Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 372063 times)

FIRE_at_45

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1500 on: July 22, 2019, 09:52:00 PM »
I've been switching to glass containers instead of plastic (for health as well as environment). Instead of buying them, I've been re-using glass jars from spaghetti sauce, jelly/jam, etc. I just remove their labels and run them through the dish washer. For jars with any residual stickiness, WD-40 takes it off quickly.

My former spaghetti sauce container was already labeled with measurements, which is handy.

I do this as well.  I make chickpeas and other beans from dry and then throw them in re-used glass jars in the freezer.  Glass is such a great container because you can just remove the lid and throw it in the microwave to thaw. 

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1501 on: July 23, 2019, 06:43:06 AM »
I've been switching to glass containers instead of plastic (for health as well as environment). Instead of buying them, I've been re-using glass jars from spaghetti sauce, jelly/jam, etc. I just remove their labels and run them through the dish washer. For jars with any residual stickiness, WD-40 takes it off quickly.

My former spaghetti sauce container was already labeled with measurements, which is handy.

I do this as well.  I make chickpeas and other beans from dry and then throw them in re-used glass jars in the freezer.  Glass is such a great container because you can just remove the lid and throw it in the microwave to thaw.

After losing a few bottoms while canning, I'm reluctant to put cold glass in the microwave, even mason jars.  Has anyone actually had problems with glass jars breaking in the microwave when full of cold/frozen food?  Am I just being paranoid?

FIRE_at_45

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1502 on: July 23, 2019, 07:21:49 AM »
After losing a few bottoms while canning, I'm reluctant to put cold glass in the microwave, even mason jars.  Has anyone actually had problems with glass jars breaking in the microwave when full of cold/frozen food?  Am I just being paranoid?

I have lost one jar to cracking in the freezer but never in the microwave. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1503 on: July 23, 2019, 12:35:38 PM »
After losing a few bottoms while canning, I'm reluctant to put cold glass in the microwave, even mason jars.  Has anyone actually had problems with glass jars breaking in the microwave when full of cold/frozen food?  Am I just being paranoid?

I have lost one jar to cracking in the freezer but never in the microwave.

Ditto, except that I have lost more like 3 jars in the freezer. I used to routinely use old jam jars to heat milk in the microwave for making yogurt and never had a problem.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1504 on: July 23, 2019, 12:57:23 PM »
Ditto, except that I have lost more like 3 jars in the freezer. I used to routinely use old jam jars to heat milk in the microwave for making yogurt and never had a problem.

Jars can withstand high heat obviously because they are used in canning.  Sure, if you went from frozen to full cook you may have an issue but you shouldn't do that anyway.  Thaw first, then cook...no problem.

Freezing you have to leave some space for expansion and I guess just accept one breaking now and again.  Mine stayed together and I just threw the whole thing out.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1505 on: July 23, 2019, 01:24:39 PM »
Ditto, except that I have lost more like 3 jars in the freezer. I used to routinely use old jam jars to heat milk in the microwave for making yogurt and never had a problem.

Jars can withstand high heat obviously because they are used in canning.  Sure, if you went from frozen to full cook you may have an issue but you shouldn't do that anyway.  Thaw first, then cook...no problem.

Freezing you have to leave some space for expansion and I guess just accept one breaking now and again.  Mine stayed together and I just threw the whole thing out.

I think when this happened to me it was milk or broth and I thawed it into a bowl, removed the big pieces of glass, and ran the whole thing through a coffee filter :-).

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1506 on: July 23, 2019, 03:20:24 PM »
Ditto on the space for expansion.

I needed a small table for my toddler. I was about to buy a used table on Craigslist, but shortly before I was going to collect it I found an abandoned table on the sidewalk. I sanded it down and repainted it with materials I already owned and had been storing for probably over five years now, and have been considering throwing out. A pretty poor exchange of time for money saved, but (a) it was fun, and (b) this is not the "small things you did today to save money" thread. :)

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1507 on: July 23, 2019, 03:45:13 PM »
Successfully caught the cashier at the produce market before they bagged my stuff.  I've been pretty good at remembering to bring my bags, but they are so used to bagging that they start while they are tallying my purchases, and I often have a hard time catching their attention before they do.  But I'm getting better at catching them in time.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1508 on: July 23, 2019, 04:07:13 PM »
Successfully caught the cashier at the produce market before they bagged my stuff.  I've been pretty good at remembering to bring my bags, but they are so used to bagging that they start while they are tallying my purchases, and I often have a hard time catching their attention before they do.  But I'm getting better at catching them in time.

I don't know how it works at the tills where you are but I used to put my reusable bags on the conveyor belt before my groceries so that I didn't need to remember to say "Wait, I've got bags!!" They would automatically grab them. Now we don't have bags in our supermarket so it's standard practice.

dodojojo

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1509 on: July 23, 2019, 05:36:52 PM »
Over the years I moved away from bar soap to liquid/foam.  I still use bar soap in the shower but liquid/foam at the bathroom and kitchen sinks.  Partly for the catsitters and guests as I was concerned they would not be keen on using soap bars.  I mitigated by making my own foam mix--cheapish, but still the plastic bottles would have to be replaced after awhile when the dispensers would die.

Today, I think I'm going to switch back to 100% bar soap for myself.  I'll keep liquid soap for guests--the usage would be low so I won't have to replace the bottles as often.

Since usage of the foam mix would be sporadic, I'm going to stop making it.  Homemade mix is not meant to last very long.  I may ditch making my own foam mix and just stick with liquid soap for guests. That's more stable and can be left in the bottle far longer.  Also part of my foam mix included glycerin...which comes in plastic bottles.  So no longer buying glycerin also cuts down on plastic.

What's an affordable moisturizing soap for hand washing?  I use Trader Joe's cheapest soap for bathing.  But I need something more moisturizing for my hands.  I have cats so I wash my hands a lot.

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1510 on: July 23, 2019, 06:39:46 PM »
Successfully caught the cashier at the produce market before they bagged my stuff.  I've been pretty good at remembering to bring my bags, but they are so used to bagging that they start while they are tallying my purchases, and I often have a hard time catching their attention before they do.  But I'm getting better at catching them in time.

I don't know how it works at the tills where you are but I used to put my reusable bags on the conveyor belt before my groceries so that I didn't need to remember to say "Wait, I've got bags!!" They would automatically grab them. Now we don't have bags in our supermarket so it's standard practice.

It's actually a little market with no conveyor belts and no carts - you just walk up and put your stuff on the counter, and the cashier sorts through (bagging as they go) and adds everything up.  They do all the math in their heads, and it's cash only, no electronic till.  They're so used to the routine that it can be hard to stop them even if I put my bag on the counter with my produce.  At the regular supermarket, I usually use self-check so it's easy to bag stuff myself how I want it.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1511 on: July 24, 2019, 07:36:14 AM »
I watched Cowspiracy again on YT.  It was really my introduction to changing my diet and it motivates me each time I watch it. 

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1512 on: July 24, 2019, 07:45:27 AM »
My cheese consumption had creeped up again recently, so last weekend I went on a cooking spree so I'd have fancy vegan breakfasts and lunches for several days.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1513 on: July 24, 2019, 12:32:21 PM »
I've started using a 5 minute hourglass to time my showers. I already try to minimize my water usage by taking camping showers when I don't need to wash my hair. The hourglass helps cut the time of my actual showers. Those minutes go by fast!

RichHarvest

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1514 on: August 01, 2019, 01:24:07 PM »
I have several tulip trees coming up in my yard and garden. Normally I pull these as "weeds", but this year I decided to let them grow a bit, to about 2-3 feet tall. I've transplanted a couple to the wooded part of my yard for shade/native habitat, and I listed the others on Nextdoor for neighbors willing to transplant them to a permanent location.

Maybe I'll charge a nominal amount for a small side gig if there's high demand.

okcisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1515 on: August 02, 2019, 07:46:23 PM »
Picked up aluminum cans from the work parking lot. Litter really annoys me! I brought them home and put them in my recycling.
Made sure the office cleaners didn't empty my recycling bin into the garbage. We don't have office recycling, so put in an extra wastebasket, fill it up all week, then bring it to my home recycling.
Put some extra potting soil on my little herb garden to help keep water in the soil. It's so nice to have fresh greens right outside my back door.
More scrap busting crafting this weekend!

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1516 on: August 02, 2019, 10:22:51 PM »
Took my daughter to speech therapy and lunch in our ELF, and went grocery shopping for the week with our cargo bike. Zero emissions active transport!

I continuing to develop my skills as a gardener. I recently learned how to scarify seeds which has  enabled me to propagate more seedling trees that I can eventually share with neighbors. Urban tree cover is beneficial economically, environmentally and psychologically.

Plus gardening, composting, reusable grocery bags, cloth diapering, etc.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1517 on: August 03, 2019, 09:07:12 AM »
Found out we qualify for two different energy credits if we switch to a smart thermostat in our apartment, since we have central air here. It'll bring the cost down to just $50, so we're probably going to do that! Didn't realize we'd qualify since we're renters. It'll be nice- this will let us control temps when we're gone (so I'll let it get hotter when we're not there if we have the dog with us), and it'll let us do zones depending on the time of day. Plus the learning programming and scheduling all that. We had one in our house when we were there, excited to move to one here!

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1518 on: August 03, 2019, 01:02:33 PM »
Went to the store and farmer's market and brought all the reusable bags. The cashier at the grocery store blithely ignored the bright red reusable bag I put standing up on the conveyor belt and gave me a plastic bag instead (FFS!).  I was afraid he would throw away the 'used' plastic bag if I made him unpack and repack my groceries, so I stopped him from double bagging my three whole items (FFS x 2! but at least I caught him in time) and figured I would be able to at least reuse the plastic bag at home a few times. Used all my own bags for cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, broccoli, and bread at the farmer's market and saved a bunch of food miles by buying local produce. (I try to buy local produce at the grocery store when they have it, but it's not always clear how far away it came from since they usually just list the state or country of origin. New York could be up to 200 miles, Pennsylvania could be up to 300 miles, you just don't know. With the farmer's market I know exactly what town they're from, and I'm pretty sure they're all <100 miles.)

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1519 on: August 03, 2019, 04:18:42 PM »
Am using things from our garden for our dinner! It doesn't happen as often as I'd like but I love when it works out.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1520 on: August 05, 2019, 09:33:22 AM »
I have a bit too much veg thanks to forgetting to cancel a Hungry Harvest shipment last week and not finding out until after I'd gone to the produce market. I just made a giant batch of tomato-mushroom sauce for pasta that I will freeze down in several containers. We've also eaten a lot of cold mixed-veg salad. Waste not, want not and it's better for our health to eat like this.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1521 on: August 05, 2019, 03:35:32 PM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1522 on: August 05, 2019, 04:25:08 PM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)


Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1523 on: August 05, 2019, 04:40:53 PM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)

Oh, I just bought some no-name brand from Amazon :-/  They had a lot of good reviews so I hope they will hold up OK. I don't even know if there are "good name brand" bags being sold anywhere, I haven't seen any. (They had some at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were a brand I'd never heard of and were $20/bag instead of $5/bag.)

If one of us remembers in a couple months I can let you know how they're holding up!

Christof

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1524 on: August 05, 2019, 05:08:29 PM »
With the farmer's market I know exactly what town they're from, and I'm pretty sure they're all <100 miles.)

That‘s great! Around here farmer‘s markets are not selling produce from their own farms which means you might end up buying potatoes from Egypt, which is a continent and several thousand miles away.

okcisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1525 on: August 05, 2019, 09:07:10 PM »
Remembered to use my homemade produce bags! By accident, but it counts :) I had tucked them in the bottom of one of my reusable shopping bags, and was pleasantly surprised by them at Aldi. And pleasantly surprise by Aldi actually having loose avocados for sale.

Used all my own bags for shopping, then refused a bag when I got to the last store and I'd run out of my own. I just stacked everything in my arms and took it out.

Made a little pouch with fabric scraps that attaches to my dog leash. I can fit three folded-up plastic bags in there for poo bags. No more purchased plastic bags to pick up poop. I get them from family and friends, since I no longer get plastic bags when I shop.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1526 on: August 09, 2019, 03:11:05 PM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)

Oh, I just bought some no-name brand from Amazon :-/  They had a lot of good reviews so I hope they will hold up OK. I don't even know if there are "good name brand" bags being sold anywhere, I haven't seen any. (They had some at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were a brand I'd never heard of and were $20/bag instead of $5/bag.)

If one of us remembers in a couple months I can let you know how they're holding up!

I think the brand I have is Stasher--they were recommended by the Frugal Girl. But I don't use as many bags as I used to anyway. My husband and children eat cereal and a cereal bag works for many purposes.

I just got back from a trip. I had turned off the water heater, WiFi, and AC while we were away.

Christof

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1527 on: August 10, 2019, 08:58:30 AM »
I just got back from a trip. I had turned off the water heater, WiFi, and AC while we were away.

In addition we‘ve turned off phones, clocks on our microwave, radio, etc., shut down heating including hot water. Basically, only fridge, freezer, smart meter and our motion controlled outside light remained on.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1528 on: August 10, 2019, 10:34:50 AM »
I just got back from a trip. I had turned off the water heater, WiFi, and AC while we were away.

In addition we‘ve turned off phones, clocks on our microwave, radio, etc., shut down heating including hot water. Basically, only fridge, freezer, smart meter and our motion controlled outside light remained on.

That's hard core. A lot of that stuff I don't even know how to unplug.

I am typing this on my husband's Surface. My refurbished laptop was not performing satisfactorily and rather than me buying a Chromebook or another cheap laptop, we decided we could just share and reduce our total number of gadgets.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1529 on: August 11, 2019, 08:18:43 PM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)

Oh, I just bought some no-name brand from Amazon :-/  They had a lot of good reviews so I hope they will hold up OK. I don't even know if there are "good name brand" bags being sold anywhere, I haven't seen any. (They had some at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were a brand I'd never heard of and were $20/bag instead of $5/bag.)

If one of us remembers in a couple months I can let you know how they're holding up!

So, for the record: not having great luck with these bags. Two of the bags turned out to have a bit of a defect and one of them tore when I was struggling with the defective part. These were the ones I purchased. They are also not 100% watertight, although I think they would be fine for most storage uses. I wouldn't use them to store liquids (like freezing stock) and I wouldn't submerge them in liquid (like for sous vide or reheating food). They held up OK as long as I didn't squeeze them, but they leaked when I did. (We have a rigorous product testing regimen here in the Slicey household... ;-) ) 

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1530 on: August 12, 2019, 05:23:30 AM »
I'm back to work tomorrow, so I'm in the middle of a last minute back-to-work household marathon. I didn't do much laundry over the past couple of weeks and I am only just now noticing how much smaller the amount of laundry is when I'm not working. It hasn't been very warm here so I haven't been sweating much, which means I can wear my clothes for longer. There aren't any regular bras (I wear sports tops at home) or tights in the laundry hamper, and no items that need special care. It's just one big load of regular cotton items that all go in together and were then line dried.

After that, I threw my work bag in the machine. It's an Eastpak shoulder bag that I've owned since 2005. I wash it once a year and it still looks ok. It has started to fade and the fabric is wearing out, I've done several small fixes over the last couple of years. I guess it's time to keep my eyes open for a new-to-me bag. I inspect the items I own semi-regularly and make a mental note of everything that needs to be replaced in the next 6 months, so I have a replacement ready when the item finally fails and I don't have to run to the shop to buy new.

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1531 on: August 12, 2019, 06:58:50 AM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)

Oh, I just bought some no-name brand from Amazon :-/  They had a lot of good reviews so I hope they will hold up OK. I don't even know if there are "good name brand" bags being sold anywhere, I haven't seen any. (They had some at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were a brand I'd never heard of and were $20/bag instead of $5/bag.)

If one of us remembers in a couple months I can let you know how they're holding up!

So, for the record: not having great luck with these bags. Two of the bags turned out to have a bit of a defect and one of them tore when I was struggling with the defective part. These were the ones I purchased. They are also not 100% watertight, although I think they would be fine for most storage uses. I wouldn't use them to store liquids (like freezing stock) and I wouldn't submerge them in liquid (like for sous vide or reheating food). They held up OK as long as I didn't squeeze them, but they leaked when I did. (We have a rigorous product testing regimen here in the Slicey household... ;-) )

Thanks for the update! 

pachnik

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1532 on: August 12, 2019, 10:02:55 AM »
The recycling program for my suburb doesn't take toothpaste tubes.  :(
But the suburb I work in does, so I brought my used toothpaste tube from home and put it into the blue recycling bin for someone in my work neighbourhood. 

leonblack

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1533 on: August 15, 2019, 10:36:03 AM »
Biked 22 miles instead of driving.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1534 on: August 15, 2019, 09:48:21 PM »
Remembered to bring all my reusable bags to a concert tonight so I could stop for groceries on the way home. The cashier must have been very into the anti-plastic-waste movement since she made a point of telling me that she was giving me a 10 cent "bring your own bag" credit not just for my tote bag, but for each individual produce bag and my backpack.

I tried a new batch cooking recipe this week and made carbon-emissions-friendly substitutions - substituted poultry for beef and used extra vegetables to bulk it up and give the recipe a couple of extra servings without increasing the amount of animal products.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1535 on: August 15, 2019, 11:35:38 PM »
* I hauled three pails of water to a native tree I planted in a no man’s land near my house.

* Composted lots of food waste, dryer lint and so forth. Since recycling is ever more difficult, I plan to start shredding all paper and cardboard that comes on the property and using it for our compost bins and worm towers.

imadandylion

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1536 on: August 16, 2019, 09:02:11 AM »
This week's batch cooking was a vegan stir fry made partly with local veg from the farmer's market.

I also ordered some reusable silicone zip-top bags since I had a gift card for Amazon I'd gotten from doing a survey. I like how versatile they are - they're dishwasher safe, you can use them to cook food, you can use them to pack snacks or meals, you can freeze food in them, they're non-toxic and BPA-free, etc. I read somewhere that you can, e.g., freeze chicken with a marinade in the bag, and then pop the bag right into simmering water and poach them without even having to remove the chicken from the bag. No more raw chicken hands/cutting board/etc. for your weeknight dinner. Pretty nice!

What kind of bags do you buy?  I'm always skeptical buying them from the internet, because I don't know how they'll work, and I don't want to fork over $$$ for one that's just ok.  So I'll just trust you, internet stranger, and your recommendations :)

Oh, I just bought some no-name brand from Amazon :-/  They had a lot of good reviews so I hope they will hold up OK. I don't even know if there are "good name brand" bags being sold anywhere, I haven't seen any. (They had some at Bed Bath & Beyond, but they were a brand I'd never heard of and were $20/bag instead of $5/bag.)

If one of us remembers in a couple months I can let you know how they're holding up!

So, for the record: not having great luck with these bags. Two of the bags turned out to have a bit of a defect and one of them tore when I was struggling with the defective part. These were the ones I purchased. They are also not 100% watertight, although I think they would be fine for most storage uses. I wouldn't use them to store liquids (like freezing stock) and I wouldn't submerge them in liquid (like for sous vide or reheating food). They held up OK as long as I didn't squeeze them, but they leaked when I did. (We have a rigorous product testing regimen here in the Slicey household... ;-) )

I have those exact ones from like 2-3 years ago. I really hate them. I recommend them to no one. Good idea in theory, but i find the bars that you slide across the top extremely hard to remove sometimes, and they don't always go all the way to the end to close them completely - always leaving at least 3/4" open. So now I relegate them to saving vegetable scraps in the freezer to make vegetable broth. But I still hate them whenever I see them.
I also find washing them cumbersome because they don't seem to open up very well (supposed to be able to have that relatively flat standing bottom instead of just being a flat pouch like those plastic ziplock style bags).

So we just go with glass containers for everything now. I don't really have a 'need' for the bags, but I thought they'd be helpful to transport fruit and nuts while being relatively compact and less heavy than glass in our work bags. Since we both commute by either public transportation or by bike, weight matters.

TrMama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1537 on: August 16, 2019, 09:08:31 AM »
It's been a crappy week for me in terms of environmental impact since I've been driving to work, driving kids to camp and even drove back into downtown two nights this week for a work dinner and our anniversary dinner. However, my one success was convincing the group I work with to cut one trip off the schedule in favour of a Skype conference call. That saved at least a few cross country flights and made the one person who seems to live on the road very happy.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1538 on: August 16, 2019, 09:18:40 AM »
I have those exact ones from like 2-3 years ago. I really hate them. I recommend them to no one. Good idea in theory, but i find the bars that you slide across the top extremely hard to remove sometimes, and they don't always go all the way to the end to close them completely - always leaving at least 3/4" open. So now I relegate them to saving vegetable scraps in the freezer to make vegetable broth. But I still hate them whenever I see them.
I also find washing them cumbersome because they don't seem to open up very well (supposed to be able to have that relatively flat standing bottom instead of just being a flat pouch like those plastic ziplock style bags).

I'm amazed they got such good reviews on Amazon! Two out of four of mine don't open all the way so you can't use the flat/standing bottom, which is really useful on the ones that work right. I almost wanted to take a knife to it to try and cut that part open, but I'm sure I would just put a hole in it...

I'm tempted to try and get my money back from Amazon but it would be the second purchase in a row that I had to do that and I'm afraid my account will get flagged or something... (I don't order from them often but there was something in June I couldn't find locally and it arrived crushed/torn)

@TrMama - cutting out a few cross country flights is a huge impact! Nice! Just one leg of one of those flights more than offsets your extra driving.

imadandylion

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1539 on: August 16, 2019, 10:46:45 AM »
I have those exact ones from like 2-3 years ago. I really hate them. I recommend them to no one. Good idea in theory, but i find the bars that you slide across the top extremely hard to remove sometimes, and they don't always go all the way to the end to close them completely - always leaving at least 3/4" open. So now I relegate them to saving vegetable scraps in the freezer to make vegetable broth. But I still hate them whenever I see them.
I also find washing them cumbersome because they don't seem to open up very well (supposed to be able to have that relatively flat standing bottom instead of just being a flat pouch like those plastic ziplock style bags).

I'm amazed they got such good reviews on Amazon! Two out of four of mine don't open all the way so you can't use the flat/standing bottom, which is really useful on the ones that work right. I almost wanted to take a knife to it to try and cut that part open, but I'm sure I would just put a hole in it...

I'm tempted to try and get my money back from Amazon but it would be the second purchase in a row that I had to do that and I'm afraid my account will get flagged or something... (I don't order from them often but there was something in June I couldn't find locally and it arrived crushed/torn)

Doesn't hurt to try. They have much bigger fish to fry as they say, so I'm sure it won't be flagged. A while back, when I tried to return a couple things because I made a mistake, they actually just let me keep it and refunded me the costs. Not saying they'd do that in this case, but there might still be the option to return the dissatisfactory item and receive some sort of credit? Try communicating with the seller.

I've been wondering if those 'Stashers' silicone bags were any better. Anyone know?

FIRE_at_45

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1540 on: August 16, 2019, 03:27:56 PM »
It's been a crappy week for me in terms of environmental impact since I've been driving to work, driving kids to camp and even drove back into downtown two nights this week for a work dinner and our anniversary dinner. However, my one success was convincing the group I work with to cut one trip off the schedule in favour of a Skype conference call. That saved at least a few cross country flights and made the one person who seems to live on the road very happy.

Businesses should opt for this more often.  It’s a win-win-win!

jengod

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What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1541 on: August 16, 2019, 08:30:52 PM »
I have those exact ones from like 2-3 years ago. I really hate them. I recommend them to no one. Good idea in theory, but i find the bars that you slide across the top extremely hard to remove sometimes, and they don't always go all the way to the end to close them completely - always leaving at least 3/4" open. So now I relegate them to saving vegetable scraps in the freezer to make vegetable broth. But I still hate them whenever I see them.
I also find washing them cumbersome because they don't seem to open up very well (supposed to be able to have that relatively flat standing bottom instead of just being a flat pouch like those plastic ziplock style bags).

I'm amazed they got such good reviews on Amazon! Two out of four of mine don't open all the way so you can't use the flat/standing bottom, which is really useful on the ones that work right. I almost wanted to take a knife to it to try and cut that part open, but I'm sure I would just put a hole in it...

I'm tempted to try and get my money back from Amazon but it would be the second purchase in a row that I had to do that and I'm afraid my account will get flagged or something... (I don't order from them often but there was something in June I couldn't find locally and it arrived crushed/torn)

Doesn't hurt to try. They have much bigger fish to fry as they say, so I'm sure it won't be flagged. A while back, when I tried to return a couple things because I made a mistake, they actually just let me keep it and refunded me the costs. Not saying they'd do that in this case, but there might still be the option to return the dissatisfactory item and receive some sort of credit? Try communicating with the seller.

I've been wondering if those 'Stashers' silicone bags were any better. Anyone know?

I’ve not done rigorous product testing but we’ve had Stashers bags for about four months now. They have been great for both sending sandwiches in lunches and as freezer bags for ground turkey and so forth.

Very sturdy and seem to seal well—prying open the seal is the biggest challenge.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1542 on: August 18, 2019, 08:22:18 PM »
We were going to a picnic and were asked to bring disposable plates and a cake from the supermarket (packaged in a plastic box). Instead we brought reusable picnic plates and cups, our own cutlery and got a cake from a bakery so that it came in a card box. There was minimal rubbish to chuck out at the end, it was pretty good.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1543 on: August 20, 2019, 05:39:13 PM »
A friend was going to throw away a plastic water bottle while we were downtown, and I offered to put it in my bag to take it home and recycle it. I guess that's technically reducing someone else's environmental impact, but I'll take it where I can get it :-)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1544 on: August 20, 2019, 05:42:25 PM »
Walked my kids to their new school! So happy it's in walking distance of our new house.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1545 on: August 21, 2019, 01:37:58 AM »
Not really reducing my own impact, but I picked up some pieces of trash during my morning walk in the park.

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1546 on: August 21, 2019, 06:46:19 AM »
I just moved 10 miles away from work (and daycare, and the grocery store) instead of 2, so that's definitely NOT reducing my environmental impact, unfortunately.

However - there's this kid's book called Be Kind that we got from the library recently.  It's obviously about what it means to be kind to other people, but one of the pages starts off "Being kind should be easy, like throwing away a wrapper or recycling a bottle, or saying 'thank you!' or 'bless you!'".  One of the examples of being kind is also donating your clothes, or passing along things that you've grown out of.

I love that reusing/recycling are just presented as Things People Do. 


BuffaloStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1547 on: August 21, 2019, 07:17:27 PM »
My family moved to a new house and challenged ourselves to recycle and compost more, throwing out less waste. To solidify the challenge, we even called and had the town waste service give us a smaller garbage bin.

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1548 on: August 24, 2019, 02:06:48 AM »
We have company for breakfast and I'm using up some very overripe bananas to make banana pancakes

We were gifted a whole load of fruit from a neighbour's tree that was going to go to waste otherwise because she's single and can't eat it all.

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1549 on: August 30, 2019, 08:48:01 AM »
Testing out my new pair of Thinx today, if they work out I'll buy a few more and not need to use pads anymore.  Already replaced tampons with a cup, so this would put me to 100% reusable period supplies.