I have five rules to maintain my personal level of sustainability. I am lazy. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. I don't want to spend all Sunday prepping everything in the world. And, I never, ever, ever want to put up laundry, but I do... because it's the adult thing to do. So, where's the line between just right and too much?
Only you know your schedule, determination, and laziness factor. But, here are my rules and tips for figuring it out.
I HATE making tortillas. Words cannot even express the level of hatred I feel just thinking about rolling out tortilla dough.
- Is it delicious? Yes.
- Is it worth it? Absolutely not.
- Are they ever round!? NEVER!
I cannot stand the uneven wobbly sides, the hour I spend rolling them out with a pin, and that I have to make each one individually.....
Personal sustainability level: 0
If something is that unenjoyable for you, you should probably find another way. What's so awesome is this day in age - there's always another way! Go to your local Mexican restaurant for freshly made chips or tortillas. I found a tortilleria right around the corner of the famers market that sells 20 corn tortillas for $1.50, and they'll put them in my own bag!
Personal sustainability level: 10
rule one: double it
This applies for anything that can be frozen. And, you will be surprised what you can freeze. I store baked goods in a pillow case in a freezer drawer. I store wet goods in glass mason jars. Don't overfill the jars or they will crack! Remember liquid expands when frozen.
- Loaf of Bread
- Chopped Veggies
- Veggie Stock
- Energy Bites
- Cooked Beans
- Veggie Burgers
- Meatless Balls
I keep breakfast in the freezer. Whether it be energy bites, toast, waffles, pancakes, (homemade) or bagels (store bought in a cloth bag). I also store things that take a long time to cook like beans, stock, soup, or marinara. I fill up the small sink with cold water and place the mason jar in the sink. It will defrost in about 30 minutes.
rule two: active time
Active time must be less than an hour including clean up! You'll be hard pressed to find a recipe on my blog that takes over an hour of active time. For special occasions, like Thanksgiving, I make exceptions. But, in general - if it takes longer than an hour; it isn't happening. I get home from work at 5:30, and I want full bellies and clean kitchen by seven. Is that too much to ask for?
rule three: multitask
While the pasta is boiling, I typically have a double broiler on top making use of the down time. I have definitely made body butter atop of dinner. When my waffles are in the iron, I'm doing all of the dishes and wiping down counter tops. When I'm brushing my teeth, I'm wiping down the counter tops and cleaning the sink. I keep rags folded at the edge of all my counter tops for quick and easy wipe downs.
rule four: shelf life
If it has a shelf life of less than three months, I won't make it. I aim for a six month shelf life. This is in reference to cleaning products or DIY. It is not sustainable for me to make something I need every week or every other week. That is just way too much commitment.
rule five: love/hate
If you hate doing something, it will never be sustainable. If you love doing something, it will always be sustainable. Like, I hate making tortillas. It doesn't matter if it fits every other rule - it is not sustainable. But, I love entertaining and making elaborate spreads. Sometimes I break my rules, but it's sustainable because I enjoy it so much.
It's all about finding a balance that's right for you. If you feel overwhelmed with the DIY, too much cooking, too much cleaning - find a way to make it sustainable for both you and the environment. Find your tortilleria. They're out there. It might just take a little digging.
Have you found your level of personal sustainability? What are some of your rules?