Eco-living in the city

This Friday I’ve decided to write about some of the eco-living changes I’ve made in the last month since coming back to the city after summer. I’ve decided to dedicate Monday to jobs around the house that help take us further towards reducing our waste, using more organic and beyond organic products without increasing costs and taking on any changes that could make our lives in the city more “regenerative”. In fact, Kira saw my moon cup this morning and said “Why do you put plastic inside you?” I explained that it was reusable silicon and that, unlike tampons, it doesn’t leave particles inside me and create waste. She then asked “Is it from a good company?” and I said well it’s not from a company with zero ecosocial ethics, but i’m not sure exactly how ethical they are (actually I’m pretty sure it’s not a Moon Cup but a menstrual cup I bought at the Pharmacy, so it probably isn’t from a particultarly “good” company).

So I think the education part is going ok for now!!!

Tea Bags

Thanks to the fact that all our waste at Boodaville goes back to the land, the discussion of micro-plastics in tea bags came up. I actually made time to do some research online, I desperately wanted my PG tips backs to be ok for the land. I learnt that there are some companies that use bio-plastic, which means that in a municipal composting plant they can be composted. (Although some research says otherwise) And there is only one company that avoids micro-plastics – which is Pukka. So really the easiest option here is to just buy loose tea. I recognise that PG tips is neither organic, nor free from greenwashing, but I like the taste, I can buy it round the corner, and it’s not expensive.

I use a metal net that sits in the top of my favourite mug, and leave it to stew with a spoonfull of loose tea in the top. It does take that little extra effort to find the thing, and wash the thing. But another amazing find related to this is the euros involved. In the shop a 250g pack of loose tea costs 3.95 euros. And 1.5kg costs 9.95!!! That’s an insane saving in exchange for finding a space in the cupboard for that big bag. So there you go, VERY cheap micro-plastic free tea.

Loose leaf tea - down with tea bags and their microplastic!

Orange Juice

The cost of organic orange juice, and the number of tetrabriks was bothering me. We found an aging relative with a juicer she never used in the cupboard, and now juice oranges at home, thus producing 100% compost waste. This feels so much better than yet another tetrabrik. With a little tweaking here we could easily order organic oranges online without any plastic netted packaging, without paying too much in euros. Although it must be noted that oranges aren’t always in season… so supply isn’t constant.

second hand juicer

Oat Milk

Now this is a total win. It took me three weeks and counting to get the method and recipe right, and to figure out how to keep the time input as low as possible. I am happy with the white creamy oaty liquid that we produce, but the rest of the family still go for the tetrabrik. So actually, not a total win. Yet. But compared to oranges juice where the oranges themselves aren’t that cheap, oat milk is just OATS and WATER. How is it even possible that they can charge €2.25 a litre for organic oat milk?! I’ll keep you updated about whether I manage a recipe that works for everyone – last week someone advised me to add a date!

home made oat milk

Bucket in the Bath

When was the last time you flushed a toilet by emptying a bucket of water down the u-bend?

When was the last time you let water run away down the drain serving no purpose, while you waited for the shower water to get hot?

It is a simple step to match these two things. Not only would you be reducing your water use and water bill, but a bucket takes less water, and less time to complete the job of flushing. One of the biggest wastes of resources we engage in every day is the system of purifying and treating water until it is drinking water standard, then using it to flush the toilet. Writing this post strengthens my resolve. I wonder how few “normal” flushes we could do a day if we use the bucket conscientiously.

bucket in the bath to save water flushing the toilet

Baking

With a little more time and space in my life I have been thinking of ways I can combine living with less waste and more healthy organic food, with entertaining and educating Kira. My weekly routine is to avoid social media and news on Mondays and use this time to plan and implement ideas like the ones in this post, and to get stuff we need (finding things in the cupboard, checking neighbourhood whatsapp groups, wallapop, buying online from eco companies, and going to real shops too!). I also decided that after school on Monday’s would be baking day with Kira. If we make something she likes (and luckily she tends to like biscuits and muffins we make even if they are.. well let’s just say that Avia couldn’t even finish her muffin), then that serves as her snack after school every day that week. Instead of buying either non-organic crap from a multi-national, or expensive snacks from the organic shop, we use organic ingredients and have a fun time (attempting) baking.

home made muffins

Let me know in the comments if this is useful / too much info / not enough info and feel free to ask questions or suggest more ideas! When I have more to share I will write again.


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