A couple of weeks ago Alison from Dancing Green tagged me to complete the Zero Waste Tag (started by Christine
from Snapshots of Simplicity) and today I finally found the time to do it!
P.s. Sorry Alison for taking so long <3
So let's get started!
What got you started?
The first time I read about the Zero Waste movement was about one year ago when I read an article about Lauren Singer from Trash is for Tossers, and I remember thinking "wow this is so cool, I wish I was like her too", and the thing ended there.
In February, while I was stuck at home because of a bad flu, I found another article regarding Lauren Singer and decided that I wanted to know a little more about it! I then spent the following days googling every possible information that I could find about the subject, I watched plenty of videos on YouTube and started following a few Zero Wasters on Instagram.
I was so excited because it actually seemed possible! So as soon as I got better I bought some cornstarch, baking soda and a couple of essential oils and together with some coconut oil and shea butter I did my first DIY toothpaste and deodorant (taking the recipes from Trash is for Tossers' YouTube channel )
My very first DIY dentifricio e deodorante (toothpaste and deodorant). Published on February 28th 2016 on my personal Instagram account
Most memorable moment?
Probably when I was on the beach in Rio de Janeiro this summer and asked for a coconut water without straw. At first the guy looked at me like if I was crazy and then he tried to explain to me that I didn't have to pay for it and that I couldn't drink from the coconut without it. I showed him my reusable stainless steel straw and explained that I didn't want to use plastic ones because I wanted to avoid the waste and he said that it was amazing and asked me a tons of questions on why, how etc
Oh and all of it happened in a mix of Italian,Portuguese and English haha
I was so happy that he actually cared about why and that he liked the idea!!
Coconut water with stainless steel straw in Rio de Janeiro
Favourite bulk purchase?
Mmmh I wouldn't say that I have a favourite one but the ones that I was most excited about finding in bulk were probably gluten flour, unwrapped Aleppo soap and pasta.
The gluten flour because I use it to make homemade seitan (well "used" because here in Cambridge there is no bulk store). I'm an "omnivore" but I try to eat vegetarian and vegan as much as possible because of the huge impact that our crazy consumption of meat and dairy products have on the environment and its resources. I usually don't eat "meat alternatives", both because I don't like them much and because they always come in a lot of plastic. But making my own seitan meant being able to influence its taste and consistency!
The Aleppo soap is amazing, it's great for your skin, it's natural and pretty inexpensive! I use it to wash my face, hands and body, I also use it with my second-hand Clarisonic instead of the detergent that I used before going Zero waste and sometimes I even use it to hand-wash my clothes.
Regarding the pasta the explanation is pretty straight forward..I'm Italian! And yes it is true that we eat pasta almost everyday haha But come on it's so easy to make and you can eat it with almost anything! Anyway it used to be pretty easy to find pasta packed with just cardboard but now with the new plastic-windows trend it has become impossible!
My first bulk grocery shopping at Negozio Leggero
Most recommended zero waste item?
Okay this is a hard one so I am going to answer in three different ways:
If I had to recommend just one item I would probably go with jars! They can be used for almost anything! You can use them as water bottles, reusable tea/coffe/smoothies cups, reusable beer glasses (instead of the plastic ones), as lunch boxes and of course to buy in bulk! My favourite ones are wide mouth mason jars because they're airtight and freezer-safe.
If instead I had to talk about the zero waste items that I love the most they would definitely be my Klean Kanteen's water bottle (made with stainless steel, bamboo and a tiny silicone ring) and my Onyx Containers' stainless steel Lunchbox, which of course I use to to bring my own lunch/dinner but also to buy take-away food, to bring leftovers home and to buy "wet" things such as cheese, fish etc
In the end if I had to choose the zero waste switch that changed my life more than any other I would definitely talk about my menstrual cup (I use a MoonCup)! Menstrual cups are amazing!! It's almost like not having periods because I can keep it a lot longer than tampons/pads, I don't feel it at all, I don't have to stress about bringing enough pads with me every time I have to get out, and I finally got rid of the continuous fear of bad odours and stains.
Onyx Containers' Lunchbox
What keeps you motivated?
Well I never really feel demotivated, actually since I started this journey I am A LOT happier. This is because of various factors..
First because I simplified my life and this left me with more time to think about the important things as I got rid of a lot of useless stress, I also learned to actually live the moment and enjoy my life instead of always thinking about what I don't have or what I wish was different.
Then because I found an amazing community that inspires me and supports me every day, and in general it's amazing to know that you're doing something good by doing simple things like brushing your teeth with a bamboo toothbrush and DIY toothpaste!
I felt demotivated only once, and it was after the US elections. I didn't really expect Trump to win, and his positions on immigration, women, LGBTQ+ and on climate change bring us all back of so many decades. For what regards his impact on the environment the fact that he doesn't believe in climate change is really depressing because we finally made a huge step forward with the Paris Agreement and he's probably going to cancel all those improvements.
So yes right after the elections' results I told my self "Why am I trying so hard if in the end instead of going forward we're actually going backwards?" but this feeling only lasted a few hours because I believe on the huge power that we have as individuals. I think that doing my best has an huge impact on my happiness and that inspiring others is already enough to keep me motivated, even if I was to inspire only one other person.
Watercolour World Globe for Earth Day 2015 - Nathalie Ouederni
Ariana from Paris To Go
Monica from Girl For A Clean World
George from zerowasted