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.
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.
- 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!
Peel and core and pop into the blender with a bit of water. After the fruit is blended, strain through a cheese cloth. Lots of yummy fresh juice! We did the pineapple first, and next was the oranges. Instead of adding water like above, we added some pineapple juice to the oranges. Blend, strain and taste. We thought the taste of orange and pineapple was pretty close to Five Alive!
This day, I peeled 6 oranges. Blend 2 at a time with 1/2 cup of water each time. Blend, strain with cheese cloth and stir in a container. At first I was storing the orange juice in a reused sunflower oil bottle, but Chris felt that the kids (Thomas) was too young to have a handle on it. If it dropped, lots of sharp pieces of glass. So, I found our juice jug and stored over a liter of orange juice in it.
The kids are not a fan, it does not have any added sugar of course. Thomas will have some and Jack is so-so. I want to experiment with adding other citrus fruits and see what flavors we can come up with!
Our waste bins in the house are not lined with any bags. Super simple to just wipe out the garbage can’s once emptied. We do not have meat trays and nothing wet goes in the garbage cans to make smells. I buy our meat wrapped in paper (which is considered compostable on PEI, as long as it rips easily). If by chance I have a meat tray/wrapping there is a extra large garbage bag in the waste cart outside it would directly go to.
Once the waste cart is emptied on garbage day, it will sit empty until the household waste needs to go out. I take an extra large garbage bag and start filling it from the house. I set it in the waste cart untied. It will be full after about 2 more fillings from the house. For us, our household waste gets taken out every 2-3 weeks. I can fit 2 of those extra large garbage bags in the waste cart with a bit more room.
I have created a page showing most of what we buy now instead of the wasteful practices we used to buy into. It’s not complete, still a working progress. Take a look here.
- Much of our groceries come from Bulk Barn and The Summerside Farmer’s Market.
- By bringing your own containers and cloth bags, much waste is avoidable.
- Making your own products and switching away from most cleaners helps your health and keeps money in your wallet.
- Focus on reusables and use what you have.
- Purchase in compostable packaging as much as possible
- Purchase in non plastic packaging to stop the support to the plastic industry, jars and metal containers.
- Reuse the jars for food storage, vases, dry storage, body products etc . . . (Glass is grounded up and used as aggregate on PEI for construction, not turned back into glass products).
Refuse unwanted items. Reduce your consumption of purchases. Reuse what you can. Repair your items. Purchase compostables. Recycle what you can but try and keep it minimum. Dont forget to shop second hand and purchase long lasting good quality items.
Editing to add: I strongly recommend that waste gets bagged, otherwise light plastics will be blown around by the wind or scavengers. Whether it is by dumping the waste in your bin, the truck dumping it out of the bin, the truck driving down the roadways or at landfill, there are lots of opportunities for the plastics to litter the land and water. This is why I choose the extra large bags, I get more waste contained in them, and buying bulk is best. Instead of 8-10 small garbage bags, we use 2 garbage bags. Saves money for us as well.
Scan the whole shelf. Look for options of the same product in a diffeent package. Plastic container vs jar, can or a box. We must demand for better packaging not just with our voice or social media, but with our daily actions as well. Often times one must switch brands or even stores!
My featured picture is of construction paper. At Walmart there were two choices: paper sold loose without packaging or a bigger bundle wrapped in plastic. This choice is easy to make. Another example is laundry soap. Choose powders over liquid. Look for refillable options, such as Down East Cleaning Products. If you can not find plastic free options, choose bulk options if available. As a last resort, I choose recyclable options over non recyclable options, at least there is a chance the packaging can stay out of landfill.
Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Rot. Recycle.
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 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!!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.