How to Recycle Better

Disclaimer: I am basing this information off of what I learned while touring our local recycling facility. Your facility may be different with different recycling rules and procedures. The best way to find out is by contacting your local facility, going on a tour, or reaching out to your city’s green/recycling/zero waste initiative divisions.

Visiting our local recycling facility was one of the most educational opportunities I’ve had in a long time. It was fascinating how high tech the facility was but also how much we don’t know as a community on best recycling practices. So. I’m hoping to share out a few small things I’ve learned.… Continue reading...

Zero Waste Wish List

In absolutely no way do you need to buy things to reduce waste. Nor do I recommend buying things until you truly need to. HOWEVER — if you are in the market for something that could replace a more single use or non-recyclable/compostable item AND you don’t have an adequate replacement already (i.e. old cloth rags for cleaning, empty glass jars for storage, existing spoon/fork for your “to-go” kit, etc., more on that below) … read on!

For the house

  • Wool dryer balls for when you run out of dryer sheets
  • Compostable kitchen sponge and bamboo brushes (with replaceable heads) for when you run out of traditional sponges
  • Compostable toilet brush (but only after you’ve used up all your on-its-last-leg brushes)
  • Beeswax wraps for when you run out of Ziplock bags, saran wrap, and aluminum foil (it is possible to make these at home as well; I also will use old pillow cases to store bread in the freezer)
  • Silicone baking mats for when you run out of baking spray (or just use butter and flour to grease your cookie pans)
  • Evercare Lint Brush for when your lint roller runs out (a must in our house since we have 2 sheddy dogs)
  • J.R.
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Zero Waste Dallas-Area Resources

I will keep this list updated as I explore and learn more. Please let me know if you’ve found any other places that aid in a zero waste lifestyle!

Bulk Buying

  • Central Market: Buy fruits, veggies, mushrooms, (sometimes salad greens depending on the location), bulk flour, sugar, spices, nuts, granola, oats, candy, chocolate, tea, coffee, fresh bread all with your own bags. They do have bulk honey and nut butters as well — but I haven’t tried buying these with my own jar as I don’t know whether the cashiers can handle the whole tare process. I have brought my own jar for hummus in the olive bar section and used the scale there to tare + print my checkout label (which was a bit of a pain as it took a while to figure out).
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Waste Not!: Veggie Scrap Edition

Making your own vegetable stock is so, so simple (I mean, it’s not even a recipe really) AND you get to utilize scraps before they are ultimately thrown in the compost AND you get to avoid buying a box of stock that would get thrown in to recycling. It’s a win all around. So let’s get started.

First, you want to collect some vegetable scraps. I have a tin in the freezer that I throw scraps in to — when the tin is full, I use it to make stock. Good veggies for stock are carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers,  leeks — basically, hardy vegetables that aren’t too bitter or starchy (so avoid potatoes, cabbage, too many leafy greens).… Continue reading...

Our “Luxury Item” List

Nope — I don’t mean La Mer cream or gold toilets. Our “luxury items” are those items that are housed in plastic (particularly #7, which our city takes but doesn’t really have a market to sell those plastics to) or end up in the landfill. But for now — these items are what we have, love, or haven’t found suitable recyclable or zero waste alternatives for.

  • Sonicare brush heads (landfill): Can’t quit these! They keep my teeth in great condition and I’m not willing to switch over the bamboo toothbrushes yet. Maybe someone can make bamboo brush heads or something for Sonicares?
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