zero waste

Zero Waste: Beverages

While we aspire to be more aware of our consumption and waste we are taking a hard look at the details of our life. Convenience beverages such as bottled drinks, single serve coffee, and individually wrapped tea bags are just a few things that made us sit up and take notice.

We still use our Keurig coffee station but we buy coffee in bulk and use our cloth bags to bring it home. Then we store it in glad jars ready for use. We have to wash and pack the brewer with coffee each time which is really the only hassle with the change. We save the environment from over 100 plastic pods a month. It’s worth it.

Bulk tea is expensive. We are using up the rest of our tea bags. Grated fresh ginger will be one healthy replacement with no waste. The peeling goes into the compost bin. The other option we find is drying the fresh mint that I buy in bulk at the local market and using that for tea with the knowledge that it has medicinal qualities such as aiding in digestion. I have found a bulk hibiscus tea that we can replace our zinger teas with and it’s on the list to order. The problem with that is the packing that comes with online ordering. I’m not sure that we are truly saving anything there.

Water: I stopped buying bottled water. My husband has yet to completely wean himself from his Smart Water addiction. He does only
use it on the job. Baby steps there.

Soy Milk: We still use soy milk and although the containers are recyclable I cringe. Its not worth the time and energy to make it myself. We agreed to only use it for cereal and occasional baking. Smoothies with be made with hibiscus.

Juice: We stopped using drink mixes, bottled juice, and canned tomato juice. Now we use fresh lemons or limes and a little something to sweeten it. We buy citrus in bulk at the local market. Peels go in the compost bin.

We’ve made some positive choices and have less trash and recycling to show for it. As we examine each aspect of our consumption and make changes where we can it feels good to know that we are at least making an effort and every little bit counts for the greater good.


Zen Cleaning Routine

In every aspect of our lives we have to do what works for ourselves in our own situation. Here’s the cleaning routine that works for me.

I get up at 5am and clean in the silence of the early morning. It’s more like moving mediation.

Wipe down kitchen cabinets
Clean main floor half bath
Sweep kitchen floor
Dust dining table and chairs

Clean upstairs bathrooms
Mop bathroom floors

Change bed sheets
Dust bedroom furniture
Vacuum bedrooms

Dust living room
Vacuum living room
Mop front entry
Clean doors

Clean out refrigerator and wipe down
Sweep and mop kitchen floor

House maintenance
Yard work
Odds and ends

We use:
Baking soda = scrub sinks and pans
Vinegar/Castile soap = all-purpose cleaner
Olive oil = polish
Vinegar= clean windows and mirrors
Castile soap/Water= Most things