The Zero Waste Challenge Increases Mindfulness

When you are engaged in a challenge, and you are planning to blog about it, and your entire family now knows that you are doing it, there are conversations in the kitchen rarely had before.

1. Like, when you come downstairs after a long weekend, and smell the coffee already made, you realize that the eldest was listening when his dad and I were discussing the need to compost the coffee grounds, because when you ask him what he did with the coffee grounds, he says, “I composted them, wasn’t I supposed to?”

2. And when you and your spouse are making dinner, the man of your dreams turns to you and says, “These are too big for the compost, what should we do with them?” and you realize that if there are parts of the produce (like cauliflower or broccoli stems) that are a bit too “chunky” for the compost …. you can put them in a bag and store in the freezer for making more veggie broth over the weekend. I already have a gallon bag full (most of that is the radish leaves that came attached to our CSA radishes this week that I know I won’t be cooking – so if I freeze them then I can use them for broth and then add them to the compost.)

3. And then there are the internal “duh” conversations like, hey, when I have enough leftover cauliflower and potato curry for three lunch boxes, put them in the small lunch-box-sized tupperware containers instead of the large 2 cup size that will sit in the fridge for weeks and then become food waste. Then they will magically disappear from the fridge and nourish our family, not our garbage.

I still haven’t figured out what to do with “extra” egg shells.  Because we are a family of five, we contribute a lot of egg shells to the compost, and the man of the house (who is in charge of the compost) said we needed to take a break after the weekend.

But our garbage is nearly food free (except for two old leftover items that didn’t get tossed in the fridge clean over the weekend).

I’m feeling pretty positive that we can make a big impact on the amount of food waste in our house just by the simple act of paying attention.  I’m amazed already with the progress we’ve made.

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One Comment to “The Zero Waste Challenge Increases Mindfulness”

  1. This is really great. I’ve been attempting to limit food waste over the past year but really sort of half-heartedly and I’d love to get really hard-core about it at some point. We tend to be really lazy about composting the coffee grounds – I often just head outside and dump them into some inconspicuous spot in the yard!!

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