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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've joined a couple challenges here and there, but I don't really fit in. Our budget allows us to buy organic without scrimping and we are very lucky for that. Our house is relatively decluttered because my dh is super obsessed with not having things lying around. So I don't fit in well with the no spend or declutter challenges. I do love the pantry challenges.

My challenge is to be less wasteful. Buy the organics, but be sure to plan well so I use each bit of them before they go bad. Keep the fridge and pantry organized so things don't go to waste.

Try to get other parts of house organized so I know what I have. Like last winter I bought a new pair of winter boots, then months later found a pair I had bought on clearance in the back of the coat closet. How embarrassing and wasteful!

Get my stuff together to donate or sell, that way I'll know what I have and again can be less wateful about buying new things.

Anyone else want to join a "be less wasteful" challenge.
 

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I'm in. I have the same issue, we have declutterd etc and now a less waste challenge sounds good.

Do you have an idea what we should do? List goals or say how we are going to go about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think goals, ideas, dreams, etc. It's going to be really personalized, but it's so nice to have people to hash it out with, you know?

Tomorrow is Aug. 1, maybe we should make a weekly goal and post it, that way we can check in on ourselves.

My goals will be 1.)to take all my clothes to the resale shop. That way my storage room will be cleaned out and my husband will stop being stressed about it. 2.) remember to always use my ecobags when shopping. I cleaned out the car yesterday and they are all in the back, but somehow I still seem to forget them
: 3.) keep up with the organized refridgerator. It has really helped me not to waste food. I just made a big Whole Foods trip yesterday and I need to plan out this weeks meals so I don't waste anything that is perishable.
 

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Sounds great to me. I love reusing stuff and not being wasteful. I like the idea of leaving the earth a better place for my kids. I've never joined a challenge and think it would be fun to try.

I made some cloth napkins out of a old towel and am in the process of making more out of an old bed sheet. My dd loves them. I can't remember the last time I bought paper towel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Line drying, good idea. I do my diapers, but rarely do my clothes. I usually let the laundry pile up then do it all one day and my racks can't handle that much. But I guess I should just put out what I can and dry the rest. That would be less wasteful.

We went to cloth napkins and towels awhile ago, but I find myself very unorganized with them. I need a system. I feel like sometimes I'm washing too much, then next not enough. And they always seem to be everywhere.
:

I need to make a meal plan for this week to use up the fresh produce I got instead of some going bad. So here's my attempt:

I have:
strawberries
raspberries
blueberries
bananas (I don't worry about these, I can always throw them in the freezer for bread)

zuchini
squash
cucumber
tomato
carrots
asparagus

Monday - lunch, cheese, berries, leftover chicken
dinner - salmon, barley asparagus pilaf, greek village salad

Tuesday - lunch - going out for a birthday lunch
dinner - leftover salad, turkey chili

Wednesday - lunch leftovers
chicken stirfry with veggies

Thursday - lunch salad and grilled cheese
dinner homemade pizza

Friday - lunch leftovers
dinner - cornish hens, grilled veggies, wild rice

That's the plan, then all the veggies will be used, we use the berries for snacks and dessert.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hlkm2e
We went to cloth napkins and towels awhile ago, but I find myself very unorganized with them. I need a system. I feel like sometimes I'm washing too much, then next not enough. And they always seem to be everywhere.
:
For napkins, we leave them at our places at the table until they get gross or we have company over; then we get out new ones. Instead of paper towels we use washcloths or dish towels for big spills; they get tossed in a mesh bag to wai for laundry after one use. We have a kitche towel hanging no the oven door we use for drying hands/ water on the counter; I replace that whenever I do a hot load of laundry or if it looks gross.
 

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This challenge couldn't have come at a better time. Every year on my birthday (1 August) I make one resolution that is directed to making the world a better place.

So this year, I resolve to be a careful and mindful steward of my resources and waste as little as possible.
 

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So I thought about this challenge and what I want to do. I think its great so here it goes.

We are frugal and all that but I am trying to cut down waste or use less of what we need.

We do use the air conditionar. But its on a higher temperature most of the time. Our house is smaller than larger is its easy to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. We signed up for the rebate program thru our electric co. They can turn off our air during peak times like today during the heat wave. They give us $20 a month back even if they dont need to do it.

We are giving the dryer a break and hang drying most of the laundery outside. It takes minutes to dry! We normally do this but now more than ever. I even have my wipes on the hanger out there!

I see all the trimmings, extra scraps etc from peeling veggies or after a meal. Its at least 10% of what we go to eat and I need to find a solution for all of it. Most can go into compost but I have to find a way to reuse the rest into somthing.

My goal this week is to not let anything spoil. MEaning I go in the fridge at least once a week and get rid of things. It could be an expired mustard or something or a plate of an old dinner.

Also another goal- recycle. We recently got a better recycle plan in our town. A huge covered bin instead of two mini ones. Now all recycles go into this thing. Its cut down on garbage like I never imagined. I want to take it to the next level.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Amys1st
...I see all the trimmings, extra scraps etc from peeling veggies...Most can go into compost but I have to find a way to reuse the rest into something....
I put all of my vegetable parings in a (reused multiple times) gallon-sized Ziploc bag in the freezer. When it's full, I empty it into a pot (without defrosting it), cover it with water and simmer for a few hours. Then I let it cool, strain it and put it in freezer containers to use for soup stock. (The vegetable parings then go into the compost.)
 

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I don't have much time to be online this summer (this is a good thing, really!), so I may not be able to post as much. I also don't think I can purge enough for a declutter challenge, so I think this is a good start for me.

I should try to hang more outside, but DH and the dogs have allergies. So, we hang a lot in the house on racks. Does anyone line dry outside w/allergies? I wonder if I hung out to dry, then de-crisped them in the dryer, if some of the pollen would come off too?

I need to waste less food and EAT HOME MORE! This is my main goal for August for health, financial and environmental reasons! We've done well so far -- lunch and breakfast today were eaten at home


Quote:

Originally Posted by srain
For napkins, we leave them at our places at the table until they get gross or we have company over; then we get out new ones.
Same here
I feel like I am forever washing DD's towels though
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
nak, How'd everyone do today. I managed to hang the diapers out in the stifling heat. we stayed in all day because of a heat advisory


doing pretty good eating out of the fridge and cupboard. ended up doing leftovers last night. Almost all our berries are gone due to a berry loving, snack fiend 2 year old, lol.

Still haven't gotten the clothes together for the resale shop, but did manage to stop by the shop and pick up their handout that says which brands of clothes they will take, so that will help me sort them out.

Tomorrow I pledge to get together all of our cloth napkins and towels and organize them and get a system together!
 

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My problem comes from us being unorganized. It's not uncommon for us to buy another tool that we're pretty sure we have because we can't find it. Now replace 'tool' with any other item, and you see my issue.
And buying toys because "I" like them.


Most food peelings don't go to waste here because I have small animals that eat them (rabbits, guinea pigs and gerbils). I was wondering if you can use the remaining pulp from the juicer to make muffins or breads (like zucchini or carrot bread)? I wonder how it'd come out?

I'm embarrassed to admit we still use a lot of paper towels. Even though we have the pile of cloth, which we also go through like crazy, there always seems to be something nasty that warrants the disposability of paper. I don't use a washcloth more than once, or a dishtowel more than a day (I go through many a day most days) because I'm grossed out by possible bacterial growth in them.

I'm probalby most wasteful of water. I shower morning and night, dh showers in the morning and the boys take a bath together every night. I water my veggie garden when it needs it and let the kids play in the sprinkler sometimes. Water is plentiful and cheap here, and with my dying septic I need to be careful (though it's better right now than it was in the spring).

And I drive a lot, with a minivan that isn't exactly gas efficient (honda odyssey). I could probably try to be more organized, but where i live I need to drive to get anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hear you with the unorganized thing
: Although my house may appear organize, under the surface, chaos!

Dh did get home early tonight so I cleaned out the cloth napkin/towel drawer and put a bucket for dirties under the sink. I hope the new system will help me keep up with it.
 

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Well, I managed to get a few loads of laundry hung rather than dried. I hang inside and didn't have enough room for our bedsheets, so they went into the machine.

We ate home more than usual this week and made a better effort at eating leftovers before they got funky in the fridge.

Ah, the fridge: we had to buy a new one this weekend because ours no longer functions well. A few "less wasteful" positives:

a) the new fridge is energy star certified and will be WAY more effecient than our 10 year old model
b) it's bigger - we can unplug and sell our stand-alone freezer

c) it has a water/ice on the door with a built-in filter. So, no more opening the fridge for the brita pitcher 100 times a day


Now we have to defrost and eat all the food in the freezer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The new fridge is exciting. I think sometimes you have to invest money/time to get to be less wasteful.

This morning DS is being a very good sleeper (knock on wood) so DD and I got up and had a chance to put a pot of vegetable soup on the stove already this morning. I was able to finish up all the veggies in the crisper from last weeks shopping trip, so they didn't go to waste. Tomorrow is grocery day for me, so it also let me see what I have and what I need.


I took two loads of my clothes to the resale shop and got $107 for them. Then I took a load of the kids clothes to the consignment shop. Hopefully they will sell well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was wondering if everyone could type out how their day goes and note things they do during the day to be less wasteful. I bet there are lots of little things we do that we don't think about. That way maybe we could get little ideas from each other. What do you think?
 

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I've managed to not to use the dryer since I posted my goal! As long as I keep on a system of doing 1 load on Saturday and 1 load on Sunday, I can keep up. Don't know what I'll do if I a)forget a load one of those days (because 2 loads a week keeps us caught up) or 2) it rains on the weekend
I have a line strung in my basement/pantry, that might be my next goal - to use it instead of the dryer.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hlkm2e
I was wondering if everyone could type out how their day goes and note things they do during the day to be less wasteful. I bet there are lots of little things we do that we don't think about. That way maybe we could get little ideas from each other. What do you think?
This would be sad -- most of my days are LOADED with wasted time
:

I doubt "play solitare on palm pilot while DD naps on bed next to me" would help anyone


However, I do think (in my case), typing it out can show areas in my own life that may need some focus. I can likely identify time/energy drains and address them better.
 

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I discovered several benefits to using my drying racks, rather than the dryer:

1) I fold/hang the clothes faster (I am awful about leaving clothes in the dryer for days)
2) Taking the dry clothes off the rack "reminds" me that I now have room to dry more, therefore I should get my butt moving to wash more

3) The clothes are already upstairs near the bedrooms (because I carry them up wet), making them easier to put away. DH and I can get a load folded/hung/put away while DD carries bras around on her arms in the hallway. (She loves to do this, it's very cute
)

Just thought I'd share...
 
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