Category: Magazine

How to “zero waste” in official meetings?

When people hear about my zero waste lifestyle, they ask me all sorts of questions, oftentimes very personal ones too. And they also ask about tips on how they can reduce their waste. However, I do not have kids, pets, and do not have to organize or host conferences or meetings. So there are many things I cannot tell you from first-hand experience. I cannot tell you how lucky I always feel when other people, like Franziska and Mateja, offer to share their experiences on my blog with all of you 💚!

Franziska is a PHD student at my alma mater, the University of Osnabrück in Germany, and part of the research project on sustainability, eCoInnovateIT. She’s definitely one to walk the talk! Mateja is Franziska’s close friend, student assistant and specializing in European Sustainability Policy.

Both of them decided to make their last project meeting waste-free! And here’s how this went down 😜.

Meetings might be similar all over the planet. Many cookies are eaten, carbonated or non-carbonate bottled water (mostly in plastic) and many liters of coffee are drunken. At the end, the hard-working staff has produced a huge amount of waste – independently of the institutions’ claim to practice sustainability or not. These were our thoughts, when we started the planning for our next project meeting. Isn’t it strange to research about sustainability and to nosh all that sweets with three layers of plastic packaging in a meeting? Thankfully, Franziska is fully in swing of zerowaste as she is writing here phd thesis on sustainable consumption. And now: our experience and the most important to-dos and not to-dos in detail. Read More

Zero Waste Tag | Tea With Shia

Grab a nice, hot, yummy cup of tea, and let’s talk trash 😁! My favorite kind of talk LOL.

I have recently started to dip my toes into the big youtube lake. And there, the Zero Waste Tag has being going around youtube like lice in a pre-school, which, unlike, lice, is a good thing though 😝. Fellow zero waster Christine from Snapshots of Simplicity (blog | youtube) kicked off the tag last October.

In light of all the zero waste bloggers out there, I thought it would be great to start a zero waste tag — we all have different stories, motivations, favorites, and perspectives, but we all come together and unite in our passion for reducing waste!

When Christine told me about the Zero Waste Tag, I loved it and instantly decided I would also film a Zero Waste Tag video. Of course I started out by watching all the other Zero Waste Tag videos aka procrastinating LOL, but in a very inspiring way 💚.

A big shoutout to Christine for starting the tag!
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3 Truly Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

We can probably all agree that 2016 was quite the 💩  year with a disturbing amount of major political #facepalm moments, which were and still are hard to shake off. I actually made the mistake of starting this article with a recap instead of just the resolutions. I basically ended up showing 2016 the finger🖕 in only 600+ lengthy words, talking about Brexit, Trump, this year’s oh-nevermind-Trump-just-got-elected-let’s-just-binge-eat-ice-cream-instead UN Climate Change Conference, terrorism, out-of-the-closet xenophobes, homophobes, and of course racists, war in Syria, Fortress Europe, and twisted American bathroom bill discussions. Aaaanyway, I decided to not bore all of you with these old news in order to end this disturbing year on a more positive note: What can we do to make 2017 a better year – for the planet, the animals, everyone around us 💚  and most importantly our own sanity, because I know I for one cannot bear another year like this one. So pour yourself some numbing substance (or a stimulant – your choice) and let’s roll up our sleeves and get this mess cleaned up 💪! Read More

Homemade Vegan and Zero Waste Kimchi

OMG, I LOVE kimchi 😍! Kimchi is a truly addictive traditional Korean fermented side dish, mostly napa cabbage 💚. Buying kimchi in bulk can seem difficult. In Asian supermarkets it is usually sold in cans, and it is pretty pricy too!

You might be surprised though, because most restaurants that have kimchi on their menu will sell it “to go” and agree to put it into your container 😊💕! Do be warned though: traditionally, kimchi contains fish sauce, so it is not a vegetarian dish. However, some restaurants that make their own kimchi do not add fish sauce to make it vegetarian-friendly.

I have been making my own kimchi for a couple of years already, even before we went vegan and later zero waste. Initially, it was because kimchi is indeed very pricey when you buy it in stores or from restaurants, and as a college student on a budget with a fermentation-crazed mom it just made sense to make it myself.

I have been asked countless times to post my now vegan kimchi recipe, but to be honest, I don’t follow a strict recipe but rather put in what I feel like would be nice and what we can get (e.g. we ran out of chili flakes 🌶 so I put in pickles chilis instead), and I only eyeball 👀 portion sizes 🙈.

Since I went vegan, I went through many vegan kimchi recipes to get the right pungent and umami taste, and I do base my freestyle kimchi based on The Simple Veganista’s awesome vegan kimchi recipe, since it is straightforward, uses simple ingredients, and is just sooo delicious! Read More

FAQ: Conkers aka horse chestnuts as an all-natural laundry detergent 💚

Last year my friend Vany wrote this really cool guest post explaining how to use horse chestnuts as a laundry detergent, how to dry them in order to use them all year long, and also why soap nuts come with social problems and actually aren’t very eco-friendly.

We, too, made the switch back then and after a year we still love it! This year we had a tough conkers competition going with the neighborhood kids who were also collecting some for totally boring reasons like playing with them 😝. I posted this on my Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of questions.
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Zero Waste Sun Protection

It’s summer time! Well, we live in Germany, and summers here last about a week. Today I left the house without a jacket, and boy, did I regret it… It is still my favorite season of the year because a) I don’t have hay fever in summer, so I don’t have to worry about dying in an asthma attack, which is a definite plus, b) I don’t have to sleep with long sleeves, one electric blanket plus four additional blankets weighing down on me, and c) it rains less it rains more in the summer, but at least there are fewer rainy days.

I even got to wear my flip flops three times this year, which beats last year’s summer, whoo! Best week of the year!

So when people ask me about zero waste sun protection I’m always like: “Oh, you going on vacation somewhere warm?”

Is there a complete zero waste or at least plastic-free option for sun protection?

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8 quick and easy hacks for a plastic-free July – or any other time of the year ;)

July 3rd is the International Plastic Bag Free Day. If that’s too boring schmoring or too amateur level for you, I dare you to go plastic-free (single-use plastic) for the entire month of July! What? Don’t chicken out now!

_Plastic-Detox-Mind-Map-compressed

©Plastic Free July – click on it to get the large picture (get it 😉?)

Here are some quick hacks on how to reduce your single-use plastic consumption drastically without breaking a sweat. Read More

Zero Waste Contraception???

Talking about sex 👉👌, contraception 🚫👶 , and menstruation 👹🍓🍅 still is something you are supposed to do behind closed doors or in a controlled and contained environment like sex ed class or THE TALK *pause for dramatic effect*. Chatting about it in a café, restaurant or even the subway will most probably earn you weird looks. Oh, and of course it is supposed to be awkward as hell, with a lot of stuttering, blushing, giggling and uncomfortable silence inbetween.

So let’s get uncomfortable. (Or not.)

Personally, I find the taboo surrounding these topics ridiculous. Come ON, people, it’s 2016, and these are topics that everybody needs to deal with. Yes, everybody! I do strongly believe that also the part of the population not having to menstruate (and I am born female and one of these people as I will explain later on) should know and be educated about what it is like to be on your friggin period! And having to ask for a tampon should not be something embarrassing, but normal. Because, well, it happens all the time. To 50% of the population. Just saying.

Anyway, today isn’t about aunt Flo, but about contraception. We’ll get to the period talk later, I promise 😉. I do apologize in advance for this long article. Contraception is a topic I believe most of us are not too well informed about, even though we all have sex. So even though I will focus on the Zero Waste aspect, I will also cram in a lot of information. Watch me unleash my inner eco sex ed nerd LOL 😝!

What is “green” about contraception in general

Every human being uses up a loooot of resources, and being able to plan pregnancies instead of – oopsie – having them happen helps a lot in slowing down the population growth.


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