Posts Tagged ‘zero waste challenge’

If any of you have kiddos out there, you know that you inevitably have quite a bit of toys underfoot. It’s not that you are out there at the store constantly purchasing toys or anything; it’s just that they somehow have made their way into your home and any parent can tell you, they have no idea how all these toys got there! 🙂

Well I am here to say, that no matter the origination of the toys, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to house them all. If you just think outside of the box (or container), you can probably find some things around the home that can house the Legos!

Speaking of Legos…

My daughter loves her Legos and there are sooooo many small pieces. I had to find something sturdy to house them all when they weren’t in use. And then I saw on the counter, the container holding the animal crackers we had picked up from Costco.


Yup, I think this will work…


Boom! Perfect! And I didn’t have to spend any additional money actually purchasing some sort of container! It pays to shop your house 🙂


And then I thought hey, this container would be perfect to house all her little figures she plays with. So in went My Little Pony, the Bubble Guppies, etc…


Man, these containers work great

Now my daughter loves to color. She has quite a few coloring books. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do… And then I realized I had this box that I used to use to house tax stuff/receipts/etc… But that was not a very organized solution and it was messy and hard to ever find anything, so the box was now sitting empty. Perfect!


Yup, that’ll work!


And a case that I was using for odds and ends, I cleaned out and is now her pencil-case!


What to do with an empty Folgers coffee can?


Use it for blocks of course!


Hey I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but anything where I can save a bit of money, I am all for it!

Do you guys have any creative uses for stuff? It doesn’t have to be for toys 🙂

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November 30th is here folks! How’d you do with the Zero Waste Challenge? I did pretty good, if I do say so myself 🙂

So for a reminder, here is the amazeballs book that started the whole thing:


“Minimalize that kitchen” was my mantra, and I stuck to it.

Cookbooks I’ve never, ever used? Gone!


Chipped plastic containers, cracked plastic containers, old sippy cups, just bad plastic in general, gone!

Buh-bye plastic!

Buh-bye plastic!

Shot glasses we never used? Gone! Recipes torn out from magazines that I will never make? Gone!

Remember this hot mess of a drawer?


Check it out yo! Isn’t it beautiful?

Neat and orderly!

Neat and orderly!

Seriously, I may have just stared at this organized perfection for longer than necessary, because I was that enthralled 🙂

Every single cabinet was completely emptied and ruthlessly mulled through to make sure nothing went back that wasn’t going to be for sure used.

I actually have shelves that have nothing on them!!!

I have cabinets now that are functional, drawers where I can easily find things, and no broken can openers!

November’s challenge was to minimalize that kitchen and I accomplished my goal!

How did you guys do? 🙂

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Can you believe we are already heading into another weekend in November?? Where is this month going? Anybody else soooo not ready yet for Thanksgiving? Our menu is sorta planned, but we are still tweaking it.

Some of my 49ers stuff!

Some of my 49ers stuff!

This: So, my husband and I have been selling some stuff on Craigslist and Ebay. I thought we had sold quite a bit of items before we moved this past spring, but sometimes it takes staring at the stuff you currently have long enough, to realize that it’s gotta go. The biggest item we have sold so far, is my daughter’s crib.*sniff sniff* It was time. Moms, you get this one 🙂

That: Still working on my Zero Waste Challenge for the month. Among the items we are tossing, are like a bunch of shot glasses. Who are we anyways? 21 year olds?? Um, no. I don’t need a shot glass from the Paris Hotel in Vegas. Again, why do we have this? It’s gone, gone, gone 🙂

The Other: Sports! Seriously, fall is the best time ever for sports. Between hockey (Go Ducks!) and football (Go 49ers!), this gal is in some sports heaven!

So, what’s going on with you guys? 😀

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Do you know what this is? Looks like a harmless manila folder. You’ve seen hundreds of ’em before, right?


But this folder, this one right here, is scary because it’s filled with…

*cue Jaws music*



Oh, the horror…

This stupid folder sat on my kitchen counter, mocking me. “Hey, you said you were going to make me a year ago? What’s the deal, lady?” “Whaddya mean you don’t have crushed cashews, sprigs of rosemary, and capers stocked in your pantry?”


And every time I saw the folder, I would feel guilty. Guilty about having the recipe in the first place, and then feeling guilty that all this time went by, and I still hadn’t made the freakin’ dish.

I’m over it.

Part of my Zero Waste Kitchen Challenge, is to completely overhaul my kitchen and only keep what I will use. And all of the recipes calling for 35 different fancy ingredients, or the recipes whose prep time starts at 2 hours… I’m done.

I will never make these recipes.

It feels oddly gratifying to give them up. I’m okay with not being the next Giada or anyone with the word “chef” in front of their name.

So au’ revoir folder stuffed with guilt-inducing recipes.


It’s like we never met.

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So there is this absolutely fabulous book out there in the atmosphere called Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. For those that need visuals, here ya go:


This book is amazeballs, seriously. I wish I could take credit for having discovered it first, or even written about it first, but that distinction I will leave with frugal rockstar Katy. Check out her posts on this topic; fantastic reading for sure!

Anywho, I decided to do my own challenge based on the chapters that Bea covers in her book. In the “Kitchen” section, she talks about going through her kitchen and getting rid of everything that she doesn’t use or has multiples of. If you haven’t used it, or don’t plan on using it, get rid of it!

For the record, I have 3, count ’em 3, can openers, one of which is broken. And I’m holding onto it because??????

I want a minimalist kitchen.

And I want it free of cracked plastic containers, chipped plates, melted spatulas, and unused sippy cups.

This drawer is ridiculous:


Now Bea does go into great depth about not having any waste at all in the kitchen, and someday I hope to aspire to that goal. But she also says to do what you can, and that’s what I am going to do. Do what I can. I need to pare down my kitchen, and honestly melty plastic utensils and containers is just plain unhealthy.

Also? November is the perfect month to do this challenge because we are hosting Thanksgiving, and what better occasion to see if you really do use all the cooking utensils stuffed into random drawers?

Questions to ask yourself while paring down your kitchen according to Zero Waste Home:

  • Is it in working condition? Is it expired?
  • Do I use it regularly?
  • Is it a duplicate?
  • Does it put my family’s health in danger?
  • Do I keep it out of guilt?
  • Do I keep it because “everyone has one”? Is it too specialized? Does it truly save time, as promised? Could another item achieve the same task?
  • Is it worth my precious time cleaning?
  • Could I use this space for something else?
  • Is it reusable?

So who’s with me? November’s challenge is to minimalize that kitchen!

Cookbooks you will never use? Donate ’em! And so on and so forth…

I’m ready! Are you? 🙂

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