We’ve been sharing some Earth Friendly practices and products through Facebook and Google+ this month and thought we’d pull some together in one spot! If you’re reading this, you’re probably already of the mindset that every day is earth day, but perhaps you’ll find something new.
We aim to be as earth-friendly in our operations as we’re able – making our own peanuts, re-using our strong cardboard boxes, donating extra samples & unsellable glassware to our local Creative Re-Use Center, sorting & recycling common items like shredded paper, flat paper, glass & other recyclables. We’re also pretty diligent about the products we carry – like our eco-friendly and compostable Paper Straws, (which are on sale through 4/26/16, use code earthday16 to get 25% off see details below) or our Stainless Steel Straws (if you’re in it for the long haul) and other mason jar accessories by iLID, Cuppow, reCAP. It feels good to support manufacturers who share the desire to operate with environmentally sound standards!
Make Salad Dressing! You might not ever have to buy salad dressing every again! Chances are, you’ve got most of these ingredients in your home already. One of the simplest ways to use up leftover Jam is to whip up some amazing dressing! Use that pickle brine as a vinegar replacement in your favorite vinaigrette recipe or try this Dill Pickle Vinaigrette.
Make Stock! Keep a bin/bag in your freezer to collect vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock or as part of a batch of meat stock. While you can certainly freeze the stock once it’s done, you can also pressure can it so that it’s shelf stable!
Make Pesto! Marisa McClellan, of Food in Jars, shares several pesto recipes – including this Carrot Top & Garlic Scape Pesto . You can also find some suggestions for swapping the greens or the nuts to vary your pesto to suit what you have on hand.
Conserve water! It’s amazing what great ideas arise from necessity! Theresa Loe ‘s 8 Tips for Growing Food in a Drought contains a long list of (more than 8!) quite practical ways to conserve water and to re-purpose water in useful ways.
We’re hooked on making our own Cleaning Products, which are more earth friendly than those loaded with the chemicals and fragrances and result in little or no plastic packaging. You can get some recipes and more links here.
If you’re looking for more ways to minimize plastic & packaging waste, The Zero Waste Chef has a seemingly endless list of ways to get, prepare, store & preserve food with minimal waste. One of our favorite posts is “My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets” in which she admits to coveting jars. And, although we’re in the business of jars, it doesn’t break my heart that most of her jars appear to be very re-purposed. It simply reinforces the reason we’re fond of jars, strengthens our resolve to do what we can to be better stewards of this earth and gives us hope that there are others willing to be intentional about doing the same.
A friend passed along this link on how to no-sew a T-Shirt Tote Bag, we made one, loved it, used it and promptly gave it away to the first person who saw it in use! I was so inspired to use up some of my other clothing scraps I’d squirrelled away, I made a Jar Sleeve – in about 20 seconds with my sewing machine. I could’ve done the knotting, but my machine was out! Use these when you go to market so you can skip the plastic & paper! I use my jar sleeve to hold a jar of local yogurt or 2 of my 8oz jelly jars full of spices.
If you’re selling your products, try sharing ways in which your customers can re-use or re-purpose your containers. Grab some inspiration from our Pinterest board or come up with your own ideas if you’re not able to re-use returned containers.