Zero Waste

Zero Waste: “The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”
Zero Waste International Alliance

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.

Zero Waste refers to waste management and planning approaches which emphasize waste prevention as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste.

Zero Waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target. Zero Waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating wastes.

TEN STEPS TO ZERO WASTE (click to expand)
1. Awareness – Choosing sustainable values and knowing your impact.
2. Phase out – Start eliminating disposable items and saying no to excess waste.
3. Simple Swap – Tackle the big four: water jug, coffee cup, straw, and grocery bags.
4. Patience – Give yourself time to adjust. You will forget your coffee cup and leave your bags at home!
5. Better Solutions – Look for ways to improve on food storage. Try something new in bulk. Make your own lip balm or cleaner.
6. Education – Learn what is recyclable. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues. Take a class, watch YouTube, or read a blog.
7. Consumer Habits – Change your habits for the long term and keep thinking ahead.
8. Community – Learn what’s happening in your neighborhood, such as Talent Zero Waste movie nights, Jackson County Master Recyclers, SOMRA, Lend Me A Plate programs.
9. Community Action – Take a course, volunteer with a zero waste event, participate in a local or traveling clean-up.
10. Policy – Attend a City Council meeting, advocate at the state, or write policy such as Ashland and Talent’s Ban on Plastic Bags.

Eliminate The Big Four!

ZERO WASTE EATING (click to expand)
Foldable plate/bowl
Utensils with bag, chopsticks
Coffee and water cup
Cloth napkin
Beeswax wrap
SOMRA – Lend Me A Plate
ZERO WASTE SHOPPING (click to expand)
Reusable bags – small and large
Tared glass containers – small for spices, large for bulk
Containers for soap or pet food
Pen or pencil
Bring twisty ties
ZERO WASTE TRAVEL (click to expand)
Cooler, large basket or bag
Coffee and water cup, large water jug
Cloth napkin
Salt and pepper
ZERO WASTE HYGIENE (click to expand)
Thinx underwear, Diva Cup, or Glad Rags
Make your own beauty or cleaning products such as lip balm, bath bombs, soap, toothpaste powder, lotions
Cloth hand towels
Safety razor
Bamboo toothbrush
ZERO WASTE CLOTHING (click to expand)
Clothing swaps – “Naked Lady” events
Thrift stores
Buy Nothing online groups
Buy ethically
Make art, get creative and sew
Recipes (click to expand)

Simple Local Salad

Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Simple Dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or other acidi feel free to play)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Yellow Eyed Bean Soup

(Sourced from Medford OR)
Total time:45 min
For: 4 servings


  • 4 cups Yellow Eyed beans 8 oz dried, (Yellow Eyed Beans)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, or 2 teaspoon fresh leaves chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 sprig of fresh
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf


If you are using dried beans, prepare 8 oz of dried beans by sorting and washing. Soak in water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. The following day, drain and rinse beans and cook in water until tender.

Place beans, water, onion, garlic, potato, carrot, marjoram, paprika, coconut milk, parsley, thyme, allspice, salt, cayenne pepper, bay leaf in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Add yeast flakes, check seasoning and serve immediately.

Making Your Own Stock

By: Co+op, stronger together

Soup stock is the foundation for many of the tastiest soups, and it’s a flavor enhancer for many a dish too. But canned and packaged stocks are generally high in sodium and may include artificial ingredients. You can find healthier and organic varieties at your co-op, but if you use stock frequently in your cooking, it can get expensive. Despite what you may think, making your own stock requires minimal effort, costs little money, and will keep you, well, stocked for months.

There are a million and one uses for a good homemade stock, including:

Making your own soups and stews

  • Adding depth to homemade pasta sauces
  • Using in place of water or butter to infuse rice, couscous, or other grains with flavor
  • Braising greens and other vegetables
  • Deglazing pans to make gravy
  • Substituting for wine in any recipe

The most versatile stocks are chicken and vegetable stock, but the possibilities don’t stop there. Beef stock, fish stock, chili stock, ginger stock—the list is limited only by your imagination. For the sake of simplicity, file away this basic how-to for chicken or vegetable stock and improvise from there.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound chicken bones (if making chicken stock); either buy them from your co-op’s meat counter or farmers’ market meat stand, or reserve the bones every time you roast a local, pastured chicken and freeze in a plastic bag until you’re ready to make stock
  • 1 pound assorted vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, or other root vegetables, washed and chopped into large pieces
  • 1-2 dried bay leaves
  • A few handfuls of fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, or whatever else you have on hand, washed and added to the pot, stems and all
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole spices: black peppercorns, coriander, caraway, fennel, etc.

In a large soup or stockpot, add all the ingredients and cover with 12-16 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 hours. The liquid should reduce slowly; if it seems to be drying out quickly, add more water and turn down the heat.

After 3-4 hours, strain the stock, discarding all solids (it’s okay if a few whole spices escape the strainer). You should be left with 8-10 cups of stock. Season to taste with salt or just wait to salt until you use it in a recipe. Divide stock into one-cup portions in small plastic bags or containers and freeze (this way, you can thaw just as much as you need).

Essential Chicken Stock Tips

By Michelle Guerrie (Ashland Food Co-op)

Roast it, pick it clean, make cracklins with the skin and stock with the bones. One quart of water per bird.

One teaspoon salt and one teaspoon apple cider vinegar per bird.

Can’t make it right then? Freeze the bones and make a double batch the next time. No need to thaw out frozen bones, just pop them in.

You can add herbs and mire poix (fragrant veg like carrot, onion, celery, garlic), but if you leave it PLAIN you will have more options later. Like you can make some chicken soup, Thai curry, or chicken scallopini with the same stock if you leave it plain. Bird, Water, Salt, AC Vinegar.

Cook for one hour under pressure or three hours on a simmer.

Save the fat! It is call schmatz and some people have to pay for it, but you have some for free with your stock.

Classic GF Chocolate Chip Cookies – Thank you Bob’s Red Mill

  • 2 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour*
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda*
  • 1 tsp Salt*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Sugar*
  • 3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar*
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips*
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (optional)*

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well-blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Roll dough into balls, about two tablespoons each. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Move to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 36 cookies

Cost: about 19 cents per cookie

Credit: Bob’s Red Mill


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