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August efforts at reduction

I moved earlier this year, and my entire pantry fit into two boxes not unlike this photo. That was a great time to take notice of my efforts to eat my pantry. Ya see, once a year, my wife and I try to use the old items in storage that haven't expired or come down with wicked frost burn. Those weeks generally involve a lot of chili and eclectic...salads, but doing so ultimately helps stagger a shopping trip or at least cut down grocery costs for a few weeks. There's just nothing like that blanket of woodiness that a meal with stale spices really makes me feel closer to nature. In my case, the jar of 2-years-expired pickles had to go, but it was sure nice to eat oatmeal instead of pastries for breakfast for a few weeks. So Readers, in the last solid month or so before the weather cools down, it might be a good time to thaw that extra Christmas ham that's been eating up 30% of your freezer all year and pair it with those borderline powdery lentils and get your soup on! I used to think soups were best suited to cloudy and cold, but then I vichy-saw the light!

A picture of rippled sand and desiccated bushes
Real approximation of my Auburn lawn during the summer!

We've also still got a solid month of weather best suited to hang-drying laundry, so keep that up! Even if you use a dryer every other load, you're still doing good on reducing energy use and spreading microplastics! I'd love to stand proudly in my efforts to reduce water consumption by heroically letting my lawn die, but my neighbors probably hate me. None of this is new, and it's highly likely that all of you readers are already practicing this.

I will speak to what I don't see a whole lot of, even among high-level sustainability folk: shameless hoarding of leftovers. At the last potluck and the three most recent work functions that had food, there were maybe two of us (out of more than 20) who brought bags and Tupperware to take home leftovers. Those are amateur numbers! I even took home a one-gallon bag-full of onions that had been sliced for burgers and jammed them into the freezer. We use onions in at least half the things we cook and that was 5 fewer onions that someone else literally shed tears to produce. Even the most well-planned event can be THAT much more sustainable if people more willingly take home leftovers, but it always seems that takes a back seat to lack of preparation or possibly pride. Welp, MORE FOR ME!

Anyway, keep your efforts august in August, and keep on borrowing!


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