Freezable foods! I had no idea you could freeze some of these things. (http://andreadekker.com/freezable-foods/). I will have to buy some more Mason jars to freeze things in! I want to get out of the habit of buying frozen veggies, and start buying fresh ones. That way, if I can’t eat them right away, I will be able to freeze them; things like peppers, peas, etc. And same with some fruits, as well. I do sometimes buy frozen berries for fruit smoothies. I would love to garden and grow these veggies, but apartment-living has that bird caged. I can, however, start buying local produce either at Phoenix’s or the local farmer’s market every Saturday downtown. So that’s always good.

My green plan is to use up all I have (even stuff that is not recyclable, that I have already purchased- like the plastic bag that hold my waffles, used coffee filters, toothpaste (tube), individual teeth-flossers, plastic cheese wrappers, etc.) and then don’t buy those things again. I am only going to buy things I can recycle.& in that time, I need to find alternatives, or healthier things to use/ eat instead; with the things that are normally not recyclable. I can live without waffles, I can buy compostable coffee filters, I can make my own toothpaste (see next paragraph), teether-flossers I have no idea why I bought in the first place….and I don’t know quite yet about cheese; and meat. More research is needed in those areas. I am pretty sure that, although food-soiled paper can not be recycled, it can be composted…Again, though, I will have to dig deeper into that one. And also look into how I can possible start composting in my apartment. I know they sell bins that can sit on your counter and don’t smell, so I’ll have to do more research there, too.

Oh no! I am running low on both deodorant and toothpaste. Like any other person, I could just go to the store and buy more….but that goes totally against what I am trying to do, here..And I thought, why not try to make my own? Luckily for me, there are plenty of recipes out there on both of these things!  I remembered I had pinned something on Pinterest, so I looked there first. All of the toothpaste recipes were pretty similar; with baking soda, coconut oil, xylitol (a type of sweetener) and peppermint extract. I am going to need a few smaller jars as well to store these things in! Although, I’ll also have to see if any of my recycling things could be used 🙂 One of the three R’s is Reuse, after all. For the DO, the recipe varied a little, but what I found on Pinterest mostly said to use cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil, and any essential oils you want to add. One site also used arrowroot, and got some good reviews.. Once I make up these things, probably over the weekend, I will put another post up with how it went/ what I think, etc.

Some interesting facts I learned today:

  1. You don’t have to refrigerate onions, squash, or tomotates. In fact, they advise against it!
  2. If you are going to reuse plastic containers, any type of plastic container, for food storage: plastics #2, #4 and #5 are okay. But #3, #6, and #7 are NOT. This is because plastics can leach toxins after they are used for too long.

 

RANT: It is so annoying that Kroger, where I take my recycling, only takes plastics #1 and #2. Again, I have been throwing stuff into the recycling bins that can’t be recycled! UGH. I am going to have to make a “yes/no you can/cant recycle this” chart. & it looks like I’m going to have to make a call to find out where I can recycle my plastic #5s. Darn it. WHY can’t they have bins for all things that can be recycled at one place? That would make life so much easier. Instead, now, I potentially have to drive somewhere else to recycle my yogurt and cream cheese containers… It’s not a matter of recycling what can be recycled– it’s a matter of recycling those things….but ONLY if they CAN be recycled in your area. And that’s kinda bull shit. Note to self: move somewhere where kick-ass recycling programs are in place. I hate that it is like this, but for now, I am stuck in Toledo. And I can only do my best.

On a lighter note, I did find out about a cool mail-in recycling program with TerraCycle. Although these don’t really apply to me, since I am no longer going to be purchasing these products anyways (since most of them are not recyclable in the common sense of the term), I thought it was interesting. With these mail-in programs, TerraCycle takes things like toothpaste tubes, CapriSun drink pouches, musical instrument stings, Brita water filters, cigarettes, and even some candy wrappers. Mailing the waste in is free, however, it is sometimes required to have a certain amount of the object before mailing it in. Check the programs out here: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades . Also, here is a link to see which 5 five things you should and should not recycle: (useful mostly for me) http://nationswell.com/can-recycle-5-things-shouldnt-recycle/ . I probs will be making some type of chart that details what can be recycled in my area and where. This link (http://co.lucas.oh.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/910) is a good starting point for the Toledo area, but I buy other products that can be recycled, just not where I normally go..like plastic bread and bagel bags, and the #5 plastics previously mentioned.

I have also officially decided to purchase mesh produce bags when I am on a food-buying trip to the grocery store. YAY! I can’t wait to receive these babies. http://www.amazon.com/flip-tumble-Reusable-Produce-Bags/dp/B002UXQ7QQ?ie=UTF8&tag=buzz0f-20 . Now I just have to do……..yep, more research on how to store vegetables, especially, in the fridge without plastic.

So, my research list is compiled. I still have a lot of work to do! But I am glad I am learning a lot, so far. Even with these baby steps, I can tell I am making a change. I am so glad I am taking these steps to reduce my impact. A small change is better than nothing, after all. Even with my recycling mishaps, with the plastic #5 and the receipts, etc., I still feel like I am doing something to help. And knowledge is power. Now I know many things that I didn’t know before, and I am going to keep on learning and improving. That shall be one of my mottoes.

I am going to have a busy weekend! On top of some of this research (hopefully), I need to donate old clothes, shop for food (farmers market or Phoenix’s), and then go to Walmart to pick up ingredients to make my homemade DO and toothpaste. I’ll have to see if Phoenix’s has some of these things, too…I’m sure they do.

Also, if interested, follow my “Let’s Go Green” Board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nvonder/lets-go-green/

 

Nora

 

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