Reduce, Recycle, Rot
25 Tue, 2011 § 9 Comments
We are pretty mindful consumers. We eat seasonally, locally when possible, we do not have a lot of extra stuff & try to recycle — even in SLC, which did not make it easy. Recycling drop-offs were not convenient — & glass drop-offs nearly non-existence — so some weeks were better than others. Recycling is amazing in Flagstaff though. Our complex even has two dumpsters reserved just for recycling.
As we have been able to separate our garbage & utilize recycling more, we have realized most of our trash is compost able. It seems a waste to let it just sit in a landfill.
I have been inspired by a recent article in Sunset & am striving to create a zero waste home. Obviously zero is not possible, but I am really throwing myself into reducing the amount of waste we transfer. This means analyzing our day-to-day & being much more critical of our purchases.
I am tackling this room by room, starting with the kitchen. Rather than inundating you with a lot of details at once — plus I am still initiating changes — I am going to be sharing a few of these at a time.
Our garbage can has become our recycling bin [with the stickers] & our true garbage can for waste is the little guy on top, which sits in the spare bathroom just off of the kitchen.
Making our garbage can so small is forcing us to be incredibly mindful of what goes in it. No one likes taking the garbage out: the more slowly we fill it = the less often we take it out = the less waste we contribute.
Recycling is great but still creates waste. If there is a feasible change we can make that means zero waste over recycling, I don’t see why we shouldn’t make it. If you have recycling, keep a list of what you can & can not recycle near your bin [our list hangs above it in the closet]. This is more efficient because you do not have to guess & you are constantly being reminded of what is waste & what can be reused. You can obtain this list from the agency responsible for collecting & processing your recycled items. We cannot recycle glass in our dumpsters; so under the recycle-able list, I keep the page of glass drop-off locations.
Decreasing our waste was not the only inspiration I found in January’s Sunset.
I was also inspired to finally try a green I have wanted to cook with for a couple years now:
Dandelion greens are “super cleansers, rich in purifying chlorophyll, & helpful for reestablishing healthy intestinal flora.” [Terry Walter, Clean Food] They also boast several medicinal properties.
Dave commented how good this smelled when I was sauteing the vegetables. Once a hater of mushrooms, he has come around & even craves them occasionally. I made sure to go light on the greens in his portion; because dandelion greens are naturally bitter, I did not want to over-whelm him. This dish is composed of one of my favorite combinations: leek, mushrooms, garlic, truffle oil [which I drizzled on top in place of olive oil] — you just can’t go wrong! We also replaced the ricotta with mozzarella Daiya. I did not find the greens too bitter & loved what they added to this dish. Rice spaghetti varied the texture perfectly.
If you have not tried dandelion greens yet, this dish is a great introduction, granted you like mushrooms, leek, etc.
Are there recycling services available in your town?
Ever cooked weeds?