Earlier this year, I made it my goal to make small, incremental changes to my daily life that would have a greater (positive) impact the environment. My focus began with small behavioral changes we can all make, with an even narrower focus on eliminating food waste within my home. Many of you have shared that you are interested in these things as well, so as promised, I wanted to share a status update.
I have been using the Think Dirty app to help guide my decisions. You can scan a barcode and it rate the product from 1-10 (10 being worse). It provides reasons why the ingredients aren’t good and products they recommend instead.
- One thing that was always on my grocery list was a can of olive oil cooking spray. This shift was originally motivated by budget. Those cans are about $3 a pop, and on top of it, I was buying regular olive oil for cooking. I couldn’t cut either out because I use both daily. But continuing to buy both made even less sense. Enter the Misto. Misto is a refillable oil sprayer and can be used for almost all oils, except coconut, and citrus juice or vinegar. It has completely eliminated the need to buy the cooking spray at the store.
- How many of you use makeup wipes every single night? How many of you use multiple wipes to get all the makeup off? This swap was motivated more by how poorly my makeup remover was working more than it was by environmental standards. I was having to use two different face washes (although the Bliss Make Up Melt is only a cleaner product) and a handful of cotton rounds to get everything off. I got The Original Makeup Eraser for Christmas and I am a believer. There are other microfiber makeup remover cloths on Amazon, but I have heard from others that they don’t work as well as the original. It’s large enough to use for a few nights, then you just throw it in the wash and it’s good as new! I still use a few cotton rounds a week for toner, but I’m considering getting another Makeup Eraser to use strictly for toners. There is an incredible deal at Nordstrom right now! You can get two Makeup Erasers for $25! Keep one for yourself and give the other as a gift!
- I realized we hadn’t changed our dishwasher settings since we moved in three years ago. We just hit start and went about our merry business and never thought twice because everything was working fine. Well, it’s no wonder it was working fine because it was set to “heavy duty”. I was always told to pre-rinse dishes very well and that the dishwasher is more of a sanitizer than washer, so needless to say, our dishwasher did not need to be running on “heavy duty”. I now have it on a “1 hour wash” setting and air dry and have not noticed a difference. Initially, I thought the air dry would be problematic, but as long as I turn it on after dinner so it has time to dry overnight, it’s fine! If you have hard water, it may be a little different, but it’s worth experimenting with.
- My most beloved dry shampoo is Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. Unfortunately, the fragrance in it makes it a “dirty” product. Batiste Original is a better choice (other varieties of Batiste are not so check the Think Dirty app. I have tried Batiste before and have never loved it. I got a travel size to try it once again for good measure, but it just does not absorb in my hair and makes my roots look white, which is not a great look. My favorite drugstore dry shampoo is Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo. The unscented version ranks a 3 on the Think Dirty app and the formula works a lot better for me. I still prefer the Perfect Hair day, so I’m not 100% sure I can make the switch. I’m going to finish the can of Not Your Mother’s and report back. I know you’re all dying to know!
This month got off to a bad start when a stomach bug ripped through our house. In true Murphy’s Law fashion, it hit late on a Sunday night that I had actually meal planned, prepped and had made a tri tip roast that was supposed to be lunch for the week. I don’t know about you but once something has come up, it’s almost impossible to eat it immediately after. Plus, there is that whole period of resetting your stomach and not knowing what to trust. Needless to say, we failed at food waste reduction that week.
But, that’s behind us. To get us off on the right food waste reduction foot, I’ve been shopping our current food supply and trying to cook things that will use up what we already have. This is always good meal planning practice, but when you fall out of practice, this is an easy step to skip over. My goal is to share what we ate each month, but January is proving to be a do over kind of month.
New things I have tried as far as purchasing groceries are Amazon Prime Now and Butcher Box. I have been resistant to Prime Now because everything is sourced from Whole Foods. Typically, that is out of our price range, but I found some of their weekly specials for Prime members is a significant savings. I will definitely start stalking their sales, but I can’t say that it will be taking the place of any regular shopping.
I signed up for Butcher Box on a Black Friday deal (not sponsored). I had every intention of pausing it, but, as is usually the case with subscription boxes, I forgot. We got another giant box of meat in early January, so I’ve been trying to whittle our supply down. I do like the quality of meat, the price point and that it comes right to our door. I don’t like that we are eating more red meat than we typically would and that it’s not really eliminating a shopping trip for me. I’m still at Costco or other stores I’d typically buy meat getting other groceries, so I’m not 100% sold. I would like to try it one more time with a little more intention, rather than my previous method of randomly selecting things to fill the box. This is in no way sponsored and they have no idea who we are, but if you have been thinking about trying Butcher Box, you can use this link to get $30 off your order. That is just the generic “tell a friend” code they give to everyone and if you use it, I’ll get $30 off a box as well. As always, no pressure!
Food Waste Fails
Fact: it is impossible for two people to eat a Costco sized box of mixed greens. I don’t know how many times it will take us to figure this out, but it cannot be done. We tried our hardest and AJ and I were literally eating a small salad every day with dinner and it still went bad on us. Lesson learned- get the greens another way or buy smaller portions.