I’m on a mission to reduce my food waste and I’ll be checking in regularly on how I’m doing as part of #FoodWasteFriday. Since I kicked this off on 21 January 2017, here’s my progress:
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Gifts, the dilemma of dilemmas for aspiring minimalists! Giving, receiving – it all becomes fraught.
Personally, I wouldn’t be without gifts at Christmas. I love watching my Dad trying to guess all his gifts before opening them, and seeing my Mum coming into the room late in the day having just found that gift she bought for me months ago and had stashed in a “safe place”.
But then there is the other side – the gag toilet seat golf set from Secret Santa or another hand cream. You do your best to keep things minimal all year, only to be defeated by Christmas clutter creep.
You don’t have to be a Grinch to be a minimalist at Christmas. Here are some tips to help you through. Continue reading “Minimalist Christmas – a gift guide”
Christmas – you’ve probably noticed that it’s approaching fast. Here in New Zealand, we don’t have Thanksgiving and we don’t really have Halloween, so the shops have been waiting for Christmas since Fathers’ Day in September.
Warning: This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links. My holiday essentials aren’t something you can buy in a shop.
Some people love Christmas, some people hate it. I oscillate between the two. Generally, I enjoy Christmas day, but can’t stand all the hoopla of the whole holiday season. I’m not Christian (or religious at all), so it can be a challenge to find meaning in Christmas beyond consumerism – gifts and food, and lots of them. Not to knock gifts and food, but if you’re looking for real joy in Christmas, gifts and food alone isn’t going to do it.
Christmas is a challenge to my more minimalist and anti-consumerism values. But that’s not a bad thing, because preparing for Christmas prompts me to pause, reflect and clarify my intentions. That leads to my must haves for mindful and meaningful Christmas. Continue reading “My must haves this Christmas”
It is Friday – Food Waste Friday – so it’s time for me to account for my food waste over the past week. Today, I also want to talk about meal planning – specifically how to make meal planning work when you don’t like to stick to a meal plan!
It is Friday – Food Waste Friday – so time to check in about my food waste over the last fortnight.
Not too bad, two mandarins and a lime. Why is there always one (or two) in a bag that goes bad?
I read an article in Slate this week suggesting that meal planning isn’t the answer to reducing food waste, but rather we should shop for food more frequently.
I definitely see the sense in this proposition – a lot can change in a week, whether it is a spontaneous meal out with friends (I wish) or, as was the case in our house this week, a sick child. We don’t write our meal plans with the aid of a crystal ball.
Back in my commuting days, I did more “little and often” shopping. I passed a supermarket twice a day at the train station or close by – it was easy to pop in and get what I needed as I needed it. My patterns at home in the suburbs are different. I don’t pass a supermarket on foot on a daily basis. On the routes I do walk regularly, I sometimes pass a corner shop. Unfortunately, the local butcher has recently closed down. So instead, the supermarket is a weekly destination by car. I can’t see that changing in the near future.
How do you shop for food – little and often? In bulk every week or two? Or something different altogether?
It is Food Waste Friday and I’m pleased to say that being accountable for my waste is making a real difference.
I got asked a great question this week (thanks Pip): “Have you found that doing it in public has helped more than just giving yourself a stern talking to?”.
The answer is a big YES. Obviously, going public is highly motivating, but there is more to it than that. Before starting this project, I felt guilty about my waste, but harsh self-criticism and bad feelings weren’t making much of a difference. Now when I waste food, I don’t feel as bad about it. I know I’ve made a good effort to reduce my waste and I use it as a learning opportunity to improve my systems.
And it is working! This week I’m happy to report zero food waste – until this happened.
I had my groceries delivered via online shopping this morning. Unfortunately a jar of roasted capsicums broke en-route to our place.
I seriously considered emptying the contents of the jar into a sieve and giving it a good rinse. However, I really don’t want to risk feeding my family glass. That might take my mission to reduce waste a bit too far. Maybe if the jar was just cracked, but it was actually smashed. So, unfortunately, it had to go in the bin.
I used to use online shopping for groceries regularly when my son was a newborn. Now, I only use it once every couple of months. Today, it was because we really needed food and my husband had the car all day for a meeting in an out-of-the-way location.
I have noticed that when I buy my groceries online I always spend less. This isn’t because it’s cheaper, but because I buy less. It is much less tempting to pop extras into my online shopping cart than my in-store one. It got me thinking that online shopping might be a good tool for people who regularly over-buy due to in-store temptation.
A final note, a big thank you to Love Food Hate Waste NZ who spread the word about #FoodWasteFriday last week.
How was your food waste situation this week? Do you buy groceries online? How do you find the experience compared to in-store shopping?