Author: Inge

Meeting Alison from Zero Waste Market CA

A talk with Alison from Vancouver’s Zero Waste Market

I was walking up and down Abbott St in Vancouver looking for number 221. At least 5 times up and down, and I was late which I didn’t want to be, and my stomach felt a bit weird too. And then I finally saw it: The Capilano Tea House. I rushed over the street, into the Tea House and saw Alison already sitting there, looking great: long blond hair, a young woman who’s going to make the world a better place. In Vancouver.   We said Hi, I needed a tea first, I was really kind of nervous. So then we sat down, sipped our delicious teas and I wanted to ask her a million questions.    Alison is part of the team that is working hard on opening Vancouver’s first Zero Waste Market. Brianne Miller is the founder and I had hoped to meet her too but unfortunately she had travel plans already. The other team members are Paula (co-founder), Aly (video grapher), and here I was sitting with Alison.    Alison got into Zero Waste …


Please help me! I need to compost everywhere

Really, I need your help with this one. I’ve tried many things and can’t find a good solution. It drives me crazy. In the past I had thought that all those potato peels and apple cores and pasta left overs and strawberry leaves that I’m throwing in the trash are simply composting in the landfill and turn into soil and that’s it.  My bad! That actually doesn’t happen. In Landfills my food scraps and your food scraps and everyone else’s food scraps (in total 70+ million tons per year) turn into a toxic cocktail that drips into the ground water and creates a  huge amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that is much worse than CO2.  The solution for this problem is easy: Composting the food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash can. Through composting the food scraps turn into nutrient rich soil. While living in a house I was able to figure out a good composting option for our family. Now I’m a full time traveler though, changing locations often, sometimes every other day and …

Hood River Garbage

Let’s get dirty ~ Hood River Garbage Transfer Station

While I was searching through my images for trash pictures for a video that we’re working on for Zero Waste Bloggers Network, I realized that I don’t have any. I not only have no pictures of trash, I also have rarely the opportunity to see real trash. Yeah, I carry out our trashcan every Thursday (if I don’t forget) but that’s as much trash as I ever see. Well, that and the half full large trash bag that our neighbor puts on the sidewalk at the same time.  So, I got curious and wanted to see more than just my own small bin and drove over to the Hood River Garbage Transfer Station. That’s the place where the garbage trucks go after their tour through the city, where they unload the whole stinky load and where everything gets loaded onto large trucks which haul it to the final destination. Citizens can also bring stuff, either if they don’t have the service or they got more then gets picked up. Mr. Doug Speer the Operations Manager …

Crayon Recycling, just drop them off where kids are

Crayon Recycling – To the rescue of restaurant crayons

Since we’re parents we’ve learned to eat quickly. The phase in which both of us can eat at the same time is usually short. Even in a restaurant, we’ll ingest our food like mad vacuum cleaners after a dust diet. In the beginning of our restaurant visit we’re a peaceful family but slowly and steadily we’ll turn into a chaotic pile of people. June will start singing ‘Let it go’ like we were in a huge Opera Theater, or stomp with her feet on the wall above her head, just to say ‘Mom, look what I’m doing!“. Her favorite words these days. And Mika wants what June is eating, grabs Dad’s knife, requests to be held by mommy. His arms turn into octopus tentacles. Who ever holds little Mika has to move everything on the table far away and can’t eat anymore.  We went to this restaurant in the Heights again. There was a painting sheet with crayons so that June didn’t think of dancing on the table and other fun things like that. So that’s …

Making soap like a pro

Making soap like a pro

A super simple way to get rid of plastic bottles in the bathroom and through this reduce your household waste is by replacing liquid soap dispensers, shower gels, shaving foam, hand sanitizers, even bubble bath with a simple bar of soap. With one soap you’ve removed 5 plastic bottles from your trashcan and your bathroom looks much more organized too. Since I first discovered how cool soap actually is, making soap was in the back of my mind. Could I make soap? Not that I want to make everything from scratch, don’t get me wrong. I’m super busy, too. But somehow making soap always seemed to be so very chemical, so complicated, so “magician’s only”, that I felt an itch to want to give it a try. I like complicated stuff. Now I got the chance to sneak into a real soap makers little hut to observe him while he makes soap. Please meet Jason, soap maker in Hood River, owner of the company RAW SOAP: Jason was always a maker: beer, cider, soap and I’m sure …

How to save the planet from trashed beaches?

Save the planet with these Zero Waste Bloggers

There are lots of different ways you can take to help save the planet. The problems that we’re facing are countless and so manifold, that it can be hard to decide where to start. Donating money to a good cause, volunteering for a non-profit, participating in beach cleanup day, these are all good ideas to get involved. But all of these actions are taken AFTER the actual problem occurred, right? If the beach wouldn’t be sprinkled with trash, we wouldn’t have to pick up. How to save the planet with actions BEFORE those problems arise?  Check the list below to find Zero Waste Bloggers around the world writing in your language about how to prevent waste at home, when you’re traveling, during the holidays, in the office and many other occasions. Easy actions you can do everyday, in your bathroom, in your kitchen, during your groceries shopping tour or when you pick up a coffee-to-go.  Try out their ideas, let them know how it went for you by commenting on their blogs and if you like what someone has written, share the blog post on your …

Zero Waste Lifestyle frustration and how to deal with it

Ok, so Zero Waste Lifestyle is the shiny, new way of living, right? The inspirational talks of well known Zero Wasters are still in your ears. The ease with which they maneuver around packaging, the designer kitchen with food from the bulk aisle in good looking jars, the supportive family, the neat compost pile in the garden, those stylish, reusable containers and a lot of arguments against plastic and packaging… Who wouldn’t want to live a Zero Waste Life after hearing how easy and eco-friendly it is? After all, you care about our planet, you do want to be eco-friendly and healthy, you like clean oceans and beaches!  Very excited about your upcoming new life you want to get started. Finally you’ve found a way to be the environmentally friendly person you always wanted to be. But heck! Where to get groceries in the future? There is not a single unpackaged item in the supermarket and no bulk shop anywhere close! And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the butcher doesn’t want your container, the coffee barista …

homemade toothpaste for your toddler or older kids

Make brushing teeth fun for you toddler PLUS GIVEAWAY

There is so much value in this post: a toothpaste recipe and a fun GIVEAWAY of Jack n’ Jill’s cute toothbrushes! Brushing teeth can be really hard with kids. There is much other fun stuff to do for them. Therefore I want to share how we’re making it more fun for Juni (almost 3 years old). I’m not saying your child will all of the sudden love brushing teeth but I am confident that you can get your kid interested again in it when you let them make their own homemade toothpaste. Homemade toothpaste The toothpaste that we make was approved by two independent dentists, one of which is a pediatric dentist. Most important part of the toothpaste prep: I let my daughter June do the scooping and mixing. Here is the recipe: Yum Our homemade toothpaste is yummy AND good for teeth The toothpaste is sweet due to the xylitol. Feels a bit weird to add something sweet to a toothpaste but no worries: xylitol is tooth-friendly. It’s made from corn cobs or birch …

Zero Waste Journey

Why I created the Zero Waste Survey

Zero Waste Lifestyle is without doubt a trend still in it’s children’s shoes but growing rapidly. People all over the world start rethinking the products in their kitchen and bathroom, switching to reusable food and beverage containers, ditching disposables, refusing unnecessary stuff and investigating how to make toothpaste, how to compost, where to bulk shop because they care about nature, our oceans, the world we leave for following generations.  I had some sleepless nights thinking about this group of people. Why did they start their Zero Waste journey in the first place? And how could we get others to reach the same point so they would start this journey as well? How complicated  or easy is reaching for a Zero Waste Lifestyle for interested people? What is actually in their trashcans, how do they live? Initially I created a bunch of polls in facebook groups to get some answers but I didn’t feel satisfied since there are so many more questions whirling around my head at night. Zero Waste Obstacles Survey I’ve created the Zero Waste …

vegan hashbrowns

Vegan hashbrowns with applesauce (zero waste)

Welcome to my first recipe!  Vegan Hashbrowns! Tadaaa! The recipe for Reibekuchen (German name for hashbrowns) was delivered to me by my German ancestors. It requires eggs though and since we started doing three vegan days per week, I wanted to figure out a vegan variant. They turned out crunchy and together with the homemade applesauce a perfect combination. To make it a zero waste dish, check out the zero waste tips at the end of the recipe too. If you make them, please share how they turned out for you in the comment section below and if you like them please Yum! I’d be delighted. Yum