2011-12-29

Zero Waste Christmas

Here is how we did some things this Christmas and what we hope to work on in the future:

Christmas Dinner(s) Food Ingredients:
Items found in bulk/loose with zero waste
-Wheat flour
-Oat
-Almonds
-Sugar
-Salt
-Buttermilk: left from when I made butter 
-Cheesy loaf from Panera: put directly into a bag 
-Chocolate chips
-Yukon Gold potatoes in mesh bag
-Sweet potatoes in mesh bag
-Garlic in mesh bag
-Carrots in mesh bag
-Maple syrup 
-Peanut butter
-Baking soda: already had, can get in bulk in the future
-Cinnamon: already had, can get in bulk in the future
-Nutmeg: already had, can get in bulk in the future

Items in bulk/loose with minimal waste and/or recycled items
- Apples put in mesh bag: waste being the stickers they put on produce
-Homemade butter: waste being the plastic lids from the cream
-Lemon put in mesh bag: waste being the sticker they put on produce
-Eggs in carton: waste being the egg shells and recycled being the carton, plan to start composting shells
-Vanilla: already had, can make in the future from bulk vanilla beans and vodka with glass that can be recycled. Will currently have plenty as Paula made us some homemade :)
-Blueberries: waste being a plastic container that seems to be the only option - plan to recycle
-Whole milk in glass: waste being plastic lid
-1% milk in glass: waste being plastic lid
-Yeast: recycled glass jar
-Tea: Tea leaves in bulk- only waste is the coffee filter used to make, in the future we plan to avoid this by not using the tea maker and doing it the old fashion way by using our teapot or if we do use the tea maker we could start composting filters.

Seemingly unavoidable waste and ideas for the future
-Black Cherry Kool-Aid: waste being the paper packet. I usually only make this for holidays since it's a family favorite and a sort of treat for me, so not sure if I will give it up - but I do not do it very often.
- Brown sugar: waste being the plastic bag. Ideas anyone? There are no bulk options here.
-Ham: waste plastic wrap. Admittedly I didn't try hard enough on this one. I stuck with the ham I've purchased in the past that I enjoy and that is simple. I think I will force myself to see if there is a way to get ham directly from the meat counter, put into a larger Pyrex or something for the future.
-Gluten free Chex: waste plastic inside, recycled the cardboard. No bulk options here. It seems the only option is to just not make puppy chow as it did seem to have a lot of waste with plastic from cereal, and plastic from powdered sugar. Idk.
-Powdered sugar-waste being the plastic bag. Ideas anyone?
-Baking powder: already had - will have to investigate zero waste options for the future, not sure if there is a bulk option.
-Black pepper: already had-can get in bulk but not completely waste free bulk, will look to see if 119th has it in bulk waste free. 
-Cocoa: already had - will have to investigate zero waste options for the future.

Gifts
-Currently still trying to use up some of the wrapping paper we already have and the gift bags we have reused already several times and just are basically trying to give away lol. I promise to never buy another gift bag or any wrapping paper again though, so now it's just a matter of using up what we currently have.

-Did make some homemade gifts this year, along with gifts that had minimal packaging, gifts of donation,  gifts cards, and items that encourage eco-friendliness, like a reusable mug and bulk bags.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!