Thursday, March 24, 2011

Waste, Waste and More Waste

Do you think about how much waste comes in and goes out of your home?

How much waste is left from dinner last night that no one will eat, or how much packaging waste there is from the "lunch stuff" you bought this week.  How about how much unnecessary waste created by not being able to eat all of what you buy fast enough, before it goes bad in the fridge ( produce!?).

I have spent the last couple of years becoming an "expert" at waste control at our house (...OMG that makes me sound like such a dork!!).   In all seriousness though, there are so many places we can eliminate unnecessary waste in our homes--such a gift to the planet--and your pocket book!

Here are some the ways we have stopped being so wasteful in our home:

1.  Having enough re-useable containers-in all sizes--that I no longer need to buy Plastic Baggies or Plastic wrap.

2.  The same re-useable containers eliminate the need to purchase individual servings of yogurt, applesauce large container split up--cheaper and less waste!

3.  Use cotton/linen napkins instead of disposable or paper towels.  (my extended family thinks I am crazy on this one...I only buy paper towels now when I am cooking a turkey, every other clean up  I use napkins--and really, it only creates an extra 1/4 load of laundry per week--why wouldn't you??)

4.  Become a "left-over" afficianado-there are so many ways to use up leftovers, and make them delicious.  Dust off some of  your Grandma's cookbooks...they often can be the best sources of recipes to use leftovers. ( much waste to you think there was during the Depression...)

5.  Cook only the amount your family will eat.  If they won't eat leftovers...make sure you don't have any.

6. Buy only as much as you need.

7.  Use a product to extend the life of your produce--so that you can eat all of what you buy (like Fridgesmart by Tupperware).

8. If you don't need it all for a particular recipe (like half the can of tomato paste, or half the pasta sauce, or half a can of beans) FREEZE it.  You an use it next time you make that recipe.

9.  Cook more at home.  Take out creates waste.  So does the "lunch stuff" like granola bars, and other individually wrapped items. 

If there are ways you have found that save you waste--Let me know!  I want to hear what you and your family are doing to reduce the amount of waste that leaves your home!

2 ways to use up leftover baked potatoes:

Double Stuffed Potatoes
Cut baked potato in half, scoop out the middle.  Mash with a fork and add grated cheese, green onion, bacon, and any other veg you like (broccoli is a good one!)  Mix well and stuff back into the potato shell.  Bake at 350 for about 20 min.

Fried Potatoes
Cut up baked potatoes (with the skin still on).  Melt 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil in frying pan.  When hot add potatoes and season with salt.  Fry on med-high heat until golden brown. (the trick to good fried potatoes is to make sure the pan is hot enough, and fry them long enough to get a good crisp to them!) Add in a little chopped green onion at the end and serve.

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