I’ve always loved shopping and I’ve always loved a good bargain. That’s why thrift shops, vintage stores, and yard sales have been my go-to since the early days of following my mom around the Salvation Army store. There are so many great treasures and super deals to be found, but it does take time and patience. Continue reading →
Looking back at 2017, my goals for reducing my family’s carbon footprint didn’t go exactly as planned. We did make some meaningful changes and adjustments to how we live our daily lives, but not every change stuck. We started the year off strong, but lost steam and motivation as the year went on (isn’t that the way most resolutions and New Year goals go?). Life got busy, my baby turned into a toddler, we went on a long summer vacation, I broke my wrist, blah blah blah… Continue reading →
This is my first blog post in a very long time. Not that you’ve noticed because my comadres Lily and Missy have been keeping Love, Laugh & Make Lemonade going strong during my unexcused absence.
I could write a book (let alone a blog post) about how and why I’ve been slacking in my zero-waste pursuits: summer vacation, laziness, unprecedented heat, traveling, houseguests, summer-time ear infections, ER visits, broken wrist, surgery…
Last night our three families gathered once again for a meal prepared and enjoyed with as little input from fossil fuels as possible, and this time it was our turn to host. That meant no lights, no heat, no screens, no stove, no oven, no dishwasher, no blender, no power from 4pm until the next morning.
Yes, you can make your own tortillas! Before you roll your eyes and click on, this is not a “hand-mill the flour then let rise for 72 hours before gently roasting over an open fire” kind of DIY recipe. I promise. Continue reading →
Well, it’s March and I finally feel like we’re settling into a routine with our family’s goals for reducing our carbon footprint. Although I know I could always do more, my shopping bags are loaded with reusable containers for the grocery store, I never leave home without my travel mug (because – coffee!), I’m really trying to stay away from all plastic, and contacting my representatives has become a weekly ritual. Things were humming right along, that is until we went away for the weekend recently. Continue reading →
A couple of days ago I desperately needed to get my boys (and myself) out of the house after a rough rainy week, so I was grateful when Lily and Marilyn invited us to go for a hike at a nearby park. My 3 1/2 year old was thrilled to get out and explore with his bestie. He practically ran the entire way up the path, fueled by excitement and fresh air. Continue reading →
One side effect of avoiding plastic packaging is that sometimes you have to make things from scratch. I enjoy cooking and creating so I really don’t mind making things from scratch, if I can possibly find the time (which is rare these days because my two little guys keep me pretty busy).
We typically go through a lot of yogurt. Yogurt with fruit or granola, in smoothies and sauces. But yogurt is really hard to find not in plastic. There is one local brand of yogurt that is sold in glass quart jars. It’s delicious and organic, but SO pricey. So I thought, it can’t be that hard to make yogurt, can it??? It turns out it’s not very hard at all.
There is a lot of info out there about yogurt science, cultures, timing, temperature, etc. But ultimately, it’s pretty simple: heat some milk, add a little bit of yogurt, let it sit in a warm place, and voila – you’ve got yogurt!
I did some research and reading, but ultimately used the technique described on one of my favorite cooking websites, The Kitchn.
I used local organic non-homogenized 2% milk (plus a ½ cup of plain organic yogurt)
I used a probe thermometer with a long cord (like this one), so I could monitor the temperature periodically without opening the oven (but, to be honest, the temperature was a little off and it still came out great!)
My yogurt sat for about 6 hours (which produced a thick yet pourable consistency and mildly tangy taste)
Don’t forget to save a bit of your yogurt for the next batch!
Well, here we are six days into February and I’m just getting around to my January progress report. Pretty typical timing for my crazy life right now. Better late than never, right?
Change is hard. Overall, I feel like we – as a family – are just still trying to get in the groove of our global warming goals for the new year. I am inspired daily by my co-conspirators Lily and Missy, and am hoping to do/save/commit more each month. Let’s look back at those goals:
Fewer resources I’ve tried to consolidate car trips and have been walking a bit more, but we’ve had so much rain lately that’s been hard. We got our new smaller trash can and I scheduled a home energy audit, which will happen in February.
Less plastic I’ve been doing my best to buy ONLY in bulk (using re-usable containers), and when an item isn’t available in bulk, only purchasing things packaged in recyclable glass, cans or paper). And when those options aren’t available, I’ve either done without or tried to make my own (stay tuned for a post about making your own yogurt)! Lily wrote a great post about zero waste grocery shopping here.
I’ve made fewer trips to stores in general, only making shopping trips when absolutely necessary. That has majorly reduced impulse/unnecessary purchases. When I really needed to get my shopping fix, I hit up our local Goodwill store (where I scored a cute jacket for my littlest guy and a funky leather purse), and found some jeans at a great price at a local consignment shop I’d never gone into.
Spread the word!
I made a lot of phone calls to my representatives in congress to express my serious concerns about climate change and many other issues that have come up since the new administration began. There are so many issues that I am frightened/concerned/saddened/maddened about it’s hard to think straight some days. Calling and voicing my concerns feels woefully inadequate given the immensity of the problems, but it does feel good to do something. For info, ideas, scripts and contact info for your representatives, check out these websites: http://dailyaction.org/http://5calls.org/http://thesixtyfive.org/http://www.usa.gov/elected-officials