It is time for The Out of Town Cook’s first challenge and it’s a doozy. For a while I have been trying to figure out how my husband and I are able to generate so much waste and garbage on a daily/ weekly basis. We recycle, we compost occasionally, we are aware . . . so what are we doing wrong. I started to do a little research about recycling and discovered that like everything else recycling is big, I mean seriously BIG business. Where the recyclables you put at your curb end up really in the end depends on where your municipality sends it – who buys it. The largest buyer of recyclable waste is China and well its mindboggling. This is a good article https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html
and so is this
Reading these and other articles that I found was rather depressing and didn’t make me feel better about the waste my household generates. It got me thinking about what is taught in schools regarding trash. It isn’t just about recycling it’s about reduction and reusing what we have. The more I thought about this the more I realized that the waste my family generates is overwhelming. By no means do I think I can reduce my waste to a handful as I have seen some bloggers do, but in reality I started to think that with a little effort we could vastly reduce the amount of waste. It isn’t going to be easy, it is going to mean that there will always be dishes to wash – no more disposable plastic/ paper dishes, no more plastic cutlery, bakeware, napkins or paper towels. As I started looking into the non-disposable alternatives I realized that although there is an expense involved in the long term I wont be (literally) throwing my money away. Here is a list of the things we plan on replacing with non-disposable alternatives over the next few months.
Disposable aluminum pans - USA brand baking pans & Pyrex baking dishes
Paper towels - cloth dish towels
Paper napkins - cloth napkins
Plastic storage containers - glass storage containers
Ziploc bags - glass containers / silicon reusable washable zipper bags
Plastic/paper grocery bags - canvas & insulated grocery bags
Super market plastic produce bags - reusable mesh bags
Food packaging - mason jars to store bulk bin purchases
Kcups - refillable washable cups
Disposable plates - bulk purchase of simple glass plates (20 place settings)
Disposable cutlery - bulk purchase of stainless cutlery
Plastic drinking cups - glasses in assorted sizes
Disposable water bottles - stainless steel reusable bottles
Gallon water bottles - water filtration system for tap water
It seems daunting but in reality we spend a fortune on things we throw away – that we buy knowing we will throw them away. So I am not jumping in and ordering all of the non-disposable items today but as I get to the end of a non-reusable item or close to the end I will replace it with a reusable item. So instead of spending around $25 for a bulk package of Bounty paper towels that maybe will last a month to six weeks I will order a bulk pack of 24 dishtowels for $17.99. Just there the savings over the course of the year is over $200.00. What is even better when the dishtowels are too dingy for my liking I can donate them cleaned to an animal shelter. I am starting to like this.
Who is game? Join me in the Reduce & Reuse Challenge. Let support each other and help clean up our little corners of the world. Share your inspirations, solutions, questions etc to my facebook event page. Let’s share our creative ideas!.
Hi, I'm Chef Shoshana. I have been cooking as long as I can remember starting out in both of my grandmothers kitchens learning by observing and practice. Over the years I have cooked my way through all of life's moments; cooking for family, friends, and clients. For me cooking has always been an expression of caring and love. Each meal I prepare is a reflection of that. When I cook for a client I want them to feel as if the meal was made by a loved one especially for them. The blog section of my website is where you will find recipes & anecdotes from my daily experiences in the kitchen with both clients and family. I hope you enjoy!