One of the awesome bonuses to having a blog is the amazing support group that comes with it. Have I mentioned how awesome I think you all are?
So today I want to pick your brains...
Photo by Andreanna
There are some subcategories of "going green" where my family is pretty good (like the food category), and there are some subcategories where we just plain suck but we're trying (like the transportation category). And then there are some subcategories where we're doing okay but we could do better.
I've made a goal this year to push myself a bit in those categories, but in some cases, I have some questions that are holding me back.
:: Those of you who have cut out paper towels: How do you deal with grease?
Like when you've cooked bacon and you have a pan left full of grease...I was taught that you leave the grease in the pan until it congeals, and then you wipe the grease out with a paper towel and throw the whole thing in the trash. That way, you don't get grease leaking out the bottom of the trash bag. But if you're not using paper towels, how do you clean up the grease?
Or bugs? (Doesn't everyone grab a paper towel, smoosh the bug, and toss it in the trash?)
:: Those of you who bake bread: How do you store your bread?
Once a week, I make a batch of four loaves (and it's almost always gone by the end of the week). But I'm storing them in plastic bags. I wash and reuse the bags, but eventually they wear out. Has anyone figured out how to store bread without bags?
:: Those of you who keep your house really cold in the winter: Do your houseplants survive? And how do your pets handle it?
We've been going 60 at night with a space heater in the boys' room, and my plants seem fine. But I wonder if colder would harm them. Has anyone else had trouble with that? And what do you do with your pets?
:: Those of you who go without A/C in the summer: Does it affect your food storage?
Everything I've read says you should store food at 68 to 78 degrees. I think the cold probably doesn't matter as much (?), but I can see why you wouldn't want your food storage to get too hot or humid. If I try going without A/C for a month this summer, is it going to make my wheat and oats and beans rot?
:: Those of you who have gone "no 'poo": How long did it take for your hair to adjust?
The concept of no poo fascinates me, but I've got to tell you: I'm kind of vain. I like looking nice, and the idea of weeks upon weeks of ugly hair is a total turn-off. How long did it take for you?
And here's an admission of a total eco-sin that I promise I'm going to work on eventually (see the vanity comment above): Can I go no poo if I dye my hair?
:: Those of you who have given up "convenience" foods: What kind of snacks do you give your kids?
My family is totally addicted to the humble cracker. I could start making my own crackers, but I already make my own bread, granola, yogurt, and muffins every week, tortillas, bagels, and pitas on occasion, and dinner ever night. It would be nice if I could come up with some unprocessed snack foods that my kids will eat that aren't totally dependent on me. I'm thinking dried fruits...What other suggestions do you have?
:: Those of you that pack no waste lunches: What do you pack in your kids' lunchboxes?
We are already doing no waste lunches, but I feel like my poor son's lunches reside in Boredomville. It's a cheese sandwich or quesadilla every day with a side of carrots or celery and a fruit. (He requested that we don't pack him peanut butter and jelly because then he can't sit next to his friend Lauren, and because I thought that was so darn cute and thoughtful, we complied.) Do you have any more creative suggestions that don't require heating?
I can't wait to hear your input!