You can do much more than just carrying your own bag when shopping for groceries. We need a change in our consumer behaviour: We need to ditch the disposable, single-use items.
Zero waste doesn’t mean producing or consuming nothing. It’s about carefully and intentionally designing, producing, and consuming without waste as an end product.
“We make less waste and eventually when we can shift the way manufactures design and create stuff (and we have the infrastructure to recover) then we will live in a circular economy (zero waste) and that word zero will actually mean zero. Until then, do your best, start small, and voice your consumer opinion! Change won’t happen until we speak up and use our consumer power as much as we can.”
Lately we have been struggling to take the “right” decisions. This year we started, together as a couple, the commitment to reduce our plastic consumption as much as we can, but to reduce food waste as well. These last two weeks we noticed the trouble of taking decisions because, apparently, we haven’t got the perfect way to achieve both goals at the same time in some cases. I’ll explain this:
Nice and natural recipe… must try! 💚
This easy-to-make mouthwash passes the I-avoid-putting-anything-down-the-drain-that-I-won’t-eat test, which I mentioned in my recent TMI post. You might actually want to drink this, since it contains only vodka, spices and water.
Original Listerine, on the other hand, contains:
- Eucalyptol 0.092%
- Menthol 0.042%
- Methyl salicylate 0.060%
- Thymol 0.064%
- Water (why hand over your hard-earned cash for this?)
- Alcohol (26.9% — sorry mine does contain less)
- Benzoic acid (used as a preservative and may be animal derived)
- Poloxamer 407 (not something I keep in my pantry)
- Sodium benzoate (ditto)
- Caramel (made by heating glucose or sucrose solutions)
After you’ve polluted your mouth with this chemical concoction, you then have to deal with the disposal of the plastic pollution—the bottle and lid. Yes, you can recycle the bottle (but not the lid), however, plastic is downcycled, meaning it is recycled once or twice only before…
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“Silicone is a frequent plastic replacement. For those people trying to live more closed-loop or zero waste lifestyle, then silicone things often come up as alternatives to plastic. Silicone has a lot of similar properties and feel to plastic, and actually some better properties for certain functions too. I personally have a reusable coffee cup with a silicone lid, a silicone menstrual cup, silicone cupcake wrappers, a lid sealer in my ‘plastic free’ glass drink bottle and some silicone covered kitchen utensils.”
Thanks to fellow green blogger Wasteland Rebel because she provides a list of Package Free shops in Germany and Austria. And I got to find one exactly in Heidelberg (right where we live) that I wasn’t aware of! Now I buy most of my grains, nuts, pasta and other dry goods there!
Two weekends ago we were on our way to meet some friends, and we saw many of the seeds that can be store-bought to hang on the branches of the trees for the birds to eat during winter. Most of them are inside of a plastic net so the birds can eat it but what is left is still hanging. I took a picture of it (right side) and I took also a picture of a bird feeder or at least looks like a seed balls hanger, which is good, you can reuse it, right? But when looking closely, I realised the seeds that were inside had still the net. So what’s the point?