Author: Timi

Eco-friendly, reduced waste summer holiday

We wanted to go on holidays, somewhere hot and sunny. From Ireland Mallorca seemed a good choice, as it is not too far by plane and the weather is really really nice. We chose a place called Agroturismo Can Patro, which was perfectly quiet and hidden away from the busy touristy spots. This place is near to a town called Manacor, which is the second largest after the capital, Palma. (And of course many sceptics would tell me that flying is not eco friendly at all, and I do know that, but let’s be realistic we are not going to stay in Ireland all the time just because it’s not eco friendly.) What we really liked about Can Patro that there was no air-con in the apartment, nor there was towel changing and cleaning. It is fine to use the same towel for a week and I had no problem using a brush that was provided a few times while we were there. Can Patro is a working farm, we were able to go and …

Make your own, grow your own – part 2

Hi everyone, I am back with part two of this mini series (sounds serious 🙂 ). I am not a great gardener. I don’t know much about growing veg and fruits, but I decided that I would educate myself on this topic and give this a go. So I went to the local library a few times and gathered some books on growing vegetables, fruits and herbs. It took a few trials by the time I found a book that suited me and the way I needed information.  I chose this book and kept renewing my loan till I decided it was time to own the book. I could not find it second hand, so I ordered a new one. It is called: The organic Vegetable Gardener by Yvonne Cuthbertson. And then we had a plan of how we want to organise our little garden to fit all of the plants we wanted to grow. The approach I wanted to take is to grow fruit and veg that doesn’t come without packaging. Here’s a list …

Make your own and grow your own part 1

There are things in life that we all like/love but they don’t usually come without packaging or in recyclable packaging (but you know recycling is not the solution). One of these things is Nutella. There is a few problems with it: 1. full of sugar, 2. contains palm oil, 3. the packaging. So we decided to make our own. I found a great recipe from the Minimalist Baker. Then I needed to find hazelnuts in bulk or without packaging. That was a bit of a quest but finally I managed to get in touch with a company that sells nuts in bulk. They are called Nuts in Bulk. The owner of the business was kind enough to let me visit them at their business site and fill my jars with nuts. I bought a whole lot of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, papaya, pistachios, and quinoa. Then I needed  a strong food processor. The one we had was at the end of it’s life and I was lucky to find some hidden money in a dvd case in …

Sorting out the rubbish

I haven’t been here for a while, but now that little M is asleep, I try and write up a quick post on how we are doing. The amount of rubbish we produce has significantly decreased. So much that I decided to rearrange our bins under the sink. Before we had three: one for recyclables, one refuse waste and one compost. This has changed into a new layout like this below: The small white container is for refuse waste. Unfortunately there are pieces of plastic, receipts and stickers that you cannot avoid, so they all go in this bin. I got into the habit to refuse a receipt at the till but it’s not always possible. Then we have one container for paper and cardboard. At the moment I put some recyclable plastic in it too, but I expect these to reduce to a very minimum. There’s one container for glass and another one for tetra-pack. We buy milk in tetra-pack, so that goes in there. I did this arrangement to line up with our …

Traveling to London

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while, but we were travelling to surprise a friend, so I couldn’t. Going away for three days with only hand luggage for two adult and a baby (in cloth diapers). Challenge accepted!! I wanted to eliminate the unnecessary things as much as possible. So we did not take a buggy. Little M is happy to be carried around in our soft structured carrier (Kibi), so that was no brainer. I packed very little clothes for Little M: 1 pair trousers, 3 vest, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, 1 cardigan, 1 all-in-one pyjama, 1 pair of socks. He was wearing one pair of trousers, vest, long sleeve t-shirt, jacket, hat and bandana bib. And baby boots. Other than this, I had two muslin cloths, washcloth, a small bar of baby soap, diaper cream, a small changing mat, 3 books and 4 small toys. And of course cloth nappies. 20 nappies, two large wet-bag and two small wetbags. I wasn’t sure how many wet-bags I really needed, so …

almost two months since we started…

and we are still happy with our zero waste journey. We have been working (eating) through our cupboard staples in non-recyclable packaging and during this I realized that we store some items that we bought, used once and then never used it again. I think simplifying our culinary adventures would be a good idea in terms of reducing food waste. So now when something is finished I will only replace it with a quick thinking through. For example, there is no need for us to have 3 different types of rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, couscous and polenta. Most of these foods we eat with stew type of dishes. So it should be fine to have brown rice and couscous, in the cupboard. And when one of these is finished, then buy something else like quinoa. This way it is easier to see what we have and we can also make sure that we don’t bin out-of-date food. The fact that these foods are relatively cheap and readily available in most shops, makes us feel that …

Cloth diapering (Long Post!!)

This post is going to look at cloth diapering, how we do it. Every family is different, every baby is different, so that is something we all need to keep in mind. Something that works for us not necessarily would work for others. Most people when they hear about cloth nappies they think about terry cloths and safety pins, leaking poop…things that were common with cloth nappies years ago. Modern cloth nappies are very user friendly and a lot prettier than their predecessors. This is our beautiful stash of cloth nappies, minus one that he was wearing when I took the photo. That guy sitting next to the nappies is Mr. Rainbow Pants, guardian of all nappies 🙂 We started transitioning to cloth about two month ago. Started with a  loan from the Cloth Nappy Library. It is a great deal: you get 10 nappies for 2 weeks to try out for €25 including postage. There are different types and brands in the loan, so you can see what you like. I was drawn to …

Learning new skills

I’m back again to report on our progress towards zero waste. I finished my last post with saying that I was preparing something “ambitious”. Yes, it was ambitious but not too successful. I wrote a letter to one of the biggest supermarket chain requesting them to let us (zero waste followers) use our glass containers. Their answer was a categorically no!! They are concerned about some hygiene issues that are not even real. Funny enough they are quite proactive and sell growlers of beer, where you take home the growler, drink the beer, wash the glass bottle and bring it back for refill. Probably my understanding is impaired, but I thought this would be the exact same concept when I want to use my own glass jar. Whatever!! Then next, I managed to figure where to buy cheese without packaging. Now that is a biggie. I love cheese and we want to eat cheese on homemade pizza, pasta, quesadillas etc… Big thumbs up for the local Polish shop Mroz. The owner, Peter said: sure, whenever …

How are we doing so far?

yes, we are doing well, I think. I can see the reduction of the amount of rubbish that we throw in the bin. I have also learnt a lot in this last one month. Eg: plastic is not just plastic and paper is not just paper. You can not throw everything in the recycle bin as you wish. This last week I was focused on our clothes and our wardrobe. Last year we did a great decluttering after reading the Konmari method, but I still had things lying around that did not sparkle joy. So I filled up another big blue IKEA bag and off I went with those clothes to the charity shop. I feel really inspired about those capsule wardrobes that I see other zero wasters keep. NO, probably I wouldn’t be ok with only a capsule wardrobe, but I’m thinking about reorganising my wardrobe to make it more efficient, if I can use that word for wardrobe 🙂 So I got two really nice pieces on adverts, for €7 and €5, which …

Week 3

Lots of happenings in the last one week. Still going strong with the intention and practice to reduce waste as much as possible. Last week I was very busy in the kitchen. I want to reduce the content of our cupboard. A clear and simple looking cupboard is great, because is does not only look great but also you can see what you have and less items will pass their best before date, therefore you will have to throw out less.   This is one of our cupboards. Most things are in glass containers. We still have some plastic ones, I only kept the BPA free ones. Maybe at another stage I will phase these out too. But not now. I made some tags to go on the jars using an envelope. Great that the tax office sends their stuff in recycled paper envelopes.   I decided that for the next weeks we will eat from the cupboard. Of course I am going to buy fresh veg and meat, but we will try and use …