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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
Our household decorations are very simple. We did not decorate outdoors this year, just inside. We reused decorations from previous years. I cut up some streamers from construction paper which can be reused next year. The kids made some ghosts with Google eyes which were repurposed from other crafts. If need be, we can reuse them again. We used masking tape for hanging decorations, on PEI masking tape is compostable. We also used my homemade glue, still going strong since I made it back in March of 2019 or before then. I got the recipe from Bea Johnston, here is a version online I found. It is found in her book too, Zero Waste Home. The only difference I do, is take some of the water from the measurements, and mix it with the dry ingredients first before heat is added. No clumps this way!
Our kids got their face painted for Halloween at school this morning. Tonight as well for trick or treating. Last year I found that coconut oil is a great product to use to get the face paint off! The paint just smears off with so much ease! I get mine from Bulk Barn. I did buy more face paint, which will last us a long time. I want to find more natural paints, I really did not like buying into these fake paints.
Usually we are out trick or treating, so there is no need to stock up on give away treats. Though it’s good to have some on hand. This year I chose treats wrapped in foil from Bulk Barm, not Nestle brand. Next year I need to get more creative, I feel like I fell off the ball.
I sent some homemade cookies with the school kids to school. I had to make 2 batches yesterday! Decorated with falls leaf sugar sprinkles.
Daniel dressed the same as last year basically, Zombie. Home outfit.
Alaina dressed as The Joker, though she doesn’t really know who The joker actually is 😉. Home outfit.
Julia dressed as a vampire. Already had the outfit.
Jack is going as Spider-man. Already had the costume.
Thomas is, well, he does not want to dress up! I have a traditional dragon costume everyone used when they were young and he did not want it! Nor a skeleton. I guess maybe paint his face a tiny bit?
We got some pumpkins yesterday. We were very late getting pumpkins this year. One farm had none, the stores had none. The last place did, thank goodness! Though, they did not have the traditional round orange pumpkin we normally try to get. Instead, they had different kinds, weird shapes and different colors! Instead of stressing out trying to find the 7 best ones (one pumpkin for everybody), I decided we would have funky pumpkins! Not one alike, all strange looking! I love the look of it! We carved them up after supper, though me and Chris were too tired to carve ours. Mine looks good as is anyways, it’s full of bumps and looks creepy without added decoration. Chris’s pumpkin is wacky! I don’t think it is really carvable! Again, it looks good as it is!
The night of carving went so fast and we were so tired, I didn’t even think to stop Chris when he took out the compost to save seeds. It was my plan all along, but I totally forgot until this morning. I’m not going through our compost bin now, but, oops! I’m going to ask some farmers from the Summerside Farmer’s Market on Saturday to see if anyone wants our pumpkins for the animals. Composting is great, but if we can feed some farm animals that would be awesome. Even if we went for a little drive and throw the pumpkins in the woods for the wild animals.
Daniel went out with one of his friends so Chris and I took the other 4 out and about. Thomas finally let us put the dragon costume on, I was so exited! The costume was handed down from my cousin and all our 5 kids wore it in the past 6 years!
We did not go too far. Maybe about 30 houses. The young boys had enough and I stayed home with them while Chris took the girls out for another half hour. It was raining a bit when we started, then tapered off to a bit if a mist. By the time Chris and the girls got back it was training pretty good. It was not cold, which really made a big difference staying out, forecast called for 15 deg. celcius. The kids had a great time!
While sorting the candies and undoing the treat bags, a thought came across me. I always rip the treat bags to empty the treats inside. This time, I untied the ones with twist ties and set aside the good treat bags. They can be re used next year or for something else!
We had about 15 visitors to our home, more than usual.
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!
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.
I’m not going to go into detail about our day, except a tiny bit about the pony rides! That’s right, all the kids got a turn to ride the ponies! Even little Thomas!! I was so surprised that he got to go by himself while the pony was lead around the circle. He did not cry or want down! Smiles and then a serious face as his time was coming to an end. I think he was happy not being so far away from us, but in a serious way. Hahaha!
Around the end of the pictures, you will find some hilarious ones!!! You will laugh out loud!
- Face painting (Alaina)
- Falcon sighting
- Bouncy castles
- Alpaca visit
- Hay bale maze
- Pony rides
- Free apples
- Petting zoo
- Pumpkin painting (Julia, Alaina and Thomas)
- More hay bale maze fun (Thomas, Alaina)
- Daniel ran laps around the park and took Jack to paint pumpkins together!
- More face painting (Julia)
No balloons or single use drink packs. Brought our own water. Waste free event for our family. The kids loved the animals!
So much fun! Thank you City of Summerside!
Since packing plastic free snacks for the kids lunches at school last year, the lunch cans were crammed with containers. Some days it was hard to pack everything in and then having all these containers to wash for the next day. I ended up having just enough containers to stretch for 3 kids over two days. But still, so many to wash and dry, and the clutter it created was frustrating.
Today’s lunch cans were packed with much more ease, and they felt lighter too.the kids liked the bags the first two days of school and they love the patterns. I must say, it seemed faster to pack the snacks too! No having to neatly pack pretzels so I can fill the container for example. Now, just toss in a handful, zip up and done! I’m very impressed! Also, with the liner inside being water proof, I can use these bags to pack wet foods like carrot sticks. Though, I will continue to use containers for meats and soft fruits. Convenient for the kids to eat from a dish sometimes and I don’t want soft fruits to get squished.
The snacks vary from day to day as well as their taste buds! The only snack packed that comes from a plastic source is basically just the crackers. Everything else comes from Bulk Barn using my own containers or are whole foods bought plastic free. Soon I am going to make a new batch of yogurt and I am going to trial using small mason jars to pour the batch into, so I can pack those to send to school.
I highly recommend these snack bags! If you are handy with the sewing machine, make some!! Make it yourself and/or support local before buying from away, including big box stores.
It may be expensive up front, but you will save in the long run! Use what you have, invest a little at a time and you will be set! Supporting local helps local families near you. Local cuts down the carbon footprint for travelling as well as packaging.
When packing snacks try to stick to whole foods, they need less packaging from the stores! Homemade is best too, you know what goes into the food and they do not need to be individually wrapped.
- Homemade granola bars
- Leftover meals
- Homemade yogurt
- Homemade yogurt drinks
- Homemade cookies
- Juice in aluminium cans (poured in a reusable juice box/bottle)
For more ideas, check out my recipe page.
This past weekend I brought home a great haul of goods. When I go shopping I buy plastic free options or try my best. I bring my own produce bags and containers. Our family has been going plastic free as much as possible for over a year. You can read all about it on my website, Rachel.Willcock.ca. You can also follow me on Facebook at Managing Our Waste at Home.
I wish there was more support for the vendors to offer plastic free options. Some options off the top of my head:
- Sell in paper bags or paper containers (I for one won’t mind the price going up a tad to stop single use plastics!)
- customers bring their own bag/containers
- vendors could sell their goods from a large bin using tongs to select the amount purchased. Have a scale available to weigh the products.
- Have a bring back a reusable container/bag program
In this picture is a lovely selection of the goods I picked up for my family to enjoy.
- I got some Vesta Bella and August apples from Brady’s Farm using my own produce cloth bags. Brady has paper bags he sells his apples in and he does want them returned when possible. Reuse!!
- There are strawberries and blue berries from East Isle Farms. The wooden crates are compostable on PEI and the paper containers are recyclable like egg cartons.
- Some lovely Peas from J&L Farms, using my own white cloth produce bag.
- Clohossey Farms was selling brocolli and cauliflower package free, score!
- The best bacon I have ever had is from Pleasant Pork. Sometimes we get back bacon, kolbalssa, salami and pepperoni. Ham is on my list this coming weekend! They also sell free range eggs. The eggs are the best ones I have ever seen too! Nothing like free range!
- I also bought some lovely snack bags from Inspire Essential Heatable Bags. They are great for back to school! Natural fabric with a water proof fabric inside, keeping the snacks fresh all day. They are also washable in the washing machine. Less containers for me to wash after school!
- I buy our cleaning needs from The Farmer’s Wife. Bar soap, Shampoo bar, Cleaning soap, Laundry Soap and Wool dryer balls. This list is short compared to what is available! I will add, the cleaning and laundry soap containers are returnable with a small discount, Reducing the container waste. Awesome!
I also visit other vendors for string beans, carrots, peppers, croissants, honey, leafy greens and garlic.
- Emmerdale Eden Farm
- The Country Cupboard Farm Fresh Veggies
- Schurman Family Farm
- Crystal Green Farms
- Hey Splendid
- B’Haven Farm
- Keeping money in local communities
- Helping local families
- Products come from familiar people
- Much less carbon footprint for travelling
- Products are fresher
- Usually less packaging
- Creates more demand for local products in turn creating local jobs
- And many more!
Check out this post about my Shopping Routine and seasonings! It will show more about why I have changed our shopping and consuming habits and how! It was published in early June, and already we have made more changes!
12 cups of cucumber (peeled and seeds removed), about 8 good sized ones
6 cups diced onion
3 red peppers
3/4 cup salt
4 cups of vinegar
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dry mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp celery seed
When I made this recipe I used what I had. I did not have 6 cups of onions. I used a very large red onion and a medium yellow onion and also I had 1 1/2 orange pepper and a bit of red pepper. Also, I did not have the whole 1/4 cup of dry mustard powder. My mustard pickles still turned out great and yummy! Me and Thomas are the only ones who will eat it, so 7 jars should last until next year.
This recipe came from my mom.
In a large pot add 12 cups of chopped cucumber, 6 cups diced onion and 3 red peppers. Add 3/4 cup of salt. Cover with cold water for 2 hours. Drain well and do not rinse. Add 4 cups of vinegar and cook on stove top for 20 minutes, do not boil and keep veggies crunchy.
In a bowl mix 4 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup dry mustard powder, 1 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 Tbsp of celery seed. Add to cooked veggies and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes, no boil. Add to clean canning jars and seal. Makes about 8 jars.
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.
- Bought nothing
- 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 😂
- 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)
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- 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.)
- Bought nothing
- Milk and Dishwasher powder
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.
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.
- 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.
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- Bought regular groceries needed.
- Bought a new bra, mine are totally wearing out.
- Bought second hand pants for Daniel.
- 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!
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- Bought ice cream as a treat for the family at a dairy bar. 3 cones and 3 dishes (waste), but brought our own spoons.
- 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.
- Bought nothing
- 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!
- Bought nothing
- Bought nothing
- Bought salt so I could make mustard pickles
- Bought nothing
- Tablet died, touch screen does not work. No more pictures to add here.
- 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)
- Bought regular groceries at Sobey’s
- Bought sneakers for Alaina for school
- 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.
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.