Friday, September 5, 2014

Bang the Drum

 Pretty good reminder for a Friday.  Or any day, for that matter.

  I am doing a Zero waste Challenge this week in which I have foregone the use of paper towels. In years past, I never bought paper towels. They are a waste. Of money and of trees.  Then I had puppies or kittens or both, and started buying a roll at a time for convenience sake. For cleaning up poo and pee and puke.  Before I realized what was happening, I was using them for everything and buying them by the 12 roll package. And buying several packages at once if the sale was great.  Then one day, I realized I had like 5 packages of paper towels in the storage room. It took up half the wall.  That's 60 (SIXTY) !!!!!  rolls of paper towels. So, I stopped buying them and kept using them all up. Now I'm finally down to about the last 4 rolls and am not buying anymore. 

  When this challenge came up, it was "Pick one or more things to do to lessen the waste in your life" and I knew it was an omen. lol  It's time for the paper towels to go.  Are they handy?  Yes.  Do I need them ?  No. I have lots of rags I could be using for all the things I use paper towels for.  Rinse-able, washable, reusable rags.  I know I probably could have done several other things in this challenge that might have been more of a statement, but this was doable and it was time. Besides, I told myself that I  already do a lot to eliminate wasteful stuff from my life and do a lot of green things and do enough (not really) for the planet.

 It's been easier than I thought, so I guess I am on my way to a paper towel free home again. lol


  It's been a busy week. Canned pickled sweet banana peppers and pickled okra. Dried okra (about 9 pounds total, pickled and dries).   Got some canned stuff put away and right now (for a minute) the island is clear again. We harvested about 130 pounds of red and white potatoes, they are in the garage curing a bit before getting boxed up and going into the storage room. I had a friend come over and we started working on the spare room yesterday...she doing the lions share of the work, while I piddled around doing some stuff in other parts of the house.  She's gonna come back on Tuesday and maybe we can finish it up. Good news/Bad news:  The mice have been having a heyday in there. (that's the bad news) We had to strip the bed and anything cloth (furniture slipcovers) that was laying around all had to be laundered. so I did 3 loads of that kind of wash yesterday and still have 2 more to go. Then I'll box up those things and into the closet they'll go once we get that cleaned out next week.  The good news, on the other hand, is that there is a 5 gallon bucket full of sweet potatoes I didn't know was in there. They are starting to sprout, but look really good otherwise.  Added to the 5 or 6 pounds left in the wooden box,  it will be a good canning session. I might start on that today. Gonna can most of them in just water and some of them in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

  I'm going out to check the sweet potatoes in the ground in a few and see what that haul is looking like.  If it's a good harvest, I'll probably can all the ones in storage. If it's dicey...then I'll leave a few of the better looking ones in the bucket.  Just in case.

(I just pulled up the weather report. I thought it was cooling down today, but the weather says mid-90's and thunderstorms all afternoon and evening.  I will probably wait until Sunday to do the sweet potatoes.)  Yesterday was only 90, but with a heat index of 102 and it was suffocating. Even hotter today AND rain ??  Surely I can find other things that need doing that won't uber-heat the kitchen all day...


 The boy just brought in another bag of gorgeous chanterelles.  Our Friday night feast is going to be a mushroom and pasta supper, with salad and garlic bread. I have 2 other bags of chanterelles that he brought yesterday. He is going out of town to work today and doesn't have time to do anything with them. I haven't tried drying the chanterelles yet...they seem so fragile. Maybe I should read up on that...those would be a good thing to have in yummy.

 Alright. If I keep writing I will never get anything done.  It's bright and sunny and still only in the mid 70's right now. The critters are all outside, except for one cat. It's peaceful and quiet here. Time for a little prayer and meditation and then into the rest of this wondrous day !!



Celia said...

Good for you. After moving I found a box with all my dish towels and my Mom's old dish towels, as well as a box of cleaning rags. Made me wonder why I was using paper towels again too. Good reminder.

Susan said...

I do pretty well at not using paper towels, although I am with you - having cats/dogs, they sure do come in handy. It took me three years to go through an 8 pack, but you are inspiring me to do without all together! Mmmm - chanterelles!

DJan said...

I use a few paper towels, but not much, really. We use sponges and dishrags mostly. I wanted to say thank you for the comment you left me recently. I wondered if you were still a follower, it had been so long. Made my day. :-)

Mariodacatsmom said...

Congratulations on changing your paper towel habit. It's those little things that we can do that really add up. I still use some paper towels, but not anywhere near what we used to use.

Akannie said...

Celia--it's crazy how easily I slip back into old bad habits ! lol

Akannie said...

Oh Susan--those chanterelles are the best ones yet !!

Akannie said...

I will ALWAYS be your follower, DJan !! I have just been either so crazy with all the canning and stuff...or exhausted from the blood pressure medicine that I haven't been posting anywhere. I 'll be better, I promise.

Akannie said...

Mary--us too. And I'm trying to just add one simple thing every now and then to our repertoire of "good green things that we do" in our everyday life.

Anonymous said...

I've never enjoyed paper towels but I do have an addiction to Costco's Kirkland wipes. What can you do?
If I saw evidence of mice, well, there'd be a three alarm fire!
I've never heard of canned sweet potatoes!