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A kitchen audit

April 16, 2009

Okay, we haven’t mentioned too terribly much about our efforts at going green lately.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been making changes or figuring out ways to make my home and family more eco-friendly.  The biggest thing I’ve been trying to cope with is how much plastic comes through here.  Have you ever thought about it?  Take a look in your pantry or your kitchen.  There’s a lot of plastic lurking there.  I’m very lucky to be able to recycle all plastics #1-7 where I live, but lots of people don’t have that kind of curbside pickup.  And even with the recycling truck coming by every week, I still find that we have a full recycling container to put out on the curb every time.  Yes, I know recycling is good.  But what we should really be focusing on is the reducing part, right?

If you think about it, just packing your child’s lunchbox is a plastic trap.  There’s typically a juice box or pouch with a straw, little single servings of snacks and fruits, a plastic sandwich bag, plastic spoons, etc.  Ugh.  It was getting to me, so the easiest changes I made were to Sam’s lunchbox.  We bought reusable water bottles that we fill with milk or juice now.  We also send dried fruit or single servings in little reusable containers.  We picked up some cheap spoons at a dollar store so I wouldn’t lose my cool if one didn’t make it home again.  And so far, it’s going great.  Every spoon has gotten back home and not one little container has been lost.  It’s made an impression on Sam too.  He gets that all those things he used to throw in the trash are gone now, and that those little changes add up.

But what else can I be doing at home?  Well, for starters, I’ve been buying more bulk items.  And if I can buy an item in cardboard packaging instead of plastic, then I do.  I’ve also been working on greening up my cleaning and washing supplies.  I am hooked on the Seventh Generation line.  It’s great stuff.  I picked up some microfiber cleaning cloths too and have been using them on every possible surface.  I’ve realized that it’s going to take me a while to get us where I want to be, but each change gets me a step closer.

Check out Tree Hugging Family for a green audit of your own kitchen and tips on making it plastic-free.  I’d love to hear tips from you guys on what steps you’ve taken with your families too.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. sumshay permalink
    April 17, 2009 2:56 pm

    You are right. (I know you love hearing that!)

    Seriously though, it is astounding to realize how much plastic packaging we use and throw away everyday.
    For instance, our supper last night consisted of marinated and grilled pork chops along with sliced potatoes prepared with an onion, bacon, and cheese topping. (Okay, maybe not the healthiest combo, but that’s not the point right now). Anyway, as I prepared supper, I realized every product I had was wrapped in some form of plastic. From the salad dressing bottle for marinating, the pork chop’s styrofoam and plastic cover, the bag from the potatoes, the cheese wrap, etc. And all of this–garbage!
    And that was just supper–that didn’t include any of the products I purchased for the rest of the house and our animals!!
    For a while, I felt better that we were recycling as much as we could, but then I realized we could do even better by reducing the amount of waste we produced by buying these things. It may be a difficult and slow transition, but I need to grocery shop with a more eco-friendly attitude.

    I just thought you should know that you are inspiring me to be even more earth conscious–so please keep it up. I need these reminders to continue.
    And that way while I’m in my kitchen I will hear your voice echoing in my head… wait, better yet, if your voice is in my kitchen you should be too–cooking and baking all your yummy treats– ah well, I guess that may be asking to much… : )

  2. April 17, 2009 9:04 pm

    Yes, I do think about the level of plastic that goes through our house and it bothers me too! We try to recycle as much as we can, but like you said, reducing what we use is the key. I’ve been trying to use re-usable containers too. I’ll have to try the micro-fiber towels for cleaning… That is a good idea.

  3. oneordinaryday permalink
    May 1, 2009 8:59 pm

    Sumshay – You crack me up. Call me more often and you won’t have to only hear my voice in your head!

    Farmer Gal – I feel like I’m making progress, one step at a time. I think becoming aware of what you consume is a great step.

    – Shell

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