Compost Cart Cleaning

This day we got our compost cart cleaned. We did not have to drag out the hose or deal with any nasty bits and smells either. Top Notch Bin Cleaning is a new company on PEI who specializes in cleaning the carts for compost and waste, and apparently blue bins! Not just home owners but commercial too. Shaun Laybolt is the guy!

A while back we decided to stop using compost bags. We have a bowl or empty box stationed on the counter for compost waste which gets emptied daily. There is a cloth pad under the bowl so we know that spot is the destination for compost. The compost cart has had quite the beating with gunk. Not everything gets dumped out upon pickup day by the garbage truck.

Island Waste Watch Corporation says for compost, no bags are best.

To save us time and hassle, to support a local business, we decided we would give Top Notch Bin Cleaning a call. I sent a message and we were scheduled in the same week. The cost was $25.00 and his service was grand!

Thank you Shaun!


Farmer’s Market Trip and a Little More

This weekends haul from Downtown Summerside.

    • Apples from Brady’s Farm. So good and juicy! I bring my own bag and refuse theirs. Although, the paper bag provided is welcomed to be returned for reuse!
    • Broccoli and carrots from Crystal Green Farms were bagged, but I asked for them unpacked and the farmer will reuse the bags. Actually, all veggies bagged can be unpacked or you could call/message them before market day to arrange the items packed in a paper bag for pick up.
    • BBQ sauce from High on the Hog. I have been wanting to make my own and have not yet, so here I am supporting local!
    • Eggs.
    • Micro greens from Our Old Island Market Farm has containers of micro greens which can be returned and/or I can give my own container to be filled for the following week! This is much their norm to cut waste and reuse.
    • Vinegar Hill Bakery will bring goods in paper bags instead of plastic bags if you ask for your order the day before the market!
    • One Stop Healing makes lotions for many uses and more. You can bring her a container which she can fill from the workshop and bring it back to the market the following weekend with the product you chose.
    • Turnip.

Coconut culture in the glass jar for making coconut yogurt. One step closer! From the health food store on Water street.

  • South Shore Soaps bar soap I bought from the Three Oaks Craft Fair.
  • A couple puzzles for Thomas and Chris to enjoy as well from LIL’ Buddy Puzzelz at the fair too.
  • 3 Pj sets to split up with the girls at home from Frenchy’s. Was looking for pj’s for Jack, no luck.

Great weekend supporting local!

Making Our Own Fresh Orange Juice

Nothing like having a glass of orange orange juice; freshly squeezed!  I feel like I’m not getting enough Vitamin C so I decided to start having fresh juice available.  Though, it reallymstarted when me and Chris were making drinks. Bahama Mama is my favorite alcoholic drink. I did not want to buy a jug of orange juice, a box of aluminum cans would be too much. So, making my own juice would work. I took the same idea with pineapple juice. Skip the cans and go straight for the fruit!

Peel and core and pop into the blender with a bit of water. After the fruit is blended, strain through a cheese cloth. Lots of yummy fresh juice! We did the pineapple first, and next was the oranges. Instead of adding water like above, we added some pineapple juice to the oranges. Blend, strain and taste. We thought the taste of orange and pineapple was pretty close to Five Alive!

This day, I peeled 6 oranges. Blend 2 at a time with 1/2 cup of water each time. Blend, strain with cheese cloth and stir in a container. At first I was storing the orange juice in a reused sunflower oil bottle, but Chris felt that the kids (Thomas) was too young to have a handle on it. If it dropped, lots of sharp pieces of glass. So, I found our juice jug and stored over a liter of orange juice in it.

The kids are not a fan, it does not have any added sugar of course. Thomas will have some and Jack is so-so. I want to experiment with adding other citrus fruits and see what flavors we can come up with!

 

Slowly Switching to a Plant Based Diet

While shopping at Sobey’s tonight, I scanned the shelves for non dairy items. I have been wanting to try oat milk a long while now. I tried making some the other week, but I did not enjoy it. This time I’m trying this kind to see where to go with making my own. I’m going to give it a go making coconut yogurt. There is a starter culture I need to pick up tomorrow at a health food store, in glass! I picked up some non dairy cheese and butter. Be nice to make my own. I chose that bag of tortilla style chips, hoping it was paper packaging,  but sadly it is lined with plastic. I also am trying the frozen dessert treat, which comes wrapped in paper!

So yeah, I’m looking at cutting out animal products and moving to a plant based diet. This will take time and small changes. I will be looking at making my own products where I can, I dont want to add more packaging to be honest. Switching has been on my mind for quite a while, probably about year now.

I need to focus on as much local as I can. One of my rules is supporting local and keep the carbon footprint as low as possible. I have already made steps towards this new journey. I stopped eating sea food/fish. I stopped drinking milk, except for cereal and baking/cooking needs.

So this is where I am at, I think Chris is a little on board, its definitely on his mind! Little steps and small changes. No need to dive in as it may be overwhelming and discouraging.

Black Box Waste

This day is garbage day. Every two weeks the black carts filled with disposable waste are picked up. I can proudly say it took 12 weeks to fill our watse cart! Though I am certain it could have waited another 2-4 weeks as we had to toss a mouldy box of books, which took a good chunk of space in the cart.

Our waste bins in the house are not lined with any bags. Super simple to just wipe out the garbage can’s once emptied. We do not have meat trays and nothing wet goes in the garbage cans to make smells. I buy our meat wrapped in paper (which is considered compostable on PEI, as long as it rips easily). If by chance I have a meat tray/wrapping there is a extra large garbage bag in the waste cart outside it would directly go to.

Once the waste cart is emptied on garbage day, it will sit empty until the household waste needs to go out. I take an extra large garbage bag and start filling it from the house. I set it in the waste cart untied. It will be full after about 2 more fillings from the house. For us, our household waste gets taken out every 2-3 weeks. I can fit 2 of those extra large garbage bags in the waste cart with a bit more room.

I have created a page showing most of what we buy now instead of the wasteful practices we used to buy into. It’s not complete, still a working progress. Take a look here.

  • Much of our groceries come from Bulk Barn and The Summerside Farmer’s Market.
  • By bringing your own containers and cloth bags, much waste is avoidable.
  • Making your own products and switching away from most cleaners helps your health and keeps money in your wallet.
  • Focus on reusables and use what you have.
  • Purchase in compostable packaging as much as possible
  • Purchase in non plastic packaging to stop the support to the plastic industry,  jars and metal containers.
  • Reuse the jars for food storage, vases, dry storage, body products etc . . .  (Glass is grounded up and used as aggregate on PEI for construction, not turned back into glass products).

Refuse unwanted items. Reduce your consumption of purchases. Reuse what you can. Repair your items. Purchase compostables. Recycle what you can but try and keep it minimum. Dont forget to shop second hand and purchase long lasting good quality items.

Editing to add: I strongly recommend that waste gets bagged, otherwise light plastics will be blown around by the wind or scavengers.  Whether it is by dumping the waste in your bin, the truck dumping it out of the bin, the truck driving down the roadways or at landfill, there are lots of opportunities for the plastics to litter the land and water. This is why I choose the extra large bags, I get more waste contained in them, and buying bulk is best. Instead of 8-10 small garbage bags, we use 2 garbage bags. Saves money for us as well.

Switched Oils

As much as I looked, I could not find vegetable oil in glass or refill style for the recipes that I use at home, mainly bread. I decided that I would try using sunflower oil, it is in glass, but more expensive than vegetable oil. I will have to ask around at the farmer’s market and see if anyone makes oils, or maybe see if anyone is interested!

Changing oils did not make any noticeable changes in the bread flavour or texture. It’s all the same in my eyes! I will keep the bottles as someday I hope there to be liquid refill stations for products. They would make cute vases too. If ever I make fermented drinks or re start apple cider vinegar, they will make good storage options. Glass on PEI gets recycled by means of crushing and reusing as aggregate for construction. I believe we need to focuse on reusing a product as is, rather than adding more energy to its process or making it unreusable indefinitely.

Reuse Bags for Bread

Our one bread box does not seem to be enough to store our bread needs. Its fine to store the homemade bread and sub buns I make, but there is no room for bagels. Often I don’t buy bagels because there is no room at home. The other problem is that I don’t have enough counter space to give for another bread box. Today I decided to use cereal bags to store the over stocked bread items! Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that make great solutions!

I use cereal bags for litter picking when I’m outdoors. I also use them instead of  boxes for storing toys or packing donations.

Cereal we buy are Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerioes, and Corn Flakes. Recently Rice Crispies. I buy Bran Flakes and Shreddies from Bulk Barn. The kids do not eat much cereal lately, they have a lot of toast or buns instead. I like adding raisins, dried cran berries, dried blue berries and pumpkin seeds to bran Flakes for a wholesome snack.

When there is no room in the bread box for both bread loaves, the one being used will sit on top of the bread box, cut side down. It will stay fresh until it is gone or a couple days. The bread in the box will stay fresh for about 3 days after that. Normally I make bread 2 times a week, but I feel as of late, it’s been 3 times a week.