Tag Archives: reusable

Junk Drawer

This is what happens when you insist on keeping every single scrap of paper, envelope, receipt, etc.

Talk about a junk drawer!

I’m moving this week (packing sucks!), but I’m not going to get rid of this stuff just because it would be easier. It’s coming with me, and each scrap will find a second life as a grocery or To-Do list, directions, or an art project for my little brother. I just can’t bear to waste it!

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This Is What Happens…

When you already used the Baggu you keep in your purse earlier in the day.

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No, sir, I would NOT like a bag! I’ll shove everything in my super cute Bungalow 360 purse, thank you very much! It’s easy to say no to a bag when you get in the habit – so make it a habit!

I actually was trying to avoid the grocery store this week, as I’m going to San Diego tomorrow – woo! – but all the Whole Foods in SF are donating 5% of profits today to La Cocina, an incubator kitchen that provides commercial space to low-income entrepreneurs. How cool is that!? I heard about it via Twitter, and was especially excited because earlier this week I won the Neo Cocoa contest through eating/sf and Foodzie, and it turns out that Christine of Neo Cocoa works out of La Cocina. It’s a small world! Actually, it gets even smaller – turns out my good friend Paige is friends with Kasey of eating/sf and we’ve actually met before. I love San Francisco, and the blog world! Anyway, I’m so excited to have won the contest and to be able to support La Cocina. I’m picking up the truffles next week (no need to ship – yay for local products and smaller carboon footprints!) and can’t wait to get them and blog about them – how amazing do these look? I’m drooling in anticipation!

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Like Butta

Here’s proof you can reuse anything – four ways to reuse your butter wrappers. I love it! It never even occurred to me, but they are perfect for greasing a pan, separating hamburger patties and more!

Thanks to bestgreenblogs for Tweeting the link!

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I’m actually baking some strawberry-blueberry-oat bran-agave-cookie-muffin hybrids (enough hyphens for ya?) right this very minute, and was about to toss the butter wrapper. Not so fast! I’m totally saving it to grease pans, use in place of cooking spray, etc. Just this morning I was thinking how I really hate using cooking spray. I hardly ever use it, but I have some in the house and totally was guilty of it this morning. No more! To the fridge my wrappers will go.

Here’s a preview of the cookies, baked on my Silpat. Hope they’re good! If they are, you’ll get a recipe soon – plus the delish German champagne vinegar potato salad I just made, chile pea puffs and more!

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I leave to go camping with my family tomorrow – 3 days with no computer and hardly any phone service.How will I survive? Wine tasting, that’s how. We know how to camp in style! It’s the perfect warm-up to my summer birthday glamping trip. 🙂

ETA: Just tried the cookies. YUM! Recipe coming soon!

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Your Cup is Hatching!

Remember that super cute I Am Not a Paper Cup reusable mug I got awhile back?

Not all it’s cracked up to be (ha ha).

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The adorable little kid I was babysitting for the other night looked at my mug, full of soy latte, and said, “your cup is hatching.” I didn’t get it at first, and then realized – it looks like an egg hatching! How cute is that!? Kids say the best things.

But, bummer! I was so excited about this cup when I got it. I guess that’s what I get for throwing it in my bag with other glass tupperware and stuff, but I thought it would be a littlle more resilient. The silicone top has torn, and the side is totally cracked. I’m going to try to keep using it until it REALLY starts to leak, but then I guess I’ll have to get some kind of replacement. No me gusta!

Do you have a favorite (sturdy, leak proof) reusable mug you recommend?

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Watered Down

Last week, or maybe the week before, Arrowhead brought my workplace an unexpected and unwanted gift with their water delivery – two flats of plastic water bottles. Ugh! We already get the big jugs of water (which they pick up and I believe reuse) so WHY did they think we’d need these? I don’t care if they call them Eco-Shape Bottles – that’s greenwashing if I’ve ever heard it! I’m usually tap water all the way, but we don’t have a sink at work, and I just can’t bring myself to drink water from the bathroom sink. I just keep a giant UCLA cup on my desk that I refill from the water cooler throughout the day. Not difficult at all, and it even makes me drink more (water, that is)!

I told my coworkers that if I saw them drinking from one of these bottles, there would be NO baked goods for a very long time (I occasionally bake treats for the office – I work with all guys and one other girl). I also hid the bottles in another room, slightly out of sight, behind our giant recycling bin.

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My threats and sneakiness apparently did not work, as I still saw a few of my coworkers drinking out of them. Yes, I gave them a hard time! I even called my boss out on Twitter. 😉 Luckily, we’re a small office and all get along really well. I really do try not to be preachy but seriously, just refill a cup from the water cooler! It’s just as convenient as picking up a bottle! Not to mention that drinking from plastic is not exactly good for you.

We’re having a sandwich potluck next week – everyone brings a sandwich or two cut into 4 pieces so we all get to try each other’s. Fun, huh? Anyway, I Replied to All with this:

I will also be baking something, provided no one is seen drinking from one of those stupid plastic water bottles all week. Seriously, people, bring a cup from home. 🙂

The amount of paper cups my office goes through for coffee and water a week is a whole other issue. One of my coworkers showed me the mug he brought from home yesterday (yay, Manoj!) and I’m hoping the rest follow suit. I’m actually thinking about buying everyone a cup with their name on it (resisting the sorority instinct to write them in colorful bubble letters), but I’m not sure if they’d use them.

Is your workplace green? Are there are any non-green habits at your job (or school, etc) that drive you crazy?

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Pretty Green Tip: Ice Ice (Wine) Baby

I love wine. Like, a lot. Sometimes nothing’s better than coming home from work and pouring a big glass to have with (or before!) dinner. Or, ok, having a beer in the shower after a great workout – the most random thing I ever learned from having an alcoholic roommate (NOT my current roommate, by the way. Also, I only do the beer thing about once a year, probably, lest you think I am talking about an alcoholic “friend”). Boy, do I have some stories about that roommate. Someone remind me to tell the tale of Thanksgiving Apple Pie one of these days. 🙂

Anyway. Since I’m usually just cooking for me, and my roommate (again, not the alcoholic one!) and I aren’t always on the same schedule, I sometime don’t want to open a bottle if I won’t use it all up that week. Yes, I definitely could have a glass every night, but I probably shouldn’t. Also, I often cook with recipes that call for just a little bit of wine, which can be a pain, since, again I’m usually cooking for one. I hate opening a bottle and letting any of it go to waste!

The solution? Wine ice cubes! The other night I REALLY wanted a glass of Syrah, but knew I had plans the rest of the week and probably wouldn’t get to finish the bottle. So I made myself a HUGE glass of ice water to clear out my ice cube tray (can’t waste water, of course!) and filled it up with the rest of the bottle of wine. The next morning – voilà! Wine ice cubes!


By the way, I do not buy plastic baggies! A relative had sent me home with leftovers in one, so I washed and reused.

Mmm, wine ice cubes. I’m thinking about breaking one out for a Mandatory Popsicle Break one of these days! That’s totally acceptable, right?

My winecubes are now in the freezer ready to be used any time I have a recipe that calls for a little vino. Last night I made chicken with a red wine & shallot pan sauce – threw in a cube and it worked perfectly! Now I just have to make some white ones. C’mon, weather get warmer, so I can have a nice crisp glass of Chardonnay!

My friend Andrea points out that there are other great uses for your winecubes – like chilling a delicious Sangria or your lukewarm Pinot Grigio without watering it down! Is anyone else seriously craving some Sangria right now? Just me then?

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Weekend Highlights: Refillable containers, recycled napkins and a diry little secret!

I had a great weekend – the sun was out every day, which was awesome for reducing my carbon footprint. I walked everywhere!

Some highlights:

*Indian food with my girls, and free champagne at a friend’s favorite bar – the bartenders love her there! I had to get a shot of the recycled napkins used as coasters. I kind of think coasters are pointless and wasteful, but this one’s better than others!

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Clearly, I need a refill!

*Walked 2.5 miles to have dinner with my friend, then we walked a mile to another bar, a mile to another bar after that, and another 1/3 a mile home! Had 1.5 beers, and approximately 10 glasses of water, hold the straw. The bartender accidentally gave me a straw anyway, out of habit. When we teased him about it, he made sure to point out that they compost. Sweet!

*Scored three really cute new shirts at a thrift store, and one adorable pair of lightly worn metallic wedges (used to kind of weird me out, but honestly I think it’s no different than borrowing shoes from a friend). But they broke like a half an hour into wearing them! Taking them to the shoe repair store this week so I can get them fixed. Keeping & fixing what you have – way more eco-friendly than buying something new to replace it!

*As promised, I brought my hummus container back to the store to have it refilled. I ran it through the dishwasher and it was as good as new! If you have to get plastic, don’t throw it out: Reuse! Here’s the really nice guy who works there handing me over my hummus. He told me not to put the picture up, but I told him it was too late. 😀 He mentioned they use Styrofoam and was wondering if there was any way to reuse it. I told him I try not to get it, but he said it’s the only option they use right now. I am going to see if I can talk him into compostable cartons in the future, and he said it was totally ok if I brought my own tupperware for hummus and take-out. Yay, Apollo Market! Remember – you can always ask if you can bring your own containers – it saves packaging and saves the store money, too!

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* Breakfast at my favorite spot in the City, Zazie. I walked there, too! Since it’s Passover, I couldn’t get my favorite thing ever – gingerbread pancakes with roasted pear and lemon curd – so I bought the lemon curd to bring home. It unfortunately came in a little plastic container (the same kind the hummus came in), but I will definitely reuse it! I had the lemon curd later with some vanilla bean Wallaby yogurt. So good! And my omelette with white cheddar, avocado and chicken-apple sausage was pretty darn good, too.

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No, that’s not a giant egg! Yogurt + lemon curd = amazing!

And now… my dirty little secret. Yes, this goes against pretty much everything I believe in: it’s packaged, it’s artificial, it’s a color not found in nature. Yup, I’m talking about Peeps. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes – Everything in moderation, including moderation. Here you see them peeking out from my junk drawer. They’re sitting there getting stale as we speak – the best way to eat them!

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Oh Peeps, you delicious, artificial sugar bomb!

All in all, a pretty great weekend! What did you do?

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