Monday, September 30, 2013

Enjoying New Foods

Last night at dinner I was filled with pride when the boys inhaled an Israeli salad with Tahini/lemon/honey dressing I made for dinner. Six months ago they hardly ever ate anything related to a salad especially Aaron (17 year old). They moaned and groaned if I tried to hide tomatoes or onions in any dish, let alone eating it straight from a bowl. Last night all 3 asked for seconds and Aaron declared he now loves tomatoes. None of them even minded the onions.


Going Zero Waste has changed our lives more than feeling great about our footprint on the environment. They are eating unprocessed foods and enjoying the taste of real foods. Aaron used to carry an epi pen and 2 inhalers for asthma and took 2 medications for allergies. He has not had a single asthma attack since eliminating artificial food coloring and flavoring from our diets 6 months ago. His allergies are minimal and he even told his school nurse he wasn't allergic to anything anymore (she called me very confused). All of us have more energy and feel lighter. I will never go back to processed foods even if we could find them in bulk.


***Update on Our Waste Count: This past week I was not consistent in asking the boys for their daily waste count. They cannot remember how much they had but they think about 1 or 2 each. I had 3 pieces of waste and will be added to the monthly count. I will make an effort to ask each day and not let another week pass us by.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Perfect Week!

Maggie-0 (yes really 0 and was easier than I thought)

Aaron - 4 (Pictured: lemonade wrapper and ketchup top, Not pictured: Gatorade and candy wrapper)

Noah - 4 (Pictured: lemonade wrapper and ketchup top, Not pictured: Food wrapper from school)

Trey - 4 (Pictured: ketchup top, Not pictured: 3 airhead wrappers)

Community Trash - 4 (Pictured: 2 milk tabs, vanilla container, *plastic cup)

It was exciting to achieve a true zero waste week for my personal count. We are searching for vanilla extract in bulk or glass, as we go through extracts pretty quickly. If any one has suggestions, please let me know.

I have not decided on my activities yet but I think I see s hike in our future. I will include them on next weeks count. We were not able to go to Jumpology this weekend and postponed for next weekend. We will be caught up on our fun and environmental activities by next weekend. 

*Trey had a minor concussion this past week from falling out of his chair in class and banging the back of his head on the ground. He had a headache the next day and the nurse gave him a plastic cup to drink water out of. He was too embarrassed to respond. I spoke to the nurse and she was very understanding of our lifestyle. She happily agreed to provide Trey with a paper cup if this happens in the future. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Noah and Trey win


Our Two Week Round Up :

Maggie: 5 (all shown above). Dove plastic, 2 contact cases, medicine and creamer tab. 

Aaron- 4 (3 not shown). 2 plastic bags, plastic knife and plastic wrap above.

Noah- 2 (not shown). Soda and bag of chips from a school dance.

Trey- 2 (not shown). Lollipop wrapper and stick.

Community Trash- 2; brown sugar bag and milk tab

Noah and Trey both won. They chose Jumpology for their fun activity and a litter walk for an environmental activity. I am impressed with how determined the boys are to win each week. It is refreshing to see our zero waste lifestyle is becoming routine and habitual for them more than just a competition.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Help needed!

Along with our plastic free journey, I announced to my husband and boys that I would like to start eliminating all white flour, pasta, rice etc.. My family revolts when I make anything with whole wheat, including homemade bread. I am going to take baby steps and mix our recipe with half wheat and half white flour, pasta, rice etc. Does anyone with a picky family that loves their white products have experience with switching over to whole wheat? If so, please share their reactions and how long it took until they were used to the taste, if ever. 

**Our waste count will be updated on Saturday. It will contain two weeks of waste. We did not update this weekend because Noah and Trey were out of town. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Glutton for Punishment

I can't figure out if I'm a glutton for punishment, or very determined. We ran out of deli meat in the middle of the week, and because Whole Foods is too far, I thought I would try for the third time the deli counter at Food Lion. I chose a different Food Lion from my 1st two attempts and took my kids along for moral support. We went up to the empty deli counter, which was a relief (no weird stares) and explained our situation. The woman working behind the counter thought for a moment and then said, 'Oh I know, I can wrap it in the parchment paper we use for baking'. I was thrilled because Food Lion is  1/3 of the price of Whole Foods deli meat and cheese and 20 minutes closer.  
Then, just to test the waters, the following week we went back to the original Food Lion that said no twice, and presented our request. The lady behind the counter said she didn't understand but luckily a kind woman in the bakery department overheard my request and explained it to her. It took a little longer than normal, however we were able to obtain our meat and cheese plastic free.  
Since my boys love sandwiches and we go through meat and cheese faster than I can keep it stocked, it is a large relief knowing I can now drive a few miles down the road and still purchase what we need plastic free.  This lifestyle may present challenges at times but we are excited to find so many people that are willing and happy to help us find alternative solutions. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zero Waste Peaches, Apples and Donuts


This past weekend we had our 'environmental activity', peach and apple picking with friends. The boys and I love the taste of fresh peaches and apples right off of the tree. The peaches were perfect and so juicy. At Carter Mountain there is one thing that ranks higher than peaches and apples to my boys: donuts. I do not like donuts, however I have to admit that I can scarf one of Carter Mountain's apple donuts down in about 5 seconds. 

After picking all the fruit we could carry in our reusable bags, we went to the donut counter. These donuts come in plastic containers so Aaron, Noah and Trey  were trying to decide if it was worth the waste or not. Our friends that came with us, that are very supportive of our lifestyle, said 'why don't you ask if they can give you donuts without plastic?'. A very kind lady that works at the orchard over heard our conversation and commented that she would be more than happy to bring us the donuts straight from the vat, eliminating plastic. The boys were very happy and decided that they wanted 6 each to enjoy over the next week. 

I guess it never hurts to ask. People are very willing to help accommodate a zero waste request. We had the advantage of having warm, delicious donuts that had never been wrapped in a plastic container. Because of this accommodating experience, we will be headed back to the orchard in October for pumpkins, apples and more donuts.