Minimizing and Zero Waste

Minimal Mondays – My Progress Part 2

So last week I let you all know the first two steps I took to a more sustainable, zero waste lifestyle: I started with cloth paper towels and feminine hygiene products.

The next thing I decided to do was try to use more family cloth rather than toilet paper. This has been the biggest pain in my ass… figuratively. I absolutely love this alternative, much cleaner and not much work involved with this either. The hardest part for me in using family cloth is coming up with a container to keep them in while clean until they are used. Oh, and where to keep that container. I have a pretty glass jar that sits on my toilet lid that I keep them in but sometimes I forget and reach over to the toilet paper. Hard to break a 27-year habit. I’m working on it, though.

The ones I bought were from Creekside Kid on Etsy. I bought these and really wasn’t sure what to expect but they have been amazing. The texture is great and cleaning them is a breeze, even easier than feminine cloths. I just toss them in the same wet bag as I use for my girly things and wash them with Oxy Clean as well. The wipes came in a pack of 20 for $21.80 which I found to be completely worth it. I tried to make some of these as well and it didn’t go as well.

Photo courtesy of Claudia at Creekside Kid

Next up, I decided a couple weeks ago to look into alternatives for my dry goods that have been stored in plastic containers, which I thought looked nice, to begin with. All of these items seem to sit in the container for quite a while between uses; things like flour, cornmeal, and those other dry goods that you don’t use as often but seem to buy in quantities about 15 times what you need. So, of course, I’ve seen many posts on Pinterest with others’ using glass jars for storing their dry goods and that is the option I’ve decided to take. I’m not going to be picky about the jars, anything goes as long and they are clear or blue and I can use the ones I have or even get some from the thrift store. Eventually, I’ll purchase some smaller jars for things that I don’t use very often, about the size of spice jars or maybe a bit bigger. It’s also been a great way for me to keep track of things that are not being used or that we need to find alternatives for, or maybe that I need to buy in smaller quantities.

That worked out like a charm! I absolutely love how my cabinet looks now with those dry goods in the pretty jars. I decided to keep the few things in cardboard or paper, like the self-rising flour that expires in two months that is only one-third used… perfect example of needing to buy in smaller quantities.
This past weekend I watched some YouTube videos from A Picture of Mary and Kate Arnell from Eco Boost and decided to make my own mesh bags to take to the farmer’s market that is a couple block from my house. I didn’t have mesh or anything like that but I did have some {hot pink} lace fabric that I bought just for the bottom eight inches. I cut them into three sizes of bags and then made them drawstrings with some jute I had from Michaels. The jute is a perfect size so that the cinch holds really well when I draw it up.

I ended up having them all done by Friday night so that Saturday morning I could have them ready for the market. I was really surprised by the produce I found and I really think this will be something I go to more frequently. I got a few things including carrots, bean sprouts, and blueberries. They were all incredibly delicious, especially the blueberries.

The blueberries were perfect in a recipe I made that I found on Pinterest, again, from Glorious Treats for Lemon Blueberry Bread. Honestly, this stuff is so good I couldn’t stop eating and gave myself a stomach ache. Ha!

Perfectly moist, flavorful and delicious Lemon Blueberry Loaf Recipe
Picture courtesy of Glory from Glorious Treats.

My next steps will be to work through some of the food I have in my cupboard using up the items that are close to expiration or that have been sitting there for far too long. I also want to have my first grocery trip buying in bulk, but it will probably be closer to the end of the month so stay tuned for that! And it’s not just a matter of buying in bulk but trying to diminish my extra plastic which will affect my husband more than myself.


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