10 Ways I'm Reducing Single-Use Plastic



Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Plastic Free, the incredible book by Beth Terry that will both inspire you and enable you to reduce your use of plastic, and especially disposable plastic. Here are some ways I'm reducing the amount of plastic in my trash (or down-cycling bin).

Kids

I cloth diaper and early potty train my kids. Their cloth diaper covers are partly plastic, but they are reused hundreds and hundreds of times. Disposable diapers are full of plastic petroleum products and are used one time before ending up in a landfill.

I don't buy little plastic toys for party favors. In my experience, these toys last 2 days before breaking and ending up in the trash.

Food

I haven't bought Ziploc bags in a couple of years. I use reusable food bags and containers instead. When we need utensils on-the-go, I bring real silverware.

I make my own yogurt. We still use some purchased yogurt, but I estimate we are using 1 or 2 less plastic tubs per week. The milk I use to make yogurt comes in reusable glass jars. We are able to recycle our plastic yogurt tubs with Terracycle through my organic food delivery service.

I buy raw ingredients in bulk in paper bags (wheat berries, oats, dried beans, etc.) and make many things from scratch. I use reusable containers to store our homemade bread and snacks.

I bring reusable grocery bags and produce bags to the farmers market and other stores. Shopping at the farmers market also allows me to avoid those annoying tiny plastic produce stickers. Yep, they're plastic.

Away from home, I drink filtered tap water from my stainless steel water bottle so that I never need to buy bottled water. I avoid any beverage packaged in plastic.

Bathroom

I use an electric razor. No shaving cream necessary!

My husband and I use a shampoo bar. I am trying to find a good hair conditioner bar (suggestions?).

I wear lipstick less than one time per week. Other than that, I don't wear make up. I don't use any special skin products. Just soap, and occasionally lotion.


How have you reduced your plastic waste?


This post is part of
Top Ten Tuesday

Everything I Know About the Farmers Market




Do you enjoy taking your kids shopping with you?

Today is my last day posting over on Dr. Greene's blog. I'm posting about why I take my kids to the farmers market with me, and how to make the experience of shopping at the farmers market with children more enjoyable. Click here to read and comment on my post Take Your Kids.

In case you missed one, here are all five of my posts on Dr. Greene's blog about Getting the Most Out of Your Farmers Market:
In other news, the Safe Chemicals Act has passed Committee, the first official action to address toxic chemicals in 36 years! But there is still a long ways to go to get the law passed. Stay tuned for opportunities to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. I also recommend subscribing to the email list for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (coalition to pass Safe Chemicals Act) -- that's where I get my info!

Just a few more days to enter the giveaway for Plastic-free Beth's awesome new book: Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Click here to enter the giveaway.

Have a great weekend!

Q & A with Beth Terry, Author of Plastic Free {Giveaway}


One of my favorite resources for plastic-free living is Beth Terry's website My Plastic-free Life. I frequently search her blog or consult her Plastic-free Guide when trying to reduce my plastic consumption. Now Beth has published a book and I am thrilled to be able to offer you the chance to win a copy. Beth Terry's new book Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too is one of the best green books I've seen. This book combines convincing explanations of the problems with plastic with incredibly comprehensive information regarding plastic alternatives (the book is over 300 pages!). Some of my favorite parts are the inspirational bios of Beth's heroes and the action item checklists at the end of chapters. I love a good action item checklist. 

I recently had a chance to ask Beth a few questions about her book.


Wait. Why Am I Doing This?

A few weeks ago when I made honey whole wheat bread, I got distracted -- a regular occurrence in a house with three children under 5 -- and I let the bread rise too long in the loaf pans. And so the dough fell. I walked into the kitchen and saw this:


How did that make me feel? Really, really bummed and more than a little bit ticked. I thought of how I had carefully waited for a summer day that wasn't too hot for baking, a day when I could begin the bread in the afternoon so I could bake it in the evening when things start to cool down. I couldn't help but obsess about the freshly ground wheat wasted, the local honey wasted, but most of all, I agonized about my precious time wasted. To say that I don't like it when things don't go as planned -- well, that would be an understatement. I'm not really a roll-with-the-punches kind of girl.

Then just yesterday I was making my bread, and I noticed that the second batch hadn't risen in more than an hour. I had forgotten the yeast. Dang it!

Another day, I forgot the salt.

Moments like these, I find myself wondering, why am I doing this? Why am I making bread when I can buy it at the store? Why when I have so very little time to accomplish anything? Why am I torturing myself? Why? Why? Why?

100% Whole Wheat Honey Bread Recipe


This recipe is an update of a recipe first published here.

I've been making four loaves of whole wheat bread about twice a month for close to two years now. I even made it through the first trimester of my last pregnancy, a newborn baby, and a couple of hot summers (sans a/c) without missing a step. Here is an update to show you what I've learned and how I've tweaked the recipe over the last dozens of batches.

Multi-grain Buttermilk Pancakes

Lately I've been making this pancake recipe with whole wheat, quick oats, cornmeal, and molasses instead of my usual whole wheat pancakes. It's my current breakfast favorite. This recipe comes from epicurious by way of my friend Megan. I've made a few changes from the original recipe. Instead of light molasses, I use blackstrap, because that's what I've got. And instead of white flour, I just use more whole wheat flour. I'm sure they would taste excellent with butter in the batter, but the lazier approach is to just use oil and butter the griddle.

Multi-grain Buttermilk Pancakes

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