Beer carrier for my empty jars

Sometimes an idea is so genius, it’s just plain obvious. The wonderful @zerowastechef gave me the idea of using a beer carrier for my empty jars when grocery shopping. This addition means that I can put the whole set in my backpack and not worry about them rolling around. It’s so much easier to juggle jars in the store and at checkout. It has also encouraged me to take more jars than I previously would have, saving paper bags that I might have used before.


Composting

Our compost bin is bigger than our landfill bin. We keep it on the kitchen bench so it’s front of mind and easy to access. I made it out of a metal tub I found and the lid of an old pot. Essentially, it just needs to be leak proof and have a hole on top to breathe. Our tiny landfill bin is hidden in the laundry cupboard next to the kitchen (out of sight, out of mind).

I have two compost systems, both found on the side of the road:

1) Outdoor flip top bin: It takes all organic matter: food scraps, paper, wood, hair, fabric, etc. This sits in our tiny 20 square metre backyard.

2) Indoor Worm farm: We keep our worm farm in the garage. I feed it sporadically to prevent over-feeding. Worm farms don’t like animal products, onions/bulbs and citrus, so I tend to save the really special compost for them: egg shells, banana peels, avocado, coffee grounds.

This whole process reduces landfill waste and the worm farm ensures I have excellent soil for potting plants.


Future sourdough bread

Future sourdough bread, sealed with beeswax wrap. I’m still mastering the art of bread making and I love that we’ve always got a sourdough baby on its way to bread town. The recipe for this involves 3 days of incremental steps – it’s a bit much for an Instagram post. With almost 2000 followers (gulp! Thank you!) I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Insta is not scalable. For ease of reference, I’m slowly adding recipes and learnings to my upcoming website.

I’ve been a little reluctant to have a website, to be honest – there’s so many zero waste blogs out there. I don’t want to add more of the same content. Plus my pet peeve is seeing ‘click bait’ style Instagram posts.I vow to never start with a rhetorical question and finish with “click the link in my bio to find out!”.

That’s just not for me. Nope nope nope… My manifesto is to make it EASY for others to see what I’ve learnt, understand my new mindset and forge their own path. I will still continue to make each post here as detailed as needed. I truly hope my website can offer something different. If there’s any parts of my journey/zero waste that you’d like to hear more about, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.


Who says they have to match!?

Who says they have to match!? I’m making so much stuff now that our spoons tray is often low. Mum is a bit of a beatnik baby boomer and has hoarded over 8 sets of cutlery from garage sales and thrift stores. I scored a few of the odd ones so she could keep her sets intact (but also odd is definitely my style).


Tried to make yogurt. Accidentally made ricotta.

Tried to make yoghurt. Accidentally made ricotta. Still tastes amazing!
Many moons ago, the wonderful @therootedroamer saw my question about zero waste yoghurt and she messaged me her mum’s recipe.
Legend! This unselfish act of reaching out to a total stranger and sharing ideas has been a reoccurring pattern within the zero waste community.
We’re all going through a tough transition and it’s been an inspiration to receive advice and ideas from so many wonderful people.
Every comment or question I receive brings me one step closer to knowing what the hell I’m doing. Thank you, everybody!


Our homebrew was a success.

Our homebrew was a success. We took @brewsmithau‘s Hoppy Heart IPA and made it sessionable by adding water before bottling into reused beer bottles. It tastes sensational. Love your work @brewsmithau and thank you for inspiring us to experiment with our brews.


Easy system for label removal

I’ve now got an easy system for label removal. First, I peel as much off as possible. Then I soak in warm water with a dash of eucalyptus. I leave the glue to soften until any remaining label is soaked through. Then, I take steel wool and more eucalyptus and scrub away all the gunky paper and glue. After that, it just needs a wash with Castile soap to remove the oil. Depending on the label, this can be a 5sec task or a 10min task – but it’s worth it if you find something perfect for your needs. I love how beautiful a used container looks after the label is removed.


The challenge of zero-waste meat and cheese

I love cheese so very much. Going 100% plastic free has been challenging for us non-vegans.

It’s hard to find cheese and meat without planning waaaay ahead. Our options are further limited by a 9-5 work schedule. Most places aren’t open late, and there’s a small window during the weekend.

We happened to run out of meat and cheese when @plasticfreejuly clocked in so we went without for a few days. I told our housemate about our struggle. On her day off, she managed to find places in Carlton that sell cheese and meat (almost) plastic free. I don’t know which one I’m more excited about: the giant slabs of cheese in our fridge, or the thought and generosity behind this gesture. Thank you @jujuskoo101 for being amazing


Ice cubes for cooking

Inspired by a video that @jujuskoo101 sent me, I made little ice cubes for cooking. One is garlic and herb, the other is red wine. We have sooo much garlic. I originally chopped it all up in one hit and put a large jar in the fridge for easy minced garlic. This proved to be a great way to keep it fresh, but we didn’t seem to be using it quickly enough. In addition to this, I’ve made little olive oil, herb and garlic ice cubes for cooking later. We also had a small amount of red wine leftover. So I’ve also made little wine cubes for pasta sauce and stews. It boggles my mind that we had leftover wine, but at least this way it’s not going to waste