Month in Review – July 2015

This post is almost two weeks late, but anywho, here it is. As most of you know, I started this zero waste journey end June/beginning July, and decided to make a list of what worked so far, what didn’t work for me personally, changes I made, and so forth.

Wins

  • Glass jars. I’ve always loved Mason Jars, and had several already. I use them for everything. EVERYTHING. To pack my lunch and my soylent shake, when buying spices, grains, olive oil and what ever else can fit. I use them as storage containers in the fridge for veggies. (Note: For spinach, carrots, beets, etc, leave the bottle open, do not store with the lid…. lol) I even bought margarine, (the brick, not in a tub) melted it down and poured it into a wide mouth square glass jar.
  • Tooth paste – I tried making my own however I can’t find essential oil safe for ingesting yet. Only the massage variety. So I made my toothpaste with just coconut oil and baking soda. The taste was okay, even without the oils. The oily texture got to me after a while though, and I started using baking soda just as it is. Wet the toothpaste, dip in the baking soda, brush. Simple. I thought it would disgust me, but surprisingly no.
  • Coconut oil for hair – A DEFINITE WIN. I was very worried what to do with my hair. When I still used shampoo, the ONLY brand I could use was Tresemme; it’s very softening. I tried using baking soda as advised, working it into my scalp. It cleans, but my hair was “hard.” Solution? Coconut oil mixed with baking to soda deep cleanse and condition. I used the left over toothpaste mixture, see above paragraph; massaged it not only into my scalp, but the tips of my hair too, wrapped in towel and left on for about 40 min to an hour while I watched TV, and rinsed with warm water. I do this now once every two weeks or so, and use dry baking soda powder during the week.
  • This isn’t really a win, but I STILL Forget to take my reusable bags with, sometimes. So what I do now: If I forget it and they don’t have (cheap) new bags available at the counter, I carry it. Or I go back for my reusable bag. No more plastic bags. Finish and Klaar… lol.

Fails

  • Had to by certain products the past week for guests. Biscuits and chocolates in plastic, spreads, etc.
  • Bubble bath – I have a recipe for bubble bath, but can’t find vegetable glycerine yet. If anybody has any other options, please share. (And it has to be bubble bath, not bath salts… Specifically bubble bath… I’m very happy with bath salts but the rest of the household isn’t… lol.)
  • Cat Food – The cat food still comes in plastic packaging. I don’t want to switch to other brands as my cat had problems before when I switched, and we’re using the vet-preferred foods now. There’s still the option to make them food but they’re spoilt. Will make a small batch and see how it goes. If not, I also have the option of asking the recycling guy if he’ll take cat food packaging, though I don’t think people will buy bags, wallets, etc, made from cat food packaging…
  • With family visiting from the UK last week, I got vegan chocolate. Packaged in plastic. I weighed this up beforehand (she asked if I still want it, seeing as it will be heavily packaged and she saw my anti-plastic posts) and I still agreed. It’s chocolate. Vegan Chocolate. I caved…
  • Ear buds / Q Tips – I’m caving here too. I know Q-tips are bad for your ears. I’ve read about all the risks. I know all this. But undoing 30+ years’ reliance on Q-Tips is not easy. Even with other options available. It’s like a comfort blanket. I need them…

What I Changed:

  • Toilet paper – I buy loose rolls now, either unwrapped or wrapped in paper.  No longer 10 or 15 rolls wrapped in paper and THEN still wrapped in plastic.
  • I still buy some of my groceries at Shoprite and PnP, but get all my fresh veggies and bulk stuffs like oil, grains, coffee beans and spices at Food Lovers Market.
  • Bread and panini rolls are bought in brown bags. This works very well at Food Lovers Market, but not as Shoprite… I’ll ask for a paper bag at the bakery counter, but will then still be giving the empty plastic bag with the price on. (Shoprite Management: Can’t you make brown bags available WITH the prices on, at the bread shelves, like Spar, PnP, etc? Please?)
  • I keep my food scraps now too. Beginning July I kept all compost for a week, with the plan to take it Bryanston Organic Market as they have compost bins. This didn’t go as planned, and my food scraps got thrown away without my knowledge. I still need to get a vermicomposter. I finished a bottle of preserved dill cucumbers and kept the vinegary preserve liquid for edible scraps (you know, that half an onion and tomato that’s gonna shrivel up in the fridge anyway, or the little pieces of tomato and green paper around the stem that we’re too lazy to cut away.) Could maybe be used in a salad or salsa? I also read an article about saving food scraps for vegetable broth. The link to that article to follow

Favourite Purchase

  • Most definitely my produce bags! I love the tie back ones!

With a tie back string on top and a zip at the bottom for easy access. Also keeps your produce fresher for longer.

Favourite Recipe for July

It’s a tie between Pasta Aglio e Olio and Sausages, Veggies & Gravy

Untitled1 Stuff 1057
That’s July! Stay tuned for the August updage, and hopefully that one will be on time… 🙂

How was your July?

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15 responses to “Month in Review – July 2015

  1. It’s great how you list your “Wins” and “Fails” and “Things I’ve changed” to keep track of your monthly zero-waste habits. Great way to keep track, and good tips for me to as well! Reminds me of Kelly (almost) green in how she uses her “scorecard” to keep track. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your monthly update! I don’t wash my hair very often. I’m still on the same bottle of shampoo for over a year ago. I may have to try the coconut oil when I run out. You could also use organic peppermint extract for baking if you’re looking for flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m hoping that a track record for each month will keep me motivated. So when I feel like I’m not making a difference, I can look back on the progress I’ve made. I highly recommend the coconut oil for a deep condition! Will try the peppermint extract too, thank you for the suggestion 🙂

      Like

  3. Great post! I bought vegetable glycerin at Clicks, but possibly Soap Barn in Edenvale. I’m trying to stop using earbuds, but the ones we have are actually cardboard not plastic. We should meet up sometime!

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    • I could go back to using tresemme, the big bottle lasts a long time too. The coconut oil, as awesome as it is, can’t be done more than maybe once every two weeks. But I’ll still try the vinegar and baking soda no-poo first

      Liked by 1 person

    • Where are you situated? I bought them at The Home Store at Hillfox, Johannesburg, South Africa. There’s no words to describe the awesomeness of these bags.

      Like

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