people about this and they say, “you are so smart”….no, just frugal.
I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be YOU! What an inspiring post! I do freeze fresh fruit when I find good deals in the summer or when I just can’t bear that cherry season is ending. It’s so easy, and I need to do it more regularly. You make it look so easy that I may need to give the silicone mats a try! (We’ll see how big my NYC freezer is!) Thanks for the steps!!
Hi! Your son looks so cute :)) I’m mom of eczema little girl, and found your site cos looking to build a listing of allergy blogs for my readers (as I blog only eczema) – would you like to add your site here
this is so genius, Amber! freezing your own fruit is both economical and environmentally friendly! best of both worlds! and your son is too stinkin cute with the green mustache:)
This is great advice Amber!
I love this post for so many reasons, but one of them is that you’ve given me a legitimate use for my silicone mat, which I do not like for baking. Thanks, Amber!
Wow, great post. I love that you can buy your fruit without it being in plastic. I can’t do that where I live, and I love your idea of freezing everything in summer for use over winter. I have 2 freezers and still never seem to have any spare space!
Amber- The new blog design looks great. Browsing around to check out your content. FYI- I love these frozen berries and veggies at the coop. They are in paper bags that are lightly waxed and are biodegradable / compostable. We put them directly into our compost bin in the backyard and not one has ever come out alive when we dump the compost in the garden each year. The blueberries are FAR BETTER than any other brand I have tried. Big, plump, and juicy. Not mushy small or misshaped. Check them out. http://www.stahlbush.com/