All posts filed under: local

My GRüNISH adventure started at my home and became even bigger when I started organizing local events in my new hometown Hood River, Oregon to help others achieve Zero Waste goals.

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 …

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 …

Bread at Becki’s

Did your mom cook with you when you were little? Or did grandma bake with you? Let you shovel the flour into the bowl, scoop salt, mash up the banana, smear tomato sauce on the pizza dough that you just flattened with your hands because the rolling pin was too hard to use? I’m more and more convinced, that the fun (and mess) of cooking together with the family and involving the very little one’s is the solution to many problems. The little one’s learn very early to care about what they eat. They learn how to make it. And also to value the knowledge of the older people. And most of all they get their hands deep down in dough, no need for expensive toys. Here is another question: Do you feel passionate about the every day cooking? I clearly don’t. I’m passionate about trying new things in the kitchen, cooking with friends and family. But not the daily chore cooking. On Saturday, we’ve met at Becki’s and Peter’s house to learn how to make bread (ingredient list below). …

Find your package free shopping-buddies

It’s great to have a supportive family accompanying you on your minimal-packaging-shopping tour. It’s a different world though if you’re shopping with other Zero Wasters. Today, I’ve taken Becki, Peter, Jana, Suzanne, Stacia, Lynn, Bernice and her little baby boy on a discovery tour through our local supermarket Rosauers. All came well prepared with jars and produce bags, tupperware and reusable shopping bags. We first swarmed out to the cash registers to get tare weight for all containers. No problems at all. I was even asked if ‘this is the class thing..?’ Yes, that was the class thing. I had informed the store employees via three different communication paths about our little group adventure beforehand to make sure everyone is ok with this. So the employees were already waiting for us. Right at our first stop, the antipasti bar, we’ve met the store manager Steve, had a brief discussion about plastic bag bans and I found out that he is very open to other ideas we might come up with to raise awareness for package free shopping. …

How to prepare for the zero waste shopping tour?

So you want to join our special, packaging free groceries tour through Rosauers on Saturday and want to be prepared. Awesome! Here is what you can do: Find larger bags in your house that would work as shopping bags. I usually bring four, one is the ‘Cute as hell’ that you can see in the picture, and three that I got years ago from Trader Joe’s. Find rectangular shaped food containers in your house. I bet there is some tupperware somewhere, or those sandwich boxes that you used years ago. They will be great for cheese, cold cuts, meat and fish. You also can get hot soups and freshly prepared salads there, so make sure you’ve got a leak proof container in case you want to buy some. Have some canning jars such as mason jars in all different sizes at home? Fantastic! But you can also look through the jars that you’ve put in your recycling container. Small jars from jam, tomato paste will work great for pickles, olives, herbs, bentonite clay (for toothpaste), yeast …

farewell tomatoes

I made the best tomato salad of all times and then I suffered severe shock. What happened? Lily, our neighbor is the tomato master. She had three tomato bushes, one with sweet, tiny, orange tomatoes and the two others had large regular tomatoes. Abundant harvest when ever we went over to get some. We ate tomatoes from Lily’s garden all summer long and June became a fantastic tomato harvester. Three days ago, I made this tomato salad dream: Mixed 3 drops of Rosemary essential oil with olive oil (which we get as refill from ovino) Added a splash of balsamic vinegar (also refill from ovino) 3 oven roasted garlic cloves (bought at farmers marked, roasted at home) Organic onion (found one without sticker in the supermarket) Parsley from our patio Tomatoes from the master That makes it zero waste, organic and extra healthy. And most importantly, that was freaking delicious. Yesterday I wanted to go pick some of those tiny tomatoes for spaghetti puttanesca and suffered severe shock! The plants are gone! AAAAARGH ! Yes, it started raining …

Meet Hood River

How fortuned I was that the article in Hood River News came out just a bit more that a week before the planned meetup. Before the article, one person had signed up via meetup.com and that person had changed mind shortly before the meetup. Due to the article, 10 people had signed up, 2 changed mind shortly before the meetup, but then 12 actually showed up! I was well prepared. Brought all my shopping bags and containers, ingredients for toothpaste and even a ‘Zero Waste Hood River’ sign that I had made from recycled paper made from my old checks. I had made new paper out of them because the still had my maiden name on them. It was a very interesting round. 12 women and 1 man. I wasn’t surprised about that because the ‘Zero Waste Bloggers Network’ has 98 members of which only 4 are guys. What’s wrong with the guys? Where are they? Totally overslept this new development? We started talking about grocery shopping until someone asked, “What do you do with …

Saturday Spotlight

I was just reading the second page of the article, standing in the cool shadow on the porch, when the mail man arrived to hand over one letter and on his way downstairs he said, “You’re in the paper today!” I’m so happy, not because the mail man recognizes me now, but because the article turned out lovely. Trisha did a great job, writing about the challenges but also the joys of pursuing a zero waste lifestyle and I like that my favorite places are mentioned: Wild Columbia Salmon and oVino Market as well as Pine Street Bakery (Blog post about those friendly folks is coming soon-ish). The small info box at the end of the article points out the Zero Waste MeetUp that I have planned for October 3rd. If you’re in Hood River and interested in joining, either email me: Inge@gruenish.com or sign up for the Zero Waste Meetup directly. And here is the whole article:

News

One sunny day, I was in the mood for contacting the local press and ask them if they were interested in writing about Zero Waste Lifestyle and offered my help. Today I met with Trisha, writer at Hood River News, to talk about how I got into all of this, about what I’m currently doing to reduce trash and how I go grocery shopping. I had a lot of fun, especially because Trisha is herself interested in Zero Waste Lifestyle and she was really excited to hear that it is possible to buy meat at the counter with a reusable container. I mentioned my favorite places for cold cuts, cheese and other mediterranean yummies and the fabulous Salmon of the Columbia River as well. Would love to see them mentioned in the article as well. I’m very much looking forward to reading the final story and am curious if maybe through this article I’ll find another couple of people that are interested in the local Zero Waste Meetup that I am planning to do end of the months. …

Wild Columbia Salmon in Hood River

Zero Waste shopping in Hood River, Oregon If you’re in Hood River and have the chance to grill, fry or somehow cook, you have to get a piece of the fresh caught Columbia Salmon. If you eat fish that is. ‘Wild Columbia Salmon’ on 108 Hwy 35 is the place to go. And when you’re there and you’re confused because it’s a parking lot, a surf shop and a small supermarket, look out for this tiny hut: Who ever is working when you arrive, I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting the person. I always felt very welcome there. The picture on the left shows Veronica, who was happy to show me the fresh caught salmon. I’ve been there a couple of times, always brought my little container and always got a beautiful piece of delicious, soft salmon entirely packaging free. They also have a smoker and if you’re there on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday by 9:30a.m., you’ll get unpackaged smoked salmon as well. Or maybe try to call if you want it unpackaged but will be there later. …