All posts filed under: Living Low Waste

Project 333

My aim for this year is to simplify my (our) life and own less. I think my behaviour as a consumer has changed already, but to step away further from consumerism I am going to try not to buy anything new when I need to replace something. Taking part in a wardrobe challenge will help me to stay away from buying clothes even if they are second hand. I don’t tend to buy much, but this challenge will minimize that even more and will push me closer to the overall aim to living with less. You may have heard of the expression “capsule wardrobe” and that minimalist tend to have a very small wardrobe. I am fascinated by the idea of owning less clothes. I don’t really like doing laundry and folding clothes is an especially  hard one for me.  I hope that with owning less I will have to maintain less too. I decided that I am going to take part in the challenge called Project 333, where you have a set of 33 …

The end of the first year of Zero Waste Living

As this is the last day of the year, I think it is appropriate to do a little bit of reflection on the year 2016 regarding our Zero Waste efforts. When we started we did not think that we would go hard core on Zero Waste, we just decided to do a ‘little bit’. But then we started seeing waste and plastic everywhere and searched for and found zero waste alternatives for almost everything. Researching zero waste produce and items in the beginning was time consuming. Now we know what we buy and where, it became our new routine and are new normal. Eg: not leaving the house without a cloth produce bag and shopping bag, in case I see something I want to buy, or pick up a bread roll on the go. I thought I would never use homemade deodorant or mouthwash; vinegar to clean the windows and mirrors. Now, I would not like to use the ones from a normal supermarket anymore. If we have to buy something ready made like dishwasher …

Wardrobe simplified

I have been meaning to write a post about my wardrobe, or the content of it, and how I’m consciously trying to reduce the number of clothing items I own. I have been reading blog posts and books about living with less and simplifying for the last while. I realized that I too experience what they call “decision fatigue”. I wanted to change this. We started decluttering our house approximately 2 years ago and I have been through 3-4 bigger decluttering sessions, only in my wardrobe. It was crazy. And I don’t even consider having had a huge wardrobe. I know people who own a lot more clothes than I do. Now it is different. I think now I have enough pieces to wear an outfit on a normal day, and I have some occasion wear (very few). These are my hanging pieces. I still think this could be further reduced, but at the moment I am not going to. Almost half of these pieces are either maternity or a few sizes bigger than I am …

What a busy month

August was a crazy busy month. Really. A few people from the Zero Waste Ireland Facebook Group got together and we organised some events for the upcoming Zero Waste Week. You can check out the events listing here There are going to be informative talks, film screening and to kick the whole week off we will start with a coffee morning. It is going to be fun! We purchased a very nice, stainless steel bokashi bin and started to put things in it. This meant, that we could now unsubscribe from the waste collection services (another bill down!!) If you want to know more about bokashi bins and how to reduce food waste check out Stop Food Waste Website. It is full of great information. One more on the food waste front Olio was launched in Ireland too and now people can share their surplus food through the Olio app. I will be back with more info on this, but in the meantime you could download the app and see how it works. As it …

Plastic Free July …the weighing in

This is just a quick post to report on how much waste we produced in the month of July. I have weighed and counted all items. You might think I have too much time on my hand to sort and weigh all the rubbish  but my aim is to be able to look back and see how much we actually produce and also I am hoping to be able to host some talks on reduced waste- waste free living, so I need some numbers to show people what is possible. We had to buy a few new things in July so they came in some packaging. I hope that this is not going to be a regular occurrence. We bought a new lawn mower and a shelving unit for making a pantry. There are no pantries in these housing estate houses which is a shame, so we reserved a corner of the office to keep all our preserved food in a shelving unit (it has a door) I was searching online for weeks to see …

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 …

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 …

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 …