How to Maintain and Revive Cast Iron Pans

If Cast Iron Protective Services was a thing, my two pans would have been taken away from me long ago. I never cooked in them. I stored them in the oven—and kept them there with the heat on. I rarely seasoned them. When I saw Heidi Alvarado’s post on Instagram explaining her clever (and easy!) […]

A Zero-Waste Kit That Costs Zero Dollars

jars filled with pantry staples

My daughter Mary Katherine rarely writes posts on the blog she started as a teenager, The Plastic-Free Chef. She did however write one a couple of weeks ago on how, as a busy, cash-strapped student, she finds the zero-waste lifestyle inaccessible. I’m simply too poor. We need more solutions to deal with waste that don’t […]

Go Plastic-Free in 2018 (or Close to It)

If you’ve arrived at this blog, you’re probably aware of the plastic pollution problem so I won’t spend time discussing it. You can read recent news on that here, here and here. Instead, I’ll discuss changes we can make in our own lives. Individual choices may not seem like much in the face of this disaster but […]

How to Shop for and Cook Your First Zero-Waste Meal

Pumpkin dal ingredients

This post originally appeared on the Makesmthing Week blog. Make Your Dinner for #Makesmthng Week Just in time for peak holiday consumption comes Make Something Week, a campaign created by Greenpeace to encourage people to create rather than passively consume. One of the most important things you can make is your dinner. And you can […]

9 Simple Ways to Reduce Holiday Consumption

The holidays can present many challenges for anyone trying to cut their waste. From the parties, to the feasts to the gifts—and everyone’s expectations—you may feel like throwing your hands in the air and throwing in the (disposable) towel. These nine steps will help you reduce your consumption, retain your sanity and keep everyone happy. […]

7 Make Ahead Staples for a Zero-Waste Thanksgiving

fresh pumpkin purée

Cooking without producing waste requires some planning but not that much. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner without waste needs a little bit more planning. I don’t like to leave all my prepping for Thanksgiving to the day before or day of. I like to sleep. So this week and continuing on the weekend, I’ll prep a bunch […]

13 Gifts in Jars

homemade granola

I’m like those department stores you hate that begin selling Christmas decorations well before you’ve even chosen a Halloween costume. But hear me out. You may not have started thinking about the holidays but for some of these gifts, you need to start now, hence the early post. Others on this list you can start […]

21 Energy-Reducing Tips for the Kitchen

Dutch oven with minestrone soup

Updated 09/26/17 Here in the U.S., food-related energy accounts for about 16 percent all the energy we consume nationally. That energy includes all the steps in the food supply chain—growing and processing the food, packaging it, shipping it, storing it, preparing it and handling all that food we waste.  This post focuses on reducing food-related […]

How to Grow Basil from Cuttings

basil growing in a pot

I’m so excited about this tip, I decided it deserved its own blog post, rather than just a footnote in another post (which I had originally planned to do). I buy basil often at the farmers market. When I get it home, I store the bunches in jars of water to keep them fresh. It […]

15 Ways to Reduce Waste in School Cafeterias

Recently a concerned mom asked me if I had any ideas to reduce waste in school cafeterias. When my email back to her grew longer and longer, I realized I had better just write a blog post on the topic. The school year may have ended (or will end soon) here in the US but […]