Sunday, July 1, 2012

Waste Not: Want Not

I grew up with the phrase Waste Not Want Not and is a phrase that has not only stuck with me but has served me well over the years. There are many things that we use up or re-use or find a new use for it altogether that makes us a very low-impact/Low Waste home.

  • Food Waste- I know others have a Friday Food Waste Challenge and while once in a great great blue moon, I have to throw something out that got neglected in our fridge, we typically just simply do not have any food waste. My family hardly ever leaves any left overs from a meal and on the occasion they do, one of our 6 members will just eat it the next day for a lunch or breakfast. There are even times I swear I am cooking plenty to have left overs, it ends up being something the family loves so much that they eat it all up and not leave anything for left overs. When it comes to food debris, such as carrot tops, egg shells and such it just all gets composted or food scraps that get fed to the chickens..
  • Chicken Debris- Our chicken hutch has a removable cleaning tray under the hutch where wood shavings get put to catch their droppings with night time roosting. Once or twice a week this must get cleaned out and fresh wood shavings put in. I take a couple shovel fulls of their poop and throw in a 5 gallon bucket, the rest gets put in as mulch for the garden. The manure in the 5 gallon bucket then gets filled with water and left to sit in the warm sun to make a fertilizing Tea. This then gets distributed among vegetable plants in the garden that would benefit from this rich fertilizer.
  • Aluminim Cans- All cans from cooking get rinsed and thrown into a box, building up to turn in with all other metal collected for extra cash. While it does not give much, it does help add weight to our steel pile, gives us a few extra dollars and keeps it out of the trash.
  • Old or Torn Clothes- These usually get thrown into our crafty daughters material bin for all her delightful sewing projects she comes up with. She spends quite a bit of time sewing purses, doll or stuffed toy clothing or these little toys she calls "plushies" and is always in need of new cloth material it seems. So any clothing no longer wearable or items people gives us we can not wear all go to her material pile. Nice clothings gets added to garage sale boxes to be put in the garage sales.
  • Newspaper- Newspaper gets saved for paper mache projects
  • Bread Bags and Plastic Walmart Shopping Bags- Bread bags get saved so we do not purchase zip lock bags. They get used for our freezer bags or storing homemade biscuits, breads or cornbreads in. Walmart Bags get saved as our trash bags and we do not purchase trash bags. We also use  these for our long hikes so when we are walking we get the added bonus of picking up returnable cans with.
  • Plastic containers- Such as Ice Cream  Buckets, cottage cheese, yogurt or butter plastic tubs all get saved. These make wonderful storage containers without the need to purchase any for left overs, food for the cooler for camping with, berry containers or anything that will need to be put in a container and in the freezer with. Freezer jam, homemade ice cream, chicken broth ......they work wonderful for!

While this is not a complete list, these are just some of the things we do that either go a long way in saving us money, making us a little or not wasting money.

In a household where every cent counts, these few steps are a great beginning in watching pennies.