Monday, February 01, 2016

Considering Before Tossing

One of my favorite shows to watch is BBC's Victorian Farm.
I was able to acquire the companion book for it as well.

In the series, Ruth Goodman explains how nothing went to waste on a Victorian Farm.  It wasn't a matter of environmental concerns so much as it was a moral economic duty to not be wasteful.

It really challenged me to consider what I haphazardly toss away on a daily basis.

I'm pretty frugal and environmentally careful, but there is always room for improvement.
For example, I tend to use tea bags twice.  I'll make hubby's mug of tea for breakfast and then make myself a cup of tea with the same bag.  I don't require it as strong as hubby does, so it works out that I get the weaker tea. 

Now, normally, I am pleased with the frugality and practicality of getting two teas out of one teabag before tossing it, but I learned through Ruth Goodman that I can save the tea leaves for another use.  Damp tea leaves sprinkled on the floors prevent dust from blowing up into the air when cleaning the floors!  (Yes, I am totally going to try this because I hate cleaning my floors and in the sunbeams streaming through my windows seeing the rolling clouds of dust billowing from my efforts.)

Ruth also says that the cleanings from the floors, including the tea leaves, then goes onto the compost heap.
I'm not sure if I can do that, though, simply because in the 21st century our dust is more synthetic.  There's plastic bits, polyester fibers, and other icky pollutants we sometimes have to live with simply because it's the 21st century.
So, in the dustbin my floor cleanings will go.

Just last night I had to scrub out some cast iron pans.
I dry them with paper towels (because the pans tend to blacken my cloth towels) and then rub them down with oil with a square of paper towel.

I am scrimpy with my paper towels anyway, but just as I was tossing the paper towels into the trash I realized they are not yet spent for the trash.  They can be dried and composted.  They can be dried and used as a fire starter for our outdoor wood boiler, especially the oil soaked one.

Even the wax paper wrapping off of the butter can be reused.  Use it to grease a dish and then the wrapper can become part of a fire starter

Yes, all of this is time consuming, and who wants bowls and buckets of trash laying around because it might have potential use somewhere else.
I get that.
But it is an interesting experiment to see how far we can go before something is discarded.

Not only do we in the 21st century have an economic concern for wasting not, but an environmental one as well.

For more information on reducing your waste and consumption, go to my sidebar and read The Zero Waste Home blog.

Don't be discouraged by the extreme success Bea has had with her experience.  It can seem all too much for some of us, but rather GLEAN what you can do.

Every little bit can help your purse strings and this earth that God gave us.

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