Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend Cooking ; Experimenting with Zero Waste

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Anyone with a food-related post can join in.  Stop by her blog to see all the details, find other food-related posts and read about her exciting trip to Book Expo America from a food perspective!

How many of you have heard of Bea Johnson?  I hadn't until my husband showed me this article with video (I cannot get the video to share so click the article to get to the video) at Huffington Post over Spring Break.  It inspired me and got me thinking.  How could I bring less waste into our home? 

We already get the smallest garbage container from the city which makes my husband extremely happy.  He gets an insane amount of pleasure from the fact that we barely fill it up while others in the neighborhood tend to overflow their already huge receptacles.  So we know we're on the right track in reducing how much waste we do have but after watching Bea's video and reading her blog I knew I could stick my toes in and give it a try.  Here's what I've done so far...

pasta, brown rice, tamari sauce and Celtic sea salt

I liked her jars with nice snap tight closure but I already had big ball jars with tight fitting lids so I opted to use those.  I did buy one new jar from Target to replace a really old container for brown rice.  For a couple of weeks now I've slowly added more and more products to my bulk buying and I bring my jars with me.  I've only shopped at my local organic market with my jars because they weigh them for me.  I'm unclear yet on whether our more mainstream grocery store will do this (asking would be the first step...Ha) but they do at least have a bulk buying area.  I've yet to make a meat purchase with a jar in my hand but we do buy fish on occassion and I don't see why they wouldn't let me take my "catch" home in a Ball jar.

I've purchased all new grains coming into the house this way.  Quinoa, barley, my favorite Israeli couscous and of course, rice.  As soon as my current economy-size bottle of hand soap is gone I plan to buy this in bulk as well.  I guess it is a challenge too not bring home a wasteful container but to purchase more in bulk as well.  Now that I'm done with school for the summer (hip, hip, hooraaaah) I plan to experiment more with what I can find locally but for now I feel like I've started something and it feels good and simple.  I liked Bea's cotton bags and need to find something similar or attempt to make it.

How many people buy in bulk these days?  Is this a change you could make?
Check out Bea's blog to find many more helpful hints...


  1. Yay you! We buy wholesale and bulk (and organic to boot!) when we can. I love collecting tins and jars to store stuff in. we too have very little to put out for the trash guy.

  2. I love trying to have as little waste as possible. It's like a game with me. I've never managed zero, but I've been close. We do lots of recycling and composting.

  3. I get a weird feeling of accomplishment at having one garbage pail (rarely full) for a family of 5. Plus, we always seem to have more recyclables than trash. I buy in bulk where I can, but need to make more of an effort in that area.

  4. I need to be better about this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I try to minimise packaging where I can, but it's nearly impossible to buy in bulk where I live. I give my food scraps to my friend for her chickens. And of course recycle a lot. The reduce part of reduce, reuse, recycle is always the hardest.

  6. I do take durable veggie bags with me to the market ( but I haven't found a place yet where I could buy rice or pasta that is not pre packaged. I have no idea how far they are in the Netherlands with this.... But I haven't come across the opportunity yet, sadly enough.

  7. I love fun jars! That middle one looks a lot like the one in my weekend cooking post today!


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