Zero Waste Lunch October

I tend to soak and cook a pot of beans over the weekend to put together a quick, delicious meal at some point during the week. These navy beans were the ones I sneakily purchased in my own sturdy green produce bag from WinCo. I puréed the remaining tomatillos from my co-worker and a couple poblanos I picked up from the weekend farmer’s market. I also threw in some of my own straggling hot peppers that didn’t have a home yet and a few cloves of garlic.

Some oil and a chopped onion started the sauté, followed by the vegetables and some cumin. Those cooked a bit, then I added the beans, along with some more water and the homemade bouillon I made recently. This all simmered together until it became more creamy and the flavors developed and melded together.

A working lunch at my desk
When I make time in the morning, I make coffee and take it to work in my vintage floral thermos. Lunch was packed in a Pro Glass container along with a local pear into my lifewithoutplastic lunch bag.

My classroom and my lunch bag that I use every day.
Easy and delicious! I definitely notice a difference in my quality of life and quality of food with a tad more forethought and preparation during my time at home.

I stock a cupboard in my room with bowls and silverware so that I never have to use plastic, and neither do my students when I give them a snack. I just wash the dishes with a sponge and a glass bottle of dish soap and let dry on a towel. I also have a bottle of diluted vinegar and cleaning cloths + towels for cleaning and drying hands.


Zero Waste Cheats

As a Kindergarten teacher, I feel compelled to occasionally buy treats for my students. It’s a complicated matter when one is living a zero waste lifestyle at home. So, I learned how to cheat. There is a big, famous grocery store with a massive bulk selection, but on their website it clearly states bringing your own containers is prohibited. I wanted to be respectful of their policy so I stopped shopping there. The grocer that does allow my own bags has a good, yet somewhat small bulk section. I made the mistake of purchasing jelly beans for my students and ended up spending $26 on about 2 pounds! Yikes!

What to do? I decided to bring in some of these sturdy green produce bags (yes, plastic) that were a gift from my husband. I filled up on peanut M & M’s and Reese’s Pieces for my students.

I also got a couple items I haven’t found elsewhere in bulk such as penne and Parmesan cheese. This entire purchase was coincidentally about $26. Ha! Don’t be fooled; that bag of chocolate is HUGE!

Sorry for the crummy photo.

So shhhhhh, don’t tell WinCo I cheated, because their prices are ridiculously low and I might be going back soon.

The trash created was the twist ties and I considered bringing in my own string, but in the end decided I wanted to appear less conspicuous in case there were some rule enforcers snooping about.

Peace and love,