Monday, May 25, 2015

Psst! Hey! Remember Me?

I’m afraid we’ve been stomping our way through life, leaving enormous footprints over the past nine or so months. There are many reasons but they’re probably not really valid excuses. So, rather than give you a litany of reasons as to why we’ve not done so well, I’m going to bring you up to date on what we’re still doing.

The season has ended but we enjoyed more home-grown lettuces, tomatoes and basil over the summer, as well as the first fruits from our orchard. We had peaches and nectarines and they were like an explosion of flavour whenever we bit into one. Sensational. We still have a couple of herbs which we faithfully add to our pasta and pizza sauces.

A couple of months ago, we bought a 10kg box of cooking tomatoes which we chopped, fried with onion and garlic and froze. We got many pastas, chilis, curries and soups from them. We’ve got another long weekend coming up soon and we’re going to do it again.

Daughter and I visited Hobart at the end of January and it was much colder than we had expected or packed for. Consequently, we had to go out on our first morning and buy warmer clothes. The place to which we rushed was the Vinnies near us. Daughter bought a jumper and I bought a lightweight jacket. We didn’t remove them for most of our nine days down there.

We continue to sort our rubbish into three bins, including putting our kitchen scraps into our green waste bin. Hubby is talking about composting but we’re not there yet. Our rubbish bin is rarely full, with most of it going into green waste and recycling. Where possible, I use old paper as scrap paper so both sides are used before recycling it.

I still faithfully shop with my Ethical Consumer Guide in hand, trying to choose the brands that do the least harm. My local supermarket is carrying fewer and fewer of those brands so I’m shopping a little further afield now. I try, however, to offset that by doing several other errands, too, whilst I’m out and about.

Earth friendly products are staples on my shopping list. For cleaning, however, I just use bicarb, vinegar and (green) dishwashing liquid.

Being nearly winter, it’s heater weather here now. We’re careful to only turn on the heater when we’re cold even in several layers and only use it in the rooms we’re in. When we go to bed, the heater goes off. So does the wifi.

We cook mostly from scratch, using fresh vegetables and staples from the pantry.

We borrow far more books and DVDs than we buy. The ones we purchase are usually gifts for each other.

We’re getting more creative about using leftover food but we still have a long way to go before we reach zero waste. Using puff pastry is one of our favourite ways to use leftovers. When my father-in-law passed away in September we took his old freezer. While we may be using more electricity, we’re using it really well and freezing much more leftover food for “puffs” and other meals. Without it, we couldn’t have frozen the tomatoes we processed. We eat a lot more meals from the freezer these days, saving small amounts we may have discarded in the past.

Wow, just writing it down, I realise that we haven’t been stomping as hard as I’d thought. I think I was just disappointed in myself for buying a few new items of unethical clothing and at Hubby and me for not getting our winter veggies happening.

What’s new with you?



  1. Reading your list as a checklist of suggestions. While my household doesn't have a separate freezer because of lack of room, when we did purchase our fridge/freezer combo we chose the one with the largest freezer volume and so glad we did! We keep a lot of leftovers and cook from scratch too. Stewing overripe fruit has been my new thing this season to save waste when the children's favourite stone fruits (or whatever trend they are on) suddenly goes out of fashion. Great for making sauces or for desserts.
    Apart from travel and tomatoes, we are doing most of the things you are doing, although we could be a little more dedicate and consistent with some of your suggestions. It is great to get a reminder from you! :-)

  2. What a wonderful post! It looks like you're doing a great job taking lighter steps. I'll have to take a look at my own life through fresh eyes and see more of the good changes I've made rather than the disappointments.
    Thanks for sharing!