12-Step Program to Cut Processed Food

I admit it. I love sugar. I eat less sugar than I used to but I still eat it. And although I don’t believe sugar is as addictive as cocaine, food manufacturers certainly seem addicted to the stuff—or at least to the huge profits that added sugar enables. A University of North Carolina survey found that […]

How to Organize a Produce Bag Making Meetup

lemons in a cloth produce bag

This past Sunday, eight people from the Meetup group I belong to met to sew a pile of simple cloth produce bags. Everyone pitched in. Some ironed, some cut, some sewed. In the flurry of activity, I didn’t do an exact count of the bags we churned out but including the handful I finished up […]

5 Ways to Persuade People to Break Free from Plastic

Perhaps you recently watched Blue Planet II and learned about the catastrophic effects of plastic pollution on our oceans and marine wildlife, you heard a story on the radio about plastic microfibers in almost all drinking water or you read today’s British report which predicts that plastic debris in the oceans will increase by threefold within the […]

Take Your School Zero Waste in Three Steps

I recently interviewed Greg Ellis-Valencia, Executive Director of One Cool Earth, a non-profit in San Luis Obispo, California, that builds and maintains school gardens. The organization currently oversees 18 of these educational gardens. It has also worked with these schools to build the largest student-run zero-waste program in California schools. If you live outside of […]

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 […]