Archive for the ‘Waste-Free’ Category

Eating out really makes waste-free dining a challenge. Most of the time, my at home meals are waste-free. (Remember our #beewastefree definition—no single use packaging or utensils are discarded…) So how are we doing so far? As of this weekend, we’ve logged 131 waste-free meals. Thanks go out to the Lowell Pine Needlers, an Oregon quilt group. The Pine Needlers have converted their monthly pot luck to be waste free! Instead of paper plates and napkins, plastic utensils, they made a group decision to go green and reusable! I’m still WFH and cooking many of my meals. Veggie trimmings go out into the compost pile. I’ve made at least one family of bunnies very happy!  ~Paula  #beewastefree

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Now that I am making a concerted effort to #BeeWasteFree, I’ve been using my reusable coffee mug every chance I get. This has been saving me money in two ways. First, I’m less likely to stop for coffee if I leave the house with my own perfectly tailored brew. But here’s what else I’ve noticed. Some, though sadly not all, coffee vendors give a discount if you bring your own cup. One of my favorite places, Best Buns in Shirlington, charges for a mere refill if you provide the cup. A refill as about half the cost of a regular cup of coffee!

Here’s to being green and saving green at the same time. $$$

Check out our #BeeWasteFree Challenge!

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I don’t want to be negative, but I know I can do better with my waste-free efforts. Starting in July with the celebratory picnic and BBQ activities, including a Bethesda crab feed, it’s been difficult to stay on the waste-free path. Everything seems to come wrapped in paper! (FYI – I brought my own fork and cloth napkin to the crab fest, but couldn’t call it a waste-free meal.)

So, now that the celebrations are over, including the most recent wedding shower, I will concentrate on our #beewastefree initiative. Just so you know I haven’t been a total slacker, I did make a recycled paper card and flower sculpture for the guest of honor. It took more time than I expected because I haven’t been that crafty for a while…

Recycled Paper Flower 2

Recycled paper tends to be crinkly which lends itself to organic shapes.

Recycled Paper Flower

Another view of the recycled paper rose.

Oh, and one last thing… The gift for the bride (and groom) is a live tree and some bulbs for their yard. ~Paula

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Here at   we get a lot of people contacting us to promote their green products. We dutifully and eagerly check out the recommendations, hoping for the occasional gem. Well, I’m happy to introduce www.KidsKonserve.com. They have a total lunch kit solution that is waste-free and food-safe all the way. In 2010, the company was honored by the fashion design company, Eileen Fisher, with a Business Grant for Women Entrepreneurs!

And, yes, the company caters to children’s lunch kits, but these are good-looking enough for adults!

Butterfiles decorate reusable lunch kit.

DEAL: SAVE 15% through the end of July. Just remember to use this coupon code when you buy from www.kidskonserve.com. (Code = summer15)

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When we started our #beewastefree challenge, we were intent upon reaching the big number ONE THOUSAND. And we will get there. In the meantime, some surprising and rewarding things are happening. People are talking to us about their green efforts.

One friend leads a very busy life and—probably more than most of us right now—has a lot on her shoulders. She told me she’d read the challenge and wanted to let me know she was shopping for a compost bucket for the kitchen. She has her eye on a nice stainless steel model in which she’ll gather vegetable and fruit trimmings until it’s time to walk out back and deposit them up the hill. I love this!

There’s more! She and her husband are growing herbs in the yard. They even used their chicken bone leftovers to make a fragrant pot of stock. Earlier this spring I’d had a wonderful dinner at their home and (sheepishly) asked if I could take the bones with me. I am a regular stock maker and if they didn’t want them, I sure could put the bones to use.

So, even though the conversation wasn’t around waste-free meals, it was exciting just the same. Before I leave for my meeting today, I’ll grab a fork wrapped in a cloth napkin and secured with a rubber band. It’s a great way to reduce my use of plastic utensils and paper napkins. And it’s FREE!

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This handy insulated mug might be just the thing you need to add to your waste free meal. Whether you live in Alaska or Mexico, this little gem will keep your food hot or cold. Visit us often for more waste free ideas.

And don’t forget to log your waste free meal for our “1,000 waste free meals campaign.”

Insulated Mug

Insulated food jar

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Saturday was my turn to lend a hand at the TreeStewards tree (advice) table at the Arlington County Farmers Market. I was apprehensive, it being my first time and knowing that I am but a neophyte in the arena of tree knowledge. It turned out to be a lot of fun and educational as well!

Time between ‘customers’ afforded great opportunities to explore and sample the produce. I found THE best tomatoes so far this year! Instead of using the plastic bag offered at the stand, I put the produce directly into my reusable cloth bag. I managed to get the bag home without puncturing the perfectly ripe tomatoes.

My waste-free lunch consisted of gorgeous, ripe sliced tomatoes, arugula snipped from my yard, olive oil, sea salt, pepper a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of leftover goat cheese. Heaven! And waste-free.

Please help us complete our self-imposed challenge to document 1,000 waste free meals. #beewastefree

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