Earth Day Activities for Frugal Meal Preparation Throughout the Year

Happy Earth Day! The Earth Day Network wants to plant 7.8 billion trees as a way to combat climate change. What a wonderful thing to do! Want to help? Check out how to do so here. You can bet I’d be planting trees if I had the space to do so.

There are many ways the frugal cook might choose to celebrate Earth Day. Here are a few ideas for your consideration:

When Shopping…

  • Use canvas totes or reusable shopping bags.
  • Try making your own produce bags. I plan to do this at some point. Now that I purchase more fresh produce, I seem to collect those plastic produce bags like crazy. I use them as bags for used cat litter when I’m scooping the boxes, but I don’t want to collect them at all. The homemade bags will have to be lightweight, as the produce is measured in terms of pounds. Reusable produce bags may also be purchased, if you’re not a particularly crafty person.
  • Or opt not to use any produce bags at all when possible. It is perfectly okay to place 3 apples, 2 pears, 5 oranges, and 4 peaches on the conveyor at the register, and expect them not to package each type of fruit separately.
  • Look for items with less packaging. Bulk purchases may seem like the way to go due to cost, but they may also provide extra packaging that will only end up in a landfill.

While In the Kitchen…

  • Cook from scratch whenever possible. By doing this, you can by items with less packaging.
  • Use cookware and other items that are meant to last. Cheap cookware ends up in a landfill more quickly, as do cheap plastic measuring utensils. Use items that were made to last, from a material that does not have known toxins. In the long run, you’ll save much money and be less wasteful. I am working toward getting cast iron cookware, as much as is reasonable for my situation. And I’m researching other types of cookware.
  • Bake more than one item at a time to save money and energy.
  • Use small appliances more, large appliances less.

While On The Go…

  • Use reusable water bottles.
  • Walk or bike everywhere you can.

When In the Garden…

  • Use empty milk and juice jugs, rather than dispose of all of them. Save them in the shed when not in use. In the garden, these make wonderful mini greenhouses that will aid you in extending your growing season. Cut the bottoms off and leave the cover off. A jug with a screw on lid makes a good watering jug because you can poke holes in the cover.
  • Start a compost, after constructing your own bin.
  • Plant a vegetable garden to save money and other resources.
  • Plan an herb garden. This alone will save money on your shopping bill if you cook or craft with herbs. You’ll also be able to make your own teas. And you wont be wasting all the packaging.
  • Reuse water from cooking eggs and vegetables to water plants.
  • Collect rain water in buckets or rain barrels for watering the garden, if it is legal to do so in your area. If not, it might be time to fight for your right to do so. This will save money only if you pay for water. It will save on use of this precious resource either way.

In what ways do you celebrate Earth Day, and work toward a better planet?

Shannon

 

Lemon Water, For on the Go

I do a lot of walking. I also work outside the home when I am not writing. Having water at the ready, for when I have to leave home, is essential. Especially when it is warm outside. I have a glass water bottle (my favorite!) with a fruit insert, not unlike the pitcher that I usually make the lemon water in. The water bottle, of course, is smaller than the pitcher.

I simply fill the insert with lemon slices, fill the bottle with water, and place covered in the refrigerator until I am ready to leave. This only takes one small lemon.

The one water bottle is fine for my walk, and I can refill it at work when needed – using the same lemon slices. I can make things more convenient while at work, by refilling the bottle just before I leave and putting it in the office refrigerator. I can get a good two or three days of delicious water with that one lemon.

What fruit do you like to add to your water?

Shannon

Quick Tip: Water Bottle Tea

When running late, this is a quick way to get a cold beverage into you if you find there’s no tea made up and placed in the refrigerator. Run water from the faucet until it is cold. Place a tea bag into a water bottle and fill with cold water. Add a packet little honey if desired, cover, and shake. In no time, you’ll have cold tea to go with a an apple or some baby carrots, or to bring along on a walk.