Mexican Tupperware. That’s what we call recycled food storage in my family. I feel like an asshole for making fun of my grandma all those years ago for keeping half cut onions in a mug and putting leftovers in yogurt containers. She was a champion of zero waste living. I was a damn fool. I scrunched my face at the way she used soda bottles to water plants or cut in half to use as planters for her billions of plants. I laughed when she used an old toilet as a plant holder. The random hubcap in the backyard? You guessed it, a plant holder.
Don’t even get me started on the Grandma Style permaculture system. Grandma had fruiting trees growing that she didn’t even know she had! On a 50 foot x 100 foot plot, where most of the land was taken up by the house, the garage, and cement driveway and patio she managed to grow pomegranates, two kinds of figs, grapes, papayas, white nectarines, oranges, kumquats, guayabas, mint, and ginger, plus hundreds of non-edibles. You know what’s amazing about that? None of the things she did were because she wanted to keep up with her peers. She did not do it so that she could post pictures of it on Instagram. She didn’t do any of those things because people would think less of her for *not* doing them. She just did them because they made sense to her and they made her happy.
The pictures of jars of trash, or mason jar filled refrigerators we’re starting to see all over social media are definitely inspiring, but they also feel like pressure. Some eco conscious stuff is lovely and some of it makes me angry because it feels super judgey. Not everyone can take time to research every single thing they purchase and make sure it’s humane/local/sustainable/non-gmo/compostable/organic, etc. Most of us are just trying to survive. I don’t think that I always understood that, but I definitely do now.
I aim to be less wasteful. I aim to eat well and feed my kids wholesome food. I cook from scratch as much as I can, and am working at finding ways to grow more of my own food. I don’t buy junk meat, because it matters to me how an animal lived before it died to feed me. But that’s my business, not yours, and not the dude at the library, not the lady at school, not really even my friends. I like my ladies to just get me and not give a crap what gets recycled in my house and what doesn’t. I like to be inspired by other people but I’m not competing with anyone, and you shouldn’t either.
So in that spirit, I want to share some of my “zero waste” practices, Mexican style. Ghetto style. Pretty style.
So there you have a peek into my food storage. I hope it inspired you and also didn’t make you want to empty your cabinets and replace everything in them before your next houseguest comes to visit. Not that I’ve ever felt that way. Okay, yes I definitely have. Do you have any no pressure ghetto zero waste ideas and hacks? Share them please!