Twelve Months to a Greener Home: Month Two

As you know one of our goals for 2014 is to make our home more sustainable.Each month we are setting three mini-goals to help us lessen the carbon footprint of our sweet chateau. Last month we stopped using paper napkins, started buying more food in bulk, and called in the city for a free energy audit. You can read our month one report here.

This month our goals were to buy more food locally, to stop using paper plates and to give up ziploc bags. Here's how it went:

1. Buy food locally

We signed up for a food box subscription from The Root Cellar. The Root Cellar partners with local farmers to bring produce, grains, dairy, eggs, and meats from nearby fields to local  kitchens (like ours). Many communities have similar programs, and in warmer climates (or seasons) Farmer's Markets will be a great source of delicious local foods.We've always bought healthy food, but I feel especially good about feeding my family local food too. Our meals help support nearby farmers who are using sustainable farming practices.

Our subscription box has introduced us to new foods we wouldn't have bought before. My kitchen has become a more creative food studio. Here are some of the delicious recipes that have already come from our weekly box:

Squash primavera with cilantro

Mashed sweet potatoes with an orange twist

Farm fresh raspberry, peach muffins

2. Stop using paper plates.

Before our challenge we sometimes used paper plates. You know pizza night. Grilling night. We're in a rush night. Here is the thing, it's not that hard to wash a plate. We even have a dish washer! So when we chose to use paper plates instead of our real dishes, we were really saying it's too much work to rinse a plate. Really?! When put in that perspective, this was an easy habit to break.

3. Use less ziploc bags.

Ziploc bags are so convenient. They are great for snacks, sandwiches, leftovers, etc. And the best part, you don't have to find the matching Tupperware lid.  Still, our ziploc bag use can be a little egregious. Originally, we wanted to give up ziploc bags completely, the way we had with paper plates. However we didn't know what to do with leftover blocks of cheese or sausage. (Do you know about my love of the antipasto plate?) We tried putting the cheese and salami in Tupperware and they dried out. We're still looking for more sustainable solutions for storing those food items. What we have accomplished is this: we no longer use ziplocs for snacks, sandwiches, or most leftovers. Yes, this has meant tackling the Tupperware cabinet, and thank you for acknowledging that that is a courageous feat. We've also re-purposed a lot of glass jars (mostly salsa) for leftovers, sides, and lunches.

Thanks for staying with us on our journey. We'll be back the end of March with our next report.

Still in progress, KFW

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