My favorite book lately is ZERO WASTE HOME from Bea Johnson.
Bea is an incredible Frenchwoman who moved here as a young lady and married an American, becoming a permanent resident. She quickly got caught up in the American lifestyle and found herself consuming and wasting much more than she ever had before. Eventually, she redid their entire lifestyle and saving their family 40% (!!) annually. I especially loved her book because so much of it is not only eco-friendly, but also wallet friendly and lines up with my MONEY SERIES perfectly. I also appreciate her attitude, which is not at all condemning and recognizes that her lifestyle is viewed as extreme and also not extreme enough depending on the spectator. She encourages people to simply adopt whatever practices they can.
If this speaks to you at all, you should get her book! I'll be doing a mini-series about the book and how it has inspired me, or even things which I already do and related to the book such as this.
Bea talks a lot about how the most eco-friendly resource is the item that already exists. She uses French canning jars for all of her food storage, as she buys everything in bulk (I could do a whole series just about this!). For me, I decided that since the most eco (and wallet!) friendly item is the one that already exists, using all of my jars from food purchases is better than a) recycling them at a center and b) buying new ones.
We have probably 20 jars from pickles, almond butter, jam, pickled garlic... everything... before we started buying in bulk. I've done several series about them (HERE's a nice one) and how to reuse in crafty ways, but an obvious way is as food storage. The goal is to think outside the box.
We have a few pyrex type glass jars for food storage and lunches because plastic anything freaks me out. I could do a whole post about that too. But glass food storage is expensive. Jars are a little more awkward than the beautiful bowl or squared jars which are perfect for transporting lunches, but they're also really useful.
|Salad in a jar- note that the tomatoes and carrots are on bottom, giving a little buffer between the kale and dressing, for freshness purposes.|
Consider all of the lunches you could store in a jar, which could go straight to work and mean only ONE dirty dish! Salads in large jars with a wide mouth, for example, as well as pasta. Smaller jars are perfect for veggies (baby carrots!) and fruit- you can even put a dipping sauce at the bottom and stand your veggies straight up in it. Smaller jars are also great for chips and crackers which smash in standard plastic bags.
My favorite way lately is using them for Green Smoothies! I'm trying to eat more green smoothies lately (I did a post on them LAST YEAR and also HERE) to help my stomach out. Less to digest is a good thing for this chick. We get up really early in the mornings, too, for example I was at work by 5:30 today. That means my biggest morning goal is to sleep as late as humanly possible. Auna = not a morning person. These jar lunches are great because I can prepare them the night before, leave them in the fridge and grab in the AM. Have I mentioned the overnight dairy free OATMEAL jars yet?
In the title picture, you can see that for the smoothies I just chop up the ingredients and toss them in the jar.
When it's lunch time, everything gets dumped in the blender and blended!STAINLESS STEEL straws, but of course forgot them to work this morning and stole a plastic from my super-cool boss (thanks, Genny!). The stainless steel straws are awesome, even in smoothies.
I've decided that with green smoothies, or smoothies in general, you can't really mess them up. They're so delicious! This one is a little less green than usual because we were running out of kale, but my general MO is to add one really full cup of kale to the jar and fill the rest with fruit. Here are my two favorite.
1 c. kale
1.5 c. chopped strawberries
1 large banana
3 ice cubes
1 c. kale
1/2 c. watermelon
1/2 c. pineapple
3 ice cubes
If you're diary-free, add in 1/2 c. almond or coconut milk. If you dig dairy- these bad boys are AMAZING with organic stonyfield greek yogurt. For real. So delicious. Any flavor. You can also add some spinach or avocado and more greens in general if it doesn't scare you. As is, these are plenty sweet and fruity, I promise you won't taste the greens at all. Try to add more as you become accustomed to cut down on sugar and amp up the vitamins.
That's all for today! I have some really fun things to share that are eco and wallet friendly so check back! And definitely buy that book. SO worth it! I'd LOVE to hear what your favorite jar lunch is (or how you'd use it!) or your favorite smoothie recipe, share with us below!
All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!