20 May Reducing Our Waste
One of our focuses here at the Well Fed Community Garden is environmental sustainability. We use organic practices, focus on building the soil versus depleting it, and have a pollinator garden to help our local pollinators and birds have sustenance and materials to build their nests. Any produce that does not go to the restaurant or is not donated goes into our compost pile. Then is added to our fields to help with soil health. Recently, we held a workshop that touched on a couple ways we could all be a little more environmentally conscious (even if you do not have a garden!): reducing our plastic bag use and food waste.
Worldwide, nearly 2 million plastic bags are used a minute. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic bags could drive a car for a mile. Roughly fifty percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away. Although these statistics can be daunting, here are a couple small and fun tips to help you get in the mindset of Reducing Our Waste.
Our workshop in April was about making your own produce bags and learning about natural dyes using the skins of onions that usually get thrown away.
The breathable fabric was sourced from local thrift stores, either from curtains or sheets. After being cut into a rectangle, folded over, and sewing the edges you have your very own produce bag which is light and fun to use in the grocery store.
Above is a pot of boiled onion skins which was used to naturally dye our produce bags.
Miriam, a regular volunteer and teacher for our workshop, showing the group what our finished product could look like.
Stirring our produce bag into the onion skins.
The longer you keep the produce bag in the onion mixture, the deeper the color. We placed our produce bags in a bit of the cooked onion skins in jars for folks to bring home with them.
There are many small steps one can take to start thinking about ways to reduce waste. Learning to look at the possible uses of the things we throw away and sourcing what we can locally can be a fun adventure unto itself. Keep an eye out for our monthly workshops on a variety of topics, from composting to rain gardens!