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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

8 Zero-Waste Tips for the Kitchen

1. Dump the disposables. Switch from paper towels to cloth rags. Switch from plastic wrap and foil metal, glass, or plastic containers. Switch from sandwich baggies to cloth sandwich-sized wrap sacks. The list goes on …

2.Cook from scratch. Rather than buying pre-packaged condiments, juices, breadcrumbs, salad dressings, baked goods, and other popular grocery store items, learn to make your own and save on packaging.

3. Visit the farmers’ market. Buy produce, eggs, milk, and other fresh goods from the farmer’s market. Farmers’ market vendors not only avoid excess packaging, they’ll happily take back what packaging they do use (egg cartons, berry crates, milk bottles, etc.) for reuse.

4. Buy in bulk. Buy anything you can’t get from the farmers’ market in bulk, and bring your own containers.

5. Drink tap water. And keep it in a reusable water bottle. No need to wash a glass every time you want a glass of water.

6. Compost! Nearly every kind of food waste, and many natural paper products, can be composted. Then, instead of clogging up a landfill, your food waste — egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit peels, etc. — can go back into nourishing the Earth. Keep a sizable compost bucket nearby whenever you cook so you aren’t tempted to throw those valuable nutrients in the trash.

7. Learn to love leftovers. Before cooking a new meal, make sure that any leftovers are used up. If there isn’t enough to go around, find a way to reinvent it.

8. Can it! Instead of buying canned vegetables from the store, grow all that you need when it’s in season (or buy it from the farmers’ market) and can it yourself. You’ll not only save resources — since those mason jars can be used year in and year out — you’ll also ensure that none of those delicious veggies spoil before you can eat them.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.