Oregon has been pounded the last couple of weeks with generally cold, snowy, windy, terrible weather, and that’s kind of put a damper on life in general — well, life as lived outside four walls and a heat source. But we’ve still managed to have a few zero waste adventures anyway, some on accident, some because I’m lazy, and some just because it’s so ingrained in my daily routine at this point that I can’t help myself.
Christmas Party Revisited
Remember last week how I made those terribly boring spice cookies out of delicious homemade brown sugar and powdered sugar? And how I had planned to take those cookies to a Christmas party but was kind of afraid no one would eat them because they were so dull and maybe I would make something else?
Well, I didn’t. Because I decided I wanted to take a nap the day of the party instead of figuring out another dish to bring. I piled my drab little tasty gems on one of our dinner plates lined with a linen napkin — I figured that would pep them up a little, color-wise — and set them on the buffet table as far away from the brightly decorated sugar cookie cutouts as I could manage.
And then attempted to mingle with people whom I am not related to/married to/gave birth to. I sort of succeeded.
Anyway, we ended up leaving the party a little earlier than we would have otherwise because it was snowing and we wanted to hit the grocery store for supplies on the way home, thus saving me a trip the next day in snowy conditions. (Bonus points for batching our errands, I guess.) So I was in the kitchen wrapping up my cookies, and lo and behold, I got two compliments. Like, genuine compliments on how good they were.
I’ll be darned.
And then we were outta there. Whew!
Zero Waste Shopping While Unprepared
You’d think I would have put two and two together when we were planning our evening to include a shopping trip, but I was too distracted by my cookies. I also don’t usually have to think about it because I have a whole kit that just lives in my car that consists of jars, produce bags and reusable sacks.
And then we all piled in to Eric’s truck.
Well, the good news is that he has a couple of reusable bags in his truck, and I have a few in my purse, so we were partially covered. But no jars and no produce bags. We hit the fruit and veggie displays and just set items loose in the bottom of the cart. So we had a dozen loose carrots rolling around, who cares? We got bread as usual (Eric’s bye item), some crackers for Johanna (her bye item — she switched from ice cream when she realized we rarely get it anyway), grabbed some cheese (not a bye item but I can’t get it unwrapped) and a gallon of milk (ditto), hit the bulk aisle for a few items needed for my weekly no-bake energy bars (opted for paper bags) … and then got a plastic container of bulk nut butter.
Augh, I felt terrible about that, although the container is recyclable. I just hate the look of those stupid containers, not to mention the stink of failure on that front. But peanut butter is non-negotiable. The girls eat it daily. And I decided that the nut butter machine was a better choice, even with the container, than buying prepared packaged corporate peanut butter.
I was happy to see one of my favorite clerks at the checkout counter. She is a big supporter of my crazy zero waste ways, and therefore undaunted by the loose fruit and veggies. We chatted about the bag ban — she’s on board — and how I felt my shopping trip was a bit of a failure because of my lack of jars.
I don’t know, she said, this looks pretty good to me for being unprepared, and I realized that this is an example of doing what we can with the circumstances we are given. I will do better next time.
Anyway, I think the moral of this story is that I need to toss a few produce bags and jars into Eric’s truck to make him a real shopping kit. Because this winter might be long.
And Now For Something Not Weather Related
I keep forgetting to mention this:
A couple of weeks ago, I decanted the majority of my pre-project purchased toiletries (say that three times fast) into glass jars. I like the look of glass better than traditional packaging, and it’s also a good reminder to use what I have. I forgot that part initially — I wanted to make everything new from scratch instead. That’s not always the most zero waste option, I’ve discovered. When you have to buy six things to make one product, what’s the point? Anyway, there is more to decant and/or use up (and I’m not excited about some of this stuff, like the moisturizer Abby bought and then decided she didn’t like — I don’t like it either because it’s scented. But I’m taking one for the team), and I’m starting to research zero or low waste options for things I’ve decided I don’t want to make anymore, like toothpaste and makeup. I have not gotten very far with that. Man, there are a lot of makeup options.
Oh, which reminds me: I decided to add some coconut oil and beeswax to my powdered blush and face powder to make them solid, and that did not work at all. I don’t know if it’s the powder that makes the consistency so weird or what, but they’re both unusable now. Whoops.
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. We’re in Round Two of Snowpocalypse 2016, incidentally, so that’s fun. (It’s not fun.) Eh, at least the mountain is getting clobbered. Snowpack is everything around here.
Next up: I need to start making holiday gifts for my coworkers and neighbors … but I also kind of want to sort out my Project 333 capsule wardrobe for the next season, even if I’m two weeks early. We’ll see what wins out. 😉