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back after a break…long post

This blog has bee quiet since we came back from our holidays, but we did not give up on our zero waste efforts. There were lots of things happening in the background. Maybe that is the reason why I was away from the blog. However, I have kept documenting our zw journey on Instagram.

So let’s see what we have been up to.

Most of our activity is focused on our kitchen and food: growing, preserving making and eating.

Our garden is a half a success. We managed to grow some peas, strawberries and the blueberries are just ripening now. We did not do so well with spinach, radish and carrots. Three of our herbs also got infected with rust (fungal stuff), so they need to be thrown out or burnt.

Look at all the peas. So far I have put about 500g (without pods) in the freezer and there lots more on the plants.

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We also got invited to two friends’ houses and gardens to pick berries as they were unable to pick and eat or preserve them anymore, and they didn’t want the berries to go to waste. Which was just the thing we needed. Lot of fruit without plastic!

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I have received my canning machine and purchased jars from a glass jar wholesaler so I could preserve the berries and other fruit and veg.

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I also got a stainless steel funnel, hopefully this will serve me for many years to come.

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And these are the canning projects in pictures:

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Red and black currant sauces and dilute drinks

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Pizza sauce in the making

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Cherries in jar

We will be so happy in the winter when I can make a cake with the fruits that we preserved and will not have to buy frozen fruit in plastic etc…

Some of the other foodie thing that I tried lately:

Home made Oreos: The recipe is from Momables and it is so tasty

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I keep making this flatbread to go with curry:

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No special recipe here, just flour, water, herbs salt and baking powder (or I use self raising flower). Quick and delicious, better than the shop bought stuff in plastic and we know what is in it.

I also tried to make tacos. They did not turn crispy as I expected them, but were nice to eat anyhow.

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At the end of June I weighted the rubbish that we produced in the month of June (except the rubbish we made while on holiday).

I poured the little container on the kitchen floor and separated the items.

I found that there were lots of receipt, cloths labels, random plastic bits from pre zw purchases, luggage labels, other plastic bags and bits and envelope and pasta box windows. We have done a big clearing out in the office which created lots of plastic window, so hopefully next month there will be less windows.

Altogether it weighted 140g. We were very pleased with this result.

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Here is a picture of our recycling drawer too:

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This is the recycling rubbish that we collected in June, except one bag of paper that I could not fit into the bin that we cleared out from the office. Also they had to be shredded, because some of the had sensitive data on them. There are still many items in there that were purchased before we stepped on our zw journey. Hopefully these will clear out soon. Some people say that it can take years. Some say that they had been on the journey for a few years and they still kept finding stuff around; stuff that they would not buy anymore.

I have to admit that this time I did not bring the mixed recyclables to the recycling centre, but poured them into our green bin. I did bring the tetrapack, glass and metal though. We do want to change from this routine to bringing everything to the recycling centre (once a month), because we are hoping/going to cancel the bin services in the autumn.

At the start of July I signed up for the Plastic Free July Challenge. In the challenge you can choose to give up the 4 most common plastics: straws, plastic bags, take away cups and water bottle. We haven’t been buying any of these for a good while now, so that would not have been a challenge for us, so we went with as minimal plastic as possible in all areas of our life. Now this is not easy at all. But we are doing ok, I think. I will report back next week.

Yogurt pots were one of the plastics that we were still buying, only Β a few pots a month but they were still there. I gathered all my courage and started to make our own yogurt and now I don’t know why I waited so long. It would be even better if we could buy the milk in glass bottles instead of the tetrapack, but as it is impossible in Ireland, we will just stay with this now.

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I used Wellness Mamas recipe to make my yogurt in the oven and it was really easy. I did strain the last batch and it was very nice and creamy like that. And it didn’t take much time at all.

We did a few nice purchases too. We needed a new lawn mower, so we got a push mower. It is great, no electricity is used and it hasn’t got that many parts that can break, so hopefully it will be with us for long.

I also got some pre-loved clothes from adverts.ie and I am in the habit now to ask the seller to wrap my package in brown paper or reuse a paper shopping bag. It works well and no plastic!

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On the activism front I have started volunteering with the Cloth Nappy LibraryΒ and had my very first Cloth Nappy event (Nappuchino) and there were a good few participants. I am going to hold one monthly from now on.

To mark the start of Plastic Free July, I organised a coffee morning in our hose and invited a few people from the Zero waste group and some other non-zwers. I was a busy morning but it gave me a little push to try and organise some more events like this. So now I am looking into organising a talk with the local library. Hopefully they will be on board.

As I said in the beginning of this post that we are very busy lately. Now you can see πŸ™‚

I will keep writing a bit more often (let’s see how that goes) to report back on our process.

And don’t forget you can do a bit too, with refusing a plastic straw or with bringing your own cloth bag to the shops πŸ˜‰

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your achievements in moving closer towards zero free waste. The point at which one moves from buying products packaged in plastic to making the decision that this is no longer desirable is almost revelatory. When I look through our pantry I find myself almost shocked that I have bought so many things in the past without a thought about how they have been produced, packaged and transported, and what will happen to the packaging once the product is used. I think it will take me some time to work through all of those items!
    Your new canning equipment looks very handy and the result of your preserving is very impressive. Will you preserve things in cans as well?

    Like

    • timikonya says

      Hi, thanks for your comment. This journey is a great experience on all levels: Physical, cognitive and emotional. It is full of learning too.
      I’m not sure how to use cans with the machine, or if it is possible at all. I use twist cap jars. They are easy to clean and I can see what is in the jar too.

      Like

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