It’s hard to believe, but producing zero [or less] waste is more difficult in the country than it was in Denver! About once a week, I find myself needing to throw out a grocery sized bag of trash. This is at least three times the amount of trash we were producing in the city. What’s going on?
I’ve decided to begin an experiment of sorts. We would really like to be producing zero waste. To get there I am going to begin tracking everything we throw away for one week. By doing this, I am hoping we can see where we are producing trash and find different ways of obtaining that product in a less wasteful manner. We’re already off to a bad start, last night I added a noodle and Italian sausage wrapper.
In one week, I will be sharing the results from my waste experiment explaining where our waste comes from and what our biggest problem area is. If you have been looking for ways to reduce your own waste production, use this week to take note of what goes into your trash. At the end of the week, you can pick one thing to change. For example, maybe you’ll notice all that ‘trash’ in your office is actually paper, a recyclable item. Then I’d love to hear about where you produce the most waste and what changes you might try to make.
Part of this experiment will also be producing zero food waste. Right now, I know a sizable amount of our trash is food, this is usually too much of anything I don’t want to see in the compost. Producing no food waste means using every last scrap of food, that means all leftovers and cut ends. For Valentine’s Day, I had made an Arugula salad with orange vinaigrette. Since then, I have only used a small portion of that Arugula and the rest has begun to look like its life was coming to an end. Before it went bad, I needed to find a way to give it a happy ending. What resulted was an Arugula Walnut pesto. We ate this on pasta that night, but since then; we have had it on BLT’s, which was DELICIOUS!
3-4 cups left over greens
½ cup olive oil
3-4 T. water
2 garlic cloves salt
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- Put the first 4 ingredients into a small sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until everything becomes mushy.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place everything in a food processor or blender. Process until you have a generally smooth texture and everything has come together.
That’s it. You now have a nutty pesto sauce. Serve it over pasta with freshly grated parmesan, spooned over fresh tomatoes, spread it on sandwiches, or enjoy on toast. What leftover to you always end up throwing away?