Thursday, June 16, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - Take out versus homemade

There are actually two "up the ante" challenges this week..let's see how well I can do.

This week, make your coffee or tea at home. Getting coffee/tea out every day not only costs a lot but also generates a lot of waste. Make it at home instead. And don't forget ... both coffee grounds and tea leaves are great in the compost bin.

Or ...

If you don't drink these beverages or always drink them at home, choose one other food or beverage, which you typically buy at either a restaurant or grocery store, and make it yourself at home. And, of course, we'd like to hear all about it!

Or, if you're a Superstar, accept the "Up The Ante" challenge ...

Our bloggy friend, What A Card, is upping the ante on this challenge. She says, "Use the money you save by not going out for coffee/tea for some environmentally-friendly purpose. I use the money I saved so we could afford to switch to organic milk." Great challenge, WAC!

Or, wanna reach Super-Superstar status? Accept a second "Up The Ante" challenge ...

Whoops - this idea actually came from @CoffeeContessa... not Jessica (thanks, Jessica for pointing that out). So, here's what @CoffeeContessa says "I'll up the ante and only brew organic certified!" Okay ... who's gonna take on this challenge?

I honestly feel like Husband and I are the only ones who don't drink coffee or tea.   That makes the first part of this challenge and the second "up the ante" challenge a piece of cake.  Don't buy coffee or tea on the run? Done!  Only brew certified organic..sure..I won't buy the non-organic stuff!

So I suppose I'll take on the 2nd challenge and the second "up the ante" challenge.   What do I normally buy that I could make at home?  And what could I do with the money saved by doing so?   Well, this is actually something I'm trying to do.  I've already switched to making my own croutons instead of buying croutons.  We make our own spaghetti sauce, chili, and dinner rolls ( can make these ahead of time and freeze them, then only heat up what you want for dinner that night).  

Here's what I'm going to do.  I already make one of my salad dressings from scratch.  However there is one other one that I love and buy. It's called Garlic Expressions.  I love garlic so of course the first time I noticed this one I had to try it. I've been in love with it ever since.   I don't feel bad buying it because the list of ingredients is short and basic.  However, at almost $4 a bottle, I feel it's expensive.   So..I'm going to take on this challenge by attempting to make this myself.   I'm off to search for a similar recipe online and I'll probably buy ingredients tonight since I'm doing the grocery shopping on my way home from work.

Another thing, since the goal was to reduce your drink waste, that I want to mention is sports drinks.  I workout a lot yet I refuse to by individual sports drinks because of the waste.  Instead, I have found several brands that offer tabs.  You're familiar with Airborne and how it comes in a tab that you dissolve in water? Same concept. It's a tab that you just add to your own bottle with your own water.  I personally like GU better than the Nuun.  I tried lemon-lime GU and Orange Nuun. The Nuun tasted like Airborne, yuck.  I'm going to give Nuun another try though, just a different flavor.  I believe there were 12 tablets in the Nuun and only 10 in the GU container.  Sure, I'm still buying something that has to be thrown away or recycled (although I know the Nuun container did not have a recycle sign on it) but instead of buying 10-12 containers I'm buying one.

As for the second challenge, I suppose I already do this to a point.  I've slowly been changing our food choices to organic.  I'm not 100% there but I'm getting there.  It's a slow process since it's more expensive. I feel like I need to do a little at a time and get used to the increase in cost, then work on cooking more from scratch, then buy more organic etc.  For me the two go hand in hand.

Oh..and I did search for a recipe and here's the one I plan to try:
1/4 cup pure apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil or other cold pressed oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
one or more cloves of garlic, crushed, chopped or sliced

What I'm going to do is take this recipe to the store with me, but also look at the ingredient list of the dressing I like.  I might end up modifying ingredients based on that.   I'll be sure to do an update post. 


  1. This is great. I always make my oil/vinegar dressing at home but never really thought about making those other kinds. Thanks for posting your recipe ... I'm anxious to hear if you stick with it, enhance it or go back to buying bottles.

  2. I'll be sure to post a follow-up on the recipe, when I get to it. It will probably be in a week or so since I'm still finishing up the one bottle I already have.