September

March. It seems incomprehensible to me that six months have passed since my last post. Life rockets along at break-neck speed; a cacophony of events which tumble me in and out of overwhelm. Clients, writing, twice daily dog-walking, family, teaching prep and teaching. A rich and satisfying life.

I endeavor to be mindful of my zero waste project. I purchase glass containers when they’re on sale and have resisted buying cling film and tin foil. We become so accustomed to reach for certain products. It’s been a huge learning for me. I have a massive hate for plastic. For a start, I wish to see the elimination of plastic shopping bags. The wretched stuff is everywhere.

Tia and Harold lie snoozing by my feet. They bring me immense joy. They ground me. Unconditional love helps me through those challenging days.

Tia & HaroldWith loving and warmth,

Brin

Little update

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The zero waste project continues to challenge me. Despite carrying cloth bags and other forms of containers with me when I go shopping, products are inevitably packaged in something wasteful.

I have reduced plastic containers in my kitchen and home by replacing them with glass containers or mesh bags. When baking and cooking, I use parchment paper to line my pans.

I find toothpaste and body wash the easiest healthcare products to replicate. I’ve adapted to them easily. I admit however, that after two months of using baking soda in a water solution as hair wash, and apple cider vinegar in solution with water as a hair rinse, the results were such that I caved in and reverted to shampoo. That was no easy decision.

We grow up used to the feel, smell, and suds of shampoo. Though my hair and scalp finally found its natural balance of oils, it was a long haul. I could not get used to the feel of my hair. Put simply, I didn’t like the feel of my hair, nor the way it looked. And, I imagine, I’ll try again using something else. In the meantime, I have found a supplier who will refill my shampoo container.

It’s an interesting journey. One I won’t give up on. I continue to learn and adapt. In time this will be a comfortable and familiar way of life.

Our society isn’t set up for zero waste. I wish it was. I will continue to do my part by asking in shops if they will refill my bottles and let me use my containers.

The word of the month seems to be: Adapt. 😀

One month in.

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This is a project with teeth. I knew the switch to a less wasteful lifestyle would be a challenge. “Old habits die hard” comes to mind.

My biggest lesson is becoming conscious of how I shop. I am not finding it easy.

Our world is packaged. Everything is packaged. To be honest, I’m horrified at how things are packaged. My dislike for plastic has intensified – it’s everywhere.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve found a shop which sells olive oil in bulk. I can take my bottle there to be refilled. I have a variety of cloth bags which I’m using to hold produce and bulk items. Remembering to take these bags with me is becoming more familiar, and hopefully, will become a habit.

As a carnivore, I’m still dodging around the way meat and fish are packaged. There is one shop, a ferry ride away, which packages red meat and seafood the old-fashioned way, in brown paper. I’ve found a local supplier of poultry who also uses brown paper. Progress is slow, but being made none-the-less.

I’ve had some entertaining conversations with a friend. She buys coffee in bulk. I, in turn, buy my coffee from her. We are trying to figure out the moral ramifications of the reduction of my waste, but by purchasing from her, am I increasing hers? She buys bulk apple cider vinegar and has offered to replenish my bottle whenever I run low, but again, does this solve anything? I believe there is a local apple cider estate not too far away which sells vinegar. I’ve emailed them inquiring if I can fill a bottle from them.

Shopping mindfully, it seems, takes thought, and time.

The snacks I’m used to eating, even the healthy ones, are packaged. Switching to snack items which can be found in bulk bins is an interesting learning. There’s a pea-pod snack I like, but it obviously can’t be found in the bulk bin. By necessity, my tastes must change.

I’ve switched over to home-made body wash, toothpaste, shampoo and rinse. There’s a big one – shampoo. Initially, the soda shampoo and apple-cider vinegar rinse made my hair feel soft and silky. Blog posts I’ve read advise after a lifetime of using commercial shampoos, it can take anywhere from two to four weeks for the natural oils in my hair to sort themselves out. I don’t think my hair looks any different, in fact, I think it has more body, but, it feels different. Ugh. All I can say is I hope my hair settles down quickly.

I’m learning I have expectations of how things should work. I need to let go of that, and take the pressure off myself. I’ve only been at this a month. It will come.

Zero waste

I’m ready to cover my food with locally made beeswax wraps, I’m collecting an assortment of glass jars for storage and despite my loathing of plastic, I am using plastic containers to hold my body wash, shampoo and rinse. My idea of a good time isn’t stepping on glass if the container were to break in the shower. When I come up with a different solution, I’ll switch.

My wish for 2015? That I may continue to tread ever more lightly upon the earth.

Been a long time! Little update.

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Well, it’s been a long time since my last post. Tia, Harold and I are older but we’re putzing along in grand fashion. I hope to update my writing and reflexology blogs as well – even if it’s a paragraph or two.

There are several notable changes in my life, but for the purposes of this website, it is a lifestyle change. On November 25th, I challenged myself to embrace Zero Waste. I’ve given myself a year to reduce the amount of garbage I produce as much as possible.

That means changing how I store and buy items – all household items, not just food. I’ll use net bags for produce, glass containers and jars for bulk items, and buy bulk as much as possible. No more packaged items. It’s going to be interesting – and challenging to take containers to the grocery store. In fact, I will probably phone ahead to make sure that I can buy, say, bulk garbanzo beans and have them in a mesh bag instead of a plastic bag, or, buy bulk olives but put them in a glass jar rather than one of the plastic containers usually used. I have also sourced out local meat producers who still wrap in brown paper because I don’t want the plastic tray or cling wrap from that style of packaging.

I’ve found a local shop which has Greek olive oil on tap. Here’s a pic of my nifty new storage containers! And, I’ve found a local woman who makes bee’s wax and cotton food storage wrap. I’m picking them up from her tomorrow morning. So, no more cling film, no more aluminum foil, no more wax paper. Once the boxes I have are finished, they won’t be replaced. I will possibly use parchment paper as it’s compostable.

Olive oil

Olive oil

I finished the bottle of Neutrogena Rain Bath body wash yesterday; a product which I’ve used for years. So, this morning I made body wash. I think it was a success. Physically, I will have to adapt to change as well. Deodorant, toothpaste, all these things will no longer be store-bought and will be home-made.

I’m not sure how often I’ll post, but I hope to use this page as a journal of sorts to post my progress, musings, and photos.

I’ll add links to the Zero Waste Links page as I come across them.

Let the journey begin!