Having a house full of family is so special, it also means tons of food and extra packaging waste.
Happy Easter! What a great excuse to get together and have a delicious family dinner and extra desserts!
We have a big family, and that means a big clean up. A couple of years ago I was getting ready to take the garbage out, it was looking pretty explody and I knew there was all sorts of ooeey gooey runny stuff inside of it, but I ignored the warning signs, somehow I tied it together and went to heave it out to the garage- well I think you know what happened. It busted all over the floor.
While I was bitterly cleaning up the mess I wondered why we have so much extra garbage at family dinners? I starting take note of what was in the garbage bag, or on the floor rather. Paper plates, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, wrapping ect..and a bunch of recyclables because the recycle bin had already overflowed so people just started chucking it in the garbage.
I thought to myself- don’t we all have a set of reusable napkins? You know the fancy ones that you bought just for occasions like this? And can’t we use our own cutlery and plates and just wash them?
The answer is yes- we do and we can, so why don’t we?
And why are we spending money on things to throw them away? But it’s easy, and it is paper so it will biodegrade, and we can recycle the plastic- but did you know that it takes allot of resources and energy to produce and ship these throw away items and then again to recycle them?
I had never thought about it that way until this very messy day.
So bust out those fancy napkins, pull out that box of extra plates (or grab some at the thrift store for $5 bucks) and save some money and the environment. I also invested in an extra recycling bin to hold all of that extra recycling from having company ($5 at your local service centre) and if you are feeling extra green try your hand at back yard composting and reduce your waste by half!!
Now that is something Jesus will be happy to come back to!
Here is a list of wasteful items and there zero waste alternatives.
Paper plates/Plastic utensils- Use regular dishes and utensils, if you do not have enough, grab a set really cheap at the Salvation Army, and if you don't have room in the cupboard for sets of extra plates throw them in a box and stash them away until the next family dinner, even if you are not hosting next time you could offer to bring them, reducing waste over and over again!
Paper napkins/Paper towels- Use washable napkins and tea towels, you know the fancy napkins are sitting in the drawer for special events, well this is their time to shine!
Saran wrap/Tinfoil/Ziplock baggies- Use tupperwear and cooking dishes with lids, you could also invest in reusable cake/pie trays or bigger tupperwear pieces for these types of occasions. I grabbed a corning wear dish with a glass lid for roasting vegetables at the Salvation Army for $4!
Plastic trays from pre cooked foods- Use reusable containers and take them to shop at a local bakery/butcher. If you do end up buying some save them for next time or fill them with your own home cooked goods. The same goes for chocolate too, find a local chocolate maker- your gonna thank me for this one, you will never eat factory chocolate again!
Grocery and produce bags- Let's not forget our cloth bags just because we are not doing our regular grocery shop, and try to not use produce bags- I know that allot of people are uncomfortable with this idea, so just try it for produce that you cut the skin off to eat (squash, melons, bananas, ect..)
We might have allot of this stuff kicking around or we might have to invest a few bucks, but for every pound of plastic refused or reused we save a pound of climate pollution from entering our air!
" If current trends continue, the century will witness an unprecedented climate change and destruction of the eco system with tragic consequences"- Pope Francis, Patron Saint of the Environment and Animals.