No Weekends Missed at the Market

Another farmer’s market trip on the weekend!

Kale, apples, rainbow carrots, raspberry jam, garlic, 1/2 lb. Bacon (buying less as I dont eat it and the kids themselves not been wanting any lately), micro greens, bean sprouts and corn shoots. The corn shoots are delicious!! Tgey have a sweet taste to them! The containers can be brought back for reuse and I can bring my own container which the lady will fill up at home and bring back to me the following week! I’m so happy with the options! I also bought some wheat grass. It is great for smoothies and great for cats to aid digestion and cope with hairballs. Sparta likes to eat our Christmas decorations and has hairballs now and then, but also gets sick once in a whike. I am hoping the wheat grass will help sooth her.

Since I started going to the farmer’s market well over a year ago, I have not missed one weekend! Dedication to support local, eat local and strive to zero waste!

Eating Out at a Family Restaurant

This weekend we went to Boston Pizza. We do not eat out often, and I’m a little rusty with bringing our reusables, for the kids.

Kids drinks cake with straws and some covers. I saved them and will put them in my purse for the next time we dine out. I did this a couple months ago when we went to Pizza Delight. I still have the covers, waiting for the time to be reused.

There were some chicken strips leftover from the kids meal. I just wrapped them up in a napkin and took it home. The kids had it for school lunches.

Farmer’s Market Trip and a Little More

This weekends haul from Downtown Summerside.

    • Apples from Brady’s Farm. So good and juicy! I bring my own bag and refuse theirs. Although, the paper bag provided is welcomed to be returned for reuse!
    • Broccoli and carrots from Crystal Green Farms were bagged, but I asked for them unpacked and the farmer will reuse the bags. Actually, all veggies bagged can be unpacked or you could call/message them before market day to arrange the items packed in a paper bag for pick up.
    • BBQ sauce from High on the Hog. I have been wanting to make my own and have not yet, so here I am supporting local!
    • Eggs.
    • Micro greens from Our Old Island Market Farm has containers of micro greens which can be returned and/or I can give my own container to be filled for the following week! This is much their norm to cut waste and reuse.
    • Vinegar Hill Bakery will bring goods in paper bags instead of plastic bags if you ask for your order the day before the market!
    • One Stop Healing makes lotions for many uses and more. You can bring her a container which she can fill from the workshop and bring it back to the market the following weekend with the product you chose.
    • Turnip.

Coconut culture in the glass jar for making coconut yogurt. One step closer! From the health food store on Water street.

  • South Shore Soaps bar soap I bought from the Three Oaks Craft Fair.
  • A couple puzzles for Thomas and Chris to enjoy as well from LIL’ Buddy Puzzelz at the fair too.
  • 3 Pj sets to split up with the girls at home from Frenchy’s. Was looking for pj’s for Jack, no luck.

Great weekend supporting local!

Grocery Trip This Week

Now and then I like to share our shopping products. This time around, I did buy multiples of items as they were on sale, such as the flour, we go through quite a bit. The first picture is our most wasteful trip, regular grocery store. Not everybody in this house has cut back all plastic waste packaging. Together we are working on it, I can not control everything. Just like we as individuals are on a slightly different path on the zero waste journey, so are our family members. I got to give respect and patience to those, as they do great in other areas of the zero waste practice.

Sobey’s trip. I started to purchase Nutella again, unhappily.  But I found it available in glass jars. We reuse the jars for drinking glasses or for starting new plants from our Christmas Cactus. Still looking for the right recipe!
Flour was on sale, grabbed a couple bags.
The Summerside Butcher Shop. Everything wrapped in paper as requested.
Superstore trip. Dishwasher detergent in box. Sandwich meat in my own container and some casseroles in my own containers to take to a family potluck.
Bulk Barn trip. Lots of goodies in the pic. I did pick up some peanut free chocolates for Halloween, wrapped in foil; better than wrapped in plastic (no to new/recycled plastics).
The Summerside Farmer’s Market trip. Barnsoap and lip balm in a tin can from The Farmer’s Wife. Apples and carrots. Bacon and hot dogs. Eggs and an Aloe Vera Plant! Also stopped at Staples for white paper, wrapped in paper.

Latly I have been thinking about how Bulk Barn recieves their products. For example, cornstarch. I can buy it in compostable packaging at the grocery store. Does Bulk Barn get it in paper bags or plastic bags? There are some unknown factors that I want to get to the bottom of. I realize that even though I can get cornstarch in a box at the grocery store, the pallet of that item is probably wrapped up in plastic anyways. Food for thought!

 

Zero Waste Night Market Event

Yesterday me and Chris went to our first zero waste markets, which was held in Charlottetown at The Riverview Country Market and Cafe. Hosted by the Market, Urban Daisy and Forest Child Natural Beauty. Little did I know, it was an outside event and we were not dressed for the outdoors, oops! Next time, pack a coat just in case! Chris’ mom came down to our place to watch the kids with help from our niece as well. That’s right, we got away child free! Thank you Jean and Bailey! Xx

Sad to say, I did not take any pictures of the market, too busy going from vendor to vendor and holding our mugs of hot apple cider and hot chocolate. Yup, I packed mugs so we did not need a disposable, even if it was a paper cup. But I did take pictures of our products when we got home. It was so nice to finally put faces to names I knew from other online groups and companies. Some of the vendors put in a lot of work into what they make and truly recycling products into new fashions. I met up with the owners of Unpacked, which will be opening in Charlottetown next month, the Island’s first zero waste store.

First off was my new bamboo toothbrush. The Bristles are made of castor bean oil and the whole toothbrush is compostable. I heard of some people using the stick as a fire started once the brush has come to the end of its life, which I am told it should last as long a regular toothbrush before it needs replacing. Moonsnail Soapworks is where I got the toothbrush, $7.50. I also bought toothpaste tabs/bites which are fluoride free, but also plastic free. LUXE Beauty Bar sells it by the ounce, which in turn is about $6.00 for a couple weeks. May be pricey, but compared to other savings made in the long run, it makes up. Also, like I said, plastic free. I tried these out when I got home, and I was surprised with the toothbrush. Works great, does a great job cleaning and the size is perfect. Also, the bristles are so soft. The toothpaste bites, will take some time getting used to, but I’m down with that!

Chris bought a safety razor!!! He has been looking for quite some time and never seen one for sale until now! It was a pricey purchase, but in the long run, no more buying disposables. I’d say it will pay for itself within a year. (Sorry, also can not remember the vendor’s name, I try to find out)

This vendor, Nellie and Gabe really astonished me. Everything she sold was handcrafted by her and mostly came from products she recycled into her own new product. This bracelet is made from hemp, and the beads are reused from her thrift shopping trips. Can not get much more zero waste there, two thumbs up!

Chris convinced me to buy this sea sponge from Freckles and Porcelain. I always used to use the plastic bath sponges, but mine become unusable a while ago. Since then I just wast with my hands or a facecloth, but I found I could not scrub or reach areas very well. I thought someday I would find a loofa sponge, but I have not seen any for sale as of yet. So, sea sponge it was. I used it today and it works well and is so soft!

Great event, looking forward to more in the following months. I encourage you all to go to events in your area and support your local shops, they are counting on you.

Adventure Time With Thomas

So this past week, 3 big kids are in school and Jack, our second youngest went to grammie and grandads’ house for a few sleeps. This gave some great open time for me and Thomas to hang out. Chris of course, hard at work supporting our big family.

Day 1

I packed my backpack with essential supplies such as a cloth diapers and reusable wipes, a wet bag for soiled diaper, spare pants for Thomas, snacks like trail mix, apple, banana, juice if needed and my reusable water bottle. In my backpack is always packed first aid supplies, mug, cup, bowl, utensils, bar of soap and a small towel.

Me and Thomas took a walk with the stroller to the boardwalk. My main goal was to go up to the Credit Union Place and go see the horses at the track. Thomas is always looking for horses on drives and loves seeing them! For a nearly 3 year old, he can say the word “horses” so clearly! Amazingly cute!

On our walk, it was a breezy cool day. My ears were starting to hurt, so we ventured off the boardwalk onto more sheltered streets. When we arrived at the horse track we saw one horse training. Also, there was a tracker grading the track. Thomas loved it! I sat him on a post and held him close as he watched.

We walked around a bit more and found a couple more horses in pasture as well as a couple mules. Thomas learned a new word, mule. We ventured into Credit union place to warm up and I decided to get a coffee, in my own mug. I asked the lady at the counter and sure enough my mug was accepted for filling. Mind you, this was my first cup of coffee in about 3 weeks. It was yummy and hit the spot! I had a choice to use the single use creamers (x2) or a jug of milk to add to my coffee. Normally I use cream, but opted for the milk, much less waste! I got Thomas a cookie as well, but it was bagged (compostable bag) before I even knew it. Next time I need to ask, no bag! Some of these choices are up to us, ask and choose better!

Before we left, Thomas needed a diaper change and myself the bathroom. Easy switch of the cloth diaper and I used my scent free bar soap and towel to wash and dry, saving on smelly liquid soap and paper towel. I really do not like using other soaps. The smell that is left on my hands leave me the feeling of not clean and very uncomfortable.

After our rest, we started home. We stopped quickly at the Notre Dame Community Garden. Lots of veggies and fruit growing! I was happy to see the spot was greatly used!

After we were home for a short time, Thomas dozed off and had a great little nap. Of course I moved him to the couch!!

Day 2

Today I took Thomas to the pool at the Credit Union Place. This was his first time (maybe once when he was a little baby, don’t remember). He was super excited about the news of going to the pool, in the water splashing and playing with toys. All that changed once we entered the shower room. The water provided for a pre rinse was so nice and warm, but Thomas would not have it. He is actually not one for water fun, but I was certain he would enjoy at some point.

We got to the pool area, put on a life jacket and headed to the water. He was calm until we got to the water. He became uncertain and clinged to me. He was not very happy in the water. I tried using toys and a ball to cheer him up. He did stay quiet for a short time. I tried using a kiddie boat with his life jacket on to see if that would make him more calm and have fun. Same situation, so I tried nothing but me, mom. Held him, chased a ball around and got him to throw it. Thomas still was not comfortable, until we saw a horse racing by the window outdoors. The racing track is just outside, and you can see horses pass by. Thomas was excited to see it, and that was the highlight of the pool. I decided it was a good time to head out, we spent maybe 30 minutes in the water.

I brought my shampoo bar and body wash bar, wrapped in a towel. Easy transport in my backpack. Rinsing after the pool is my favourite part, nice warm water and usually a great cuddle with one of the kids, but not Thomas. He would not have it unless a stranger came walking by talking to him. Shy fellow.

Jpeg

Since we were not there as long as I expected, we took a drive to see if we could find some horses. We scored, found 4 of them grazing. Seen some trackers too which Thomas was excited about! We got home, had some lunch and he had a nap afterwards.

Day 3

This day, I will probably spend at home, catching up on house work. Easier to do the extra special things with less distractions around (kids, hahaha). I think me and Thomas will make some cookies too! yummy!

Buy Nothing August

I am taking the 31 day challenge of Buy Nothing for a month (August). Basically, this challenge will help me avoid impulse purchasing, purchasing items not needed, saving money, buying local and second hand. Make do or do without.

Rules I am going by:

  • Buy what you need only (groceries, school supply list, emergency item)
  • Shop local (Farmer’s Market, small businesses)
  • Shop second hand (Franchies/Salvation Army)
  • No takeout (lunch and supper type meals)
  • Eat out the fridge, freezer and pantry.
Day 1
  • Bought nothing
Day 2
  • Much needed school shopping. Stuck completely to the list, bought as much possible package free, I’m really excited!! (I already signed up to buy school supplies back in June, this is necessary purchases)
  • Groceries at Sobey’s. Some plastic packaging (hotdog, milk, pizzaronies, pop cans, oxygen bleach). Though, I only bought what we needed, and am planning to eat out the fridge and pantry this month.
  • I will add, my husband and son wanted a pizza slice from a local shop, Michael’s Pizzeria. I did not get myself a slice! My husband is shaking his head at me 😂

Day 3
  • First, the Summerside Farmer’s Market. English cucumber requested without plastic wrap (stays fresh without!), carrots, peas, garlic and string beans using my cloth bags, 2 fresh croissonts and bacon from Pleasant Pork.
  • Second stop, Super store. Only place I can find 10 lb amount in a paper bag from Canada. (plastic mesh on front).
  • Third Stop, Bulk Barn. Used my cloth bags and container.
  • Fourth stop at Summerside Butcher Shop, meat wrapped in paper.
  • (Staples and Wal-Mart for school supplies, almost finished school supply shopping)

Day 4
  • Bought nothing
Day 5
  • Bought nothing
Day 6
  • Went to Bulk Barn today for peanut butter. We ran out and Chris wanted more gummy worms, as well as the kids. I think I did not buy enough this past Saturday. While I was there, I noticed a new product, chocolate bars. Big ones too! Chocolate and Almond, ones like Caramilk brand. I was excited and got some. It was only when I sat in the van that I realized my mistake. Impulsive shopping. Guilty chocolate. (Not worth it either, the chocolate is not very good! I will stick to the chocolate bars I do buy once in a while, Lindt. They come wrapped in paper and foil. No plastic waste.)
Day 7
  • Bought nothing
Day 8
  • Milk and Dishwasher powder
Day 9

Grocery run, part 1.

  • Parked the van at Superstore and walked to Wal-Mart (1 min walk, lol) for part of the school supply list. Graph paper.
  • Borax and Ragu spaghetti sauce at Superstore. (None at Sobey’s for the past couple weeks).
  • Drove to Sobey’s for the rest of the groceries.
  • Chris and Daniel wanted pizza from Michaels Pizzeria. None for me obviously. Brought my own containers. Was called “the zero waste lady”!

Eating out the fridge/freezer/pantry. Ragu to use up pasta on hand X2. More pantry supper plans under way. Finished the Salmon for supper from the freezer; done and done.

Day 10

Grocery run, part 2

  • Summerside Farmer’s Market, plastic free.
  • Frenchy’s Summerside second hand clothes for school kids. (First time heavily shopping for second hand!) plastic tag for price tag attachment. Less than $10.00
  • HMS office solutions for plastic free packaging on dry erase markers for school supplies.
  • Walked to the Dollar store from other end of strip mall for earphones for school supplies. Did not buy the cheap cheap ones. (though I needed only one pair, but Alaina says she needs a pair for school too, though it was not on the list. I believe her though, they use them in all the classes).
  • Summerside Salvation Army. Jeans for school kids. Less than $8.00
  • Compton’s Very Berry Patch / Compton’s Vegetable Stand for a tray of berries and new potatoes.
  • Super store for watermelon (not local yet), deli meat in my own container and bagels in my cloth bag. (I gave someone one of my bags so they did not have to use a plastic one).
  • Bulk Barn. Goods from there.

Heading to the Summerside Butcher Shop to pick up order wrapped in paper. (I was late getting my order in today, have to pick up this afternoon). Hair cuts for me and Alaina (We go like once a year! Lol.)

School supply shopping is done. Focusing on clothes (much needed!), backpack, lunch can, shoes, and water bottles. 3 kids in school this year.

Day 11
  • Bought chicken breasts at the butcher shop. They had none available package free on day 10. Not buying pre packed.
  • Pop for the big boys, almost out and did not know it when shopping the other day.
Day 12
  • Bought nothing
Day 13
  • Bought nothing
Day 14
  • Bought nothing
Day 15
  • Bought nothing
Day 16
  • Bought regular groceries needed.
  • Bought a new bra, mine are totally wearing out.
  • Bought second hand pants for Daniel.
Day 17
  • Lots of local shopping such as the Farmer’s Market. Free range eggs and bacon, garlic and peas, carrots and peppers. Almond Croissant and laundry soap (returnable, refundable and reusable container).
  • Plastic free products such as meats (wrapped in paper, deli meat in my own container) and bulk barn trip.
  • Comptons Veg. Patch for fresh corn, cucumbers and Blue berries!
  • Thrift shopping and got some great clothes for the kids at school and a school bag for Julia. Was planning on buying a new one, more pricy so it lasts many years, but seen this one at Salvation Army for $3.00! Super excited!
    Alaina
    Backpack and grey t-shirt for Julia, rest for Alaina
    3 t-shirts for Daniel, hoody for Julia
    Summerside Farmer’s Market haul.
    Jeans for Daniel, belt too!
    Day 18
  • Bought nothing
Day 19
  • Bought nothing
Day 20
  • Bought ice cream as a treat for the family at a dairy bar. 3 cones and 3 dishes (waste), but brought our own spoons.
Day 21
  • Picked up some more grocery items I missed and ran out of.
  • Picked up some socks and underwear for the school kids. Hate the plastic packaging.
  • Bought a new bra, last one I got was too small; it will be donated.
Day 22
  • Bought nothing
Day 23
  • Regular groceries at Sobey’s
Day 24
  • Farmer’s Market, lots of goods. Beans and peas, eggs, croissant, local apples, shampoo bar and bar soap.
  • Frenchy’s for gym clothes for Daniel. Less than $5.00!
  • Compton’s Vegetable Stand, making mustard pickles. Yummy corn and fresh blueberries!
  • Superstore goods. I had to exchange two packs of socks for Alaina, bought the ankle ones by accident the oither day.
  • Bulk Barn. Jack wanted a pez dispenser. Could not change his mind. Trying out some more dried fruit this week.
  • The Summerside Butcher Shop, meat wrapped in paper. Chicken and a bit of Hamburg.
  • Take out for supper. But, here is a link to make it a plastic free meal, at McDonald’s, for a family!
Day 25
  • Bought nothing
Day 26
  • Bought nothing
Day 27
  • Bought salt so I could make mustard pickles
Day 28
  • Bought nothing
  • Tablet died, touch screen does not work. No more pictures to add here.
Day 29
  • Bought sugar and peanut butter at Bulk Barn
  • Bought fresh blueberries from Compton”s Vegetable Stand
  • Donated 5 boxes of household items to Salvation Army (45 boxes donated since November 2018)
Day 30
  • Bought regular groceries at Sobey’s
  • Bought sneakers for Alaina for school
Day 31
  • Farmer’s Market haul
  • Frenchy’s for 2 T-shirts for Julia and a T-shirt for Daniel (for school)
  • Compton’s for corn
  • Superstore for package free deli meat, oranges and Nature Clean dishwasher powder (box)
  • Summerside Butcher Shop for meat wrapped in paper
  • Picked a bunch of green and yellow string beans at my mom’s for blanching and freezing. Also picked oversize pea pods as the peas were breaking free from the pod. I will dry them out for seed planting next year as well as some of the oversize beans.
  • McDonald’s for supper, ran out of time and patients by the time we got back home. Everyone was hungry, and it would have been after 6 before I could have supper made, convenience.
End of challenge

I have learned to thrift shop on this challenge. Thrift stores have a lot to offer! If I am in need to buy something, I will search them out first. Even the buy/sell groups on line are beneficial and those groups help individual people, which is good.

A lesson I already stand by is to think about the item I want to purchase. Is the item needed? How long? What is the quality? Going zero waste has already taught me that one, and it is very important!

We do not overspend on things anyways as a household. We have been that way for years, except on Holidays, but that has changed between 2018 and present time. Buy Nothing Challenge opens your eyes to what is actually needed versus want. Wanting is adding to the problem of over consumption. Focus on need. Use what you have, buy second hand, buy local, or do without.

 

What Does the Checkout Lanes Look Like Bag Free?

While grocery shopping the other night, I had to take a picture of this lovely sight!!! No plastic bags!! The checkout was so quiet, no rustling of plastic.

No plastic bags in sight, just reusables. Kind of wish I took a before the ban picture for comparison.

PEI is the first Province in Canada to bring forth the plastic bag ban! Not even a month later, Sobey’s has announced that their store chain will be eliminating plastic bags from all their stores too in 2020! A follow up from what PEI has achieved!

Last Berry Pickup From a Local Farm

We never did make it to a strawberry u-pick farm this year. Time flies so fast and I have a hard time to just plan and go.  Also, I don’t really have the space to store/freeze a bunch of berries. I have not planned on making jam this year either. It will be easier next year I imagine when the little people are another year older. Thomas is still in cloth diapers, there seems to always be housework to do and so much fun outdoors doing other things. I can not imagine bringing Thomas to a u-pick either. I would just be chasing him and not picking. lol.

On Saturday, Daniel, Jack and I went to Compton’s Vegetable stand to get some more berries to snack on at home. I brought my own bowl, as last time I was in, they allowed me to dump there crates into my bowl and they could reuse the crate.  They were very happy to do it again. I found out today was the last day for the u-pick. Deep inside, I really did want to go and at least get enough for snacks during the week and also just take the older 4 kids. But, I missed my chance, and that is okay. I bought 4 crates and used my bowl.

A Waste Free Snack

Popcorn is a great snack to have at our house! Popcorn maker, package free kernels,and margarine wrapped in paper (I can not find butter not wrapped in plastic).

It used to be we bought popcorn kernels in bags and used the popcorn machine. Then we switched to prepackaged popcorn, individually wrapped, microwavable. It was convenient and more “tasty”. Then we started to cut back on plastic, and popcorn was one of the first switches after I started to go to Bulk Barn. 

We brought out the machine again! I did buy a cloth popcorn bag at the Farmer’s Market awhile back, but it did not serve us long. It did not pop the kernels well, some burnt while there were half not popped yet. It seemed to take a long while before we had enough popcorn for everyone, and the bag got super hot from microwaving so long. I was worried about a fire. We used  about a dozen times until I retired it. The machine was certainly the best option! The cloth bag, in my opinion, would be good for a single person, or single use. Not for making a big amount, for like 5 people.

So now, we use the machine popper. I melt butter in a dish in the microwave, covered with a cloth (that will be washed and reused). No garbage, no waste! I always try to eat what they don’t, later.