Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting greener

In a week and a half we will be moving and I have been pretty busy. The baby food production is quite a bit slower since I want to move as little as possible, so we are using up what we have. The CSA and farmer’s market have been plentiful. Unfortunately my weekends have been packed with activity, so I haven’t had a lot of time to spend scouting the market. I hope to spend some time there (and invest in some meat) after we are settled (mid-June?).

I also just realized that I could make my own teething biscuits. I may have to invest in a box of the organic premade first because our kitchen is in boxes, but I plan to try a couple of recipes shortly after the move. If any of them work out, I will post the recipes.

Even as busy as we are, I constantly find new ways to go greener. I hope to have a compost pile for our new house. I don’t think that I am ready for a large outdoor one, but at least a countertop bin. I hate throwing out all of the vegetable remains (carrot tops, kale stems, etc.) after I process my weekly share. I have been looking at functional, yet somewhat attractive bins to use.

Although I love the ceramic and the bamboo, I am leaning towards the stainless steel for better durability. I also want to purchase the “ugly green one” since it holds twice as much as the others. This way I can use that to break down the scraps while I continue to collect in the other. Thanks, Kate, for such great ideas and references.

Even though baby food production has decreased, I have been trying to find ways to improve that, as well. I always hated that I stored the food in plastic zipper bags, but couldn’t think of a suitable alternative to ensure freshness. I considered mason jars, but don’t have any and really didn’t want to make the investment. Then, one day, I was looking around the house and realized that we have quite a few empty glass jars around. Mostly from pasta sauce, but we have a few different shapes and sizes. I made some homemade labels for the jars and just put the food in them. I really like how cute the different sizes look and I love the labels because I made them pretty big, so they are easy to see. There are some cons. Now I fear that the jars will break and it takes a few jars to hold what one gallon bag would hold, so there is a space issue. I have a freezer in my garage, though, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I also don’t have enough jars right now, but I plan to build my collection. All of his organic fruit juice and our organic pasta sauce are packaged in glass containers, so hopefully our collection will build quickly. I also found out that our city doesn’t recycle glass, so this is a great alternative to the trash.

I also invested in a few WasteNot Saks™. Jason and I were so impressed with our first order that we immediately ordered more. These are great to travel with the little guy’s food and bottles to and from the baby-sitter. I plan to add these to Christmas and other holiday lists so that we can have a nice sized collection. We special ordered a gallon size for the bottles and food and like the snack and sandwich size for future finger food use.

As I make these tiny changes and look back at all of my efforts, I constantly wonder if I am wasting my time, money, and energy. Luckily, I always have some reassurance shortly after that thought. I was talking to a friend over lunch today and he mentioned that I may be onto something with this organic stuff (he was not a huge supporter of the transition – not against it, just not understanding). He mentioned that he saw a news story connecting ADHD in children and pesticides commonly used on produce. After hearing this, I am so thankful that I am taking the time, spending this money, and making the extra effort. Especially for my son, but also for my entire family. And now that other people are aware, they are beginning to believe and make healthier choices, too.
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