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@RuaLupa Best & cheapest way to store homemade bread: Cut side down on a cutting board, with a brown paper bag covering the loaf. Keeps the cut side fresh/soft, while the crust stays, well, crusty!
4 weeks ago on Win a Plastic-Free Book! Take the Quiz & Make a Pledge
@Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator @Eve Stavros Cheesecake is one in particular, and ice cream (w/o a special machine). I do buy all flours, sugars, spices, coconut, etc. in bulk. Here's a link to thre recipe, w/mascarpone included. http://myplasticfreelife.com/forum/plastic-free-alternatives/plastic-free-nearly-tiramisu/
And then there's the lady fingers...sigh...which I've had mixed results with, but keep trying. They're easy, but not consistent!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!
@hannah @Eve Stavros Thanks, Hannah. I make mascarpone, which I guess I could use instead of cream cheese, since it's pretty thick. My homemade yogurt I end up eating before I can strain it for baking use!
Welcome Ericka! I'm sure Beth is stoked to have you on board and I look forward to your posts & "meeting' you through the blog. As a dessert maker, perhaps you can give us some plastic-free tips for desserts. I find some ingredients, like chocolate, cream cheese, most flavorings, are hard to find plastic-free alternatives. I have managed to make a plastic-free tiramisu & posted it somewhere around here... Anyway, welcome! Eve
Amanda - I wash & reuse my plastic zip-storage bags, but only for raw veggies now, and haven't bought any new ones in almost four years. BUT, I've made some lightweight cotton bags which I use for the same purpose and they work as well, so when the zip bags die, they're not getting replaced. Tupperware, or other hard plastic containers are not good for food - yes, they keep it fresh, but then you've got the problem of chemicals leaching into the foods and that's not good. The best option is glass - for free, save and use wide-mouth jars from olives, mayo, spaghetti sauces, etc. For cheap, you can sometimes find covered glass casseroles (large & small) at thrift shops. Beth & plenty of other posters have ideas on this, if you search the site for "storage" or "glass". Also, see the Zero Waste Home Blog to see how one woman does it all in glass, from shopping to storage, even fresh meats & fish! http://www.zerowastehome.blogspot.com/search/label/Kitchen
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Amanda, Week 1
Well, here's the video... :)
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Aric Bickel, Week 1
Aric, I think reusable dog "business" pickup bags would be sort of yucky to clean. I have two suggestions, both of which I use for cat litter disposal, and cheaper than biodegradable (which I'm still suspicious of):
1. "Reclaim" used plastic bags from the recycle bins at your grocery store, or set up a collection point yourself at work (I did this when I noticed people would bring their lunch in a plastic bag, then toss the bag in the trash, like every day!). Newspaper bags, frozen veggie bags, cereal box liners. I snag them from my less green friends. At least you'll be taking ones that have been used.
2. Make yourself some newspaper bags - I do this for my small trashcan. Because of how it's folded, it would give you flaps which would protect your hand under when scooping. You could make it out of half-sheet newspaper for smaller size. Here's a two-minute video that shows a 9-year-old girl making one, it's that easy!
Welcome Emily! It's so great to see young folks getting on board - gives us more hope for the future. Bathroom products are surprisingly easy to reduce. You can find shampoo & conditioner in bulk at some local health food stores (New Leaf is one in your area) or use a shampoo bar like Lush or J.R. Liggett. As for shavers, I followed Beth's lead and bought a metal double-edge vintage Gillette razor with stainless steel blades for refills. Makes me feel like I'm shaving in a 50's movie and I love the weight of it. Just search this blog for the things you want to replace, and I guarantee you'll find a plastic-free alternative that someone's written about. Good luck!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Emily Stollmeyer, Week 1
Thanks, Leander!! Yeah, I used to live in NL actually (Lisse, then Amsterdam) and one thing I certainly miss are the great candy shops. Here, I don't really eat much candy, it's just when I travel that I get tempted by the local treats, like chocolate-covered licorice in Icelend! Yummy! Thanks for the encouraging words.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 20
Just when I thought I'd gotten the message out to family & friends...I get a giant box of gourmet international cookies, each in its own little plastic sac...sigh...nothing to do but take one for the team and eat them, I guess!
Beth, in #2 above, the link to the ReUse Alliance doesn't work - takes me to a secure log-in window...
4 months, 2 weeks ago on What to Do with All That Holiday Plastic
Last year I gave everyone (but the wee kiddies) charitable donations in their name, given as hand-made cards or paper items which represented their gift, and it was a big hit with family & friends. With so many people in the world (esp. my home state of NJ) not having any sort of Christmas at all this year, I feel selfish buying into the whole consume, consume, consume especially when I don't NEED anything! So, expect more of the same this year.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Black Friday: To Buy or Not to Buy?
Yeah, totally guilt ridden when my friend brings home a Sweet Frog's frozen yogurt, peanut butter flavor, home just for me in a (ugh) styrofoam cup. But I eat every spoonful anyway! Trying to get her to switch to another shop that uses paper cups.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Confession of an Anti-Plastic Activist Caught Red-Handed With a BPA-Lined Can
Funny, I never worry about microbes on soap dispensers because, oh yeah, they diispense soap, which destroys them...
7 months, 1 week ago on Luxury Hotel Says No to Single-Sized Shampoo Bottles
Just thought you should know, I received an email from my library that they have ordered My Plastic-Free Life based on my recommendation! In such a green-minded community as Charlottesville, how could they not?
7 months, 1 week ago on Plastic Free — How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too
Good news - the Florida EPass responded to my email and said I could send the transponder back to them. I hope they re-issue it, but at least maybe my action will get them thinking that perhaps the issue of how to dispose of these devices should be their responsibility.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 4
Welcome and good luck! As for the toilet paper, I've found a few solutions. Last year I ordered tp online from Restockit (96 rolls, yup, shoulda seen my linen closets!) made from 100% recycled paper, wrapped in paper, shipped w/only one strip of plastic (on the shipping label). It was cost comparable to local purchasing. The other option, since now I've moved I don't have room to stock up that many, is to look for individually wrapped rolls in paper. Walgreens and Rite-Aid both carry those in my neck of the woods. For the most environmentally friendly (ie no BPA used during the paper recycling manufacturing process), check out Bumboosa, made from bamboo, also packaged plastic-free.
I understand tofu is really hard & time-consuming to make. Check into if any local Asian markets or health-food stores have it in bulk; I've found two in my town, and bring my own container.
9 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Cedar, Week 1
I wish I could offer some help with your question; I just really wanted to commend you for your efforts and encourage you. Keep up the good work and good luck finding a solution to the food packaging problem for camp. You young ladies are setting such a great example for others!!!
9 months ago on Plastic Challenge: Camp SEA Lab- Girls Love Science Too, Week 1
I was lucky enough to find a crystal totally unpackaged at a small natural foods store when I visited a friend in Madrid two years ago. Not the usual souvenir to bring home, but I like poking around in local groceries, natural shops, etc. especially in Europe, where it seems easier to find healthier, more enviro friendly choices. The rock hardly looks worn - should last for years! I plan to look for more alternative goodies when I visit a friend in Italy later this year. AND find a plastic-free pasta maker!
9 months, 1 week ago on Great Big Plastic-Free, Non-Toxic Deodorant Review
Hi Christina! I know about stockpiles...still using up a lot of things I bought, mostly personal care items like razors, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. About the cheese, one thing I found I could do was go to the deli department of my grocery store and bring my own paper for them to wrap it in. I would ask first if they could just cut me a 1/2 or 1 lb block, which they ALWAYS could, and wrap it in their own paper. If all they had were those dang plastic bags, I'd hand them a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and ask them to please use that. They always obliged, though it took some getting over the funny looks from other customers. Good luck!
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Christina S., Week 2
I have reduced tremendously since I started reading your blog and learning about the ill effects of plastic! But, I still slip up, and I know that taking the challenge now will still help me improve.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Plastic Challenge: Eve Stavros, Week 1