All posts filed under: Minus the plastic

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 …

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 …

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 …

Toddler makes Body Scrub

Sensory fun gift manufactory: We’re making Zero Waste body scrub

Here is a sensory fun Zero Waste Gift making game for kids. I bought organic cane sugar and sea salt in bulk during the day and asked Juni in the evening if she wanted to help me make some body scrub for friends. She just loves helping and saw some shoveling fun coming up. So with a big grin she said, YES!! The ingredients for our body scrub: Sea salt (bulk) Organic cane sugar (bulk) Almond oil (glass bottle) doTerra essential oils 4 oz mason jars (can be reused for many other things) lots of spoons a large bowl If you don’t have bulk grocery shopping options close to you, see if you can find sea salt and sugar packaged in paper. This can be composted or recycled and would get you pretty close to Zero Waste. I still had the ‘We don’t want salt everywhere’ thought going on when we started so I placed the first mason jar in the big bowl to make sure most of the spilled salt would be caught in there. …


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). …


Make it pop

Rainy Sunday afternoons are great! We’re super busy in the kitchen. First we made some magical wet wipes, and then a delicious vegan snack: Cheesy popcorn  We took the recipe from For the longer version including explanation of what nooch is, read there. The short version here.  Our Ingredients: 3 big Tablespoons coconut oil 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch) 1-2 teaspoons salt Heat pot, add coconut oil, add 3 kernels, cover with lid. Wait till they popped. Add the remaining kernes. Give it a good shake every now and then. Pop! # Pop! ## Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop! ### And then be amazed that the large pot of which originally only the bottom was covered with popcorn kernels, is completely full with popcorn now. So good! Cheesy but vegan. Can’t stop munching. What are other good popcorn add-ons?  


Magical wet wipes

“Oh wow! You make your own wet wipes!” This sentence often comes with an awestruck look. I want to show you though, that it is super simple. So simple, even a toddler can do it. To be exact, June will show you in a second. The steps: Make a tea with camomile and calendula Let cool, strain, add some soap and olive oil Soak cotton wipes, fold and put in container Now, here comes June: Dang! That WAS easy, right?  That’s all the magic behind homemade wet wipes. Now you go and get yourself some bulk ingredients and make your own wet wipes, momma. It’s a great way to keep your little one busy on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


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. …

Vegan cheese


Feeding a toddler… Hard work. Especially if you try to give healthy stuff to this creature. And avoid packaging. And dairy. And meat…… Somehow June always automatically picks the dairy, the egg, the meat out of everything and declares it to be her favorite. I don’t refuse those options yet, because I don’t have working, yummy alternatives. So until I find options that she really likes we’ll also have the stuff on the table that I’d like to avoid. Well, not the packaged stuff but cheese and cold cuts for example. I’ve already tried to convince her to drink homemade nut milks a while ago. Tried different types. She hated all of them. Therefore she continued for quite some time to have her granola with cow milk. Exceptionally, I bought oat milk packaged just to experiment with different things and she loooooves it. Yay! So now she doesn’t drink cow milk anymore but we have one more packaging. My plan is to slowly move over to homemade oat milk some time soon. Cross your fingers …