Friday, January 29, 2010

Ditching the packaging

Where had the time gone?  When we started this blog we wanted to post once a week.  I just can't seem to findthe time.  My job has lifted a lot of the financial burden from us but leaves me with no time to do the things I want to do.  I feel it is important for us to document things through this blog.  I am sure I can find some balance here! 

Ok on to the reason I wanted to write this post...New Years resoloutions.  Mine personally was to ditch that stupid packaging.  I know we recycle but looking at all that crap gives me a panic attack.  I read an article about a woman who tried to not buy anything that had plastic for a week.  That got me I EVER buy anything that DOESN'T contain plastic?  Really with the exception of purchases made at the farmers market in the summer I don't think so.  A few idea's I have for this are:

1. Make my own produce bags.  I am trying to think of the best thing to make these of.  I can buy some on etsy but they are around $15.  I have some sheerish fabric I think would work so I will probably try that.  I also have this worry that I will try to use them at the store and they will tell me I can't.  Haha I don't think that will happen but we will see.

2. Make what food products I can to reduce packaging.  We buy Stonyfield yogurt which is great stuff and a great company but I still hate the containers I am left with so I have started making my own yogurt.  After several extremely frustrating attempts with the crock pot that left me with spoiled milk I discovered that my bread maker is a wonderful yogurt maker!  It is runnier than the store bought stuff which made the boys a little nervous but I made yogurt drinks with banana and vanilla and they loved it.  Also you can drain a lot of the liquid for a thicker yogurt but that seems wasteful so we will just adapt to it. :)  Also we purchased a juicer which is great because we get a healthier product and we don't have to have the containers.  I just need to make those produce bags to but the fruit and veggies in and there will be hardly any waste!

3. Don't get lazy!  Remember the cloth bags at the store and use more cloth diapers when we are out.  We have gotten in the habit of putting papers on her when we go out.  I think I have had to change her once while we were out so I really want to try and use almost all cloth.  Also not using paper when the diapers are clean and dry in the basement but I am too lazy to go downstairs to get them.  I have 2 bags that fold up and fit in my purse that can fit a lot of stuff in them for the store.  Also I just tell the cashier to jam as much in as possible. 

4. Research how to make more household things...not justlaundry soap.  The laundry soap cuts back on a lot of packaging but are there more things I can so?  Can you make your own toothpaste? How about dish washing detergent? 

5. Try my darndest to cut back on the extras like coffee and use less shampoo and conditioner.  I have a habit of squirting a huge pile to use when I could use probably half and get them same results.  We keep the heat at 62 and I am putting my foot down there!

Also I have to remember not to be toooooo hard on myself.  I do work and have a baby and a toddler.

Heating the milk to 180 degrees.

Let it cool to 125 degrees.  Mix in 1 cup yogurt and put in bread maker...ta da!

MMMM juice! (He likes the yogurt too!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Brrr!  Ok So with like 5-6 inches of snow on the ground and a wind chill of ZERO now would not be the time to be doing this...

right?!  Actually I had yesterday off and we had a great time going through the seed catalogs.  We have a pretty good idea of what we want this year.  Unfortunatly we have decided no winter squash :(  I love winter squashes and would love to grow acres of them but last year was one disaster after another.  First we had powdery mildew, then stink bugs, and then some kind of beetle.  We are set on doing this thing as organically as possible.  There are just waaay too many things out there that had a vendetta against our squash plants.  I don't have as much against summer squash.  Ours had lots of the same problems as the winter squash but they grow so much faster that before they were compeltely dead we had gotten a pretty good harvest from them.  Space is s huge issue for us.  I think we are going to have waaay too many seeds and not enough space but we will see.  We are going to plant things a lot closer this year and try and get our spring stuff in sooner and out of the garden sooner.  We want to try and start some things in the house again this year.  Last year was terrible!  We lost so much stuff because we didn't have enough heat on the plants.  We are going to direct seed a lot more stuff and only start a third of what we started last year.  We made so many mistakes last year hopefully we learned enough to do a lot better this year!  Well back to enjoying my nice warm couch and browsing catalogs...