Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I trust that everyone is having a great start to spring. In our neighborhood, we had unseasonably warm temps (80 degrees) yesterday and there is talk of a bit of snow for tomorrow. The thought of snow is not dampening my spring fever one bit. It won’t stay and I’m sure that my yard could use the moisture.
As I was sitting down to think about things to write, I noticed that Easter and Earth Day fall in the same week this year. Opportunities to gather with family and friends are abound, and so are those lovely holiday meals that we look forward towards. Possibly you are considering signing up with your local farmers for their future CSA deliveries. So many grand prospects await all of us in April!
As Earth Day approaches, please consider making this a non-consumer event. We don’t have to buy gadgets to make us more earth friendly and lighten our footprint. We have the power right now to do things like fix the items that we have, or swap with others for items that we might need (there are so many sites and applications to use to consider items in your area for sale or trade), and of course, my favorite is asking if I REALLY need that item. Possibly the question of can I recycle it (or upcycle) it occurs. I’m always trying to figure out how to repurpose items, but sometimes, one just must get rid of the clutter, and if you don’t love it, allow it to move along where it can be useful to someone else.
Another way to solve some of our waste problems is to embrace the movement of “ugly” or “misfit” food items. These are generally produce related items that are not “perfect” and do not “make the cut” to arrive in the grocery stores. Most of the time this produce is just tossed out. How incredibly wasteful! I know that many places are teaming up with local food banks to help get this food to individuals who need a solid meal. Some local food and meal services will even take excess garden produce.
Recently, a local grocery store chain started promoting “ugly” foods and offers them in a discount bin. http://www.sdsucollegian.com/news/article_83da4c74-0f20-11e7-9d13-1f5e4aa30c8d.html
Another great way to help is to buy it directly from the farmer. Many local farmer’s markets are bringing in the “less than perfect” produce, and selling it for a discount. Just because the misfits are not showcased at the front of the stand, doesn’t make them any less tasty or healthy. Once you chop up that odd shaped pepper or tomato into a salad, no one will know it was “ugly”, but it will have that same fresh from the garden taste, and you helped stop waste. Win for everyone!
My Dad is a fan of purchasing, what he calls, “garage sale priced meat”. This is the meat that is approaching the best-by date, but if you freeze it right away, you can enjoy quality cuts of meat for a fraction of the price of its fresher counterparts, and you help stop the waste. Otherwise, grocery stores are forced to toss this out.
Are you all fired up to save the world? If you are crafty with needle and thread, check out these 70 ways to upcycle your denim. With spring fashions approaching my neck of the woods, consider getting crafty and creating some fresh new looks for yourself with some of the old pieces in your closet. http://www.diyncrafts.com/638/fashion/70-awesome-jeans-diy-projects-refashioning-slimming-transforming
Finally, allow me to leave this delicious sounding, and ever so tempting dessert for you. With family and friends arriving in the next few weeks, this might be a fun treat to have on hand. http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a51152/snickerdoodle-cheesecake-bars-recipe/
And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a fabulous week. Happy Easter to those who will be celebrating. Happy Earth Day to all of us. Enjoy searching out the misfits – not only in your produce isle, but in all the people that you meet. We all have some oddities, but that does not discount any of us. And with that, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!