p.wm Bread

Being a terrible little hipster, I have spent quite a bit of time over the past three years thinking about ways to reduce the amount of waste I generate above all in the kitchen. But sometimes it is tricky to see if the DIY method actually accomplishes this goal. So what else to do than quantify the objects in question? Commence Project: Waste Measure.

My long hot-and-cold relationship to bread and its baking seemed like a good initial candidate; shout out to Budget Bytes for this easy recipe that seduced my slothlike nature. Simple ingredients, next to no work. I had been buying two to three loaves of basic bread at the Panishop (teehee) down the calle, spending two to three euros accordingly. Cheap, and just a waxed brown paper bag left over. But can we do better?

Before delving into the nitty gritty, I guess it is a good idea to set some standards. For this question, the packaging types lend to comparing square dimensions. But it would miss the point to just compare those numbers: I’ll consider the times necessary for the different waste components to decompose as well as their recyclability. I’ll estimate a cost comparison as well. However, the transport and other energy expended on each product before reaching me goes beyond the depth of research I care to perform, so I’ll also leave out the energy (electrical, labor, etc.) performed on my part too. And for you sticklers: this is not a controlled, highly precise investigation. Just a curious look!


Store-bought bread

  • 1550 cm² waxed paper per loaf
  • Decomp: compared to similar waxed milk cartons, estimated 3 months
  • 0.90€ per loaf


Homemade bread

  • Flour
    • Package: 940 cm² heavy paper
    • Four loaves per bag: 235 cm² per loaf
    • Decomp: 1 month
    • about 1€ per bag, 0.25€ per loaf
  • Yeast (cardboard)
    • Package: 340 cm² cardboard
    • Ten loaves per bag: 34 cm² per loaf
    • Decomp: 2 months
    • 1.50€ per box, 0.15€ per loaf
  • Yeast (foil)
    • Package: 125 cm² foil
    • Ten loaves per bag: 12.5 cm² per loaf
  • Salt
    • Package (1 kilo): 900 cm² plastic sheet
    • 15 grams per loaf: 13.5 cm² per loaf
    • Decomp: 10 years
    • 0.50€ per bag, less than 1 cent per loaf
  • Cornmeal
    • Package (1 kilo): 900 cm² plastic sheet
    • 15 grams per loaf: 13.5 cm² per loaf
    • Decomp: 10 years
    • 2.50€ per bag; less than 4 cents per loaf

Total packaging area per loaf: 308.5  cm² per loaf

Sooo one loaf of homemade bread takes about 20% of the amount of packaging as one store-bought loaf! I honestly didn’t expect that great a difference in that arena, given the variety of materials needed. But what about the other points of comparison?

The plastic packaging of the salt and cornmeal certainly outlives the wax paper of the bags, but because so little of these ingredients is used per loaf, perhaps it outweighs the cumulative square meters of Panishop bags. The price winner was also the homemade loaf, at 45 cents.



Broken promises

So the resolutions outlined in December haven’t exactly panned out: BandHub was a technological no-go, Twitter is a pain, grad school is looking bleak, and my reading list is decidedly distracted. I have resumed sumi-e, a foray into Japanese painting, and I have made the esfuerzo to go to some language exchanges. The cocktail blog goes swimmingly!

But winter moves like a slug in a freezer. Project ideas burst forth like popped corn, only to burn unattended in the pan. So with a vague promise of spring in the air today, I set forth the lofty goal (a new promise to break) of starting a serialized recipe-fiction-catharsis back here this week. I’d ultimately like this to spin into its own life, a fanzine of sorts with contributions and the like. Will see if I can get Chapter One off the ground first…

W52: ends and beginnings

After a year of rather faithfully keeping up this blog, despite vacations and work, I have to conclude that dedicating yourself to one small thing a day really helps get to larger goals. Because I started with such fuzzy focus, it has also helped sharpen my focus as different projects cross my path. This particular blog has dissipated into several projects, including grad plans that can’t be included directly. I’d like to carry some elements into the next year while dropping some, namely the notebooks. I will continue with papermaking, but no one wants notebooks, sadly.

MONDAY     I have just been invited, coincidentally, to Bandhub. I never heard of it before, and it coincides nicely with my renewed promise to self to return to music this year. I was struggling to decide between drums and guitar/bass basics, but with this I will throw a few drum tracks around and see how it goes, both in terms of external and internal response.

TUESDAY     Haikus have been a rewarding way to capture moments in text. I will study haiku more beyond the syllable form and will decide to put one daily or weekly on Twitter (@rendon1120), as is sustainable. In addition to waking life, I want to capture dreams more.

WEDNESDAY     As a hopeful nod towards grad school, I will access the Alumni library for the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and the International Journal of Iberian Studies. Short write-ups on what I read will follow (en español, ¡joder!).

THURSDAY     Weekly changes to the site shouldn’t be needed once it is totally off the ground, but I will aim to add one “seed” per month.

FRIDAY     Language posts here didn’t work for me, but I will continue with daily Duolingo and lessons in French and Portuguese. My main goal is to participate in more language exchanges and revamp my Arabic studies. Reading one news article each morning should be a priority, perhaps in just one language rather than several. I also want to force myself to listen to more non-English music.

SATURDAY     No more notebooks! They are cute but useless. Free day to tackle my reading list, primarily Capital  vol 1 and Don Quixote. I also want to learn one new cocktail a week, the weekend seems the best time to do it!

SUNDAY     In conjunction with Tuesday, I want to sketch freely more. One watercolor a week seems reasonable, and I am toying with the idea of taking a class.

F52: “De la Jeune Dame Qui A Vieil Mary”

En languissant et en grefve tristesse
Vit las mon cueur, jadis plein de liesse,          joy
Puis que l’on m’a donné mary vieillard.
Hélas, pourquoy ? Rien ne sçait du vieil art
Qu’apprend Vénus, l’amoureuse deesse.

Par un désir de monstrer ma prouesse
Souvent l’assaulx : mais il demande : ” où est-ce ? “,
ou dort peult estre, et mon cueur veille à part
En languissant.

Puis quand je veux lui jouer de finesse,          cheat
Honte me dict : ” Cesse, ma fille, cesse,
Garde-t’en bien, à honneur prens esgard. ”
Lors je réponds : ” Honte, allez à l’escart :         go away
Je ne veulx pas perdre ainsi ma jeunesse
En languissant. ”