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 […]

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 […]

Take Food Waste Off the Thanksgiving Menu

farmers market haul

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday in the US, “six million turkeys—a value of roughly $293 million—ended up in the trash.” Producing that much discarded turkey “requires an estimated more than 100 billion gallons of water (enough to supply New York City for 100 days). And when it […]

Convenience vs Community

I am doomed. I started making homemade pasta regularly and I can no longer stomach store-bought. It simply can’t complete with the hearty, toothy, delicious and filling homemade version. Okay, so eating more delicious food isn’t a fate worse than McDonald’s but I have now created more work for myself. Because in addition to store-bought […]

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 […]

Solar-Dried Tomatoes

tomatoes in solar dehydrator

I made literal sun-dried tomatoes. And I mean literal in the formerly correct sense of the word… I used a solar dehydrator for these. I haven’t tried dehydrating tomatoes in my oven. I feel I should use the solar dehydrator since I have access to one but tomatoes should turn out well in the oven. […]

Homemade Tahini

We eat lots of hummus and so go through quite a bit of tahini. I’m pretty sure when people set out to reduce their waste, their hummus intake becomes inversely proportional. There’s likely a mathematical theory that proves this. This past weekend, I cooked two cups of chickpeas in my pressure cooker for hummus but […]

Drawdown: A Book that Just Might Save the Planet

The bad news on the environment is as unrelenting as a California wildfire. We’re well over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (scientists consider 350 ppm safe). A 2012 report from the World Bank describes the world as “barreling down a path to heat up by 4 degrees at the end […]