Tag Archives: Environment

Homestead Hack: Paper Napkins in a Paperless Kitchen

by Tammy Taylor~

Long, long ago I gave up disposable paper napkins in our home.  We’ve used cloth napkins exclusively since the kids were babies.  Then over a decade ago I was finally able to wean RancherMan off paper towels too.  I keep him supplied in plenty of repurposed rags to take their place.

But you know, there are times when a paper napkin would really come in handy.  Especially if you have guests who desire a more disposable option.  You know, for when they look at you wide-eyed and exclaim in disbelief: “Really?  You have NO paper napkins??!!” Yes, I’ve actually had this happen before – more than once!  LOL

So in order to have disposable paper napkins on hand for those moments do I go against my environmental bend?  Do I take a deep breath & purchase a pack of plastic-wrapped disposable paper napkins anyway?  Nope.  Come see this easy ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-before’ moment.  Use whatcha got, y’all!

Paper Napkins In A Paperless Kitchen?? Oh yeah, it's easily possible y'all. Come check out this handy Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

7 Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic In The Kitchen

by Tammy Taylor~

I’ve been on a quest for many years to eliminate as much plastic from our home as I can.  It’s almost impossible – plastic is EVERYWHERE!  So I’ve decided if it’s coming into our home, I’ll USE it in its entirety instead of buying more plastic.  But even then there are ways I’ve been able to significantly reduce the amount of plastic that I use in my kitchen.

As much as I hate it, plastic is EVERYWHERE! Come see 7 easy ways I've been able to reduce plastic in our kitchen. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

 

Continue reading

Repurposing Empty Coffee Canisters – Covered Dish Affair

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we drink coffee that comes in small-ish plastic canisters.  When the coffee’s gone the canisters are handy and I’ve used them for so many things so far.  I’ve removed the paint & made them into a super cute bread box.  They’ve been painted & used for planters to share plants with friends. And I’ve even made them into feeders for our chickens too.  (the complete list is below) But recently we were invited to a covered-dish supper at our daughter’s house in a city a couple of hours away from home.  ROAD TRIP! LOL I agreed to bring our daughter’s favorite cake-mix cookies.

But you know how when participating in a covered-dish event it’s always inconvenient to find the right container to bring your food in?  Oh and then making sure you get your container back when you leave, what a pain.  Oh and all those various-sized plastic food containers & mismatched lids.  Ugh.  But of course today it was an empty coffee canister to the rescue!

We were invited to a covered dish affair & I agreed to bring cookies. I used an empty coffee canister to hold the cookies. EASY! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Dealing With Discards: Exactly Where is ‘AWAY’?

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Recently RancherMan & I were talking about things that have impacted us strongly over the years.  I recounted how an article I’d read decades ago kick-started my fledgling environmental bend into high gear.  Oh yes decades ago, way before worrying about the environment was the fashionable thing to do!

I’d read a story about how people throw things ‘away‘ never thinking about where AWAY actually was.  Yep, that broken whatzit is chunked into the trash as you tidily dust off your hands & walk off.  Then the trash bag is bundled up and placed on the curb.  A large garbage truck comes & takes it away.  Yep, it’s gone.  Taken care of.  Cleaned up.  It’s taken away.  But where is this mythical place of AWAY?

As I explained the premise of that article to RancherMan he shook his head enthusiastically and said that’s a viewpoint not often thought about. Everybody thinks they’ve taken care of a problem by throwing things away without really thinking about who really deals with the problem you’ve just passed on.  He begged me to write this post, so this is for him…

A garbage truck comes & hauls your discards away. Yep, it's gone. Taken care of. Cleaned up. But where is this mythical place of AWAY? #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Twist Tie Storage – Tame Your Junk Drawer!

by Tammy Taylor~

I typically bake our bread here on the Homestead.  Especially since I’ve finally (FINALLY) found a delicious sandwich bread recipe that’s soft, fluffy and flavorful.  But during the summer months we buy our bread instead.  You see, RancherMan’s a die-hard bread eater but I hate to fire up the oven during those hot sticky summer months and add heat & humidity to our home.  So he & I struck a happy balance – during the more temperate months I’ll bake the bread he craves.  But I break from baking & buy his bread during the summer  months.

I hate all those plastic bread bags we bring home of course.  But at least I’ll repurpose them by dividing portion sizes within a freezer bag when I utilize my favored ‘Cook-Once, Eat-Twice’ method of cooking.  And of course I’ll reuse more of the bread bags when I resume baking our bread too.  I typically bake 3 loaves at a time and section off and freeze most of it.  That way I can bring it out fresh for RancherMan’s dining pleasure.

But what to do with all those plastic-coated bread ties?  I swear they multiply when you’re not looking!

Is your junk drawer cluttered? What to do with all those plastic-coated bread twist ties? Check out this easy storage solution #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Applesauce Is A Multi-Purpose Gem In Your Pantry

by Tammy Taylor~

WHEW!  I finally finished with all the fresh apples my aunt let us harvest from her tree & bring home.  Ten bushels worth!  TEN bushels.  T-E-N.  Wow.   I’ve made and canned Apple Pie Filling for quick homemade pies this winter.  And I dehydrated some of those delicious apples into crispy Cinnamon/Sugar Apple Chips for snacks.  But I love the Slow-Cooker Applesauce the most.  I’ve even taken some of the regular applesauce & flavored & canned it into Cinnamon-Vanilla Flavored Applesauce.  And of course the liquid released when I cooked down those apples into applesauce wasn’t wasted either.  I strained & canned it for apple cider.

All are delicious, but today I was thinking about that applesauce.  How versatile it is in my kitchen.  Not only do I enjoy eating it straight from the jar, but it replaces a cooking item I typically have to buy.

 

Not only do I enjoy eating homemade applesauce straight from the jar, but it replaces a cooking item I typically have to buy. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

New To Composting? Don’t Worry, Compost Doesn’t Stink!

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Any gardener knows that compost is ‘Black Gold’.  It’s invaluable to your garden, helping your plants grow strong & healthy using an all-natural fertilizer.  I plant a veggie garden every year and of course that black gold is incorporated into each planting hole.   There are some tricks to making a ready-to-use compost for your garden.   But for those just starting out, there’s often some hesitation.

You’re rotting things in a pile, doesn’t that stink?

The answer is:  No!  Well actually, yes and no – the result depends on you.

 

Don't Be Afraid - Balanced Compost Doesn't Stink! For those starting out with composting there's some hesitation. You're rotting things in a pile, doesn't that stink? The answer is: NO! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Grandma-Approved Cleaning Techniques For A Cozy Home

by Tammy Taylor~

I come from a long line of housekeeping neatniks.  Not just tidy, but CLEAN!  We used to tease each other that grandma’s house was clean enough to eat off the floors if we wanted to!  (and I’m thinking we probably COULD HAVE!)

Even with today’s fast-paced lifestyle we can all learn a thing or two about cleaning from grandma.  These days the grocery store shelves are filled with all manner of specialty cleaners.  Heck there’s a different cleaner for each different surface! But are they really needed?  I wonder why we’ve complicated cleaning these days?  We just seem to be too busy to keep a tidy house anymore.  But can we learn to clean like grandma did?  Here are a few things we do in the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of…

Why have we complicated cleaning? Here are a few cleaning techniques at the Taylor Homestead that grandma would surely approve of. No need for toxic cleaners. . #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Homestead Hack: MYO Low-Waste Chicken Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I enjoy raising chickens.  But we’re also fans of doing things ourselves.  So when we needed a chicken feeder we took a trip to a thrift store.  We made our own feeder from thrifted supplies costing only about $2 total.  All we used was an old metal lid and a plastic Rubbermaid canister.  It served us well for years but finally the canister portion succumbed to the elements.  Now what??!

You know what I say: “Use Whatcha Got!”.  Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we easy (and with NO out of pocket) repaired our chicken feeder for many more years of service.

Check out this Homestead Hack & see how we used an empty, repurposed coffee canister to make a low-waste chicken feeder for cheap! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Reducing Plastic In My Personal Hygiene Routines: Deodorant

by Tammy Taylor~

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all you know that I hate plastic.  Oh don’t get me wrong I think it has its uses, such as in the medical industry for example.  But for regular consumer products I hate it and strive to reduce what comes into our home as much as possible.  Since striving to reduce our plastics, colas & juices have been replaced with delicious icy-cold sun-brewed tea.  No plastic jug and it’s healthier (and so much CHEAPER) for us.  I’ve learned to make my own Face Powder and Dry Shampoo. and even spray Cleaner using repurposed containers. I learned to make my own Powdered Laundry Detergent and also Laundry Scent Booster for a little something extra when desired. It’s been quite a fulfilling and fun challenge for me.

Recently I was thinking about the many ways I’ve cut the waste from our personal hygiene routine.   RancherMan & I have made our own froufrou bar soap for years and I’ve even started making my own minty mouthwash (recipes are below).  But there’s one thing I haven’t shared with you yet.  I dunno, I just figured maybe it was a little TMI.  But it’s my deodorant.  Let’s talk about that.

I've been mindful of the waste in my personal hygiene routine. I'm making my own mouthwash & bar soap. Let's talk about deodorant! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

Continue reading