Over the past few months, I’ve been using up all the plastic containers of lotions, potions and promises floating around the bathroom cupboard. I was reusing the ones with spray nozzles to hold homemade alternatives, then impatience and a chance conversation at the local chemist led me to better alternatives.
Month: August 2016
Asking can’t hurt …
I’ve been going to an awesome Turkish kebab restaurant near work (in Bern, Switzerland) for a falafel roll or mezze plate at least once a week for almost a year.
It’s cheap, it’s pretty healthy and the people are nice. Sometimes I eat in, sometimes it’s to go.
Last week, I thought I’d try something different.
How much does it cost? Week 2
Finally I have time to write about week 2 of the “as organic as possible, waste-free grocery shopping” experiment.
As mentioned in week 1, some people are concerned that waste free = expensive. Buying organic also costs more than normal produce, so I’m going to do a little experiment to see how much I spend each week on groceries. This
unfortunately not unfortunately will be hindered by the fact we’re on holidays from 21 August, but hey, it’s still worth doing the sums.
How much does it cost? Week 1
Some people have concerns that waste free is expensive. Buying organic also costs more than normal produce, so I’m going to do a little experiment to see how much I spend in August on all groceries. This
unfortunately not unfortunately will be hindered by the fact we’re on holidays from the 21st, but hey, it’s still worth doing the sums.
The cost of living in Switzerland is the highest in the world. Isn’t that just peachy?! Although we don’t live in one of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world (Zürich and Geneva make that list), it still costs a pretty penny to enjoy the spoils of the country’s capital, Bern. Continue reading
Our new friend, the butcher
We live in a small village, just outside the centre of Switzerland’s capital, Bern. During the week we don’t really eat meat, but on the weekends in summer it’s nice to throw a sausage on the barbecue or have a lasagna with salad.
During the first week of Plastic Free July, I took my own container to the meat counter at one of the two big supermarket chains. It was their main store in Bern. I chose some lamb and asked if it could be put in my glass container. The man refused, citing health and safety regulations. I tried to “strike up a discussion” (notice I’m not using the word argue!) that I took responsibility for my own actions and it would be fine as I would be eating the meat that night. He said no (man, I hate that word!), and because I had no (there it is again!) time to go anywhere else, I accepted the lamb, wrapped in a thin sheet of plastic and put inside a waxy, one-use-only paper bag.
As I walked off, feeling verrrry disappointed, I heard him tell a co-worker I wanted to use my own container. I didn’t hear any more of the discussion, but I hope it got them thinking! But this little exercise inspired me to hurry up and find a plan b … to refuse the refuse … because there’s always a plan b, right? Continue reading
Washing with water
We’ve come to the end of Plastic Free July and what an enjoyable, eye-opening time it’s been. I’ve met some lovely business owners and workers who understand the concept of producing less waste and will write about that in another post or two.
In July, I definitely reduced my plastic intake, but of course, no one is perfect so a few things still crept in. But I didn’t touch the top four nasties – bottled water and softdrinks, straws, all unnecessary* plastic bags (as per normal) and takeaway tea or hot chocolate (I don’t drink coffee). These are small but life-affirming wins for me!
I set another self-imposed challenge for the month … to finally do “no poo” – where you don’t wash your hair with shampoo or conditioner. Read more about the whole concept at this website. Some people wash with baking soda and rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar, others use solid soap and/or conditioner bars, some just even use conditioner only, but I wanted to be as minimal as possible.