Zero Waste Wins and Struggles

It's been a while since I've done one of these updates so I figured it's time. Like everyone else, we've been hot and trying to survive the heat wave. I hope you're staying cool wherever you are. It can be difficult to adhere to zero-waste living when the going gets tough, but maintaining old habits got us into this mess. We need a shift in our behavi below). If anything, it saves time, which can be precious! Not everything I buy is bulk, but I prioritize dish and hand soap and get those from some of my favorite refill stores. But, like many, I try to watch my budget and still head to supermarkets, get plastic wrapped items and not everything is organic. It's a work in progress. If this is you, try getting some things in bigger packages (I buy the large cardboard box of Goldfish), and make your own individual portions in reusable bags. Hannah has a great tutorial if you want t


Been living without AC as much as possible. Before I continue, I realize this goal is impossible for some. There are people who legitimately need to be kept cool for health reasons, or middle-age shifting (wink wink). If this is you, skip this section. But the rest of us don't need to keep our homes at sub-zero all summer long. I shudder at the places that are kept so cold that you need a sweater in July. In my family, we keep the shades down and use a fan on the first floor. Don't turn on the oven and use the stove sparingly. But we do use the AC at night for sleep. Growing up, I remember changing into summer bedding with very light sheets and a fan. Somewhere along the line, things changed and I went to thick comforter and running the AC. However ACs just contribute to the cycle - they use electricity to run and pump hot air back into the atmosphere like dryers. Better to use less than more. Heading to public spots, like libraries or coffee shops, where you can borrow their AC is another way to beat the heat.

Remember to keep your pets cool! Our little guy appreciates the fan.

Not falling prey to having a perfect lawn. It can be really hard to ignore societal pressure of creating the perfect lawn, and sometimes I wonder if I should just give-up. I half-joke that our yard is the ugly yard because we don't run sprinklers, let the weeds grow and have patches where there's no grass. We still mow, and I try quite futilely to grow flowers and veggies (too much shade), but we are not winning any awards. At the same time, creating the perfect the lawn uses a lot of natural resources, and adds harmful chemicals to the earth, and I'm not willing to spend those costs for more grass.


Working on my shopping habits. In some ways, I'm excellent about shopping locally. I love going to the Farmer's Market and stopping at roadside farm stands. I've also broken my DD drive-thru habit (not perfect, but much better than when the kids were little), by making my own coffee in reusable mugs (see the reusable k-cups at Witching Hour Provisions below). If anything, it saves time, which can be precious! Not everything I buy is bulk, but I prioritize dish and hand soap and get those from some of my favorite refill stores. But, like many, I try to watch my budget and still head to supermarkets, get plastic wrapped items and not everything is organic. It's work in progress. If this is you, try getting some things in bigger packages (I buy the large cardboard box of Goldfish), and make your own individual portions in reusable bags. Hannah has a great tutorial if you want a fun sewing project, or you can buy them at your facorite local eco-store.



Fixing the insulation in my house. I live in a house that was built in the 1940s. With character, comes some antiquated ways, including vermiculite insulation in the attic. We recently had that removed and will be applying for a rebate. We are replacing the vermiculite with cellulose insulation, which is supposed to work really well at pulling the heat away from your living areas. As mentioned above, anything you can do to reduce AC use is super important. On the flip side, a well-insulated house stays warmer in the winter and uses less natural resources. You can also apply for an insulation upgrade rebate through NH Saves.


That's about it from my end. I hope you stay cool and are able to visit one of NH's many lakes or other water sports this weekend. Remember your suncscreen and have fun!

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