We’ve been told to recycle, repurpose, and reuse to reduce waste. But do our efforts make any difference? Is there a way to reduce the amount we generate, in the first place? And why does it matter?
Jill Winger is the author of “Old Fashioned on Purpose” and the host of the podcast by the same name. Today, she offers insights about how to reduce our waste. She gives both the why and the how. She discusses the problem waste creates in our own homes and for the planet. She notes, for example, that 40% of the oceans are now covered in plastic! She also offers ideas for reducing the waste we produce in our homes—by avoiding buying cheap products that end up more quickly in landfills, for example.
For more resources, visit Jill’s website: theprairiehomestead.com
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Listen to the podcast here
Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda.
Laundry soap containers, plastic clamshells for berries and grapes, shampoo bottles, and broken toys. How do we manage the waste that we generate? What is it doing to our world? Can we make less of it? Is there anything more to do besides tossing things in the recycling bin? Our guest is Jill Winger, the author of Old-Fashioned On Purpose and the host of the podcast by the same name.
Jill offers insights about how to reduce our waste. She gives both the why and the how. She discusses the big picture of how waste is piling up in our oceans and also how it affects our homes. She talks about the importance of not buying cheap products that end up quickly in landfills. She reminds us that there is no waste in nature. Before we dive into the conversation, I want you to know what a conference attendee had to say at the Wise Traditions conference about the experience.
“My name is Sue Smith. I live in Crestview, Florida. Mainly, I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m here because my mom raised my siblings and me with the Wise Traditions methods. This is the first conference that she’s been to. She brought my sister and I along. I’m super grateful to her for that. The main impact that this conference has had is just being around other like-minded people and seeing that there’s solidarity and that none of us are doing this alone. It’s very encouraging.”
“Also, how important it is that we educate ourselves and that we put into practice the things that we know because I grew up knowing that butter was good, vegetable oil was bad, and things like that. Not being lazy with our health and realizing that it’s vital to follow the things that we’ve learned from Wise Traditions and the things that we know, but that we don’t put into practice all the time. I think that is what has impacted me here.”
Register at WiseTraditions.org for our conference in Kansas City, Missouri in October.
Welcome to Wise Traditions, Jill.
Thanks for having me back, Hilda. I’m excited to chat again.
I am too because we’re going to hit a new topic this time. I want to hear first a story from you as we kick things off about the challenges you faced when you first moved to your location. Talk to us about the trash and the recycling pickup there.
Maybe for folks who live in a more urban environment, they maybe take for granted how easy it is to recycle. There are always bins, pickups, sorting, and all the things. When we moved to our homestead here, we were 40-ish minutes from town. Not only did that make it very difficult to even get a trash truck to come out here, but we had a several-year period where we didn’t have trash pickup, which meant all our garbage would accumulate in piles in our shop and it was horrendous.
We have to haul it to town once a month. It’s hard to make time for that. That was a whole ordeal. We’ve never ever and probably never will have recycling pickup. As I started to get into this journey, because I wasn’t that mindful of sustainability or being eco-friendly at the beginning, I was like, “Whatever, I don’t care. What am I going to do about it?”
As I started to make these different choices, I was all in. I’m an all-or-nothing girl. I’m like, “We’re going to recycle all the things. The problem is that the recycling center is at least one hour away.” I would store all the recyclables and organize them, but then I would get fed up halfway through. We would have these mountains like enough boxes of stuff to fill a room by the time we finally decided to haul it down to the center.
It was so cumbersome and it drove my husband absolutely nuts because then I’m like, “Honey, can you please take sixteen boxes of newspapers and plastic?” It was difficult, but that struggle helped me rethink what I was buying, and what eco-friendly looked like for us as homestead-minded people or people who are living in the country. It gave me a fresh perspective. It wasn’t all bad.
As you were talking, I was wondering, “Did she have this accumulation situation?” Are you a big-time consumer? That doesn’t seem to fit who you are. We do get inundated with things when we start paying attention that ends up being in the garbage or the recycling.
The hardest part about this modern world we live in is it’s almost like hand-to-hand combat trying to keep it out of your house. I never have been a huge consumer even back when I was beginning my journey. I was still making things from scratch. That helps a lot. Even being mindful and maybe better than the average American in what I buy, we still produce a lot of plastic and containers. When you think about it, it’s disheartening to think that if you have that mindfulness to be more sustainable, it’s almost a full-time job trying to keep it out of your house.
Can you get specific when you think of those boxes in that room that were driving your husband crazy? What was in those boxes?
Plastic is the big thing, big plastic, milk jugs, laundry detergent jugs, and different containers. We then have the tin cans for vegetables or tomato sauce. That wasn’t as bad because of my canning. That helped reduce that. I get my coconut milk or certain random things in a can, then the paper. I don’t get a lot of catalogs. I’ve tried to cancel my junk mail to the best of my ability, but we still get paper. You get lots of paper coming in and then glass. Not as much glass, but you have kombucha or olive oil bottles, or things like that. The majority and the biggest space users in my box of recycling hoarding were plastic for sure.
I want to talk to you about how you paired that pile down. I also know that on your very own podcast, didn’t you have a guest who was addressing the zero waste lifestyle? Was she trying to live it for a year or something?
I want to recommend this book to everyone. She’s not paying me to say this. It’s called Year of No Garbage by Eve Schaub. She’s a great writer. She approached this in a funny and enjoyable way where she’s committed, and she got her family on board. They said, “We are going to be zero waste for an entire year.” She was already a little bit crunchy. She was not a full-fledged homesteader, but she was already minded that way and went into it like, “We got this.”
Watching through the book her struggles of how hard it was, it’s funny but also it’s overwhelming to even think about. Reading this and chatting with her was eye-opening to me. I would give myself a little more grace than I had in the past that our culture is not set up for zero waste. Hopefully, that will change in the future. We can do things to improve that on a systemic level, but we’re doing the best we can. For anyone who wants to dive into this, she has a lot of good data and research. She’s a great writer.
When this big push for recycling came about in the ‘70s, they were saying, “Recycle, repurpose, reuse.” Is that part of the secret of lowering our waste?
That’s common. Eve spoke to that a little bit in her book and in our conversation. It’s a great thing to keep in mind. The tricky part is the recycling piece of that is not as innocent as maybe we’re led to believe. I would love it if I knew that every piece of plastic I put into my bins or hauled to the town was getting 100% recycled, but that’s very rarely the case. I can’t remember the exact statistics, but the vast majority of plastic that you’re putting in your recycling bins and trying to do your best, you’re washing it out and doing all the things right, doesn’t ever end up being recycled. It ends up being transferred to the landfill in a roundabout way.
I’ve also learned of a little bit of a tie to how we have big pharma and big food, there’s also big plastic. These people who make plastic are very much incentivized to keep promoting plastic use. There’s a little bit of that vibe. We’re very familiar with that in those other industries. It’s the same situation in big plastic where they don’t want people to stop using plastic. Perhaps it’s a little bit of this dynamic where we threw out this, “You can keep buying plastic because you can recycle it and you can have a clear conscience,” when that’s not necessarily what happens on the back end.
As I started to wrap my mind around that, my question went from, “I’m going to recycle” or “What can I recycle?” Instead, it became, “How can I stop buying this stuff in the first place?” I’m not an expert at this and I want everyone to know we still have a dumpster. I wish I didn’t have a dumpster, but we still have a dumpster. We’re trying to put less in the dumpster than ever before. It’s that moving target. For me, it’s how do I consume less or bring in less?
When you were talking about plastic companies, it made me think about a term now called green-washing. Even Tyson’s chicken tractor-trailer trucks I’ve seen on the highway have a picture of a farmer, trying to make it seem like, “We’re doing things regeneratively.” It’s the impression they’re giving. Maybe there’s a thing called plastic washing now.
I would totally buy into that. I would 100% think that’s a thing.
What are some of the things that you’ve learned to reduce your use of to avoid buying into this whole plastic washing thing?
Lots of little things. The first step is to be more mindful. As I started to be more mindful, I’m like, “I’m buying this. This is a big jug of laundry detergent and that’s a lot of plastic for that, then it’s mostly water.” I noted this food container, that food container, and this plastic packaging. The first part is becoming mindful, which I found rather depressing because you start to realize how much packaging in things there is, then it was just picking away at it. It’s like food. If you try to do all the things overnight, you’re going to burn out and hate your life.
This is more about starting with the biggest pain points and then adding a little bit more in at a time. I’m still on that journey. For me, the food was big. For those who are already on their whole foods or homesteading journey and trying to eat better, you’re already, and this is the cool part about those lifestyles, by default, they set you up to be more sustainable. When you’re making food from scratch, it has less plastic. If you’re buying in bulk, it has less individual packages. If you’re growing it in your garden, then you’re not bringing it home in styrofoam and plastic wrap. Even for us, we have a milk cow. I know that’s not sustainable or doable for everybody, but I have glass jars. I reuse those same glass jars year after year, and I don’t have any more milk jugs in the house.
When you’re making food from scratch, it has less plastic. If you’re buying in bulk, it has fewer individual packages.
Little things like that have been big and it’s killing 2 or 3 birds with 1 stone because we’re eating better. I’m buying more local. I’m saving money because I’m buying in bulk, and I’m reducing my plastic waste. Things like that are big for me. Another area beyond food is looking at personal care and cleaning products. Cleaning products in particular are easy ones to cross off your list because there are one million recipes for easy homemade cleaners out there. You can make those over and over and reuse the same spray bottles or squirt bottles. You don’t have to buy shiny plastic packages every single month.
The same goes for personal care. There are more companies who are creating deodorant in cardboard rolls or you make your own deodorant. I’ve been making tallow face cream. I don’t have to go buy little tubes of face cream. For me, it starts with food, then I got into the cleaning product world, and then the beauty care or the personal care world, but that’ll be different for everybody. The cool part is there are a lot more options out there than I think there were in the past in terms of both recipes and ideas online. There are companies who are trying to help us out because there are some things that are difficult to do plastic-free. They’re trying to come up with some creative options. That’s also promising.
It is promising. On top of the fact that we know that plastic has estrogenic chemicals in it and things that interrupt our proper hormonal function. You think, “I’m going to drink this water out of this little plastic bottle. It has a deer on it. It should be good for me and the environment,” but it can be leaching things into the water. It’s not good all around. You write those little arrow symbols underneath the plastic bottles making you think you’re doing something okay if you stick it in a bin. That is quite traumatic to imagine these things ending up in a landfill after all that we assumed about the process of recycling.
One of the statistics that got me in Eve’s book was the ocean garbage patches because the ocean is filled with garbage. There are a couple of documentaries about it, which everyone should watch but they’re also depressing. These garbage patches occupy 40% of the oceans. We’re picturing floating food containers. That’s part of it, but the bigger concern is they don’t ever just break down and assimilate into the environment, like natural materials.
They get into these little tiny pieces like microplastics. They’re finding microplastics in everything. It’s in meat, fish, and in our own bloodstream. We are what you eat. We’re getting that plastic in the inner workings of our bodies because it’s in so much of our environment. That’s a big problem and I can’t solve all of that. If I can help a little bit in my own little corner of the world, that’s important.
We are what we eat. We’re getting that plastic in the inner workings of our bodies because it’s in so much of our environment.
You are a homesteader and this is the way earlier generations lived, it’s much more natural as you were saying it. It’s much less of a consumer mindset. I think about how our grandparents and great-grandparents had sayings like, “Waste not, want not.” If a sock got a hole in it, they would literally darn it. People think that’s just an expression, an expletive, or something, but they would sew it up. Now we throw things out that are broken or have a little hole and buy something new on Amazon. What has influenced this consumer mindset, do you think?
It started with this rise in consumerism, which started happening around the time of the Industrial Revolution. You brought up such a good point because one of my favorite ways to think outside of the box is to go, “I can’t do this thing without plastic. How am I going to live without plastic wrap? It’s impossible,” but then I think, “What would my great-grandma have done? She didn’t have plastic wraps. There are other ways around this. She didn’t have Febreze or laundry detergent in a bottle.”
People survived a long time without all of these disposable goods. There are lots of different fun options there. That push towards consumerism changed so much of our world. It is what we’re dealing with now, people like you and I, where we’re trying to push back against some of this mainstream ideology. It is birthed in that world of consumption, consumerism, and this idea that the industrial should be exalted above all else.
Consuming less, stepping back, and going, “I know culture tells me that my life should look like this, eat this way, and buy this way, and keeping up with the Joneses is my most important ideal,” but stepping back first thing and going, “Do I have to buy this? Do I need this?” Looking at if someone was purchasing something similar hundreds of years ago, what would that have looked like? We were touring some Civil War-era farms when we were in Tennessee. Dishes and combs lasted. Not everything survived, but those things were treasured because they were difficult to produce. They were handmade. It took time and resources. People cherished those things. They were built to last. They were kept and passed along.
Maybe it’s shifting our mindsets. Even though we can get everything cheap and easy and quick off Amazon, how do we invest in better quality things? How can we choose more heirloom quality items instead of the throwaway version? How can we take better care of what we have? It’s all those little pieces. There’s no magic sauce, secret sauce, or magic bullets in any of this. Those little bits can help push back against that religion of consumerism.
Valuing quality over quantity also. Going to the food illustration, we think, “It’s a buffet. All you can eat for $10.99,” but is there anything there that’s nutrient dense and from a regenerative farm? Unlikely, although I guess it’s possible. What if we found a comb that had jewels embedded in it? I literally saw one at a friend’s place. I think she had gotten it as a gift from someone who had gone to Saudi Arabia. It was gorgeous. That comb now can stay in her family for generations, as opposed to a plastic one that you get from the local pharmacy or beauty care center.
I always think of cast iron cookware when we talk about this. Before I got into this homesteading world, I would buy cheap Teflon frying pans for $5 each at Walmart. We’ve all done it. I’d use them for a year or two. They’d scratch, warp, and didn’t cook very. You then need to throw it out and buy another one. That’s normal. That’s how we’re all brought up to view possessions. Shifting into this new mindset, cast iron is a great example. You buy it. They’re not expensive, but a few bucks more than your cheaper pans. That thing gets better with age, not worse. If you take care of it or even if you don’t take care of it, they’re pretty resilient, you can pass that on to your children and your grandchildren.
I have one of my grandma’s skillets. It’s not going to end up in the landfill. It’s treasured, used, and useful. I think about how many cheap skillets that cast iron one has saved from ending up in the landfill because I don’t have to replace it all the time. I try to take that mindset into a lot of things that I purchase, even if it requires me to wait a little bit before I buy it so I can save up to get the higher quality item. I think that’s a fun way to look at things.
Coming up, Jill goes over the why behind making more sustainable or eco-friendly choices. Here’s a hint, it has to do with more than just saving the planet.
In this conversation, so far, we’ve been hinting at the philosophy behind zero waste or reduced waste in a household. Is it lifting frugality as a virtue or is it something else?
I think frugality is definitely part of it for me. It’s even deeper than that in terms of taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and asking ourselves what matters. Frugality is awesome. I love saving money and being thrifty. For me, it’s like, “Why are we moving through life fast? What are we trying to fill? What hole are we trying to fill? What do we think that buying things, the latest phone, gadgets, or style? What’s that going to solve for us?” Instead of mindlessly going through the motions like maybe the world around us, we’re stepping back and going, “I’m choosing a different path. I’m choosing to be intentional.”
It’s frugal and sustainable, but it’s also good for us. It’s one of those examples. I talk about this a lot in my upcoming book. At face value, it’s fantastic and you get rewards, but there’s something deeper that happens when we dive into those ideas that can transform us as a person. Some of those choices are the best ones I’ve made, even though I didn’t realize it at the beginning. I just thought I was trying to save some milk jugs from the landfill.
Isn’t that interesting? Along the way, it took on new significance. I bet it has made your children more mindful. Have you noticed any ways in which they have made some small shifts or noticed something and been like, “No Mom, let’s do this.”
That’s been so rewarding. They’re extremely mindful of plastic. So much so that if I forget my water bottle and I have to buy a water bottle somewhere, they’re like, “You got to remember your water bottle next time.” They’re mindful of food waste. They know you put food waste back in the ground, you don’t throw it in a garbage bag. I can see them making better choices in terms of if they want a toy or they want something, they understand the cheap toys versus the toys that are made to last and learn to take care of what they have.
We’ve watched several of those documentaries which I wish I could remember the name but I can’t. We watched them with the children because I wanted them to see the ramifications. That’s important with these upcoming generations. I didn’t want to scare or shock them, but I wanted to go, “You’re young. You’re the people who are going to make the decisions about this for the next many decades.” It’s helping them understand the ramifications, but it’s been fun. Their little brains latch right onto that. They get it. It feels good to them just like it feels good to us. Kids can absolutely grasp the situation and make a difference.
I watched a documentary years ago called Beijing Besieged By Waste. They did talk about how we export our trash. Different countries, including the US I’m pretty sure, export our trash to other places. We’re not eliminating the problem. We’re kicking a can literally down the road or across the ocean. Something has to happen with it. It’s important to become mindful. I like that suggestion as a starting point.
I’ve seen those similar images, especially, there’s one that sticks to my mind. It was an Asian island. It was exported trash probably from the US or other first-world countries. The children are playing on it. It’s like that’s their new landscape. It makes you sick because we think we use a cup, straw, or container. It’s once and it’s gone. It’s out of sight and out of mind, but it still exists. Even if it’s not our problem, it becomes someone else’s problem. That’s something to remember. We think that garbage cans and easy out don’t make it go away. It’s never away. It exists for a very long time. Someone is dealing with it. It’s affecting something somewhere, whether it’s another human, the fish in the ocean, or the microbes in the soil. It’s pretty sobering when you think about it.
I may go to hear a couple of more practical things you do around your home that are a small way to start. I’ll share one first while you’re thinking about it. With the plastic wrap thing, years ago I went to a friend’s house and I think she had run out of plastic wrap. She started turning a plate upside down and putting it on top of the bowl that had food in it. I was like, “Genius.” You’re not using plastic wrap and you’re still storing the food. It’s going to be fine under that little plate.” Inverting a plate and putting it on top of your bowl is an easy way to get around using plastic wrap. Not to mention that now they sell many glass containers in a bunch of different shops. You can use that instead of plastic as well. It has a longer shelf life. It’s going to last longer. It’s not going to wear out as quickly as plastic.
I love the little glass. I call them Tupperware. It’s not Glasstupper. The food storage containers are the best. Plaster wrap has been my nemesis, but I also do the plate trick now or the glass container trick. I still have a roll of plastic wrap because you’ll give food to a friend sometimes and you can’t get around it, but there are very few instances where you can’t get around it. Most of the time, you can figure out something else. Some other little tricks I’ve done is we feed large-ish groups here at our house pretty frequently between friends and events.
I always had to go buy paper plates, red plastic cups, and silverware. Not only was it annoying because I never had it on hand, but I’m filling garbage bags every time we’d host. I got some enamel camping plates and they’re cute. I bought those. Those were a little pricey. They were an investment, but I’ve been using them for years now. We use pints size mason jars because I always have tons because I can. We use those for our drinks.
You can use a wet-erase marker. It’s dry erase and rubs off fast, but wet erase only comes off when you wash them with water. You can write someone’s name on the pint jar with the wet-erase marker or you could put a colored rubber band for each person. For the silverware, I went to the thrift store and bought a whole bunch of random mismatched forks, spoons, and knives. Some of them are small, and none of them look like they go together, but no one cares. We use that when we have big groups. That’s worked well. It makes events, even a quick barbecue, feel more special because it changes when it’s real dishes.
I was at a picnic and they had plastic utensils that looked like silverware. Everyone was like, “Are these silver? Can we throw these away?” Even the person who was hosting the party who I know likes to be friendly to the environment was like, “They’re throwaway.” I was thinking that was sad because even the plastic was trying to pretend it was silverware.
Another area I focus on a lot is food waste. That’s a different topic than plastic, glass, and things. I think 40% is the number of our food supply that ends up in landfills. That’s both at the residential and personal level, but you can also think about corporations and factories that are processing food. So much ends up in the garbage. It puts off a lot of methane and creates a lot of problems. When it goes into landfills, it’s such a beautiful cycle of how nature works, where there’s no waste in nature. Manure and food waste are magic.
There is no waste. Everything is recycled in the order of things, but we break that with our food waste when we encase it in plastic, we send it to the landfills and it’s without oxygen so it sits there. It never gets to break down as a part of that natural cycle. A huge thing for us is we don’t ever put food waste in a garbage can. It goes into our chicken bucket. We give it to the pigs or if you don’t have either of those animals, you can make a compost pile or a compost bin.
There are one million different options online now where you can get different little tools to help you with that. When you start to understand the order of things, it’s such a beautiful process. The banana peels, onion ends, and carrot tops are pure magic for your soil. There’s no reason they should be encased in a plastic tomb for the rest of their life. Giving back to the Earth feels good. The kids have fun with that. They give the scraps to the chickens every day. That’s an easy thing to do as well.
I forget how many years ago our family started composting. We don’t have a lot of land, but we didn’t want that food waste to go into the trash can and end up in a landfill. We started putting our banana peels, apple scraps, and so forth in the freezer. Once a week we take it to the farmer’s market and there is a compost company that makes sure it gets to land where it can not be wasteful. It’s beneficial to the land. If you save your onion, carrots, and these other little scraps, they can be used to make your bone broth taste good. There are many ways that we can repurpose. That’s beautiful. I want you to tell us a story about maybe a repurposing moment that went awry that didn’t quite go the right way, where you’re like, “We’ll do this instead,” and it didn’t work out well. Do you have one?
There are a lot of times when it doesn’t work. You save the recycling and then you didn’t wash it out appropriately. It gets rotten or moldy and you end up, “Ugh.” You do your best. One I’ve done a couple of times is we have a little restaurant and restaurants produce a lot of waste whether it’s people not finishing their meals, or you’re cutting lettuce and you have ends of lettuce and stuff.
We have a 5-gallon bucket we keep at a restaurant. We scrape all the plates into it and we bring it home to feed our personal animals. Even the employees who are not into eco-friendliness are like, “I feel so much better knowing I’m not throwing that food into the garbage can.” There have been several times where I’ve been like, “I’m bringing my bucket home and then I’m going to give it to my chickens,” and then I leave it in the car. It gets bad for a few days.
It’s not a very exciting story, but I think it’s also a good point that you’re not going to be perfect at this. It’s hard to be perfect at this. You’re going to mess up. Even if you’re imperfectly fumbling through this idea of saving food waste, buying less plastic or whatever, even if you’re messing up and you’re still throwing things in the dumpster on occasion, you’re still doing better than average and you’re still doing something. Don’t get discouraged even if you leave the food in the car and it rots, and your husband yells at you because it smells very bad fast. Keep on tracking.
If you’re out and about. People may have different standards on this, but if you are very thirsty or your kids are thirsty, you might cave in and buy water in a water bottle, which seems like the silliest invention ever. At the same time, we’re not perfect. That’s why we’re circling back around to this versus that conversation because you were like, “It doesn’t have to be either–or. We can do the best we can and then we may land somewhere in the middle.” I did want to ask you, you’re talking about people at the restaurant who are not necessarily eco-conscious or aren’t on this same “Let’s not waste anything” train. Are there groups or communities that people can join to find encouragement and ideas and resources on this topic?
I’m not super plugged into the zero-waste world, but I know there are a lot of minimalist bloggers. A quick search on Google will bring up lots of blogs. I know there’s a number on Instagram. She posts simple ways to stop buying certain pieces of plastic. There are different creative ways to work around how to use waste or how to repurpose it. There are a number of those out there. If you type in zero-waste razors or zero-waste toothpaste, you’re going to come up with a number of places that are helpful and plug you in.
Be careful because consumerism lives in this world. Sometimes these companies are trying to sell you gadgets and things that are going to help you reduce clutter and waste. You didn’t need that thing in the first place. You probably could live without it. Don’t feel like you have to go buy in order to buy less. You balance it. There are a few things I buy. The rest, you can often get creative in making it yourself or not needing it at all. Google around a little bit, especially if you’re looking for a specific zero-waste idea, and how to live without regular laundry detergent. There are lots of resources online.
I wonder if the pinnacle of zero–waste is the sawdust toilet. Are you familiar with that?
Yes. I find that attractive. My husband has not agreed to that yet, but the composting toilet, I’m like, “It’s fascinating.”
Talk about zero–waste, the idea is even your feces can somehow be managed to fertilize the land like cow manure.
That’s what the whole natural process is about. It’s manure and not a bad thing. Any manure is we’ve created this distasteful in our own modern minds that has to be pushed away or pushed aside. I know when you have a city environment, not everyone can be going out in the backyard. That’s not going to work. There are sanitation issues. I’m thankful for modern. No one sent me emails. I am thankful for modern plumbing. Let it be known. I think it’s a wonderful invention. I love those ideas where you’re thinking outside the box and that’s pretty cool.
Outside the porta potty, as the case may be. I love the line you said earlier, “There’s no waste in nature.” Think about how a leaf falls off a tree, it decomposes and later nourishes that same tree. This is amazing. Let’s get on that nature train and perhaps we can start making more conscious choices so that we are blessing the planet instead of hurting it. I love when Jill says, “The hands that hurt can also help.” Let’s not think humanity is the scourge of the planet. We’re here for a reason and we can also help.
We can make simple choices and it adds up in a big way.
Let me ask you the question I’d like to pose at the end. It may be related to this topic. If the audience could do one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
Go outside because going outside in a roundabout way will affect your zero waste choices because it will connect you with that nature like we were talking about. When you start to see how nature works, it will influence you and you’ll start to just, “I feel like be drawn into wanting to work with it instead of against it.” That’s a big one. To add a little bit to that, look at your food. Your food is going to help you in many ways. Little choices with food. You don’t have to go hog wild all at once.
When you start to see how nature works, it will influence and draw you into wanting to work with it instead of against it.
It’s going to make you feel better. You start making a little bit more from scratch. You’re not going to have as much plastic to put in the landfill. You’re not going to be bringing all that packaging, wrap, styrofoam, and all that home. If you’re looking for a simple step that you were doing anyway, you have to eat anyway, look at that food, and dig into that. You’ll be surprised at all the little benefits that shoot off as you start to make those choices.
Thank you so much, Jill. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you again.
I absolutely loved it. Thanks for having me on.
Our guest was Jill Winger. Visit her website at The Prairie Homestead to learn more. You can find me at HolisticHilda.com. Now for a review from ACmic, it was titled Absolutely A Favorite. It said, “I love the wealth of information on this show, such a great variety of interviews with thinkers at the top of their fields. I absolutely love the interview from May with Naomi Wolf. Thank you and keep up the excellent work on this show.” Thank you so much, ACmic. That means a lot. You too can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Go to ratings and reviews. Give us as many stars as you’d like, and tell the world why the show is worth tuning in to. Thank you for tuning in. Stay well. Remember to keep your feet on the ground and your face to the sun.
About Jill Winger
“Do I have to buy this?” “Do I need this?” Questions like these get us off of the consumer treadmill, suggests Jill Winger.
Guest 1 Bio: Jill Winger is the founder of The Prairie Homestead, one of the foremost homesteading websites since 2010. She is dedicated to helping others learn how to grow their own food and live a more fulfilling, old-fashioned life. Her practical and authentic style of teaching and storytelling has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of homesteaders across social media and through the top-ranked Old Fashioned on Purpose podcast and Prairie Homestead Cookbook. Her most recent book is “Old Fashioned on Purpose.”
- Old-Fashioned On Purpose
- Old-Fashioned On Purpose Podcast
- Year of No Garbage
- The Prairie Homestead
- Optimal Carnivore
- Naomi Wolf – Past Episode
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions