Tag Archives: environmental

Getting started with Zero Waste–Giveaway

Hey there! Looking to add a few items to your waste-free arsenal? Tired of crummy plastic cling wrap? And those nasty plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfills? Well you can be one of 7 lucky winners of Bamboo Toothbrushes or Bee’s Sandwich and Kitchen Wraps, two products we LOVE!

We’re a group of Zero Waste Bloggers and thrilled to host this giveaway. You can enter to win between 5/11 and 5/22 and give your own zero waste lifestyle a kickstart.

My fellow Zero Waste Bloggers are:

Ashley with Whistle Pig Hollow
Kara with Kara goes green
Stephanie with Waste-Free PhD
Andrea with Near-O-Waste
Inge with Grunish

What is there to win?

One of four BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH 4-PACKs (Value $19.99 each, Product details)

StarterPack1

Or one of 3 Bee’s Sandwich Wraps (Value $10.00 each, Product details)

Sandwich1

How to enter?

  • Click the logo below
  • Tweet about the give away
  • Follow up to 5 Zero Waste Blogs

The more blogs you follow, the higher the chance to win.

zwb_giveaway

Terms & Conditions

Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected randomly and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that the blog you won a prize from is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Each sponsor is represented here with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly.

We will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary.

My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to the blog authors only. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Tips on eating out with less waste

I’ve encountered some perils and failures eating out since my lifestyle change.  While my boyfriend has (mostly) quietly accepted most of my madness, I think he would draw the line if I said no to eating out. I like eating out too, so I’m not partial to giving up on our restaurant date nights.

I never thought there would be a learning curve to eating out, but living less waste takes a bit of work. Here are my tips to help you avoid the challenges and failures I’ve encountered so far.

1.) Carry your own napkin if you’re opposed to paper waste.  Some restaurants have cloth napkins, others not. I found a set of 4 napkins for $1 at a thrift store.

2.) Get some cutlery, and chopsticks.  I went out for sushi with my sister and before I knew it, I had cracked open a pair of the single use chopsticks out of habit. At least they aren’t plastic and now I have a pair in my purse! If you’re broke you can almost always find silverware at a thrift store.  They’re also often sold at discount stores in singles. If you have some extra cash you can find portable sets on Amazon.

 3.) Ask for the dressing either on your salad when served, or specifically state you’d like the dressing in a small dish. Or this will happen to you

Hello Dixie! Plastic cup that is.

Hello Dixie! Plastic cup that is.

This particular restaurant and the one across the street side swiped me with these stupid single use cups. I don’t know if the owner’s talked together and decided these cups would be a great idea and save on dishes or what. By the end of this meal our cup tally due to my boyfriends extra sides of butter and such was four non recyclable single use Dixie cups.

4.) Skip the sandwich toothpicks. Even if your sandwich can’t hold itself together you’ll probably still manage to eat it. This picture is from the same restaurant with the Dixie cups. I thought I was clever and had diverted disaster by making sure the blue cheese for my sweet potato fries came in a bowl.

Floofy plastic tipped toothpicks are your enemy

Floofy plastic tipped toothpicks are your enemy

5.) Load up your leftovers fast! Bring your own container for any leftovers.  But more importantly get them off your plate before an especially attentive waitperson can set the customary Styrofoam container with accompanying plastic bag down. I’m not positive but I think once the container touches the table even if unused they have to throw it away. Or it gets left and the bus person dumps it.

6.) Request no straw. I’ve done this and have still ended up with a wrapped straw on my table. If you get one hand it back as I suspect if left on the table it gets thrown away when the bus person cleans up.

Please clue me in if you have any other tips I’m forgetting or haven’t encountered yet. I hate being surprised!

10 questions you always wanted to ask Zero Waste Bloggers

I was tagged to answer these questions by by Inge of http://gruenish.com/
The rules for the game put forth by Inge are: Answer 10 questions about your Zero Waste experiences and then tag 3 other Zero Waste Bloggers who will then answer and tag 3 ZWBloggers as well.

Ok I’m tagging:

Mailyne – https://adreamlivedgreener.wordpress.com
Katja – https://wenigerabfall.wordpress.com
Ashley – http://www.whistlepighollow.com

How / Why did you first start switching to a Zero Waste lifestyle?

My dad passed away from cancer in July 2014. As did his brother, and his father, and his Uncle. I started becoming much more health conscious. I don’t even remember what I ran across on the Internet first, plastic-free living or zero waste. They seem to be siblings or close cousins at the furthest. A culmination of health concerns and a love of nature spawned my revolution.

Since when are you pursuing a zero waste lifestyle?

I started out with more of a using less plastic mindset and it’s wandered into a less waste overall goal. I started eliminating certain things in December 2014. I still have a LONG way to go on getting waste under control. Seems the minute I think I have something cleaned up, 20 more things pop up!

What are some of your favorite ways to avoid trash?

I gave up the water bottles, uggghh what a mess they were! Gave up plastic bags (including produce bags), another mess. I think another huge one for me was restaurant to-go containers. My boyfriend and I eat out quite a bit and all those stupid Styrofoam and plastic containers really stacked up. I take my own containers now. I’ve learned you have to be fast though or else the wait staff will plop a container on your table before you can protest, and once it touches the table I think they usually just throw it away. I also used those stupid plastic flossers, I hate imagining how many of those I’m responsible for in landfills.
I’m really into strategic challenges. I love casting an eye into the future and calculating how certain actions will propel other events and actions. I get a kick out of something as small as my boyfriend skipping plastic bags and not because I’ve pressured or guilted him. Think of the change if we all took on small challenges!

Why do you have so much time to make all that stuff from scratch?

I skip a few Netflix episodes of something. Spend an hour less surfing or playing a stupid game on my phone. You wouldn’t think it but some of the things you don’t spend time doing anymore, aimless shopping, extra cleaning of your 500 unneeded items, taking out trash or separating it to recycle, leads to a balance in time. And certain things really don’t take super long to make. If you make a batch of something there’s generally enough left over to freeze for future meals, especially if you’re single. Making deodorant takes less time than it takes to walk 20 aisles in a store to find it, not to mention maneuvering around the shopping cart traffic lol.

How much garbage do you / does your family produce per week?

It varies. I’m still throwing out about a ¾ of a small can a week. Most of it is food scraps that I can’t throw in my green bin or reuse somehow. Unfortunately I’m not able to compost. I’m still eliminating things. I also have medical condition(s) that generates some trash.

Must be expensive to cook from scratch. Are you rich?

Ahahhahahaha, I live very close to the poverty line speaking honestly. The farmer’s market isn’t too much more pricey than the grocery store produce. Those small bags of premixed salad greens are more expensive than what I spend on getting a head of romaine, arugula, kale, and celery. And that usually costs me about $4, and it gives me a ton of salads. I can get a pound of walnuts for $2, I can rarely afford them in grocery stores. Being mindful of what I’m wasting has led to savings on my grocery budget. I wasted a ton of food before. I’m not able to afford most organic foods.

What were the hardest things to give up?

Uhhh I’m still working on some things I’m having a REALLY hard time letting go, but that’s another blog post.
I miss convenience foods as I’ve never been a big cooker. I also miss underarm deodorant. And tampons!! (Read previous post for details). I can’t really think of anything else that’s been a huge tragedy to lose.

What are your compromise items (not zero waste but you still buy them)?

Milk, cheese, bread, and one package of about 8 chicken breasts that lasts me a month. Gum (a whole other blog post lol). Sometimes I buy bulk items that may have plastic on them to cut out 10 other plastic items in the future. As one blogger put it, using plastic to cut plastic.

What are your favorite Zero Waste Blogs?

Oh gosh there’s really too many good blogs out there! Each person has some unique advice or experiences I find either helpful or amusing.
When I kicked off my quest I spent a lot of time on Beth Terry’s blog, http://myplasticfreelife.com/
The http://zerowastechef.com/ has a ton of advice on combating food waste that’s helped me.

What’s one random fun fact about you?

I lived in a bit of a bad area in 1994. I had a beat up 1980 Toyota Corolla that people kept trying to steal for some unknown reason. My neighbor caught thieves in the car after they had pulled my whole ignition out which led to me having to start my car with a flathead screwdriver. I also pulled the coil wire off the distributor cap to act as a crude car alarm. So my purse often contained a screwdriver and coil wire. The goofy thing is that the thieves continued to try to steal my car; I’d find it pushed into the alleyway every now and then. Guess they were trying to pop the clutch?

Documentaries and such

Hey there everyone! I thought it be a good idea to add any documentaries we may have seen. This can include Ted talks and other types of discussions also. Anything pertaining to plastic-less, zero waste, and any other green living stuff.

1.) Plastic Paradise: the great Pacific garbage patch. The title says it all. Goes through learning about what plastic is made of and various aspects of it. Gets down to the nitty-gritty of the direct effect of plastic on us, and animals. Available on Netflix and I found it on YouTube.

2.) Addicted to Plastic- Discusses the beginnings of plastics, and goes over new bioplastics. Available on Netflix and YouTube.

3.) Plasticized- The 5 gyres institute goes on a scientific expedition through the gyres. Available on YouTube.

4) Beth Terry on TEDx Great Pacific garbage patch

5) And I just have to add this one:

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Don’t forget to add anything good that you’ve watched (or read) and want to share with others!


The supplies are in

I ordered some things awhile ago to get this plastic-less party on the road.  I decided to get some reusable produce bags to use for the bulk bins as bringing in outside containers isn’t allowed, I’ve just been flying under the radar. I worry that having so many jars will call that much more attention to me, so I’m going to be using these. They did come in plastic sleeves though. But it’s using plastic to cut plastic.  I also got my new safety razor. Pretty good I must say. I was worried while shaving my legs but no, it actually works great.

I’ve been using my deodorant concoction of coconut oil, neem powder, and baking soda and it’s going well.  It’s still strange feeling moisture under my arms though.

This is month two of dealing with the menstrual cup and yeah wow I kinda wish I could light it on fire and perform a jubilant dance in honor of its passing. I’ll keep at it though as there isn’t a suitable alternative really.

Unfortunately I had to order jeans online. I have one pair of jeans and I have a hole on the inner thigh, I have fat thighs ok! I tried patching it and it wouldn’t stay. I didn’t find anything at our thrift store, so caved and ordered them. The first pair has already arrived and was wrapped in a plastic bag and in another bag arrrghhh. At least I keep most of my jeans until they die so I’m trying not to feel to guilty about the purchase.

Challenging

I haven’t been doing so well on reducing the plastic this last week. Yesterday it was Chinese food in Styrofoam, I did manage to refuse all the soy  sauce packets, fork, and napkin.  The cashier lady did sneak a fortune cookie past me though.  Today it was makeup products. My foundation had run dry, and my eyeliner. And I bought the remaining two Bonne Bell Lip Smackers Dr.Pepper chapstick the store had left in stock (they’re discontinued). No bag though, yay! My boyfriend left some plastic wrapped snacks here that I ended up eating, even though I didn’t buy them I feel responsible for them as I snarfed them down.

Does anyone know of any affordable environmentally friendly makeup options? The foundation would have to be under $15. I have rosacea and am older so I don’t feel it’s something I want to do without. I’ve heard of letting a candle burn under a spoon, scraping that off and mixing with a little coconut oil for eyeliner, so I’ll begin experimenting with that. I’ve been experimenting with the homemade deodorant again. I was just using coconut oil with a bit of baking soda dashed over it, but developed irritation. I found some neem powder that I’m going to mix into my next experiment with making deodorant. It is green powder so I’m a bit concerned haha.

Onto my achievement now! After shopping around and reading reviews I decided on this bamboo toothbrush.

20150225_151754

So far so good, works great! I really hope that plastic-free items become more affordable in the future. I think it would be a large challenge to convince the average plastic consuming consumer to pay $10 for 2 toothbrushes when you can get a 6 pack of plastic Colgate toothbrushes for $6.  If anyone has any budget friendly alternatives for plastic-free commonly used items, please post!