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Environmental News

Summer TIPS for Reducing Waste

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August 4, 2022

By Annie Kravet–

Food Storage on the go: Stop packing school/camp/picnic lunches in plastic baggies and switch to reusable options! Reuse glass jars with lids to store snacks, or use Tupperware, etc. Other ideas: carrot sticks and other non-messy snacks can be wrapped in a cloth napkin. 

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Food storage at home: Save money and stop buying single use items like tin foil and plastic wrap, and switch to reusable items like glass jars or Tupperware. Cover food in the fridge by placing a plate on top of a bowl, and save and wash your old pasta sauce jars for food storage. 

Say goodbye to paper towels: Use your kitchen towels instead, and/or cut up old tee shirts, and have a stack of small rags ready to go in a basket on the counter. These can easily be rinsed out, hung to dry, or tossed in with the laundry and reused. 

Make iced tea using loose leaf tea instead of buying from the store or using a tea bag, which are often are made with plastic. To make a cold-brew iced tea, combine tea and cool water in a pitcher (ratio of about 1.5 ounces of tea to 16 cups of water, but you can play around with the amount to get a flavor you like best). Cover the pitcher and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or for around 8 hours). Strain out the tea leaves using a tea strainer or a cheese cloth, and pour over ice to enjoy a refreshing cup of tea! 

Make your own popsicles with reusable molds or wooden sticks! You can freeze home squeezed juice, lemonade, or even smoothies into delicious frozen treats. Making your own at home cuts down on wasteful packaging. 

Shop at your Farmers Market to support local farmers! Did you know Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow’s TaSH market has gone “zero waste”? That means all prepared food vendors have compostable packaging (or are actively transitioning). Make sure you throw food, untreated paper, and compostable cups from market vendors into the compost bins at the market. Some of the compostable cups look a lot like plastic, but are marked compostable, and can’t be recycled. Make sure these go into the compost containers at the market.

Collect food scraps at home: Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow residents can bring their household scraps – even meat and dairy – down to the green toters at Losee Park. Food-scrap collection starter kits are available for sale at the Warner Library, Tarrytown Village Hall, Tarrytown Senior Center, Tarrytown Rec Center and the Sleepy Hollow Village Hall.

The author is the Zero Waste Volunteer for TEAC, the Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council

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