The next permaculture principle is produce no waste. No wasting things can be anything from recycling to being efficient and not wasting time. Much of the “waste” we produce can be used for other things with just a little creativity.
One of the most obvious sources of waste is simply the garbage we produce. All the packaging that purchased items come in makes for tond of garbage. From groceries to tools, everything has packaging. Once we begin to produce more food here on the homestead, it will save us from needing to buy so much food at the grocery store and save all that packaging. I do attempt to buy items where the packaging can be reused. Empty glass penut butter jars are great storage containers or drinking glasses. All cardboard packaging goes into a cardboard pile to be composted in new hugel beds.
Composting is an excellent way of lessening your waste production. All food scraps, used paper towels or anything else we can compost goes into a big bin for the garden. Any junk mail we get or paper goes into the compost as well. Just be careful to not add any plastic or things with chemicals into your compost if you are using it to grow food. Composting animal manure from a nearby farm or raking falls leaves are also an excellent waste additions to your compost pile.
Being creative with garbage is also a no waste option. We can use old cans to build a solar oven. We have made trellises out of old cribs and old camp chairs. A green house out of old windows. Playground equiptment can be made out of old tires. Gorgeous stained glass windows out of old glass bottles…. Your creativity is the only limit.
Being energy efficient, like I mentioned last week is a great way to cut down on waste. It is amazing how you can get so much done in so little time when you plan a little and do things efficiently. Just many other lifestyles, homesteading is not the place you can afford to waste time. Time is an incredibly valuable resource, don’t waste it! However, in my opinion, relaxing is not wasting time. You need to relax and take time off from working. If it makes you twitchy, like me, to sit still for too long, take a relaxing walk and observe your surroundings. Daydreaming about all your future projects can be very relaxing, and productive at the same time.
I have seen the challenge many times where people take an old glass jar and have to fit a months waste into that little jar. I am nowhere close now, but hopefully eventually.
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