Category Archives: Reuse it

Vide Maison

Want to know how to become really, really environmentally friendly in the kitchen? Move to a new country and don’t bring anything with you.

After two weeks I was working with:

–1 chef’s knife
–1 ceramic pot (yardsale purchase)
–1 coffee pot (donated)
–2 plastic water bottles in constant reuse, 2 yogurt containers serving as cups/small bowls, 10 plastic utensils in various states, several sheets of plastic wrap and sandwich bags in constant reuse

Somewhere nearby, a cow was mooing.

The good news is that I walked to a garage sale (vide maison) in the rain yesterday and found a bunch of things, so I ate breakfast on a plate this morning. The garage was full of all kinds of crazy things like giant cheese storage containers and meter-long fish roasting pans. They were also amused that I was American, and gave me escargot tongs for free so my friends would think I was French.

I digress. The real question is: why have I been throwing away plastic wrap after one use for years? And why did I have 5 mugs in my cupboard when I lived alone? After going from near 1,000 square feet of space to just barely 200, I’m hoping that one of the things I take away from this year is to stop buying so many THINGS. I’m not even sure the boxes I left in my parents’ house would fit into this apartment, much less the furniture.

Featured below, things I managed to not buy at the sale because I have no need for them… but they were cool.

Recycling Guilt

If you’ve known me for more than a week, you know that my mother used to design landfills, is big on recycling and composting, and routinely rebukes me for putting a yogurt cup in the wrong bin.

I get it. But when you move from Pennsylvania to France, you hit a certain point where you just can’t handle any more trips to the Goodwill. NOW I HAVE SHAME.

I’m going to try to make up for it by using an old Women’s Health article I just dug out of my paperwork. Despite all the missed do-gooder chances (Erin was right about that computer I blew away in July), I can still donate my rugs via Carpet Recovery, or put my shelving up on Excessaccess if no one picks it up on Freecycle. Did you even know you can recycle wine corks and old bras? I’ve got a lot of both.

Want more help keeping the landfills from filling up? These sites have been very useful as well:

Earth 911

Use Less Stuff Report

PA recycling info

Sunday Sickday

I’d been planning on doing a post about my Easter dinner today, but I’ve been feeling odd all weekend. Instead of a full meal, I opted for watching Batman on the sofa and eating broccoli and bread, then having popcorn for a snack.

I’ve been making my own microwave popcorn for a while, and tonight I looked at the leftover un-popped kernels from last night’s munchies and thought I should try repopping them instead of just throwing them away.

The results: tastes just as good, but you might want to use a smidge more oil because they did seem to pop quicker and burn faster. Then again, I generally have a problem with burning popcorn and setting toast on fire.

Microwave popcorn:

Line the bottom of a paper lunch bag with wax paper, then pour in 1/4 c. of popcorn kernels. Add a splash of olive oil (about 1 tsp. for new popcorn, a bit more for “recycled”) and a dash of sea salt, then swirl around to coat. Fold top of bag in two small folds. Microwave for 2 minutes.

Here’s hoping I feel up to cooking that Easter dinner tomorrow!

I will expect my "adult" license the first day I make popcorn without burning it.