Zero Waste Month!



An idea hatched by Erika and KMKat, who roped me in as well. We figure this way there’s a blog on each coast and one in the middle of the continent putting it out there. (so I lifted the code right outta kat’s page for the challenge…)

We challenge ourselves and
 anyone else who is interested to

reduce the amount of trash
produced by our/their household

Erika has some a great table of alternatives, including some FAQs and a very interesting bit about how when Ireland starting charging for plastic grocery bags, usage dropped 94%!

Like Kat, I am also certain that I cannot achieve zero waste, but I figure I’ll try to reduce what we do produce, and maybe you will too. In addition, I’d say we should all think about our impacts on our environment. So blather about this on your own blog, spread the idea, your friends, your family, your coworkers.

m-button-hq zerowaste-button

Some things we do, and maybe you do also

  1. live close (w/in 5 miles) to where we work and shop
  2. hang laundry to dry
  3. recently got a water savings front loading washing machine (less water in means less out in the gray water)
  4. don’t drive megavehicles
  5. recycle
  6. use cloth grocery bags (well, I do…)
  7. re-use the plastic grocery bags
  8. recycle at work
  9. return bottles, home and work
  10. re-use loads of paper at work (including using the maps as gift wrap)
  11. purchase used clothing
  12. donate outgrown or unwanted clothing
  13. make rags out of things like the trashy t-shirts
  14. repurpose things
  15. use the library a lot
  16. rent videos, oops dvds
  17. keep the house relatively cool
  18. use lunch boxes

This is where a lot of clothes get dried, especially in winter,
It is a re-purposed re-purposed item… originally a pool skimmer handle, with a garden rake attached at the end (for sampling aquatic vegetation), and now primarily a clothes hanging rack. This is the ell to the house, and there’s a wood stove here, so things do dry fairly quickly.

I tried some new laundry soap that I got at the common ground fair, and now it is my preferred soap,
and the packaging is compostable! (or in our case burnable…) I was told that I don’t need the full tablespoon per load, so often I use half, and things get clean. In addition to this being an environmentally friendly product, it is hugely economical.

Some things we could do better

  1. compost (I have a long story about this)
  2. get a worm bin
  3. doggie doo composting
  4. shorter showers (I’m all about this, but the 13 year old? Not so much, I figure at least he’s bathing)
  5. walk not drive (but then there’s that time thing)
  6. use re-usable grocery bags more (it would help if I would keep them in the car, and if I could get DH to use them)
  7. get/make re-usable produce bags
  8. use the one cup coffee press more (verus the one cup melita, unless I can find a metal #2 filter)
  9. maybe replace the 25 year old refrigerator?

So, what about you?

I’m thinking that maybe this can come out and the worm bin could go on a shelf here,


another reason I shouldn’t cut my own hair

lefthand righthand

I am long overdue and was feeling a little crazed, so off came an inch or so. It’s not bad, but I’ll be at my hairdresser friend’s within the next couple weeks. It’s that time thing. I love her, but she’s 20 minutes away! But I’m glad she got her own shop and it works out great for her.

I’ve always wanted to go red (I have been told repeatedly by my hair friend that it is not a good color for me), but not by drizzling my own blood through my hair. One of these days I’ll just do it… after all, it grows.

The hand pics are for Vicki who has a thing about palms… Mine have been wrinkled like this since I was a kid. And I dunno, never had a “reading”, but I’d say those lifelines are all screwed up. What can that mean???


(banners and buttons courtesy of Erika and Kat’s son Matt… download and use if you want to blab about it).

8 Responses so far

  1. 1

    kmkat said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Thanks! And your poor hands! Hmmm, if it were summer you could have dripped the blood around your plants in the garden, kinda like bloodmeal.

  2. 2

    Chris said,

    January 31, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

    I think you’re at some sort of max bandaid thresh hold there. :) Tossing the bags in the car makes ALL the difference. Plus I have a little “stuff sack” sort of bag with a clip that can attach to my purse handle – I use that for yarn, books, etc – things that I don’t necessarily want in a bag that’s been used for sometimes messy groceries.

    I’m with you on the used clothing!! It’s amazing what great stuff you can get.

  3. 3

    Blogless Carrie said,

    February 1, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    Hey – thanks for the inspiration. We’ll see what we can do, though I’m a bit more enthusiastic in the solid waste reduction dept. (see: cloth bags) than hubby…

  4. 4

    Molly Bee said,

    February 2, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    Oy! The hands….don’t give up your day job. You might not survive that kind of new profession! I love this entry. I’m please to see that I already do a lot of things mentioned but there are things I could do better-reduce use of processed food to reduce packaging trash, organize errands better to reduce gas consumption, stop being such a wuss and turn the heat down….

  5. 5

    Vicki said,

    February 2, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    Oh, your poor hands!!

    Love this idea and these posts. The Zero thing is not going to happen here, either, but I can definitely do LESS — much, much less! A big area that I can work on is lunch — I carry mine to work most days, and there’s room for improvement both in terms of what I carry and how it’s carried.

    We’ve used canvas grocery bags for years — for many things other than groceries (including, on occasion, knitting). They have a place in the house, near where we keep the grocery list, and we put our refillable water jugs in them, too, as they empty. It’s really become routine and habit. That means that we don’t have the bags when we make quick stops on the way home, so then we opt for paper — or plastic if we need dog poop bags!

    The programmable thermostat is the best invention EVER.

  6. 6

    Emily said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 12:13 pm


    Does the dishwasher not work, or do you just never use it?

  7. 7

    Erika said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

    A wood stove is definitely a big help for the Zero Waste thing. Probably I shouldn’t be burning half the stuff I put in there, I mean it just goes into the air and everything, but hey. There’s only so much one person can do!

  8. 8

    Andra said,

    February 5, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    We did this after the holidays; eat from the stores of dreid, canned, jarred, frozen, refridgerated foodstuffs we have in our house. Till it runs out or child, spouse (or I, myself) mutinies! We made allowances for milk, fresh fruit, fresh tofu and eggs. We hardly had any grocery expenditures until the end of January when I could not resist the local sale on Garden of Eatin’ Yellow Tortilla chips during the week before the Super Bowl. And we STILL have applesauce and salsa and beets and turnips and dried beans and pasta and rice and lentils and dried plums and beef and pork and and and and and and and!!! We’ll keep going! It’s fun!

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