Can Going To Bars Reduce Waste?

Have you tried out personal hygiene, pet care and cleaning products in bar form?

Shampoo bars, conditioner bars, face bars, soap bars, deodorant bars, body butter bars, pet care bars, stain remover bars, dishwashing bars; the list goes on and on…

It seems that these are becoming more and more popular, with some good reasons for their popularity.

  • Bars are a concentrated version of their liquid counterpart.  Meaning that you are getting a comparable product, just without the added water and excessive packaging.  This is great because it means that fewer resources are needed to manufacture, transport and sell the product as they take up less space.  One little 110g shampoo bar can replace up to 3 full bottles of shampoo!
  • According to Ethique (one of the brands we have available), “each bar lasts 2-5 times longer than bottled beauty products because they’re super concentrated – you add the water – not us.”
  • Bars are super convenient when you are travelling!  Liquid quantities are often limited when travelling via aeroplane and even when this is not an issue, it is often much preferred to take a little bar than having to lug around litres of a product when travelling for extended periods.
  • Bars can be an economical alternative when compared to products of the same quality.  Wasteless Pantry only stocks palm-oil free options which we have tested and believe will be enjoyable to use for their intended purpose with great results.
  • Bars come with little to no packaging so there is no strain on our landfill or recycling facilities.  No need to send a plastic bottle overseas to be remanufactured into another product that then gets shipped somewhere else in the world again for use.  You just use the product and it’s done.
  • Our bars are safe for grey water and don’t pollute our waterways with plastics, microplastics or harsh chemicals.
  • Not all cleansing bars are soap! Each bar is made for a specific purpose and so has ingredients that benefit that particular application.

Bars are just super handy and easy to use!

The main thing to remember when using bars is to make sure that they dry out well between uses.  Pop them on a soap rack, coconut fibre scourer or other drying option between use to harden up.  Soft bars mean that you use more than you needed and are just washing that product down the drain.  A waste of product and money!

      • Have you made the switch? Would you consider it?

Going Zero Waste with a Naked Lunch Box

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris

We are all drawn to a life of simplicity. There are many of us that are drawn to that idea of a simple life, which is a hands on, peaceful and present one.

To me, that is what zero waste living is all about.

It’s about going back to the basics of being able to cook your own food and live a life more intentional, and less disposable.  It is not about making life harder for the sake of the environment or doing things the hard way.  It is about creating a life that fits with your values and encourages slowness in your days.  You don’t have to bake your own bread or make every meal from scratch unless you want to.  But what if doing these things not only reduce the waste you created but gave you back control of what you eat and the beauty with which you do it?

 

 

There is lots of depressing information out there about why reducing waste is so important.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or birds that are dying on some random island somewhere filled with our rubbish, or thousands of acres of forest that are lost every day, or the orangutans that are dying because of our love affair with cheap palm oil.  This information doesn’t help you move forward.  What helps you move forward and do the things that are going to help are finding ways to integrate good practices into your life.

I’ve been on this journey for a few years now and at the beginning, it was completely overwhelming.  There was so much to change and it felt as if it was too much to add to an already full life.  But what I have found over that time is that by going back to basics and reducing the waste, it has saved me time and has given me a better appreciation for how I live my life.

I’m hoping for this blog post to inspire some sort of change, but that might just be a change of mindset.  It might be a growing awareness of the little changes that you can make.  Changing to a slower and more intentional life, especially around this issue of waste.  As we like to involve our children in our growth, our first step might be around the naked lunch box.

A naked lunch box simply refers to packing a lunch without disposable packaging, and instead using reusable containers.  Those of you new to this idea should know that each school-aged child packed a disposable lunch creates 30kg of waste per year with their lunch alone (Australian statistics).  Just changing this one thing can have a significant impact!

There are lots of ideas for lunchboxes and what to fill them with available – so many Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram photos out there to inspire!

For those of you who have been packing a reusable lunchbox for some time and want to take your waste reduction skills to the next level, I encourage you to step it up a level and try to source your ingredients without packaging.  This might be taking a cloth bag to the bakery and asking for unwrapped bread.  Or it might be going to a bulk food store and buying your goods there.  Or it might mean taking produce bags to buy your fruit and vegetables (little reusable mesh bags instead of the disposable plastic ones).  Or maybe it is going to the farmers market and simply filling a box to take home.

This is just one way to get started.  It might sound like another thing to add to the to-do list that is a mile long or another challenge in an otherwise overwhelmed life, but what you might find is that by living this way you cultivate a skill.  You get to have an intimate and caring relationship with the food that you put into your children’s and your own body; as well as saving time and money.

 

 

Photo credits

Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

Photo by Litterfree Living


Easy Quick Eco Cleaning Tips – How to Clean Your Kettle

Like a squeaky clean kettle but don’t want to have to scrub it?

You have two Wasteless options:

1. Throw in a used lemon and boil your full kettle a couple of times, letting it sit until all the nasties have lifted then rinse and you’re good to go. Or

2. Throw in a tablespoon of citric acid that you bought in your BYO container at ‪#‎wastelesspantry‬ then boil and rinse, no wait time for you next lovely cup of something yum! 


Why I Cook – 14 Reasons to Learn to Cook from Scratch

Long ago I cooked but didn’t know the pleasure of it.  Long ago I did what needed to be done – pouring in a jar of this or cracking a packet of that – solely because we needed to be fed.  I didn’t understand the rich, rewarding experience that cooking could be.

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.  THOMAS MOORE

I am not talking about the Master Chef style event of cooking or the “I’m better than you” soufflé dinner party designed to elevate status.  I am talking about the daily practice of making meals, handcrafting the simplest dishes (whether heated or raw) into something wonderful and nourishing (nutritious or not).

So here are my reasons for learning to cook from scratch:

  1. Home cooked food is fresh and perishable.  The ability for my food to be picked at its ripest and most flavoursome, prepared and then needs to be eaten before it is wasted is a delight to me.  Food that is overly processed has never satisfied me the way a home cooked meal will.  The idea that it can last for weeks, months or years due to preservatives, too much sugar or too much fat scares the bejebbies out of me!
  2. I know what it is that I am eating.  I know what ingredients have been used and I can tailor it to suit my tastes and dietary needs.
  3. I know where it came from.  Cooking from scratch gives me the opportunity to connect to my local providers and grounds me in the place that I live.  If you have ever prepared a dish using food grown in your own garden you will know what I mean.
  4. The accomplishment and skills you will learn from cooking are immeasurable.  It is not just how to bake a loaf of bread, but also patience and good judgement to let it rise for just long enough.
  5. Cooking from scratch is a sensory experience.  You are engaging all your senses.  From the touch of the produce to the visually appetising display to the aromas of fresh baking or the sound of toasted pine nuts on the pan, all the way to the final tastes as your meal is served.
  6. Food has a way of bringing you back to the present moment and to the full experience of life.  Cooking from scratch is essential for slow living in this busy busy world.
  7. The skill of cooking is a skill in crisis management.  Knowing how to cook means that last minute entertaining, one more day to pay day and sick days can all be managed without scrambling to the shops or having to buy takeout.
  8. Whether it is magic and love or science, cooking is a marvel of nature.  The way that flavours and ingredients can be combined into something delicious. The chemical reactions that go into brewing your own ginger beer, creating ANZAC cookies or thickening a sauce are simply amazing if you stop to notice.  Try making pasta from egg, flour, oil and a little salt and tell me that isn’t the coolest trick in the book!
  9. It connects you to the seasons.  In winter I love cooking soups and stews as it warms my body and my home.  In summer I prefer salads and light meals. I know that spring has sprung when my asparagus are ready to harvest and I know that winter is upon us when my raspberry plant finally stops providing us with fruit.
  10. There is belonging that comes from cooking together and even doing the dishes.  Sometimes you don’t have the words, but preparing a meal together or helping in the kitchen provides the opportunity to show that you care, that you share this common ground and that bonds can be strengthened through the most simple of acts.
  11. Cooking from scratch allows every cook an outlet for creativity.  Even if you follow the recipe, that meal will be slightly different, slightly more you.
  12. One of my favourite reasons is this – another chance to live ‘hands-on’.  I love practical things and the opportunity to get my hands dirty.  To step away from the overly analytical and theoretical aspects of our existence and embrace instead the simple pleasures available every day.
  13. Of course, cooking your own meals also means that you have control over the waste you produce.  From packaging, to food miles, to food waste, it is your choice!
  14. Sharing food that you have made with care and effort has so much more meaning.  My most enjoyable meals have been at home dinner tables breaking her bread, trying his sauce and serving up helpings of my pasta.  Simply magnificent.

Do you cook from scratch?

What do you think is a good reason to get on board and learn something new?


Our Guide to Sustainable Food Choices

eco-footprint-image

When did it become so hard to source and eat food without the guilt?

 

We worry about:

  • creating waste and landfill contributions
  • how far it has had to travel to our plate
  • how many preservatives and additives are in our food
  • allergens
  • animal cruelty and deforestation
  • whether it has been overly processed
  • just how much refined sugars and fats have been added
  • water use in production
  • how long and how it was stored before it was offered as ‘fresh’
  • food safety, especially given the latest berry health scare
  • whether it is nutritious at all any more
  • whether the kids or husband or wife will eat it
  • if it is supporting local farmers
  • if there are GMOs in it
  • if it is organic and if so certified organic
  • what the best deal for your money is
  • whether it was fairly purchased by the middle guy
  • and on and on it goes….

 

When did sourcing and eating our food suck all the flavour out of life?

 

A large part of why we are offering you this store is so that these complex and complicated decisions about your next meal can be made just a bit simpler.

 

Wasteless Pantry is about making it easy to shop and eat responsibly because sustainable is responsible.

 

We are all about “Progress not Perfection”, a term that we have seen a lot lately including on Conversations with My Sisters blog.  This means that we are trying our best and always looking to improve what we are doing so one step at a time.  When we open the store we will have sourced the best we can at that point. We will make mistakes, we will experiment and get it wrong, but we will continue to try to get it just a little better next time. And that is all we ask of you too.

 

So how do we decide what are our best food choices? Below is the Wasteless Pantry Guide to Sustainable Food Choices….

 

  1. Less packaging is our top priority.

At the Less is More Festival recently; the Eco Faeries sang a very catchy tune that included the line:

“There is no excuse for single use”

Whilst everyone there probably went to bed still singing this one line, it was a simple reminder of the priority we are working toward.

 

If you think about it, all the effort and resources that went into every single use product or package you buy and then throw away is the equivalent to getting a beautiful handmade quilt from someone dear and using it as a disposable napkin. Only in 10 years time at least the quilt would have composted back into the earth!

 

  • So this is our first decision making question – how can we minimize the waste?

 

  1. Local is always better.

Producing, sourcing and eating locally grown food is almost always a more sustainable option than sourcing further afield.

 

Grown to be eaten sooner, the food can ripen more naturally. It is grown to be transported a shorter distance so it doesn’t need to be as robust, and can be more flavorsome instead.   Local seasonal food is picked at its best and most nutritious so is more likely to be better for you.

 

And best of all, local food doesn’t need to travel huge distances to get to your plate. You might even get to know who grew it and how. Anyone involved in the frozen berry health scare can attest to how important that is. Brook ‘Sparkles’ Murphy at the Less is More Festival calculated that her green super food smoothie was produced with a massive amount of greenhouse gases due to where and how the ingredients were produced and sourced.

 

  • So this is our second decision making question – how local can we get this product?

 

  1. Organic where we can.

The effort that goes into growing the wonderful food we eat makes such an impact on our environment. Organically grown food is more sustainable than conventionally grown goods as there is fewer chemicals put into the environment and these farmers understand the importance of putting nutrients back into the soil.

 

There are concerns about the chemicals used getting into our bodies too. Of course the quality of the soil greatly impacts on the flavor and nutritional density of the food grown as well.

 

The thing is though, that a lot of organically grown foods are packaged wastefully to stop them being contaminated by conventional food. Doesn’t this strike you as interesting that the farmer would go to all that effort to care for the earth and avoid the use of chemicals, to then have the food packaged in something made of chemicals that threatens the earth?

 

  • So our third decision making question is – can we source it as close to organically as possible?

 

Having made these three decisions of sourcing the least packaged, most local and closest to organic product we can get there is one final question that we raise throughout the entire decision making process:

 

  • Is the food ethically produced?

 

Every effort is made to source options produced without animal cruelty such as avoiding uncertified palm oil. We also aim to offer Fair Trade products and those that support a fair price for farmers locally. We are also keen to support Rainforest Alliance initiatives.  Rainforest Alliance has a broad social and ecological mandate that spans many sectors including agriculture. For example, Coffee is one of the agricultural crops targeted by Rainforest Alliance programs. The coffee certification program is aimed at ensuring that coffee workers are paid fairly, treated with respect and that the crop they tend does not contribute to soil erosion, water contamination and forest destruction: the Rainforest Alliance seal means that both social and environmental values are respected.

 

There are so many other considerations that just haven’t made it onto our radar.

Mostly because once you follow these guiding questions your choice of what to eat next is reduced in such a beautiful way. It is not about which brand being advertised or which fad super food or diet to follow, or even about what that celebrity chef showed you on TV last night. It becomes about cooking seasonal goods that taste great and don’t come with a side of eco-guilt.

 

It becomes about getting the rubbish out of our kitchens and off our plates.

 

Like I said at the beginning this is a journey and we are just making one decision better each time.  Minimal waste, local, organic and ethical.
Are you coming with us? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Wasteless Ways: The Beautiful Pantry

“When you can find beauty in the mundane, that is where happiness lies.”

There may be more to life than a wasteless pantry.  There may be more beautiful things than a pantry which contains no advertising and instead only produce that will sustain and comfort you.  There may even be more satisfying things to do than to remove the rubbish from your pantry and replace it with organised shelves filled with goodness. But then I guess that depends on your perspective.

Whichever way you lean it is easy to see how a wasteless pantry aids in creating the life you want.

Here are just a few reasons:

  1. An organised pantry means that you save time, money and food by not buying doubles that then expire before you use them.
  2. Sealed containers minimise bug infestations and food going stale.
  3. It is easier to track what you need when you can see the contents of your staple containers decreasing.
  4. As you can easily find food in your pantry, it is easier to plan meals from what you already have.
  5. When you look at your organised pantry you are more likely to be inspired to cook from scratch all the goodies you have already on hand, instead of giving up and ordering takeout.
  6. You are more likely to be able to avoid preservatives, have fresher staples on hand and will be able to control the content of the food you eat.  Less sugar, less processed food, less allergy risk, less unknown entities in your food.
  7. Once you have transitioned to containers you will find it much easier to keep your pantry clean, tidy and in good working order.
  8. It will be easier for others to help you in the kitchen!!!
  9. Wasteless pantry items take up less space and have the potential to become full of a greater variety of food.

There are far more reasons than that but it gives you a starting point.

A wasteless pantry is more than being about waste.

It is about living a sustainable, simpler and easier existence; filling your life only with those good things you choose.

Head over to the Facebook page and let us know your reason for wanting a wasteless pantry, or share a picture to inspire others!

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Wasteless Ways: Cuppa sans waste


If you are anything like me, then you love to savour a good cup of coffee or tea.  The smell of it brewing, the warmth of the cup between your hands and the taste of that first sip of deliciousness.

To enjoy the experience even further how about going Waste Less?

All the waste associated with pod coffee makers just seems to take away from the beauty of a good cup of coffee made at home.  Making it without the waste takes no longer and leaves you with the feel good experience of living life simply.
Coffee can be brought as beans at places like Wasteless Pantry without the need for plastic packaging.  Depending where you go you could also use your own container.  Some places like Wasteless Pantry also have grinders onsite so your beans can be freshly ground for your delight!
Once home do not store it in the fridge – our friends at Yahava have clued us in on this common myth.
When you are ready for your brew there are a few methods available including plunger, but my preference is a stove top espresso maker.  These are as cheap or as fancy as you like – we have a range of these at Wasteless Pantry.  Works a treat.
Simply fill the bottom with water, scoop in 1-2 teaspoons of ground coffee beans into the basket per person, twist on the top and fire up your stove.  In 5 minutes you will have a smooth and delectable coffee ready for savouring the break in an otherwise busy or chaotic day.
A wide range of loose leaf teas are available from Wasteless Pantry if you want to give teabags the flick.
For even less waste grow your own herbal teas at home – fennel, chamomile, mint, raspberry or strawberry leaf, lemongrass, sage and catnip are all easy to grow and look beautiful in the garden too.
For tasty teas my preference is a simple strainer over the brim of my mug, but you could also brew in a pot or plunger if that takes your fancy.
The leftover tea leaves and coffee grinds make a great addition to compost in your garden too.

So have we tempted you to take your drink differently?  Let us know on the Facebook page or comments below.