Bin of Returns

This is our storage bin for items to be brought to recyclable facilities, hazard facilities, and the farmer’s market.

Batteries, razor blades, writing utensils, elastic bands, Brita water filter, beauty products and cleaners.

Batteries: Sobey’s has a drop off bin.

Writing utensils: Staples has a recycling program .

Hazardous material: Waste Watch drop off centre.

Elastic bands and egg cartons: Donated to vendors at the farmer’s market .

Brita water filter: Send back to vendor (Brita).

 

 

Waste Cart

It has taken 8 weeks for our household to fill our black waste cart. December 16th to February 13th. This includes Christmas, Jack’s Birthday and family party, My Birthday, Julia’s Birthday and party as well as the rest of the household waste.

Our indoor garbage bin gets emptied between 10-16 days. As a reminder, we do not keep meat packages in the house. We have a extra large garbage bag that stays in the waste cart outside, and that is where the meat packages go once they are emptied. Straight outside. Our indoor bin gets dumped into that bag as well. I believe waste (plastic) needs to be contained so the garbage does not get blown away from the wind or out of the garbage truck as they drive down the road. Litter needs to stop and this is one way to help. Contain the garbage as best as you can. We can fit two of these extra large garbage bags in our waste cart.

Also, by waiting until our cart is full before taking it to the road side to get picked up, we are saving fuel and time for the garbage company. One less stop and time saving. Less fuel being wasted on a nearly empty cart and less wear and tare on the truck.

I am looking forward to see how long it takes to fill our cart this time round, as we will not have the extra Holiday and celebrations. Though, 2 more Birthdays are coming up in March and April as well as parties, but I am confident they will not create much waste.

Also, next week on the 20th, it is blue bag day. We will only have 1 blue bag of recyclables to go out. I just started to make yogurt at home, so that will cut out 4 yogurt containers a week. Yay!! Though, I have been saving those containers for some other use. They are still great for taking to Bulk Barn to purchase powdered products and coffee. As well, next time I make homemade play-doh, those yogurt containers will be perfect for storage. The small containers I used to use for play-doh are being used for school lunches.

Later this week, I will be emptying our blue bag to see what it consists of. Getting a visual will help decide what can get cut next.

Kids Valentine’s Day Cards For School

Regardless if we were choosing zero waste, we always got the kids to make their own Valentine’s Day cards for their classmates. Even I did when I was in school, elementary. I think I can remember 1 year when my mom bought Valentine cards from the store. Awesome!

So obviously, this year was no different. Though, we made much prettier cards with scrapbook card stock I had just sitting around. Usually, we just used construction paper cut into hearts. Also, Julia who is in Kindergarten, received a Paw Patrol book for her Birthday recently, about friendship day, and it had 12 Valentine cards. So we used what we had, completely. The kids understood the reasoning and agreed it was a great move.

Daniel chose to cut his cards into heart shapes.

Alaina chose to make actual cards with her Valentine’s with a simple message. 

Julia used her ready to use cards and we had to create a couple more with the card stock, same as Alaina. A side story, Julia has a friend at school, in a different class and on her bus. But, Julia does not know the girl’s name! She was too shy to ask and forgetful. Daniel and Alaina did not know whom Julia was talking about. Our plan was to send a note to school with Julia to give to her friend, with our contact information so we could set up a play date. Valentine’s Day was the perfect time. Julia sent a lovely card to her friend with the information, and we are currently waiting for a response. We finally found out her name too! Yay!

I took the two younger boys Jack and Thomas, out to play in the snow. We have been cooped up in the house all winter. They had a blast! I dug out a path in the backyard for easier walking for Thomas, he is only 2 and has trouble getting around in the deep fluffy snow. I dug out around the swing set and slide too. Lots of fun.

Did not take long for Thomas to lose his glove!
Swinging fun!

For a Valentine’s Day treat at home, I made chocolate chip muffins with heart sprinkles on top and a unbaked cherry cheese cake for me and Chris. Two thumbs up!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Comparison February 2019.

The last couple of weekends, February 1st and 8th , I took notes of regular prices per 100g comparing Sobey’s and Bulk Barn. I like to compare once in a while just to make sure the price is right shopping at Bulk Barn. This is just a partial of what I would buy. These prices most Likly fluctuate too and are not “sale” prices. I did my best at the grocery store to choose the cheapest/bulk amount to get the lowest price. Keep in mind, big name brands would be more expensive as well as smaller quanities.

Product
Dollar per 100g at Bulk Barn
Dollar per 100g at Sobey’s
Hickory Sticks
1.15
1.26
Pretzels
.51
.70
Sunflower seeds in shell
.49
1.19
Ground coffee
2.75
1.25 (Kurig pods are $7.40)
Hot chocolate
1.03
.94
Popcorn kernels
.30
.23
cashew
2.88
3.50
Peanuts
.66
1.09
Almonds
2.27
3.50
Peanut butter
1.10
.59
Almond butter
2.64
2.35
large Rolled Oats
.21
.33
Shreddies
.95
.83
Cheerios
.97
1.05
All purpose flour
.22
.14
Active Dry Yeast
1.80
3.61
Quick Rise Yeast
1.80
4.59
White Sugar
.18
.14
Dark Brown Sugar
.24
.26
Icing Sugar
.24
.25
Baking Powder
.84
1.46
Baking Soda
.28
.25
Shortening
.75
Fluffo .77
Dark Chocolate Chips
Callets 2.64
Hershey’s 1.44
Milk Chocolate Chips
1.28
1.33
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
.98
1.20
Cocoa
1.26
1.76
Gravy
chicken .96 and Brown 1.03
7.96 for packets of powder
Rice (parboiled)
.46
.45
Chick Pea
.38
.50
Arrowroot flour
For baby powder .95
Johnson’s baby powder .96

As you can see, some items are more expensive at Bulk Barn, but overall, there is a lot of savings! Also on the plus side is the fact that individuals can avoid plastic packaging. Even more so recyclable packaging too. The cost and amount of energy to recycle plastics is too much. Sometimes the plastics can not be processed due to unforeseen circumstances. Less garbage and less recyclables is a good thing! Not to mention box board. single use compostable, but it takes a lot of energy to produce them. Cardboard too, takes energy and resources to break them down and turn into something new.

Package free when possible! DIY when possible! Share ideas and solutions with others.

Bulk Barn carries so much. My local store does anyways, and I know there are bigger Bulk Barns and also different types of Bulk stores. My local store carries treats, candy, chocolate, baking needs, dried fruit, nuts, rice of all sorts and beans. Spices, sprinkles, coffee, tea and pasta. Dog food and dog treats as well as bird seed. They have soaps and shampoo bars, soap nuts and washing soda. Honey, Butters and coconut oil. cereals, oats and other grains. There are so many options!! I find our shopping list is small and not a whole lot of variety, but I would like to grow it and let this package free option help me along the way!

Here is a link to my first comparison back in July of 2018.

Here is a link to my second comparison back in October of 2018.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Powder

I asked Chris to help me find a great hot chocolate powder recipe. He does not fail! Here it is. 

I did not follow the exact ingredients, I used what I had on hand. I also cut the recipe in half (sorry hun!).  I am storing the mixture in a large Nutella container. I couldn’t put it in the recycle bin, such a great storage option, and I’m very low on the number of jars I have!

I love this chalk board idea of writing down simple recipes or even notes instead of paper and pen or white board and marker. So much less waste.
All mixed up!
Look at that foam!!!

We always add milk, usually chocolate milk, to the powder. It creates a great froth and helps to mix the powder with the hit water. Sometimes I like to use coffee cream, especially when the best before date is near, to help use it up.

I find the taste, ummm, a little dark. It could use more sweetener in it maybe. There is lots of sugar in it already though. I will keep an eye out for the proper ingredients, mainly the cocoa. I just used our regular light brown cocoa. I know Bulk Barn has 2 more kinds of cocoa.

This recipe was created at home, zero waste.

I also have a recipe for homemade marshmallows, I just have not tried it yet.

Update Feb. 12.

Not tasteful enough for Chris, and I agree, it could be better. So I will try to get unsweetened cocoa from Bulk Barn, my next trip in and see if this recipe is any better.

Handkerchief

Facial tissues. Depending how you buy the boxes of tissues depends on how much waste is created. When you purchase a 6+ pack for example, they are wrapped together in plastic. Some brands plastic is waste while others are recyclable. We must remember that any plastic, even if it is recyclable, is not an option we should choose.

I buy single boxes of tissue. This way I only deal with the plastic liner inside the box. I buy White Swan brand, as it is the cheapest and they use recycled products. It is the cheapest unless other single box brands are on sale. Keep an eye out for the unit price. Though I just had a terrible thought: what if the store just unpacks a packaged of pre-wrapped tissue boxes.

While working at a hotel many years ago, the shipments of tissues we got was a large box that held single boxes, not wrapped in plastic. I sure hope that is the case at the stores today.

Besides which, I started collecting cotton rags (from kids old clothing). I started to use them as handkerchiefs. I only got about a dozen or so, but a good start for myself.

I was doing some research as to how to clean them, but I also learned how to use them correctly as to not spread germs. Though I do agree we need some germs to stay healthy.

Link #1

Link #2

I think the best way, especially if someone is sick, is to store the one time use hanky in a container. Once there is a good amount used, boil it for 15 minutes on the stove. Then wash with other laundry. I think a size similar to disposable tissues are best.

A great thing I noticed about handkerchiefs is how my fingers stay dry. Disposable tissues let the wetness through even if they are 2 ply or 3 ply. That was a reason I always grabbed 2 tissues to blow my nose in the past. Since about October i knocked that habit out and started to grab 1 tissue. Yay. Now I will reach for 0 tissues. Less waste, less resources and money saved.

Now I must collect old clothing and such to build our collection. 

Less Blue Bags Needed

As I was tying off a blue bag of refundable recyclable containers such as pop and juice cans, I had a great idea!!

Why not just use a box to store the recyclables in instead of a bag! The bag gets emptied on the spot for counting so it would not matter how they were packaged to get to the depot!! Really!

I have lots of empty boxes from when we were using disposable diapers and wipes in the attic. Not to mention the once in a while parcels that come here. Also, grocery stores have a lot if boxes that they have from unpacking their goods. Super easy to just ask for a couple. Boxes can fold to seal the top as well.

Better yet, if one does not want to use boxes, and old laundry basket(s) or storage container(s) not in use would do to! This way, its an easy wash out and get reused over and over and over!!

One less need for a blue bag! Money and resources saved!

Homemade Make-up

No make-up

 

This is where I got my inspiration to make my own powder foundation as well as the eye shadow (tweaked). This is the website to this recipe as well by gittemary.com. Fantastic site I just found.

 

 

In the beginning I did not have shea butter for a primer. I tried using coconut oil, which I bought at the Bulk Barn in my own container. But the coconut oil does not absorb into the skin very well and left my face pretty . . . wet. The foundation would rub off very easily and then my skin would be blotchy. So no go with the coconut oil as a primer!

3 Tbsp Arrowroot powder, 1/2 tsp cocoa powder and cinnamon each.

I went a long time with just the powder and no primer. It was fine, but not the same as a liquid foundation for sure (which is what I was used to).

I found a vendor at The Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago who sells shea butter. All the way from Africa. 1 pound for $28.00 in a cardboard box or a container with a .5 pound for $15.00.  Of course, I avoided the container without thinking about it! I whipped up a small portion, 1/8 of a cup or so. I use that as my primer.

I tell you, what a difference! Primer is definitely a need. The powder foundation blends onto the skin so nice! Its also a great lip balm for a final touch.  (I would love to add some colour to it, like beet).

I must mention, I do not use a concealer. I need to lighten the recipe in the video for my skin colour otherwise I have dark patches. I just have not gotten around to that. I must say I am no make-up expert. I have never used concealer, so I am unaware of the benefits, really.

I also do not use the bronzer (cocoa powder), as I find it leaves blotches on top of the foundation. It just does not blend so well. I am not sure why. Though, it was fine without the shea butter primer. (I never used bronzer anyways).

For the eye shadow, I found straight up cocoa powder was not dark enough. I found some superior red cocoa powder at Bulk Barn, and that is what I am using. I take my applicator and sweep off the particles off the side of the container, so I can collect a small amount at a time, rather than sticking the applicator in the cocoa directly (too much).

I have not yet found an eye liner, mascara or eyebrow pencil replacement.  I will be doing some more researching soon and asking some helpful people I have been in contact with on different groups online. I feel I should go see a professional make-up artist and get some “how to” tips.

I took a break and further researched the link above and found this mascara recipe. Interesting! I have seen recipes calling for aloe vera gel before, and my first thoughts was to get a aloe vera plant too. Yes! She says something about using almonds to make activated charcoal . . . Must research that one.

I did find a container of activated charcoal at Superstore a few weeks ago, and it says to keep away from eyes . . .  so that needs more investigation.

As you can see, there is no rushing this process. Rushing will result in mistakes and waste (product and money). Something my husband has taught me. My commercial mascara is running out and needs to be replaced, now, but, if anything, I will just do without until I can make some. easy as that. ( I will save the old container and applicator to refill in the future).

A me sure to watch the video and read the site I posted above. I left some things out for my own routine.

Homemade Waffles

The kids are loving these homemade waffles. Christmas of 2017, my dad and step-mom bought us a waffle maker. Chris took charge and found, I think, the best waffle recipe!

In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 tsp baking powder and a 1/4 cup white sugar.

In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 + 3/4 cup warm milk, and 1 Tbsp of vanilla. Add in 2 beaten eggs.

Combine well and add the dry ingredients until well blended.

The waffle maker holds 2/3 cup of batter, so this recipe should make about 5 full waffles. (Sometimes I over full and so get 4.5 full waffles). I cook them for 6 minutes at a time.

Lay the cooled waffles on a pan and freeze them. Transfer frozen waffles in a container. I am using a cake tray from the bakery, just use it upside down, great container!

Goodbye store bought waffles/eggos and the packaging!


Farmer’s Market Day

I got some great bar soap from The Farmer’s Wife. I decided to only support PEI local for bar soap. Recently I bought a bar from Bulk Barn, as my face is really broken out with eczema and acne. The soap is working, but the smell is terrible. Daniel says it smells like paint! Blah! As soon as I feel my skin is in good condition, I’m done with it! Currently I have to put it in a cardboard box to contain the fragrance. I have become very aware of fragrances and want to avoid them as much as possible. I don’t want the house smelling that the bar soap.

Sweet local craft products!

I’m also using shea butter that I bought at the Famer’s Market a couple of weeks ago. 1 lb for $28.00. I can not remember the business’ name, but they also sell PEI honey, honey stir sticks and bees wax. Today I bought a large jar of honey for $13.00, and I can take the jar back to get reused!  I bought a jar of mustard pickles as well, from Clohossey Farms. Local and fresh.

Local!

So the Rosemary Mint (smells amazing) bar soap will be destined for the kitchen sink. The Outback Jack (smells amazing) for the upstairs bathroom/shower as well as the Beer soap. The shampoo bar of course for the shower when the present bar runs out. I’m hoping the Outback Jack soap will help keep my skin calm.

Top left is the Beer Soap, bottom left is Cool and Clean Shampoo Bar, Top right is the Rosemary Mint and the bottom right is the Outback Jack.

Currently, Chris is using up the commercial shampoo, no use in throwing it away, use it up. I can not go back to it after I started using the shampoo bar as it took 2 months for my hair to adjust to the natural bar soap. Just can’t do it. All the kids, except the 2 year old, Thomas, are using the shampoo bar. I reserved the last bit of commercial tear free shampoo for Thomas. I dont want his eyes stinging every bath as soap gets on his face during rinsing. I have the tear free shampoo to use up anyways.

Everyone using the bar soap for body wash. I’m so happy to get out of those fragrance chemical products!!! You have no idea!!

Also, there is a big happening coming soon I found out today, but I will not share it as its not my business too . . . yet. A couple more weeks! I tell you, I am very very excited!!!