Community garden

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Simple waste reduction.

Zero waste....What an inspiring movment.  One that, at times, seems miles away from where I currently am.  But whilst I may not be able to identify as zero waste, we ARE strongly on the path of waste reduction.  We are activly making more environmentally/ethically aware choices, and long term changes of our families daily habbits.  Which already has, and will continue to reduce our waste footprint.

Which is awesome.  Small changes matter.   

There are loads of DIY tutorials online about making your own beeswax cloth to replace glad wrap.  There are loads of tutorials about making your own fruit and veggie bags too. I fully intended to make them.  I'm more then capable of making them. 

But I wasn't doing it. 

My time in this season is precious.  With family, work, study and the renovations on the little old cottage continuing in full swing, my craft game is weak.  Like, non-existant weak.  Eventually I decided the financial cost of out sourcing these things was less then the environmental impact of not doing it.  So I jumped on line and poked about to find a company that could provide me with the things I wanted at a fair price.  A company that was ethical, and supported other small business. 

I came accross an Australian business by the name of spiralgarden.  I have been SO impressed by their customer service I just had to share them here.  This is not a sponsered post, I simply want to show this business some support and appreciation for their desire to go above and beyond. 

A little while ago I put in an order for some things.  Beeswax wraps, mesh bags, large and small fair trade woven baskets and a fair trade "Jenga" style building set for Angus's 6 birthday.  There was a small technical glitch, as sometimes happens and which was no ones fault.  When I emailed to enquire the it was too late for the Jenga set to arrive for Angus's birthday.  They were also a little short on supplies of the large baskets after the big christmas rush.  I completly understood, and as we are also a small, family run business.  I understand all to well how frustrating supply issues can be! 

But what most impressed me was their desire to fix it above and beyond what was necessary.  They kindly offered me a beautiful larger, more expensive basket for the price of the one I enquired about and promised to post me a set of beeswax wraps on them when they arrived.  Which was completly unnecessary.  They also increased my post to express to ensure the birthday present arrived ASAP.  When my goods arrived I was very impressed with the quality, they are just beautiful.  I LOVE my large basket and comes in handy all the time for packing drinks, snacks and bits and bobs for when we are out and about.  This kind of customer service is rare these days.  I will certainly be going back in the future, and highly recommend others checking them out too.  They have a wonderful range of Zero waste producs and information, courses, books, eco-friendly/ethically made childrens toys.  There is a beautiful simplicity in the range of products they stock, and their products are an absoloute pleasure to use. 
This was my order, just so beautiful.  The boys have already mis-placed a wooden block, but at least it is a hit right?!  Im sure it will turn up soon enough!  ;)

Another simple way we reduce waste is to use cotton tote bags as shopping bags, here are just a few of my stash.  When these are worn out, they will be composted.

When cooking alot from scratch, food storage is another simple area where waste can be reduced.  I love these pyrex containers with their plastic lids.  Dishwasher safe, able to go from the fridge to the oven for re-heating and sturdy,  They stack well in the fridge and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  They are also affordable and easy to source.  I have a couple of sets of these and the rest are currently in the fridge.  They are in constant use here.   





Cloth napkins is another thing I have mentioned before.  This bundle is all op-shopped.  I love them, we dont iron them of fuss with them and it takes no extra effort but saves on wipes/napkins or other things people often have on hand. 

My waste reduction journey is not contained to one glass jar of rubbish for the year.  Though that movement greatly impresses me.  But these are a few simple changes we have made which significantly reduce the amount of disposable goods that are needed in our day to day lives.  Add recycling and making conscious choices to purchase things with the least packaging.....Well these things all begin to add up to a meaningful shift. 

What simple changes have you made that help reduce your waste footprint? 

Much love,
Emma
xx

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Emma. I'm so glad that you found the wonderful Spiral Garden. I came across them a few years ago when my son was younger and was able to source some truly beautiful simple toys, beautiful craft supplies and books. Like you, I have two beautiful baskets I use all the time and a set of their fruit/veg bags. While I didn't make my own, I felt very happy to support an ethical and small little family business.

    In terms of reducing our footprint, I really believe that we can all make a difference and that those changes do collectively add up. I use cloth bags, hessian bags and fruit/veg bags when shopping. I use beeswax wraps and they are wonderful and so I no longer buy plastic wrap. I have a set of Pyrex containers, stainless steel containers and re-usable plastics for lunches. We grow some of our own and compost everything we can either in the compost bins or through our worm farm. Currently, I am learning to sew and to make our own yoghurt. These actions didn't all happen at once and they didn't happen overnight, they were deliberate little steps but I'm happy I took them. Meg:)

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  2. I too believe we can collectivly make a difference. Its so important we try isn't it? Even if we are only make one small change at a time, they all add up and one day we find we are miles away from where we started.

    Yoghurt, I have made my own yoghurt SO many times, tried different recipes....Never can I get it as thick as I would like it! Its my nemesis....

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    1. I think you are right Emma. It is the fact that we are conscious of the need to recycle and live in a more sustainable way that makes the difference. We are all thinking 'outside the box'. Sharing these ideas is wonderful. I have a yogurt machine i use UHT milk, a natural yogurt starter and dried milk powder. I also leave it to its own devices for 10-12 hours, lovely and thick!;-)

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  3. Thanks for the link to The Spiral Garden, Emma. I will check it out. I don't think we will ever have zero wastage here as everyone would have to be on board of course. I hope things aren't quite as hectic for you this year as last year was.

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    1. I hear you on having everyone on board. I doubt we will either. But plenty of room for improvement!

      Do check them out, a great small business. :)

      Xx

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  4. Timely post, as I was thinking about this lately. I bake muffins at least once a week, and wrap them in cling wrap, for the freezer. They go into lunch boxes, or when we need to go into town, we grab a few. It saves us having to buy food when out. But I hate using the cling wrap!

    Have you tried the beeswax wraps, in the freezer?

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    1. Hmm, no I haven't. I'm not sure how they would go. I'll bet there is an Eco friendly answer on the web somewhere though!

      Cakes never make it to the freezer here, I'm impressed! ;)

      Xx

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    2. Oh I googled it and found short term freezer use is fine, up to a month. :)

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    3. I know it's not zero waste, but I use zip lock bags for these sorts of things and then wash and reuse them.

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    4. Thanks for these suggestions. I will have to try harder to find a solution.

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    5. Ok, have googled the wraps. What a wonderful idea, any idea how long they last for?

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    6. I'm not sure, a year or two? I guess it depends on how much you use them and wash them. I know you can re-coat them with grated beeswax and coconut oil. There are tougher recipes too.

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  5. Check the sandpit for the missing block Emma. It'll be there with the missing cutlery :-)

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    1. Haha!

      One day I will find a black hole of missing bits...;)

      Xx

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  6. Meat packaged on styrofoam trays is the worst. Our small town does not have a butcher where you can buy meat wrapped in paper!

    Here is a link to a lovely family who have given Zero Waste a go with good results, I believe.

    http://www.owlet.com.au/search/label/zero%20waste

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    1. Yes, meat is hard isn't it?

      Thanks for the link I'll check it out. :)

      Xx

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    2. I've just realised that Spiral Garden is run by the same family that I have given you the link to. I need to read up a bit more! :)

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    3. Oh I didn't pick up on that either when I glanced. I blame that I was pecking on my phone! ;)

      Xx

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  7. my rubbish bin only goes out about every 4-5 months & i try to stretch it as far as possible but the smell gets you lol. i have trouble with the zero waste & often wonder what our grandparents used, cloth & hessian bags, of cause, i don't think there were freezers back then ...
    great post
    thanx for sharing

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  8. Spiralgardens is our favourite online shop and I did have an issue once (not there's mine) and Lauren went that extra mile. We do pyrex glass containers for home,stainless bottles, bpa plastic containers because they do have a small place in our daily life. My beeswax wraps lasted 2 years with regular use so I was impressed. I've use Onya vegetable bags for years and they are my favourite. As a stay at home mum I had a lot of time and memory to put in the efforts to keep waste down but when I got sick all of last year I was in bed all the time so lots of plastic was coming in to the house etc.

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    1. I currently use plastic style bento lunch boxes too. I have thought about the stainless steel - would need to be tough for us. But the price and risk of loosing it has made me hesitate so far. But my eldest - the day dreamer is getting better at caring for his things these days.

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  9. Will have to remember that site for when I'm in the market for such things!

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  10. It's incredible to think of all the things we think are "necessary" today which didn't even exist back then isn't it?

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  11. What lovely useful things to arrive in the mail.
    I can definitely recommend the Bee Eco wraps, I have been using mine for a year and buy them directly from the young family on the Sunshine coast, lots of choice with their designs and colours and free postage.

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  12. Hi Emma, well I think I will have to google Bee Eco wraps as I haven't heard of them. Like you I use reusable cloth bags for shopping. Recycle everything I can. We have a wormery which deals with food waste, not that we have a lot, but tea bags and egg shells etc. The compost and juice is fantastic for the garden. I've read Bea's Zero Waste book but just felt overwhelmed!

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