Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bringing on the green

What do you do to keep it green in the kitchen? No, not vegetables or fruits. What have you changed in your kitchen habits to tread more gently on this earth?

I always considered myself a pretty darn good recycler until we moved to our community here in Columbus. They curbside recycle *everything* here, from juice boxes and magazines to aerosol cans and old auto oil, along with the traditional paper-cans-plastic bottles.

We've also built a compost pile behind our garage. Between composting and recycling, our kitchen garbage is almost non-existent. Only plastic bags and wrap from packages, animal food waste and lids from jars are thrown away.

To cut down on the amount of freezer bags I use for leftovers, etc., I wrap the food I want to freeze in wax paper (easily decomposes) and then put the items in the freezer bag. I can use the freezer bag again and again, without tossing it.

Another big change is I exclusively use a vinegar and water solution in the kitchen for disinfecting and cleaning. The "distinctive" odor fades as soon as it dries and I love that when I use it on G's highchair tray, I know that there is no yucky residue. My friend E uses Shaklee items exclusively and is really happy with them. Another friend S uses Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning products. Here is a website that has "recipes" for other homemade cleaners too.

Lastly, I have dubbed myself the human garbage disposal. I know, I know, it is not a very appealing name, but I find myself nibbling on the leftovers that my boys (within *reason*!) leave on their plates in order to cut down on the amount we throw away.

Now, how 'bout you?


Steel Magnolia said...

Hey, did you see Oprah today? I just watched the tivo'd version. I use the "Better Bags" from Whole Foods as my shopping bags too. Oh and I just took the plunge and ordered those cloth diapers-YIKES!

Slacker Mama said...

I have reusable grocery bags AND I sometimes remember to bring them into the store!

As I'm finishing my cleaning supplies, I'm switching over to more environmentally friendly (e.g., Method).

We recycle. And I'm trying to reduce the number of baggies we go through by packing the girls' lunches in reusable containers.

I'll try your wax paper tip. I'll admit I use a lot of freezer bags for chicken, etc. I know I should cut back but it makes my prep so much easier at a time when I need all the help I can get.

Steel Magnolia said...

Someone sent me an email that Mrs. Meyers products may not be as good as once thought...here is the link http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/ask/meyers...thought you'd be interested.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Thanks SM. What type of diapers did you order? I know there are a ton of options out there...

Steel Magnolia said...

I ordered the bumGenius ones. They seemed to have rave reviews. The site I ordered from has a 30 day guarantee too-so no risk really...

JerseyBaby said...

Go Columbus for being so green!

I use vinegar and water for my own cleaning, but hubby and the sitter use Method because they're wusses about the vinegar smell, even if I add lavendar oils to it.

And if I forget to bring my cloth bags to the grocery store or Target, I just have them put everything back into the car bagless, and bag it at my car.

I'd love to hear more about your composting set up!