Get Real About “Reuse”

As a kid I learned about the “3 Rs” of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When I decided to attempt a zero waste home, I learned about Bea Johnson’s “5 Rs” of her zero waste home: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. I also like Kathryn of Going Zero Waste’s modification to this rule.

Reusing an item is a great way to cut down on your household clutter, your waste/garbage and help the earth.

If you buy/make a high-quality item that is meant to be reused over and over again, that’s one thing. But here’s the question: is intentionally bringing something into your home with the wish or hope to reuse it “someday” that helpful to your life or the planet?

That greasy plastic takeout container? Don’t accept it in the first place if you can help it. Sure you might wash it and keep it for some imagined perfect use. You would use it giving leftovers to a friend! Bringing food to share at work! To corral small items in your office/playroom/garage? Pinterest ideas abound.

I used to get caught up in “it’s better than nothing!” And it is. Sort of. Maybe.

How often do you actually grab the things you’ve designated for “someday” reuse? How often do you take a look at your “reuse for later” piles and end up eventually – possibly after years of collecting – tossing them in the trash or recyling anyway? I am definitely guilty of this practice.

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I’m quitting the jar (sort-of)

Having a visual representation of trash we produce can be powerful and compelling. It can showcase just how much trash is produced by a single person or action, as is the case with these examples: 1 million disposable cups – the amount used by airline flights in the US every six hours Rob Greenfield wore his trash around NYC for 30 days A local Vermont student … Continue reading I’m quitting the jar (sort-of)

The Amazon Shipment That Changed My Life

Here’s a little story about the Amazon.com order that changed my life.

I think it’s safe to say that my husband and I are Amazon super-users. We were quick to adopt their new technologies and offerings. We even tried out the kooky Amazon Dash button for Lara bars. (Oy, that one wasn’t a winner for us for lots of reasons.) We like Amazon Prime Video and regularly buy Kindle ebooks. We’ve been Prime members for years and I really like the fact that lots of different items are available, and typically for a good price. I also like reading reviews about different products large and small.

And we didn’t order so often that we felt like we were drowning in boxes and packaging. Ironically a lot of the items I ordered on Amazon.com were eco-friendly, plastic-free items that I couldn’t find at local stores.

But then we received this box. This one shipment that changed my relationship with Amazon.com forever, and helped guide me towards zero waste.

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Meredith Tested: Organic, green, clean, safe, non-toxic cosmetics

I’m sure my “favorites” will change, especially now that I am on the path towards zero waste, but here’s what I recommend to friends thinking about overhauling their makeup bag in favor of healthier, safer cosmetics. A few notes before I share my picks. There are many wonderful companies out there with clean, eco-friendly products. This is by no means an exhaustive list but I … Continue reading Meredith Tested: Organic, green, clean, safe, non-toxic cosmetics

coyuchi organic cotton turkish towels

Gift Guide 2015: Gift Ideas For When You’re Out of Ideas

It’s getting down to the wire and you need a present, ahhh! Aside from the usual last-minute picks like a gift card to a local coffee shop or juice bar (I mean, just stop reading right now – those would be great choices), here are some great ideas for gifts pretty much anyone on your list will appreciate. Again, better to go with a boring … Continue reading Gift Guide 2015: Gift Ideas For When You’re Out of Ideas

Holiday party looks for less

Holiday and New Years Party Style (The Eco-Friendly, Wallet-Friendly Way)

I love the festive feeling in the air, the twinkly lights, the hot toddies, and the fact that there are lots of opportunities to get out of a fashion rut with holiday sparkle. (Literally and figuratively.) Get your holiday twinkle on in an eco-friendly, wallet-friendly but still wildly stylish way by (1) shopping your closet and accessories, (2) perusing second hand and consignment shops and … Continue reading Holiday and New Years Party Style (The Eco-Friendly, Wallet-Friendly Way)

Gift Guide 2015: Vermont Edition

Oh heyyy, we’re kicking off Meredith Tested’s Gift Guide 2015! Whoop whoop! My 2013 gift guides are still available to you, as are the very few posts I pulled together in 2014. I had a needy (but adorable and squishy and sweet) newborn that frankly was louder than my blog and therefore got my attention. Ironically, the Vermont guide made the cut. Clearly I’m very … Continue reading Gift Guide 2015: Vermont Edition

Friday Finds: November 13, 2015

This image is just so cool – I love when cleverness and powerful language combine! (Image source) 2. Johana in Chile is an amazing artist in a very specific and delightful medium: felt animals. Gah, I can’t even handle the cuteness of this little traveler (felteddreams on Etsy)! 3. In case you missed it, Muji unveild their prefab tiny homes! Check out all three of … Continue reading Friday Finds: November 13, 2015

Book Review: Oh the places you’ll feed!

This book is a Seussian exploration of breastfeeding in all it’s glory – and challenges. It’s well documented that I won the lottery and didn’t have many issues nursing my daughter but this book still resonated with me. At first I thought it seemed a bit like a tale of caution – watch out, breastfeeding can be really awful! And you’ll have to do it … Continue reading Book Review: Oh the places you’ll feed!