We all know how important it is to reduce our environmental footprint, but it can be daunting to know where to begin. Enter Kathryn Kellogg, who can fit all her trash from the past two years into a 16-ounce mason jar. How? She starts by saying “no” to straws and grocery bags, and “yes” to a reusable water bottle and compostable dish scrubbers. This is a practical, friendly blueprint of realistic lifestyle changes for anyone who wants to reduce their waste.
This month in Creative Course Club, we explore how to make your own beeswax wrap. Beeswax wraps are a fantastic sustainable alternative to plastic wrap in the kitchen – you can re-use it again and again, it’s made of all-natural ingredients, and once the wrap is no longer working well, you can compost it or use it as a fire-lighter. It’s a truly waste-free product!
Making my own beeswax wrap was easy and fun, and it got me thinking about other small changes I can make at home to live more sustainably. Some simple ideas to be a more eco-friendly consumer include shopping locally at farmers markets, donating used goods rather than throwing them away, and buying “new-to-you” items at second-hand or thrift stores. You can also reduce your plastic waste by using reusable water bottles, coffee cups and shopping bags, by purchasing items that are not heavily packaged, and by recycling wherever possible. This collection from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh showcases lots of ways, great and small, to reduce plastic waste, live more simply and self-reliantly, make your food budget go further through reducing waste, and detox your cleaning supplies.
If you’d like to explore some more eco-conscious craft ideas, why not take a look at these video tutorials on Creativebug (access is free with your Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card!). You might like to try making your own environmentally friendly gift packaging – if so, check out the DIY Painted Gift Wrap or the Creative Wine Wrapping classes. Maybe your environmental efforts will be culinary – Creativebug has several classes on how to can fruits and vegetables, including Canning the Best Blueberry Jam and Canning Basics: How to Can Tomatoes. Finally, if you’d like to reduce the plastic waste that comes from personal hygiene products, why not try Make Soap Three Ways or Make Hand and Body Salve to learn how to make your own luxurious versions of these personal care staples.
And of course, don’t forget to check out the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh YouTube channel @clpvideo where you will be able to watch a demonstration of how to make your own beeswax wrap. This month, we even have grab-and-go kits for adults with all the materials you’ll need to follow along! Grab-and-go kits are available at all Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations while supplies last.
Packed with delicious recipes, natural remedies, gardening tips, crafts and more, this indispensable lifestyle reference from the popular blogger makes earth-friendly living fun. Whether you live in a city, suburb or the country, this essential guide for the backyard homesteader will help you achieve a homespun life – from starting your own garden and pickling the food you grow to pressing wildflowers, raising chickens and creating your own natural cleaning supplies.
Title also available on Hoopla Digital.
In 85 innovative recipes, Lindsay-Jean Hard–who writes the “Cooking with Scraps” column for Food52–shows just how delicious and surprising the all-too-often-discarded parts of food can be, transforming what might be considered trash into culinary treasure. You’ll learn how to put those seeds, stems, tops and rinds to good use for more delicious (and more frugal) cooking.
Also available on Hoopla.
This books gives practical tips on ways to avoid using plastic in your home and in your everyday lives.
Embrace a plastic-free lifestyle with more than 100 simple, stylish swaps for everything from pens and toothbrushes to disposable bottles and the 5 trillion plastic bags we use – and throw out – every year. Organized into five sections – “At Home,” “Food & Drink,” “Health & Beauty,” “On the Go” and “Special Occasions” – Living Without Plastic is a cover-to-cover collection of doable, difference-making solutions, including a 30-Day Plastic Detox Program.
Title also available on Hoopla Digital.
Learn to cook smarter, save time and money, and enjoy great meals crafted from leftovers in this practical and creative cookbook that teaches you to plan and prepare great second meals. When it comes to cooking and leftovers, Sara Dickerman believes that there is nothing better than figuring out the right way to reframe a good meal into another potentially great meal. In Secrets of Great Second Meals, she inspires us to create fresh, delicious meals using what’s in those containers in the refrigerator.
In this timely and motivational guide, author Julia Watkins shares rituals, recipes and projects for living simply and sustainably at home. For every area of your household – kitchen, cleaning, wellness, bath and garden – Julia shows you how to eliminate wasteful packaging, harmful ingredients and disposable items.
Title also available on OverDrive.
Break your plastic habit with simple, actionable steps and jumpstart your journey towards a minimal, beautiful, low-waste home. Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle means eliminating unnecessary clutter from your home and reducing your dependence on disposable goods, but it also comes with practical challenges that can seem daunting. In Simply Sustainable, perfection is not required. Whether you are looking for easy changes to get you started or more advanced, high-impact tips for your low-waste home, these simple, effective steps will forever change your relationship to disposable plastic products.