Friday, 20 November 2015

Buy Less, Waste Less: Calgary Tool Library

There are a two topics that tend to run together in waste-reduction blog circles: zero-waste and minimalism. I talk mostly about zero-waste here, but there is definitely cross-over. Minimalism focuses on reducing the amount of personal belongings we have, making do with what we own already, reducing clutter, and limiting unnecessary shopping.

Minimalism is popular for a number of reasons. It can help reduce stress by having a cleaner and more organised home, it can help save money by limiting impulse shopping, and it can help the environment by saving resources and reducing waste. Everything we own will ultimately be disposed of when it breaks or loses its usefulness, so the less we own, the less there is to enter the waste stream. There is also less (often plastic) packaging to discard from new products, and less resources wasted on products that are used once and then never used again.

Tools are a terrible culprit for one-time-use purchases. We often only need a tool for one project and then it sits in the basement, or the garage, never to be used again. Enter Calgary Tool Library

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lovely Bulk Honey

Just a quick post to remind you that at Community Natural Foods you can get honey in bulk. To fill up, just stop at the Customer Service desk on your way in and get the tare weight of your jar. Fill up your jar with as much honey as you like and then go through check-out as usual. It's super simple!

And look how pretty it looks!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Easy DIY Peanut Butter

It seems like recipes for DIY condiments come in two varieties: quick and easy with a minimum of ingredients, or overly complicated with a laundry-list of components. DIY nut butters fall firmly into the first category, coming together in less than five minutes with only two ingredients, or three if your peanuts aren't already salted.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Homemade Jam and Lemon Juice

The CSA season is wrapping up, and this weekend I found myself with an urge to preserve. Our CSA started offering a fruit option this year, and we have had more apples than we could eat. We are not huge jam eaters, so one batch is basically enough to last us the year. Outside of the pectin, jam is also relatively easy to make using bulk ingredients. In this case, my jam was a simple recipe of apples, sugar, spices, and lemon juice.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

How We Compost

It occurred to me that after two and a half years of blogging here, I have never really talked about composting. This is amazing to me because, if I had to guess, I think that composting is responsible for diverting at least a third of our household waste. We compost our kitchen scraps, little bits of cardboard and paper too small for the recycling, wooden toothbrushes, tissues, the dust from the vacuum bin, and large quantities of pet hair. Composting is so crucial to waste reduction that I think I have just taken it for granted.

There are A LOT of different methods of composting, and I am not here to tell you which one is the best; I am no expert on the subject. Eight years ago or so I tried out a worm composting bin. The end result was a lot of dead worms and a bad-smelling bin. When we moved into our house, we set up one of those common black compost bins that you can buy at Home Depot.