Coconut Yogurt

I finally got the ingredients together and the time to look up a recipe for coconut yogurt. The easiest part was finding the recipe actually. From what I read, there are some specifics.

  • The thicker the yogurt you want, the more coconut water you leave out of the recipe. If you want it more runny, leave the water in the recipe.
  • Coconut milk with guar gum helps create a smooth texture and prevents separation.
  • probiotic is the culture you want to add, not prebiotic.

This is where I read most of the information I took in and the recipe I followed. This is the site where my culture comes from, so I followed the directions for how much culture to add. My culture is not a capsule, but liquid form.

To start, I picked a random can of coconut milk from the store. 3.48 for this brand. I picked it up before I found any recipes. I emptied the contents in a large ceramic bowl.

I whisked it up until smooth.

Added 20 ml of the liquid coconut culture and stirred it in well.

Next I poured the mixture into 2 250 ml jars. In one of them, I added a tsp of vanilla and stirred it in.

I cut some cheese cloth to size for the jar. Placed it on top and screwed on the ring to the jar.

I don’t really have a warm place to put the yogurt, but I thought on top of the dishwasher might be a good enough spot. some good long lasting warmth there. I put the jars in a milk carton for stability and wrapped a hand towel around them for insulation.

So, about 2 days later.

I let it sit on the counter 25 hours. Let it sit in the fridge 16 hours before I tried it.

The coconut separated. Heavy on top, watery on the bottom. 

I tasted the top, not a fan. Really thick too. Not looking like the pictures in the link above! 

I stirred it up to mix well. Very liquidy,  not very pleasing.

So to me, this trial did not work out so well. It could be my spot on the counter was not warm enough. It could be not enough culture. It could be a wrong recipe? Maybe I need to remove the water from the heavy milk. Lots of the culture could be in the water part, not doing its job. I do have another can of coconut milk. Will try again, this time removing most of the water.

But maybe, I will not persue the coconut yogurt. A recent article stating how coconutmoil has a high content of saturated fats got me thinking about the coconut milk. 45% say. fat in one can. Where whole milk is 25%. So got to find a balance if I’m going non dairy with this one. So my question, if I choose not to use coconut milk, can I still use the coconut culture with a different “milk”? I’m thinking yes, but should find out.

 

Black Box Waste

This day is garbage day. Every two weeks the black carts filled with disposable waste are picked up. I can proudly say it took 12 weeks to fill our watse cart! Though I am certain it could have waited another 2-4 weeks as we had to toss a mouldy box of books, which took a good chunk of space in the cart.

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.

Reparing the Elastic Belt in Kids Pants

My husband Chris took a leap today and fixed our daughters pants! Her Jeans have somehow lost the elastic belt, which made the waist way too big for little Julia. Chris asked if we had some old pants with an elastic belt around, and sure enough I did. Julia had two pairs of pants that had become worn out on the back, and i could nkt throw them out. I had plans to repurpose them somehow, like a bag or something.

Chris removed the elastic band from the old pants gently. Cut it to size to fit the good pants. I hand sewed the end so it would not fray. Chris put the band into place and now Julia’s pants fit just right around the waist!

1 pair of pants partially repurposed, and another saved to be continually used. Love my man!

Old pair, elastic belt removed.
Old elastic belt repurposed into this good pair of Jeans

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.

Reviving Dry Markers

This bin is our dry marker storage until I take it to Staples for recycling. That’s right, Staples will send these to Terracycle for recycling into new products. Check it out here. Another company that will take back markers is Crayola, but from what was shared to me and my own looking, Crayola burns them to make fuel. Check it out here.

I seen a tip from another group member on Facebook about wetting the dry markers to bring them back. I tested it and it works!! In the main picture (above), the markers in the bin did not come back, but the rest did!

I took a cup of water, wet the end of the marker and stood it up to let the water drain inside. Right away it was working! The kids were thrilled as we were running low on markers.

The left side marks are the before strokes. The right side (3 lines each) are the after strokes.
Julia used the markers to make a picture.
Lots of colour
Jack too, made a picture.
Lots of colour
These pictures and test were done July 7, 2019. Today is August 5, 2019, and those markers are still in use!

Take Care of the Toaster

Last night, Chris and Daniel were baking a snack. While waiting for the oven to pre heat, they discovered our toaster had slide out trays, a crumb catcher! They asked if I knew about them by which I responded yes, but I don’t empty it often. Often, I forget it is there (but know its there, if you know what I mean). Not a habit to check it periodically, Maybe once a year!! Eek!

Some back story
We have been having trouble with the toaster for quite some time. The toast diosn’t always toast the way we expect it too. Most times it’s toasted on one side and not much on the other. Doesn’t matter which slot we use. Also, when the toaster was recently used, one should put their slice of bread in a different slot, other wise the toast would come out nearly burnt! As for toasting bagels, we had to set it at #4. We always toast at 3, as of late, we had to go to #2.5 on the dial.

I told Chris, after he emptied the tray and told me the toaster needs a good clean out, I would look at it the next day. This was past 11:00 pm, wasn’t doing it then!

This morning I took hold of the toaster and found a huge crumbly mess underneath! No way the boys dumped the trays there! The toaster was filling up with crumbs, offsetting the heat, causing our poorly toasted food!

Talk about crumb overflow!

Not only was the mess on the counter under the toaster, but crumbs were stuck in the toaster too at the bottom. Lucky there was no fire in my opinion! I did my best to shake the crumbs out. I tried  too reach the bottom with a paintbrush, different sizes. Not much luck. I tried air pressure by blowing through a straw, but it did not work so well. I think in time, with the toaster in use, it will help dry out those crumbs and they should fall out easily. Just need to remember to clean it more often, weekly and stay on top of it!

I thought our toaster, which is about 9-10 years old, was slowly crashing. I figured we needed a new one, but I didn’t want to get a new one. Surly they must last longer than 9 years! Glad we do not need a new one!

Shake and rattle!

While I had it out, I decided to give it a shine as well. I took some baking soda and water, made a paste, and the dark parts on top of the toaster came right off! The real dark patches were much harder to remove. By the end of cleaning the top, I came to realize and reassure myself to not look for perfection! I would be there all day trying to make it spick and span like new, my original idea. No need, really!

Baking soda paste, rag, tooth brush and paintbrush. Great tools for cleaning, scrubbing and reaching hard to reach places!
Before
After

Fixing Those Cheap Kids Scool Bags

No more of these bags will be bought by myself. Time and time again, these cheap bags come apart. They are not made to last. They may be appealing to the target market, the children, but definitly not so for the environment. Even before this zero waste journey these bags were unliked. The catch to us buying them, they were cheap. Well, I am over that and will be paying more for a better quality backpack.

Meanwhile, we still need to take care of what we already have and I am determined to have this packback last Julia to the end of the school year. It has already been repaired once, here we go again!

Julia’s bag is coming apart at the top
At the side
Fixed with some fabric glue!
I had these on hand from when I was doing crocheting. I did some incorrect moves while switching colours and they were coming undone. I saved the blanket with a bit of fabric glue.