Mind boggling zero waste dairy.

This is a post for all my non-vegan earth lovers and for anyone, like me, whose mind is boggled by zero waste dairy. It gets easier. Our approach is to seek out recyclable, reusable or byo packaging and generally eat more plants. While our health and well-being are paramount, we feel that any effort in favour of plant-rich foods should be applauded.

As Michael Pollan says…

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Here’s some food for thought on zero waste dairy:

  • Adopt something plant-based: I’m a non vegan ex-cheese snob who loves soy milk, coconut yoghurt, nut butter; and macadamia feta. I’ve tried cashew Parmesan and discovered that it’s easier to make myself. It’s great on roast vegetables. As a result, I’m now cooking with nutritional yeast. It’s not always peachy. When our soy boccocini melted into a ‘pearl jam’ consistency, I must admit I struggled to find it appealing 😜
  • Ask questions: By popular demand, a couple of local dairy farmers are now stocking milk in refillable glass bottles. We want to be a voice in that popular demand. For me, it still takes courage, but I’m getting used to saying “I’m trying to reduce my plastic use, would it be ok to put this in my own container?” I’m looking forward to a day when I can buy soy milk in glass too. We also return egg cartons for reuse.
  • Avoid plastic: We have found milk, yoghurt and cheese in glass or paper packaging from local suppliers. We buy parmesan in bulk to reduce packaging overall. It’s a conundrum for me that many vegan options are not yet plastic-free in Australia.
  • Favour local, ethical farmers: We’re lucky enough to live near ethical farmers. When we do buy dairy, we’ll try to support those that are not only ensuring that animals live well, but they also support environmentally sustainable practises in agriculture. Meat and dairy industries vary across the world, so this one takes a bit of research. I’m forever learning and try to be mindful of bias, propaganda and greenwashing.
  • Make it yourself: I experimented with homemade yoghurt and it’s surprisingly easy! Am yet to make vegan milk, but the recipe for almond milk seems like a no brainer.

Zero waste plastic free dairy and vegan alternatives

Zero waste plastic free dairy and vegan alternatives

Plant-based cheese review from a cheese snob!!

My French-influenced upbringing made me a cheese fiend for most of my life. I understood the difference between cheeses before I knew how to multiply. When I was 3, I liked smoked gouda. When I was 8, my preference was brie. Just like a fine cheese, I was well cultured. Later in life, when I lived with my best friend and vegan buddy, I actually found it easy to be vegan at home… except for cheese.

Soy boccocini

The bocconcini is ok. The texture matches its dairy counterpart. It melts in an unfamiliar and less attractive way though (it looks like ‘pearl jam’ when melted). It’s soy-based but doesn’t have a soy after-taste (note that I might be biased because I love soy milk). It tastes creamy.

In use: Do not melt. Add to salads and serve cold. 

Cashew cheese

The cashew cheese is astoundingly delicious but you can make this yourself for a fraction of the price. Just grind up some cashews, salt and yeast and save a heap of dollaridoos (As a bonus: Add silken tofu for a creamy vegan béchamel sauce). This jar is far too expensive for what it is but I like that they have exposed how easy it is to substitute the flavour of Parmesan sprinkles. To me, this mimics the cheap Parmesan flakes, not the actual cheese block.

In use: Sprinkle on roast vegetables before putting in the oven. Then make your own after this runs out.


Transitioning my hair & beauty regime

I learned to audit my toiletries, minimise my hair & grooming regimes and go natural with my nails. I embraced DIY for most products. For store-bought items, I favoured glass packaging and ethical brands. I took it slow, and stayed pampered.


Audit my toiletries

To audit, pull all the items out of the bathroom cupboard and split into separate piles: Keep, Give Away or Throw Out (try to reuse the container if you can). In the ‘Keep’ pile, take note of which items could be substituted by a zero waste alternative. Then, make two lists: To Make & Phase Out. Take it slow, substituting one item at a time.

Phase out for zero waste
These were items I chose to phase out to reduce my household waste

We went through our bathroom cupboards and took out items that were rarely used or a double-up. There was an alarming amount of stuff. An embarrassing amount. Some items were out of date, others were nearly untouched. We salvaged what was reusable and gave it away on gumtree (yes, people actually took it and they were so happy!). For the remaining stuff, I made two lists: “To Make” & “Phase Out”. The first item I made myself was lemon sea salt spray and I still use it today. I eventually learned to make shampoo, conditioner, soap, face scrub and makeup.

‘Phase out’ was a challenging list to get through. It contained cotton tips, tampons, multi-vitamins, spray deodorant, bleach, after sun gel, plastic flossers and band-aids. I realised that these were either totally pointless items (bleach, really Zoe!?) or there was a very different solution to the problem they solved. A big part of the challenge was using up what we already had – No matter how far I go with zero waste, I still have a never-ending bag of plastic flossers. The habit is made more challenging when these products are still front of mind.


Minimise hair regime

Simplify with a moisturising hair mask, a multi-purpose shampoo, hair conditioning rinse and homemade hair spray.

Zero waste lemon hairspray
RECIPE: Lemon Hairspray

My entire hair care routine comes from just a few core ingredients. Apart from the money I’m saving, my hair is healthier than before! I have naturally dry, fluffy, thick hair and I used to use a LOT of conditioner and rose hip oil to defrizz. This process made it greasy and probably wasn’t great for my skin. Now, my hair is glossy and tame without being oily. I’m overwhelmed by how minimal this is:

  1. Coconut oil treatment – once a fortnight
  2. Liquid Castile soap or Shampoo bar – every 3-5 days
  3. Apple cider vinegar & thyme conditioning rinse – a few drops in the shower after shampooing
  4. Lemon hairspray – for daily shine and hold

Grooming is optional

Zero waste helped me cull the last of the grooming products and accept my natural self. My zero waste approach to grooming is now: Pluck, Shave, Trim & the occasional Wax. And you know what? They’re all optional.

The Mister Brand safety razor
My grooming set: I purchased my safety razor from The Mister Brand.

I used to be extremely self conscious about body hair. I have dark features so I got teased for having dark baby hairs on my arms, face and belly. I was told that I looked like a man. These comments got to my head and I got a little OTT with hair removal. I would wax, shave, lazer, bleach and pluck until I looked like the unrealistic expectation that others had set for me. I hate looking back at pictures of me with pencil thin eyebrows. I dread to think what lazer did under the surface of my skin. I would hate for men to experience waxing down town – if I wouldn’t wish it upon them, why did I do it?

Today, I have the benefit of being older and not giving a fuck. Zero waste helped me cull the last of the grooming products and accept my natural self. I now know that all those comments were coming from people deflecting their own insecurities. They even teased me for my big brown eyes and petite figure, ha!

I have a totally different perception of beauty now. I think full eyebrows and possum pits are hot. I think soft dark arm hair is completely normal. I think baby hairs glistening over tanned skin is sparkly and gorgeous. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if someone doesn’t have an eye for me, then that’s ok!

In the words of the great Ru Paul: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here!?” AMEN!


DIY beauty

These items form the basis of DIY beauty, hair and skin products: Castile liquid soap, Apple cider vinegar, Bicarb/Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Xylitol, Bentonite Clay and Coconut Oil. Anything extra is added for luxury.

Zero waste beauty essentials
These are now my beauty essentials… I must be mad!

If you’re starting out with zero waste, this is a great shopping list to set you off on the right foot. All of this is available package-free at most bulk stores for less than $30 all up.

  1. Castile liquid soap: Shampoo, makeup remover, face wash, body wash, plus many household uses.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar: Dilute for hair conditioning rinse, skin toner, and healthy digestion for glowing skin.
  3. Bicarb/Baking Soda: A core ingredient for acne treatment, toothpowder, deodorant, body scrub and many cleaning solutions.
  4. Cornstarch: A core ingredient for powdered makeup and deodorant – I’ve had this container for years and finally getting some use out of it.
  5. Xylitol: Use in toothpowder and mouthwash.
  6. Bentonite Clay: Use in toothpowder, makeup and face masks – we bought waaay too much. You only need a couple of tablespoons.
  7. Coconut oil: Use as-is for a hair treatment, mix with other ingredients here to make deodorant, body scrub and toothpaste.
RECIPE: How to make your own deodorant

See all recipes

Reusable make up wipes for zero waste | Ain't no Planet B
I made my own reusable make up wipes from an old bath robe

Go natural with my nails

Truly zero waste nails is the all natural approach: Clean, trim, balm and eat a healthy diet.

Nail polish has never suited me. My zero waste approach is clean, trim, balm and eat fish now and then. This achieves a natural ‘French manicure’. The big step taken was to get rid of all the products I’d been holding onto for years. My new system only requires a couple of items, so I gave everything else away on Gumtree.

For those that like polish, simply favour glass packaging and non-toxic, ethical brands. There’s a gap in the market for non-toxic, glass bottles of nail polish remover…new business venture perhaps?


Glass packaging & ethical brands

For anything that doesn’t fit into a DIY or package-free solution, I favour glass, metal and paper packaging by ethical brands.

I love wearing fiery red lipstick. I tried to make a beetroot lip stain, but it just wasn’t bold enough for my liking. I now use Lush ‘Ambition’ Lipstick. The next best thing to zero waste is plastic-free or reusable. Favour glass, metal or paper packaging for extra brownie points.

 


How to build a zero waste beauty regime

Audit your toiletries and slowly minimise. Shop for glass packaging and ethical brands. Consider DIY. Take it slow and don’t compromise on the things that make you feel beautiful.

Next: Learn about Zero Waste Travel


Reducing waste while traveling on the go

I learned what to take on a daily basis and how to pack light for longer trips away. I formed a habit of taking snacks, a handkerchief, and a bottle while on the go. I realised that zero waste is about minimalism and simplicity.


Day to day

A handbag audit could be helpful at this stage. Think about all the items you use on a daily basis and add a handkerchief and small shopping bag to the set.

Whats in my bag for zero waste
At most, this is what’s in my bag.

Essentially, all I need is my wallet, phone, keys and a handkerchief. Everything else depends on where I’m going and whether a bag is necessary. Here’s the full extent of what I take:

  • Bailey Nelson glasses for seeing way off into the future
  • Small cheesecloth bag that fits in my pocket
  • My favourite handkerchief: To use as a scarf, to hold bakery treats, napkin, tissue …only ever in that order Snotzilla always comes last
  • Lush lipstick (only if I want to feel fancy)
  • Mr Simple wallet: Moving to a “men’s wallet” was the first step to not needing a handbag at all – I just throw coins in my pocket now
  • Phone
  • Keys
  • Multi-purpose balm in a Lush sample container: For lips, hair, nails, moisturiser and general spruce up
  • Cough lollies: If I have singing practice. I buy these in glass jars to avoid individually wrapped plastic packaging.
  • T2 water bottle: Usually just for singing or long walks. This doubles as a thermos and keeps tea nice and warm for hours.
Zero waste coffee run
I take two items with me on a coffee run: My handkerchief and reusable coffee cup

Snacks, handkerchief & bottle

If travelling for an extended period of time, take snacks to avoid impulse purchases, a drink bottle that can be refilled, and a handkerchief for take away sandwiches, baked goods, etc. If you’re more of a sushi fan, a small container is helpful too.

Airport survival kit for zero waste
Airport survival kit: Handkerchief, snacks and water bottle

I now have an airport survival kit: Snacks, handkerchief, and water bottle. These three items ensure a package-free trip from Melbourne to Katoomba. That’s a 1.5hr flight plus 2.5hr train ride with loads of waiting time in between. The salty macadamias and chocolate covered almonds prevented me from buying McDonalds Chicken McNuggets at the airport and Pringles on the plane. The water bottle prevented me from guzzling down lemonade and then throwing away the vessel. The handkerchief was used to wrap a toasted cheese and tomato croissant to take away. I also bought an apple for a zero waste snack.


Minimalist beauty

While in transition, take the labels off certain products as a reminder to keep the container and bulk buy / DIY once it runs out.

Zero waste travel
My first big trip while adjusting to a zero waste lifestyle

I’m getting the hang of zero waste travel and learning how to pack light. This is what’s in my toiletries bag for a 3 day trip. This works pretty well for me. We went to New York for 8 days and I took a similar set of items, and it was perfect. If we were camping, we would have tea tree oil and Castile soap – and the blush would be the first thing to go.

  • Tweezers
  • Fine brush
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Blush powder: I’m working my way through the last of my make up. This powder can easily be made with beetroot powder and cornstarch.
  • Home made toothpowder
  • Rose hip oil or Argan Oil
  • Multi-purpose balm in a tiny jam jar: For hair, lips, nails, feet, etc
  • Deodorant
  • Bamboo toothbrush: I recommend Uppercut Delux toothbrush
  • Reusable make up wipes: Made from my old bath robe
  • Home made face powder in a Lush tin
  • Large makeup brush
Zero waste travel
After a few months, my travel pack is getting more and more minimal

Pack a capsule wardrobe

Get comfortable wearing pants, jumpers, and jackets a couple of times before washing. Packing light takes practice so it helps to take more holidays (you know it!). This is also great practice for a longer term capsule wardrobe.

Capsule wardrobe zero waste travel
Everything I brought/wore for 4 days away.

All the clothes, accessories and shoes I brought for 4 days away: Tracksuit pants, 2 x Jeans, 4 x undies, 2 x Socks, 1 x Bra, Scarf, Beanie, Leather jacket, Hoodie, Glasses, Sunnies, Cardigan, 4 x T-shirts, Gloves and Boots.


How to be zero waste without lugging your life around

Always remember to bring a handkerchief, a drinking vessel and a shopping bag. Use travel as a test for minimising everyday toiletries & wardrobe. Take note of items that you use on the go. Challenge yourself to pack lighter & smarter.

Next: Remain ready with Zero Waste Groceries


How to transition to a zero waste wardrobe

For zero waste fashion, I learned to wear all black, reduce to a capsule wardrobe, simplify, and wash less. I now exclusively shop second-hand, and favour ethical brands and natural fibres. I learned to take my time and not give anything away too hastily.


Minimise to a capsule wardrobe

Wearing black makes it easier to minimise. Everything goes together and dresses up or down really easily. Zero waste is just as much about saving resources as it is about saving personal time and energy. I love not having to think about what to wear.

My capsule wardrobe in Winter

Cutting back on what I own has been a slow process over 12 months. First, I got all the stuff I rarely wear and put it in a box out of sight. At the end of each season, I sorted through it again. Anything that I didn’t miss I’d give away or sell online. I’ve still got a small box of summer clothes that I’ll reassess at the end of winter (I’ll definitely miss my thongs …ahem …that’s “flip flops” to my international friends).

Next: Travel light with a capsule wardrobe

Why is this related to zero waste? It’s trained me to buy less and treat fashion a bit like grocery shopping – for instance, I can easily see that I’ll need a replacement pair of black jeans in the next 2 months. This level of control and awareness allows me to slowly search the second-hand market and make more considered purchases. It has also reduced my laundry, saving time and energy.

I found it best to hide things under the bed until I was absolutely certain I’d never wear it again.


Shop Second-hand

Know your size and casually trawl local markets, thrift stores, eBay and gumtree. Buy near new and good quality. Set clear standards on what you want.

My second hand R.M Williams boots

I developed an eBay addiction. I began as a seller. Once I realised I could buy second-hand high quality, ethical Australian brands, I was unstoppable. I checked it every day. I saved searches of my favourite Country Road jeans, so I could get notified if they were listed. I saved searches of ALL Cue Clothing just to see what was available in my size. I bid on a pair of near new R.M Williams boots at half the price of a brand new pair. I won.

After this, I began to broaden my horizons. I love Alison Mosshart’s style, so I researched what she wears, and found an endless collection of second-hand Equipment shirts by Kate Moss. Pure silk. Rad patterns. Kind of affordable… Sadly, they didn’t fit very well. And I didn’t enjoy separating them for a gentle wash cycle.

I now have strict standards on what I buy. I try to keep to black clothes, natural fabrics and brands that I know fit well.

Shop second hand | Ain't no Planet B
High quality second hand is my favourite


How to transition to a zero waste wardrobe

Audit your wardrobe and hide items on low rotation. Consider simplifying to a capsule wardrobe. Wash when needed, not after every wear. Shop second-hand. Favour ethical brands and natural fibres. Take your time and don’t get rid of anything too hastily.

Next: Learn how to travel light

Capsule wardrobe packs light | Ain't no Planet B


How to think about the environment in a sexy way

I learned that the ultimate zero waste approach to sex is not having kids. I realised that zero waste protection is often invasive. I reluctantly accept that condoms are ok because safe sex is paramount.


Not having kids

Population growth has slowed down since the 60s baby boom. But human impact on the environment is getting worse. Less humans means less environmental problems right?

I would make a great mum. I was 12 when I changed a nappy for the first time. I took great pride in my ability to calm my nieces and nephew and gently rock them to sleep. I love babysitting. I love watching a child’s personality shine through. When friends come to visit; I can cook a meal, entertain their child, and keep an eye on our dog all while socialising and enjoying a glass or three of wine.

My husband and I made the decision to not talk seriously about having kids until we were both 29. It was a handshake agreement that gave me permission to focus on being a twenty-something, binge drinking, full-time worker with a thirst for travel and live music. It’s only now that we’ve hit our 30s that we’re starting to feel a little foggy about what we want.


Protection is invasive

Zero waste protective sex has it’s downsides. Truly zero waste options are the birth control implant, Copper IUD or a Vasectomy.

Motivated by zero waste and health reasons, I decided to go off the birth control pill. I’d been on the pill for almost 15 years. That’s half my life and basically all of my adult life. My hormones are slowly starting to balance out again, but I’m left with a lack of options for the sexy time. How can we prevent getting pregnant without buying single-use plastic packaging or pumping our bodies full of hormones?

  • Bar in the arm? No way. I’m done with hormones.
  • Barbed wire in the snatch? There’s no way I’m putting a piece of metal in my taco. No thank you…
  • Get the snip? Sure! But that’s super invasive and doctors have tried to deter us because they believe we’re too young (we’re both 30).

Condoms are ok

If safe sex is paramount, then condoms are ok. A condom is the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

We see condoms as part of ‘medical’ plastics. We played it as safe as possible for as long as we could and then finally resorted to buying a fresh pack of love gloves. No glove, no love. Amiright?


How to think about the environment in a sexy way

Accept that the most environmentally-friendly approach to sex is not having kids. Consider package-free contraceptives but know that condoms and packaging are ok because safe sex is paramount. Stay true to your personal values. If you choose to make a tiny human, tell them about zero waste.

Next: Stay pampered with Zero Waste Beauty


Good health is paramount

I learned that good health is paramount & that it’s ok to create medical waste. I learned the power of self care & mindfulness. I discovered that napping, stretching & eating well is pretty effective. I realised that a healthy recovery sometimes doesn’t require medication.


Staying alive

Be realistic and accept that some medical conditions require waste. Your health is paramount and modern medicine saves lives. Swallow your pride and remember that there comes a time in everyone’s life when the doctor says “Can I have some of your poo?” and you’ve just gotta ignore all the standards you’ve set for yourself and drop the kids off at the plastic pool.

Medical waste | Ain't no Planet B
Medical waste is a fact of life

A topic I’d love to hear more about is zero waste sickness. I’ve had great health since starting zero waste because I’m eating well, am looking after myself and am more mindful. But I don’t have a medical condition. So, what about the serious illnesses? What about the times when natural medicine can’t cure you? Sometimes medical plastics are unavoidable.

When my husband, James was 14 years old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. For 16 years, he has manually injected himself with insulin and tested his blood. Every syringe and single-use blood test strip has been a saving grace that keeps him alive.

Today, he is relieved to have upgraded to a wearable insulin pump that automatically injects insulin and monitors his blood. James reckons he has become part robot and he loves the freedom that this tech has given him.

Insulin pump | Ain't no Planet B
Pump & applicator for insulin-dependent diabetes

He has two wearables: His insulin pump and a continual glucose meter. He needs to change the cannula and reservoir in his pump every 3 days. The glucose meter is changed every 6 days. The tech comes with a single purpose applicator to ensure a sterilised and safe application. Unfortunately, this system creates a lot more waste than the manual one. Down the track, there may be opportunities to find a system that produces less landfill. But sadly for now, some waste is essential. I’m just so grateful for modern medicine and to have the best treatment available for my best friend.

Standard amount of waste for insulin pump | Ain't no Planet B
Standard amount of waste for insulin pump

Favour recyclable packaging

Ask questions. Explore options. If given a choice by your doctor, take small steps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic required. Avoid blister packs. Favour bulk. Vitamins are often available in glass jars. Headache tablets can be sold in bulk plastic tubs.

Favour glass for medical waste | Ain't no Planet B
Favour recyclable packaging for medical waste

My husband was shocked by the amount of single-use plastic required for his insulin pump. He asked his doctor loads of questions and found that this pump can be topped up using the same syringe he’s familiar with (100% plastic) or a vial (glass / metal / rubber). Being inspired by zero waste, he’s opted for glass vials that have a metal and rubber lid and are packaged in paper. Using recyclable packaging makes no difference to his wellbeing, but it results in significantly less plastic coming into our home.

Refilling the old way | Ain't no Planet B
Refilling the old way

On a slightly less life-threatening note, I have had bouts of mild insomnia at various times in my life. It occasionally gets to the point where a pill is necessary. Rather than purchasing blister packs and plastic containers, I now favour a glass container with loose pills inside. It cures me of my temporary ailment and I now have a jar that I can reuse for toiletries.

If a fork in the road presents itself, and it has no impact on my wellbeing, I try to favour recyclable packaging.


Consider a drug-free remedy

If your doctor says it’s ok, consider not buying a product at all and opt for natural remedies, manual therapy or recovering at a steady pace.

Tension headaches | Ain't no Planet B
Ain’t no painkillers for my tension headaches

I can get tension headaches from sitting at a desk all day. Rather than taking a painkiller, I go to a manual therapist to solve the problem at its core: knotted shoulders and neck. It works a treat!

I have a special talent at getting food poisoning. It’s really quite remarkable just how many types of food I’ve been poisoned by: milk, bread, beans and prawns. Seafood poisoning was the worst. I thought I’d never recover. When I’ve tried to take a pill for my belly, it’s resulted in further discomfort. Despite my best efforts to speed up recovery, the best remedy for food poisoning has always been hydration, time and a delicate diet of rice, broth, bananas, salted bread and whatever vegetables my body is craving. This is a sickness that takes a great deal of patience and self-awareness.

Sickness varies from person to person, and I trust that the doctor knows what’s best for me. If I’m lucky enough to have the option, I’ll heal without medication.


Look after yourself

Get regular check ups from your doctor, dentist and therapist. Eat well, exercise, take a nap, do some stretches and listen to your mother.

Eat fresh foods | Ain't no Planet B
Understand how food can affect your health

I’ve had this book, “Foods that Harm. Foods that Heal.” all my life. I think it’s shaped me. It offers a reference for what to eat/avoid in certain health situations. My mum would refer to it when I had a sore tummy or a cold. I began to flick through the pages when I experienced the joys of puberty. Today, it’s a reference for a quicker recovery or supporting a change in lifestyle like reducing meat in my diet or increasing exercise. Even though some parts are a little outdated, I’m always learning something new.

I’ve also noticed that I’m stretching more and am mindful and realistic about when I’m run down, so I rest (I vaguely remember my mum telling me about this far out thing called “resting”). I don’t quite know how to explain it but I can see how zero waste is an enabler for good health.


How to be fully sick without feeling bad

Good health is paramount & it’s ok to create medical waste. Look after yourself. Ask questions, explore options, listen to your doctor and do whatever you need to be as healthy as can be.

Next: Let’s talk about sex, baby!


Experiencing red week without any waste at all

I learned to ignore my fears and try something new. I used a moon cup and experienced red week without any waste at all. I got to understand my body and listen to my cycle. I learned that disposables are not essential, in fact, they’re a little gross.


Try something new

Compromising current norms and suppressing anxiety may be required to try something new. It’s out of the comfort zone, but worth it if you feel motivated about reducing landfill.

I was mortified by the thought of leaving the cotton pony behind. Switching to a reusable product did not sound appealing at all. I had a good thing going on with tampons. The system worked. It was simple, clean and easy. It was socially acceptable. It’s a lovely gesture to give someone a tampon when they’re in need. We have a stash of pads and tampons at work that anyone can freely take. That’s girl power, right?

Given that this system worked perfectly well for me, there was only one motivation for trying something new: Reducing my landfill waste. I pictured all the used tampons and pads sitting at waste disposal centres around the world. I pictured rats and other scavengers mistaking them for food. I pictured someone sorting through that rubbish and casually uncovering one, like it’s no big deal because they see them ALL the time. I no longer wanted to contribute to this picture.


Switch to a moon cup

Moon cups are available at pharmacies, natural alternative stores and online. They take a bit of getting used too. Expect an adjustment period (ha, get it?), as well as a new sense of empowerment and independence.

The Diva Cup. I was terrified and confused when I took this photo.

When I first experienced one whole red week 100% landfill free, it was life changing. Using a moon cup felt like a huge milestone. The moon cup I have is a Diva Cup, but there are plenty of similar brands making these small and mighty solutions to landfill free periods. The only waste was the recyclable box that it came in – and that’s potentially it for one whole year. Mind blowing!

 

Something about this gave me a sense of empowerment. I learnt a lot about myself. Achieving the same level of comfort and ease took a couple of days of practise but once I got to that stage, I was really impressed by this product. Had I experienced leaks, I would also invest in period-proof underwear like SheThinx. This was not necessary. The cup alone is all I need.


How to bleed for one whole week without using disposables

Take a deep breath and try something new. Familiarise yourself with your body and your cycle. Consider using a moon cup and/or period proof underwear. Practice makes perfect.

Next: Go deeper with Zero Waste Sex


Quality flour + Clean water = Freedom

I want to fill my life with as much creative play as possible. Making, experimenting and trying new things is good for our souls. Doing this together strengthens bonds and has the potential to build ritual and knowledge from tasks.

Together is better. We’ve been practising making tortillas, mountain bread, sour dough and naan bread. By shifting dinner from a task to a shared ritual, we’ve change our mindset from “I can’t be bothered cooking” to “let’s cook together”. Being surrounded by modern conveniences, I had lost touch with this way of living.

Quality flour + clean water = freedom. If my partner and I can make these things well, then we‘ll no longer value convenience. Instead, we’ll value quality, core ingredients. It will be more affordable. It will be nutritionally better for us. It will help us tap into traditional cultures and connect with our collective history. It will enrich our lives. It’s a win win win.


30 wears? Seriously!? How about 300+ wears?

I’ve had these shorts and thongs/flip flops since I was 18. I’ve worn them regularly every summer for the last 13 years. C’mon mates – let’s try a little harder than 30 wears for our clothes, yeah? 😜

What am I wearing? I’m uncharacteristically wearing nothing second-hand, ethical or zero waste. But I do get brownie points because it’s all far beyond 200 wears. Top-Bottom: @baileynelson prescription sunglasses – 3yrs (acetate aka more plastic), @ascolour tank – 3yrs (some aspects of their supply chain are ethical), @bondsaus underwear – 2yrs, @dickiespants cut into shorts – 13yrs, giselle thongs – 13yrs, @obusclothing bag – 4yrs. This post is most certainly not sponsored. When these clothes do eventually die, I’m replacing with second-hand or supporting companies that scrutinise every aspect of their supply chain and don’t settle for a small splash of green washing (@etiko_fairtrade will be my first stop 💚).

Proper workwear never dies. These @dickies shorts were once full length pants. After a couple of wears, I got hair bleach on the thigh. Being a full-time student forced me to be thrifty rather than wasteful, so I turned them into shorts. The length (or lack of) was determined by the highest splotch of bleach stain. They’re much shorter than I would have preferred, but I’ll rock them all the same.

Photo gallery is a homage to @paris_to_go’s impressive capsule wardrobe. She sure knows how to make the most of her clothes. Donning short shorts and thongs, I tried to do stretchy poses inspired by the legendary @demilardner but I ended up looking like I’m holding in a fart. 😜 Nobody rocks short shorts and thongs quite like Demi 💚