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Life without Plastic

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Broken Crayons Begone (Responsibly)!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.



Today we are going to talk about how to recycle crayons properly. Here is the step by-step-process to help you get those broken crayons recycled and keep them out of the landfill.

  • First, create a place for a shipping envelope filled with unwanted junk mail envelopes, with the color marked on the envelope for each color. Apparently black, purple, and blue are hard to sort, so the sorting is optional, but a nice gesture.
  • Try to leave the wrappers on the crayons to help with sorting colors, if possible. 
  • Second, when the envelope is full, seal each envelope.
  • Third, seal with plastic-free tape
  • Fourth, weigh the package or use a flat rate envelope from the post office.
  • Fifth, address the box/pay for postage to the current crayon recycling facility.
  • Sixth, send to the Crazy Crayons Recycle Program.
  • Seventh, (assuming you need to replace your crayons) buy all-natural, plastic-free, bio-degradable older kid beeswax crayonsbeeswax crayons or soy crayons for my vegan friends. Or go ahead and make your own beeswax crayons/recycle old 100% beeswax crayons (the steps are the same if you are using crayons made with only beeswax & not other waxes, just chop up your old crayons instead of the wax and soap) if you have access to good quality beeswax:
  1. Gather 1 oz of beeswax and 1 oz of inexpensive bar soap, along with your all-natural food coloring or DIY the dye from food.
  2. Chop up beeswax into pieces and grate soap. Melt the soap and beeswax in a mason jar in a pan of water. Watch the mixture closely and keep it on Medium-Low. You do not want it to boil or it will foam up putting air bubbles in your crayons. If this does happen, let it set for a couple of minutes, gently stirring to remove air bubbles. 
  3. When the soap and beeswax have melted, divide the hot liquid before adding colors.  Carefully mix in color. The more of the food coloring you add, the more vibrant the color will be.
  4. Lightly grease the mold you will be using to pour the liquid into. Possible molds are ice cube trays, mini muffin pans, or soap molds.
  5. Pour the melted mixture into your mold and allow to dry completely. If the crayons have become chunky and you are using an oven safe mold, pop them in a 350 oven for a few minutes to melt a bit. Be careful not to let them go too long or they will begin to foam up and create air bubbles.
  6.  Remove from mold and color away.
Here's to keeping crayons out of the landfill and keeping your crayons all natural.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Never Worry About Junk Mail Again!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.

I don't know about you, but one of the most frustrating parts of my day is bringing in the mail. I open the front door, one arm full of UG3 and let UG1 open the door.  We walk down our porch steps and open the front gate. UG1 begs to get the mail, so I let her grab it.

I double check the box, since she can barely reach in the box and often misses pieces of mail about half of the time. Sure enough, she got the Redplum catalog, but missed the letter sized mail. I hand the rest of the mail over to UG1, who is jumping up and down with all of her 4 year old might. She takes it inside and hands it to me to look it over. Sure enough, it's a bunch of junk. Not one letter, not a package, and not even a bill.

If this sounds like your situation too, then let's tackle this junk mail step by step.  We'll do USA tips first, then tips for our UK friends across the pond.


For the USA:
  • First, opt out of Yellow Pages- Based on your zip code, the system will identify which subscriptions you may receive and offer you the option to opt out.
  • Second, use the DMAchoice, an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association, it will help you: 
- have your name removed from the lists companies use to find new customers or donors, and magazine publishers use to find new subscribers,
- stop receiving catalogs from companies you haven't purchased from or magazine offers from publishers you haven't subscribed to,
- stop receiving mail offers from companies you haven't donated to or purchased from.
  • Third, use OptOutPrescreen, a centralized service to accept and process requests from consumers to opt-in or opt-out of firm offers of credit or insurance. It offers two options: 
- electronic opt-out for five years: your name will not be eligible for inclusion on lists used for firm offers of credit or insurance for five years.
- permanent opt-out by mail: your name will no longer be eligible for inclusion on lists for firm offers of credit or insurance (in order to complete your permanent opt-out election, you must print and mail the permanent opt-out election form).
  • Fourth, use Catalog choice, a free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more. They don't have all companies in their listings though. The process is pretty simple: 
- you receive unwanted mail: unwanted catalogs, coupons and credit card offers, donation requests, and other junk mail arrive daily and clutter your home or office,
- you report it to them: you can simply log in to create a free account and register your opt-outs online. Just search for the company, and submit the opt—out,
- they'll take it from there: they act on your behalf to protect your consumer rights and get your opt-outs processed. You can keep track of your opt-outs, and if you receive the mail again, they will follow up!
  • Fifth, fill out a change of address form for any previous tenants whose mail you receive regularly (the online form won't work because it requires a forwarding address). In lieu of a new address, write "Moved, no forwarding address" and added "form filled in by current resident, [Your Name], agent for the above" next to your signature.
  • Sixth, contact the sender directly for any mail that wasn't stopped by the previous steps: Look for the sender's contact information and ask for your name and address to be removed from the database.
  • For occasion mail for an old resident, strike out the old resident's name and write "moved" while leaving it in the mailbox for the postman. Striking out of the name to make it obvious that it's the wrong address, whereas writing on mail alone might be glanced over.
  • Next, use the free PaperKarma mobile app to take pictures of any unwanted mail that hasn't been deterred by the previous steps. This app "automatically unsubscribes you from junk mail and unwanted catalogs. Go postal on direct mailings and marketing distribution lists.Catalog choice is yours: simply snap a photo to take control of your mailbox. Help save trees and positively impact the environment too!" They send updates on progress to your email.
  • After you have taken your picture, you can make a little money while you wait to be unsubscribed. Sell the junk mail that is already coming in both your email as well as your mailbox.-As a consumer panelist for a market research study, you send your qualified junk mail and junk emails to SBKC and they compensate you for it.
  • If you are just frustrated, you've  tried everything else, and you can't sell it, then try writing one of the following- Refused: Return to Sender, No Longer at This Address, or Take me off your mailing list. If you still get mail from the same sender, you can open up the mail and use the paid return envelope to send a letter requesting to be removed from their mailing list. 
  • Be polite but firm in the note. Don’t resort to foul or abusive language. If you’re not sure what to write, try something simple like “Please remove me from your mailing list. I do not wish to receive any future offers/solicitations, etc.” Make sure to include your name and mailing address on the note because your contact information will not be on the pre-paid return envelope.

    If they still send you mail after a couple of months, include another letter and try stuffing the envelopes with shredded paper until they can’t hold any more material. If you’re worried that they won’t stay shut, you may want to reinforce the closure with paper tape.
  • Lastly, according to U.S.C. Title 39 - Postal Service section 3008. Prohibition of pandering advertisements, you can fill out Form 1500 to stop delivery of any material that you find offensive. All you have to do is fill out a USPS Form 1500 and attach the opened mail piece to it and turn it in to the Post Office. The USPS will issue an order that no more mailings be sent to you by that mailer. 
    •  Form 1500 states that the mailing contains pornographic material that you find offensive. (The law says the determination of what is offensive or pornographic is at the sole discretion of the recipient). The two-sided form is available at any Post Office, and photo copies of it are acceptable. It is easy to fill out and takes only a minute or two. The USPS will send you a letter with a case number, stating when the cease and desist order was issued to the mailer. If you receive mailings after a grace period you can report them to the enforcement office - instructions provided in the letter. 
Now to help our friends from across the pond get started in the UK:
  • First, tackle unaddressed Royal Mail mail- They are still legally obliged to deliver all addressed mail including mail that is addressed ‘To the Occupier’.
You also need to get permission from others in the household before you send the opt-out form. Once Royal Mail receives your signed form you will stop receiving unaddressed mail within 6 weeks.The easiest way is to visit the Royal Mail website and download a copy of the form.
Go to the site and click –  Register Stop unsolicited mail
Tick the box -I wish to register my address details to be removed from mailing lists
Enter your postcode
Select the address you wish to register or add address manually
Add your details (Title, Forename & Surname) Here you have the option to add another individual
Select why you wish to register from the options
To activate your subscription enter your email
To complete your registration they will send you an activation e-mail. Once received, open the e-mail and simply click on the attached link, this will activate your subscription.
This service only covers UK addresses and you cannot register PO Box Numbers or business addresses.
  • Third, contact the Your Choice Preference Service for unaddressed mail. You can contact them via email YourChoice@dma.org.uk. 
They send a ‘Your Choice’ registration pack for free. Print off the form, fill in your details and send a scanned copy back to them via email. You need to provide your full address, including postcode and make sure that you sign and date the form.

To return the form to you can either scan and email to YourChoice@dma.org.uk or post the form to the following address:

‘Your Choice’ Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
  • Fourth, for occasion mail for an old resident, strike out the old resident's name and write "moved" while leaving it in the mailbox for the postman. Striking out of the name to make it obvious that it's the wrong address, whereas writing on mail alone might be glanced over.
  • Fifth, use the free PaperKarma mobile app to take pictures of any unwanted mail that hasn't been deterred by the previous steps. This app "automatically unsubscribes you from junk mail and unwanted catalogs. Go postal on direct mailings and marketing distribution lists.Catalog choice is yours: simply snap a photo to take control of your mailbox. Help save trees and positively impact the environment too!" They send updates on progress to your email.
  • Sixth, after you have taken your picture, you can make a little money while you wait to be unsubscribed. Sell the junk mail that is already coming in both your email as well as your mailbox.-As a consumer panelist for a market research study, you send your qualified junk mail and junk emails to SBKC and they compensate you for it.
  • Seventh, if you can't sell it, then try writing one of the following- Refused: Return to Sender, No Longer at This Address, or Take me off your mailing list.

  • Lastly, contact the Sender directly- Under the Data Protection Act 1998 any person or business must stop using your personal information for marketing if you ask them to. They cannot refuse to take your name off their list. The Information Commissioner’s Office has a great free template that you can use to send to companies. If they fail to contact you back you can then formally request they stop using Section 11 of the Data Protection Act.
Bonus tips: While you're waiting to get off their mailing lists, here are some ways to reuse your junk mail to save some cash and how to get rid of junk mail in one step.
  • Make notepads out of security envelopes- Here is a great tutorial for making notepads from the unwanted security envelopes until they get you off their list.
  • Make envelopes out of magazines/catalogs- Here is a great tutorial for making envelopes from the unwanted magazines/catalogs until they get you off their list.
  • Make doll food out of the ads-Here is a great tutorial for making doll food from the unwanted ads until they get you off their list.



  • If you are willing to pay a small fee (generally $20-30) to clean out your physical mailbox, services like Greendimes41 Pounds, and Stop the Junk Mail can take care of the problem for you. All you do is provide a information about you and your problem address and the services will make the necessary calls to get you off of junk and grey mail lists. This should get rid of almost all of your junk mail, with almost no effort on your part. Whoo-hoo!
I'll be holding onto my junk mail until September Zero Waste Week 2017, where I'll put aside the time to follow all of the steps above as my pledge.
Here's to an almost empty mailbox!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Shop Like a Zero Waste Pro!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.

Today we are going to compare going shopping the average way or pre-zero waste way.

First is the pre-zero waste shopping prep:

1.Grab wallet or purse, or diaper bag if you have small children. This is used to carry cash or a debit/credit card for your purchases and baby/toddler odds and ends.

2. Don't forget your keys! These give you access to your place of living and access to your vehicle, if you have one.
Www.Littleurbangreenie.Blogspot.Com Natural Tote Bag Front
3. Maybe you also grab some reusable bags. If so, you're already on your way towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

4.  Lastly, put on shoes and you're good to go.

Second, we have zero-waste and plastic-free shopping prep:
1. Grab wallet or purse, or diaper bag if you have small children. This is used to carry cash or a debit/credit card for your purchases and baby/toddler odds and ends.
2. Don't forget your keys! These give you access to your place of living and access to your vehicle, if you have one.
Produce bags in muslin
3. Grab some reusable produce bags for grocery trips. You can either make your own or buy them from talented Etsy sellers. You can also bring glass jars for liquids, such as peanut butter.
Www.Littleurbangreenie.Blogspot.Com Natural Tote Bag Front
4.  Grab your reusable bags. Again, you can either buy the new Little Urban Greenie bag directly or make your own out of old T-shirts. Save a bird, save a marine animal, and save your wallet with a bag credit discount.
File:Woman's Bar Shoes 1880-85.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
5. Lastly, grab some shoes for when you get the store or for leaving the house. I dare you to join the barefoot movement, but sadly most stores require shoes to enter their establishments.

Now, comparing average shopping trip vs the zero waste trip. All you do for the zero waste trip is use your produce bags that you brought with you for bulk goods and produce, instead of the bags provided. Then you check out with your reusable bags, vs using the paper or plastic ones that are available.

Plastic-Free July Challenge-
I found a receipt in the parking lot, but that was it for litter picking this week.

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How do you zero waste shop?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is Being Green Affecting Your Wallet?

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.

Is Kermit the frog right when he said, "It's not easy being green."?  Is the zero waste lifestyle only for those who can afford it? Many zero waste and plastic-free lovers seem to be able to buy their way to an eco-friendly lifestyle. They have the store bought beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap, the organic cotton produce bags, and the stainless steel or glass water bottles. They shop at the farmer's market and avoid the plastic produce stickers and other plastic packaging.

What about the working class? Are there any "normal" people who also live zero waste and plastic-free lifestyles? You know, who don't live in a rich community in California and go on European vacations several times a year? Or this lifestyle simply unattainable for anyone who lives below a certain income?

Good news! Many eco-friendly practices are also wallet-friendly practices; and it all starts with a budget. If it's not in the budget, it simply won't happen in our house (which by the way, is a working class, one-income family until this blog produces serious income). Yep, I said the family-friendly "B" word.

If you haven't been using a budget, now is the time to start. Once you control your money and it doesn't control you, you can see where you can make wallet-friendly changes. Similar to a waste audit, budgeting lets you see where your money is being wasted and where it's being used wisely.
So, how to set up a simple budget? Start where you are at! Are you paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly? Then set your budget up with how often you are paid. Even if you are paid every two weeks (fortnightly), you can break your budget down for a weekly grocery trip, etc. if it works better for your family. Mr. Greenie is paid weekly, so we budget on a weekly basis. 

Next, are you salaried or paid hourly? If you are salaried, then your budget will be easy to make consistent. If you are paid hourly, then you average out what your paychecks are and use that average as your total budget. This is your base line. As needed, you adjust your budget to the size of your paycheck.

Use this free budget tool from Dave Ramsey for easy, automatic math budgeting. Or you can create your own paper or spreadsheet using my instructions below.

(See this screenshot for a visual example of a weekly budget)
Next, you make five columns. In the 1st column you name the sub categories of your budget, Paycheck, Groceries, Toiletries, etc. In the 2nd column, you list the main categories such as Income, Food, Personal, etc. and do your math for your overall total for that sub category from the last pay period combined with this pay period. In the 3rd column, you enter the budgeted amount. In the 4th column, you enter what's left over after the budgeted amount is subtracted. You keep working your way down from the 4th column to the 3rd column line just below it. In the 5th column, you show the overall total from your 2nd column math, straight across.

For either an easy digital, paper, or spreadsheet budget, zero waste and plastic free "Reusables" sub category would go under the Personal category and Debts category comes last, where you allocate the last of your money after everything else is figured out.


Practice using your budget for 2-3 months and fine tune it so that it works best for your family. Once you have figured out where your money is going, you can see what zero waste changes you can afford right now. If you want to start with a few free changes, sign up for my email list!

While the working class zero wasters may not be able to completely buy their way into eco-friendly living, budgeting for making some beeswax wraps,etc. may be attainable. So Kermit, it can be easy being green.

Plastic-Free July Challenge Update:

We haven't been out much lately, but here is what I collected this week for our Plastic-Free July challenge!


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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Best Solution Ever to Find Your Outer Waste

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.


What is the best way to find where your waste is going? The best way is to do a waste audit and this is how to do it.


1st: Make a list of what's in your trash can-
There are different kinds of waste, but the most important kind of waste you audit is in your trash can. When you look at your trash, you analyze what trash you’ve created over a given period of time. This can be daily, weekly or monthly, or until the can is full. You write down what is in your main trash can; analyze if it needs to be thrown away OR recycled/given away/composted, etc.; and weigh it. The weighing is optional, but it can help you keep track of where you are at and how far you go.

Your audit can include all of your trash cans, from the kitchen, bathroom, offices and other rooms of the house, or you can just audit one room at time if you want to tackle your waste in smaller steps.


2nd: One Man's Trash....-
First off, are you throwing away things that are usable, either for your family or others around you? Clothing can be sold to ThreadUp if you have good quality items and certain brands, given to a neighbor on Buy Nothing Project or Freecycle, donated to your local thrift store, or used for craft projects. They never need be tossed into the landfill. You never know what may be useful to someone else. There’s a produce sticker artist you can send your stickers to, which aren’t recyclable or compostable and otherwise would need to be tossed.
3rd: Can it be recycled?-
Next, can you recycle it? Check with your local recycling agency to see what they recycle. The contents vary by location, but there are some harder to recycle things that can be recycled if you mail them as well. (See my Free Resources page, under the Zero Waste Section for more ideas) Glass and metal are always best. Then comes paper, then plastic, then items can only be trashed. Paper can be recycled 4-7 times before it can be composted. Plastic just gets downcycled by being “recycled” once.

4th: Can it be transformed?
Are you throwing away food scraps? If so, can the scraps be transformed into another meal? Veggie peels and meat bones make great broths. Fruit scraps can become smoothies or vinegars. Cooked grains can be made into casseroles or soups with dairy and other leftovers. 


5th: Could it, would feed a bird?
If your scraps don’t seem edible, could they be given to pets or livestock to supplement their diets? Chickens are omnivores and eat almost everything thrown into their coop, cats and dogs can eat meat scraps (not pork) and the list goes on.

6th: Just rot it!
If your food scraps aren’t edible and can’t be given to pets and livestock, can you compost it? If it is a food, paper product, or comes from life (i.e. hair, nair clippings, plant waste, etc.) it can probably be composted. Some places have commercial composting facilities, but most of the time you will need to use some form of home composting (worm bin and/or bokashi bin for indoors, black soldier fly composting, outdoor pile, or any combination of these methods).

7th: Do you really need that much wrapping?
Can you get it with less packaging? Shopping at other locations may provide you with alternatives that have less waste, including bulk shopping, shopping at the farmer’s market, and bring your own container options, which often are cheaper than buying in smaller packages.


8th: Is there a reusable option?
Can you get a reusable version? Are you tossing of a lot of paper towels, antibacterial cleaning wipes, Q-tips? Start small and make or buy a few reusable alternatives that can be washed and used over and over. Reuse some old worn-out clothing to make cleaning cloths to replace paper towels and cleaning wipes. Buy an ear spoon to replace Q-tips.

9th: Maybe I'll make one instead..
Can you make your own alternative? Are you finding lots of packaging from eating out or packaged foods? Start making your own, one simple meal at a time.  I love searching for "copycat" recipes from my favorite restaurants.You will save money and be healthier. The same goes for cleaning products and many toiletries as well.

10th: The Ultimate Question...
Decide if you really need the product after all. After thinking through your alternatives, you may just find that your favorite product isn’t actually needed after all.

11th: Give it a try!
The last step in your waste audit is to start to implement a change or two. After your changes are comfortable, repeat the audit and see if there are any other changes you are ready to make.


I was out and about a couple of times this past week. The items I picked up were recycled where possible and thrown into the garbage where necessary. Here are the photos from those two outings:
Cigarette Butts can be composted!
 











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Urban Naturale Blog Hop

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Have you ever done a waste audit? If so, how did it go?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What if Your Roommate Isn't Zero Waste?

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.



Recently we had a friend move in with us who isn't Zero Waste or Plastic-Free, or a practicing member of our church. Although it's only been a couple of weeks, I've realized how different our lifestyle is. Since our roommate is one of my husband's co-workers, he isn't home much. Soon enough, we'll probably have a talk about how we do certain things.

In reflecting upon our differences, I've hit upon some simple ideas to help us live together as comfortably possible, while still being able to live our zero-waste lifestyle.



Simple Ideas for a "Wasteful" Roommate
  • I've labeled the trash (with No Food Waste warning), compost, and where to put unwanted food (in our house, it's the "Chicken Bucket" in the fridge for giving scraps to the chickens). 
  • Mr. Greenie will be offering to eat any of our roommate's leftovers so that it doesn't need to be given to the chickens. We usually eat up any leftovers before the chickens get them. This will reduce the food waste.
  • As we have the smallest size city trash can, we have to pay very little to toss our small amount of trash. Our roommate however, uses quite a few disposables, including diapers for when he has his son, eats fast food, etc. To cover the cost of additional trash, water, and electricity for leaving on the lights and keeping his basement bedroom "cold" with a personal a/c unit, we have him contribute towards utilities to offset the cost. The thermostat won't go below 78 F.
  • We let him live his life and we live ours, while addressing any questions that arise. While it would be amazing for everyone to adopt zero-waste practices, we don't push. Our roommate is an adult, and has the right to live as he chooses. Want to know the secret to get more people to join the zero-waste movement?....Be a good example! We don't adopt his lifestyle, but we accommodate him where we can. We didn't start our zero waste journey in the middle, and we can't expect that of anyone else.
 
Plastic-Free July Update-
    It's only been five days of practicing our Plastic-Free July challenge, but so far so good. I haven't left the house much, but when we went out to see a beautiful waterfall, I was able to collect a couple things that were just thrown on the ground. At Mr. Greenie's request, I threw both the cigarette butt and single flosser into the nearby trash rather than collect them for the month. I'm keeping a container in our van for collecting when UG1, UG3, and I are out and about. I may just sneak a couple of pictures before I dispose of whatever we find.



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    What are some ways that you've reconciled different lifestyles into one household?

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    How We Do Plastic-Free July Like Ninjas

    The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.
    Used with Permission from Plastic Free July

    I apologize for missing last week's post. I was finishing up work on a cookbook for eating local and I just wanted to get it done. Right now it is in the editing phase, but you can bet I'll keep posting updates as they come!

    Where We Have Done Well
    This year we're participating in Plastic-Free July for the first time! It was very hard to decide how to participate, as we have eliminated so much plastic from our lives already. We use wooden toothbrushes, homemade toothpaste, all metal safety razors, shampoo bars and soap in paper, stainless steel and glass water bottles, refuse plastic straws, use our own grocery bags or go without, bringing our own to-go containers when we eat out, Mr. Greenie has already been switching over his deodorant after waiting for it to run out, etc.
    And...Not So Well
    There is definitely room for improvement in the food area. We can't currently afford the switch from milk in plastic jugs to glass, as we are still in debt reduction mode and milk in glass is almost four times as expensive as milk in plastic. Milk is a staple in our home, so we're not giving it up. We also  (rarely) buy meat in the marked down section of our grocery store, which is always prepackaged. We also buy cheese in plastic, again for cost reasons, but we could probably buy our cheese from Winco (which sells bulk cheese) and have them just put it in paper until we can get home to coat it in beeswax.
    How Will We Participate?
    Since Winco is a bit of a drive though and we don't need cheese right now, we have opted not to switch our cheesy ways for July. We have decided to... (pause for effect) pick up trash/recycling everywhere we go for a month. I will be posting weekly update posts all through the month of July and the beginning of August.

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    Bouquet of Talent PartyInspiration Galore Party ProjectNifty Thrifty PartyInspiration MondayMakers Make PartyMix It Up Monday,Creative CornerCreative GalleryA Round TuitThe Scoop Link PartyClever Chicks BloghopLou Lou Girls' Fabulous PartyProject InspireTotally Terrific Tuesday Link PartyHome Away From Home PartyInspire Me TuesdayLove Learn BloghopShare It TuesdayUrban Naturale Blog HopCreative Muster PartyHomestead Blog Hop,Wow Us WednesdaysWonderful Wednesday Blop HopHomesteader Blog HopWine'd Down Wednesdays,Wise Woman LinkupWow Me WednesdayWildly Original Link PartyArtsy Fartsy Link PartyThink Tank Thursday Link UpThis is How We Roll ThursdaySimple Homestead BloghopWhat to Do Weekends PartyPretty Pintastic PartyHome Matters PartyFriday Feature Linky PartyFriendship FridayDear Creatives LinkupSimple Saturdays BloghopDare to Share LinkupSaturday SharefestShare One More Time PartyCreate Bake Make Party

    How will you participate in Plastic-Free July this year?

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    "Baking" as a Couple with Less Waste

    The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.

    DISCLOSURE: Please note these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

    This is a sensitive topic, so reader discretion is advised, although I will do my best to keep it PG by using "baking" supply analogies. I will be discussing "baking" and how to improve a marital type of relationship while creating less waste.



    Recently I attended a different kind of Tupperware party. This kind of party was for empowering women, so that they can have closer relationships with their spouses. Different types of "baking" supplies were discussed to help achieve this closeness. Although I love the message behind the company (Pure Romance) and my friend who sells the products, they are not a zero-waste or plastic-free company. After attending the party, it got me thinking, first how grateful I am for my happy marriage and second, what are all of the zero waste and plastic-free options for "baking" as a couple?

    There are several types of "baking"  supplies available. For the most eco-friendly options, keep reading.

    • You can buy new plastic-free "aprons"- as discussed in this review. You can also buy different styles of "aprons" that work for you and your spouse as used articles of clothing- see Why Buy it Used. Finally, you can also Make Your Own for free with used natural fabrics/organic fabrics. Vintage patterns are unique and easy to find for free online.
    • You can buy "unscented extracts" to help increase interest and confidence, sold in glass for both men and women and you can add any essential oils/ perfume you wear for scent.
    • You can always help your spouse relax by "kneading the dough" first. There are two essential oils that are great for calming down (lavender oil) and cheering up (ylang ylang oil).
    • When it comes to "baking" toys such as Easy Bake Oven, buy stainless steel or glass versus plastic, rubber, or silicone for more durability. Avoid plastic most, silicone next, and use rubber as a biodegradable, but less durable option.  My friend sells silicone options, which seem to be the most common. When you have finished using them, recycle in your electronics recycling program OR discretely here for Canada & USA and here for UK. 
    • For "greasing the pan", there are several waste-less and natural options available-
    1. Plain coconut oil, pure aloe vera gel, olive oil, almond oil, apricot oil, etc. (Not "rubber oven mitt" safe)
    2. 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum (bought in bulk) in a 1/2 a cup water ("rubber oven mittsafe)
    3. Delicious Honey-Vanilla Body Oil
    4. Tingly Water-Based ("rubber oven mittsafe!) "Grease" adapted from this recipe
    1 cup COLD water
    4 teaspoons arrowroot flour
    5 drops peppermint essential oil (for cooling sensation) AND/OR 3 drops black pepper essential oil (for warming sensation)

    In a small cooking pot, add the COLD water and arrowroot flour. The water must be cold or the arrowroot will clump up. Mix until combined. Slowly bring to a boil on MEDIUM-LOW heat, stirring often.

    Once it boils, the liquid will look kind of like gelatin or glue. Remove it from the stove and pour into your container. Let cool slightly and add the essential oils directly to your container. Add more or less essential oils once you've tested this amount for comfort.

    Store it at room temperature. Putting it in the refrigerator or freezer will allow a skin to form on the lube.

    You may also enjoy Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Family Planning and Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Pregnancy Detection.

    Featured on:
    Waste Not Wednesday

    Shared to:

    Bouquet of Talent PartyInspiration Galore Party ProjectNifty Thrifty PartyInspiration MondayMakers Make PartyMix It Up Monday,Creative CornerCreative GalleryA Round TuitThe Scoop Link PartyClever Chicks BloghopLou Lou Girls' Fabulous PartyProject InspireTotally Terrific Tuesday Link PartyHome Away From Home PartyInspire Me TuesdayLove Learn BloghopShare It TuesdayUrban Naturale Blog HopCreative Muster PartyHomestead Blog Hop,Wow Us WednesdaysWonderful Wednesday Blop HopHomesteader Blog HopWine'd Down Wednesdays,Wise Woman LinkupWow Me WednesdayWildly Original Link PartyArtsy Fartsy Link PartyThink Tank Thursday Link UpThis is How We Roll ThursdaySimple Homestead BloghopWhat to Do Weekends PartyPretty Pintastic PartyHome Matters PartyFriday Feature Linky PartyFriendship FridayDear Creatives LinkupSimple Saturdays BloghopDare to Share LinkupSaturday SharefestShare One More Time PartyCreate Bake Make Party

    Here's to closer "baking" as a couple with less waste!

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