Well well well, has it already been a year since I’ve written last on my blog?
Ouch. How time flies huh?
A lot changes in a year. Let’s see, since I wrote last August I have…
- Adopted 2 more rescue animals– a 5-year-old Mini Aussie named Iridescent, and a Russian Blue kitten I named Willow (pictures shall be below for you, my friends!)
- Moved in with my sweet sweet boyfriend (things are going quite well).
- Left my job and dedicated myself full time to my freelance business (can I get a woot woot please?!)
- Wrote an article for Cowboys & Indians magazine, which is set to publish next month (September 2020!)
- Traded my precious Jeep in for something cheaper (wahhh wahhh) – All. in all 2019 was definitely my year!
- Fast forward to 2020– COVID-19 came out swinging… Who saw that one coming?!
- Started a part-time job at Movara Fitness as a Hiking Guide (yes I totally get paid to hike AND take care of my amazing clients)!
- Became even more hippie and sustainable than ever before!
Lots of changes; unexpected, good, and bad. But hey, I am still alive, healthy, happy, and well, and I’m ready to share some of my favorite sustainable hippie tips for ya!
There are so many great advances today that make it so much easier to choose better, more earth-conscious products, and I wanted to share a couple of those with you, as well as some of my own personal practices that I do to reduce my carbon footprint every single day! So without further ado, here are 3 Tips To Minimize Waste:
1. Biodegradable Trash Bags
Up until this last year, I had no idea these even existed. Biodegradable bags have since become my best friend (sorry babe). I mean think about it; why put biodegradable substances in non-biodegradable plastic bags?!
Of course, not every brand you’ll try will be the best. If you are putting wet food and substances directly into the bag, they will inevitably biodegrade the bottom of the bag, as it’s namesake suggests it will. Yes, that means the bag will break and your garbage will fall out of the bottom.
After trying quite a few brands, I ended up sticking with this one, as it turns out to be much sturdier and stronger than others I have tried. After all, it is made for food scraps, which are naturally moist as it is.
I have also learned a few tricks to make sure my biodegradable bags last longer in the actual trash can. Perhaps some of these go without saying, but here we go:
- Drain your food/substances in the sink before throwing them away (i.e. pour out your cup full of soda or coffee before throwing it away, when it comes to food dishes and soups be sure to drain the liquids and toss the solids, etc etc.)
- Don’t put wet foods at the bottom of your bag. If you can, try to get some other solid items in there first, like non-recyclable food packaging or styrofoam, hair and dust bunnies from the vacuum, used napkins or paper towels, etc., and then place your wet foods on top of those.
Now, in our house, we have two can in our pantry; one for trash and one for recycle. We don’t use a bag– plastic or biodegradable– in our recycle can. We just throw those items right into the can, so that saves us from using a bag in that one either way.
You can also use these bags for other random uses such as smaller bathroom trash cans throughout the house– this brand also makes smaller sizes than the one shared above. These smaller sized bags can also act as storage bags for dry food or otherwise, just tie the top in a knot and it’ll stay secure (as long as it’s not something wet inside!).
Scooping the litter box; again why not put biodegradable substances in a biodegradable bag? I also use the World’s Best Cat Litter which is biodegradable in and of itself, as it is made of corn solids. Picking up the dog poos outside? Make sure you grab a BioBag for your poop-scoop needs!
2. Save Those Food Scraps Girl!
Yess! Something I’ve been religious about this last year in saving my food scraps. Now obviously as a vegan, a large majority of what I eat involves chopping up fresh vegetables. I threw out a lot of usable food without even realizing it. Let’s be honest– we all throw a lot more away than we realize when we might possibly have some further use for them.
Let me give you some examples:
- A lot of us simply throw the stems of veggies away, i.e. the stems of carrots, kale, celery, broccoli, squash, etc etc
- Pits & seed: Think seed bunches in peppers, or avocado pits
- Roots and heels of veggies. Think onions, garlic, or squash
- Peels: banana peels, potato peels, cucumber peels, carrot peels, etc.
- Those weird “potato eyes” on an overgrown potato
- Coffee Grinds
Believe it or not, we CAN use all of these things at least one more time before throwing them away or composting them.
Here’s a few ways I utilize vegetable scraps:
- Keep a bag or container to store food scraps in the freezer. Once I have a full bag/container of these food scraps, I’ll use these to create vegetable broths for soups. You could also freeze the broth into ice cubes, and use them for future cooking, dog meals (as long as there’s no onion), etc..
- Save banana peels, onion skins, avocado skins & pits, and coffee grinds. Put that all together with some water and store it in a large, open-mouthed jar. Steep that for a few days, I wouldn’t wait longer than that, and use this as a tea/tonic for your plants. Full of so many vitamins and nutrients, this perks my house plants right up and I usually see new healthy sprouts by the next day.
- Save roots or stems to regrow vegetables. I’ve done this with celery bottoms, bok choy bottoms, onion stems, green onion roots, and carrot stems. Place in a small cup of shallow water, the bottom side down, or the root side up. Changing this water daily, you can grow like this for a few weeks. Once you start to see the veggie sprout about an inch, you’ll want to plant them in soil.
- Leftover fresh herbs or spices? Mince these nice and small, with a dash of oil, and freeze these into ice cubes as well. They make for a great quick way to add herb-infused water and oil to any dish.
3. Reusable Products Are Earth’s Best-Friend
We’re religious about our reusable products. This one is pretty straight forward, but here are a few things that you can replace with reusable items:
- Water bottles and coffee tumblers. We bring our water bottles everywhere with us, making sure to always fill them before leaving the house. If we’re intending on grabbing some morning coffee, we’re sure to bring a coffee tumbler along.
- Skip the straw in the restaurant. I usually don’t need them, but on the off chance that I do, I keep a reusable straw in my backpack. You can also do with cutlery– say no to the plastic cutlery and keep a reusable set in your bag or a pair of chopsticks!
- Skip the plastic bags at the grocery store. I have a giant pile of reusable bags chilling in the trunk of my car any time I know I’m doing some heavy shopping. If I’m just going in to grab a couple of things, I simply carry the items out with my receipt in hand!
- Reusable sandwich or gallon bags– I found some really great ones on Grove.com! I also love Grove because they are on a mission to be plastic-free 2025!
- Opt for sustainable phone cases or accessories and skip the plastic ones. I found a phone case made out of recycled paper! You can also find cases and accessories made out of apple peels, food, and other recycled products.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today folks. I hope my 3 Tips To Minimize Waste guide was helpful enough and gave you some tips for a waste-less future. I am always so excited to share the new things I learn with everyone.
What do you guys think about my next blog being on herbal alternatives to synthetic drugs? How would you guys like that one? Let me know in the comments!
As always, much love and light my friends. Thanks for tuning in.
As promised, my cat Willow and my pupper Iri (ear-ree):
3 Tips To Minimize Waste
3 Tips To Minimize Waste