5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety
5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

Caring about the health of the planet and acting sustainably is without question very fulfilling. But it can get tough at times – many of us occasionally experience something called “climate anxiety”. Climate or eco anxiety is defined as a ”fear about the current and predicted future state of the environment caused by human-induced climate change” (Wikipedia). This is a completely reasonable and common reaction to the global crisis we’re facing.

But worrying about climate change can get to a point where it reduces our productivity, motivation and ability to focus on actually improving the state of things. That’s why today I want to share 5 ways to stay optimistic about the environment and alleviate the feelings of guilt and helplessness that often come with climate anxiety.

 

5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

1. Make A List

Feeling overwhelmed by the sustainable lifestyle and being under the impression that you’re failing or not doing enough is something most of us have experienced at some point. This is something I personally find helpful: write down all the things you’re doing for the environment and take a look at all the effort you’re already putting into helping our planet. It’s probably much more than you expected, right?

5 ways to cope with climate anxiety
Remember: with every reusable product you’re using, you’re preventing hundreds of plastic ones from entering the waste stream. With every plant-based meal, you’re making a contribution to a more ethical planet. And with every fast fashion item you don’t buy, you’re doing your bit to hurt exploitative companies.

 

Environmentalism is a journey and ultimate sustainability isn’t achieved overnight. By not pressuring yourself, you’re more likely to stick with the changes you make to your lifestyle and less likely to feel overwhelmed. Progress over perfection!

 

2. Recognise you’re not the main culprit

The media and concepts such as the “personal ecological footprint” trick us into thinking that we are the main cause of global warming. This causes us to feel extremely guilty and diverts the blame from the actual culprit.

5 ways to cope with climate change
 

While individuals are a big part of climate change and the fight against it, the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gases is emitted by fossil fuel companies and mega corporations such as China Coal, BP or ExxonMobil. They’re the main drivers of global warming along with factory farming and fast fashion.

 

These large-scale issues are neither our fault nor 100% in our control. The best we can do to help is vote with our voices and dollars, sign petitions and donate to environmental organizations aiming to boycott these huge corporations. Hold corporations accountable instead of letting them guilt-trip you!

 

3.Change your internet usage

Staying informed about climate change is important, but instead of constantly looking at bad news, try to also celebrate the good news. There are multiple social media accounts that share good environmental news, which will help shift your focus to more positive global developments in the fight against climate change.

5 ways to cope with climate change
Also don’t forget to take breaks from the internet. Drink some water, relax or go outside and enjoy nature instead. The mass of information on the internet can make us feel easily overwhelmed and prevents us from focusing on the important things.

 

4. Connect with Others

Anxiety makes us feel like we’re going through something alone, but climate change is just the opposite of that. We’re all experiencing it and it will affect all of us eventually, which means most of us are probably also experiencing anxiety about it. You’re definitely not the only one.

5 ways to cope with climate change
 

Reach out to your friends and family to talk about climate anxiety, global warming and sustainability! Sharing your environmentalism and connecting with others also happens to be a great way to increase your positive impact on the environment and create a movement.

 

5. Take Breaks

Don’t forget that it’s impossible to  care about everything all the time! If you feel like constantly stressing about being sustainable is taking away from your quality of life, you can and should take a break and do some things you enjoy without any pressure. You’ll be more motivated to continue your sustainable journey afterwards!

 

Did you find these 5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety helpful?

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5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

Thank you to our Guest Writer, Rhea, for this wonderful post today!

@helpingtheenvironment
My name is Rhea and I live in Germany. A few years ago I started taking an interest in the environment and ways to protect it. Since then I’ve changed my lifestyle in a lot of ways, for example by becoming vegetarian and eliminating a lot of plastic from my life. That’s why I started an Instagram account in 2018, sharing ways to help Earth, information about climate change and tips to reduce waste. If you’re interested in sustainability, why don’t you check it out? @helpingtheenvironment.

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5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes
5 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes

5 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes

Written by the amazing Rhea of @helpingtheenvironment

Hi there! I think we’ve all been in this situation before: having a bunch of old clothes in your closet and not knowing what to do with them. That’s why today I want to show you how to make use of old clothes instead of throwing them away.

Ethical motivation

Now, why is it so important to be resourceful with the clothes we already have? Well, more often than not, western fast fashion companies exploit workers in developing countries, who are willing to work for lower wages and in unsafe factories. These workers lack workplace protection, are oftentimes abused by employers and work extremely long shifts.

Environmental motivation

From an environmental standpoint, fast fashion also spells disaster. According to Oxfam, it would take 13 years to drink the water needed to make one t-shirt and a pair of jeans! A single cotton t-shirt uses up to 2,700 litres of water during production. And just the UK alone sends 11 million items of clothing to landfill every week.

Get your old clothes ready!

This means that only by repurposing our old fast fashion clothes can we make up for the labor and emissions that went into their production! Throwing them away would furthermore add to the waste problem we already have. So, without further ado, here are five ways to repurpose old clothes and give them new life!

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

 

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Crop Tops

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old shirt, scissors, optionally a sewing kit

Especially in summer, short clothes are a life-saver for hot weather. You can make your own crop tops out of old shirts or blouses!

First, put the shirt on and use a pen to mark a line along which you want to cut.

Make sure you straighten it out before cutting, and use appropriate scissors!

Alternative crop top idea

Another awesome idea is to cut a shirt or blouse into a crop top that you can tie into a knot at the front! Instead of cutting a straight line, you leave two triangles of cloth along the front, which can then be tied.

For some pieces of clothing, I would recommend to hem them afterwards in order to prevent the edges fraying, but it isn’t always necessary.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Hair Ties

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old socks, scissors

How to:

Cut off a few stripes at the opening of a sock! Socks have the right size for hair ties and you can choose ones with nice colors and patterns.

Considering hair ties often go missing the moment we buy them, they’re pretty expensive.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Denim Shorts

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old jeans, scissors, optionally a sewing kit

Old jeans that don’t fit that well can easily be made into cute shorts by simply cutting them. Raw denim edges are a trend right now, but if you don’t want your shorts to fray too much, you can do a basic stitch along the edge. Alternatively, you can simply cuff your shorts, which also looks pretty cool.

 

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Kitchen Towels

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • any old clothes, scissors

This one isn’t an outfit idea, but still useful. Any old piece of clothing can be made into a reusable kitchen towel very easily by simply cutting it into equal-sized squares. This way, you’re also reducing your kitchen waste!

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes: Makeup Wipes

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Clothes

You need:
  • old clothes, scissors

Another easy way to repurpose old clothes is to cut them into equal-size round pieces and use them as makeup wipes. It’s especially ecofriendly because
disposable wipes take very long to biodegrade, and this is a quick reusable alternative.

 

About Rhea

@helpingtheenvironment

My name is Rhea and I live in Germany. A few years ago I started taking an interest in the environment and ways to protect it. Since then I’ve changed my lifestyle in a lot of ways, for example by becoming vegetarian and eliminating a lot of plastic from my life. That’s why I started an Instagram account in 2018, sharing ways to help Earth, information about climate change and tips to reduce waste. If you’re interested in sustainability, why don’t you check it out? @helpingtheenvironment.

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

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Eco-friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies
30 Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

Welcome back to the blog everyone! Today we are super excited to have a guest contributor by the name of Alexandria Winner (from Ecoist) to share her advice on eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies. My school days may be over, but I need all the help I can get with my two children heading off to school in the near future! I love the thought of carefully choosing each and every school supply piece, with not only my children in mind, but with mother earth and the future state of our world in mind.

Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution

Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies

 

The typical American school uses about 250,000 pieces of paper per year.

This equates to over 35 Billion sheets of paper JUST in the K-12 schools in the United States.

When you add in the school supplies that the children and teens are bringing into their classrooms, these numbers can easily be multiplied by well over 56 million – which is the number of children and teenagers in school this year according to the National Centre for Education Statistics. And this is “just” paper that we are talking about here, folks. Don’t even get me started on the plastic situation. The numbers are staggering and changes need to be made.

If you are looking to fill those school backpacks with responsible, well-made, eco-friendly, and zero waste items, then you have come to the right place!

 

psst….Short on Time?

Here are the quick links for our list of Eco Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies:

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Pens & Pencils

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Before ordering a bunch of pens and pencils for school, take a look around your house in your drawers and pen cups to see if you have a bunch of old ones lying around. Who doesn’t, right?! Use those first.

Once those are all used up, then choose one of the many eco-friendly options:

  • OHTO/JPT Pencil/Ball Pen
    • Natural Wood Pencil Ball Pen – 1.0mm
  • OHTO/JPT Stainless Steel & Ceramic Roller Ball Pen
    • Stainless steel pen with a ceramic roller ball, 0.5mm
  • Sprout World Plantable Pencils
    • The plantable Sprout pencils can grow into plants like luscious flowers, fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables once they’re too short to use.
  • Recycled Newspaper Pencils
    • These exquisite pencils are made from old newspapers and not from cut trees. Newspaper is tightly rolled over graphite. The high-quality graphite is strong and does not break when sharpening. A regular sharpener can be used with these pencils. It’s cool to see shavings of newspaper when sharpening!

The Accessories for your Pens & Pencils

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Crayons & Markers

Eco-Friendly & Zero Waste School Supplies-4

Whether you are shopping for the first days of kindergarten or high school, everyone is going to need some color in their lives!

Here is our list of eco-friendly crayons & markers!

  • Vegan & Toxic Free Butterfly Crayons
    • These beautiful butterflies are the larger of our crayon shapes, but still perfectly sized and textured for little hands. Handmade in the UK from Soy wax, carnauba wax, cocoa butter and coloured with natural occurring earth pigments they are suitable for veggies and vegans too (Crayola and other many other crayons contain beef tallow).
  • Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Crayons
      • The STABILO woody 3 in 1 is perfect for kids to draw and paint and ideal for parents too – it washes off windows and is suitable for many surfaces besides just paper or cardboard.
  • Eco-Friendly Recycled Permanent Markers
    • The tubes of these earth-friendly permanent markers are made with recycled paper, reducing the use of plastic by 60%. The markers feature polyester fiber tips that are filled with non-toxic, alcohol-based ink and contain NO Xylene, Toluene, or other VOCs.
  • Eco Text Marker Highlighter
    • The stock consists mainly of the renewable raw material sugarcane. The bright color is water-based, solvent-free and odorless.
  • Eco White Board Markers
    • Ethanol-based ink, free from aromatic or chlorinated solvents. Marker body made from Recycled Paper & wax instead of aluminium or plastic.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: All the Paper

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

Even with the digital world that we live in, paper use in schools is still quite high, especially for the little ones. Choosing 100% recycled paper is a wonderful way to help support Mother Nature while also teaching valuable lessons to our children. Each time they see the recycled paper stamp, you will have left a little stamp of inspiration for their future choices.

Here is our list of eco-friendly paper products!

  • A5 Handcrafted Stapled Recycled Notebooks
    • The covers are made from reclaimed and recycled materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Since each book is personalised, you can pick what type of material your cover can be made from cardboard to PVC.
  • PrintWorks 100% Recycled Copy Paper
    • 100 percent post-consumer recycled printer and copier paper for everyday use at an affordable price
    • Made in the USA from recycled food and beverage containers and other paper-based printed materials
  • Natural & Recycled Drawing Paper
    • Natural Recycled 9″ x 12″ Drawing Paper – 500 Sheets. Crayons, pencils, markers and paints show up brilliantly on this natural unbleached paper.
  • 2-pocket Notebooks by Naked Binder
    • These Folders are sustainable eco-friendly folders made from 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer waste 22-pt. chipboard.
  • 3-Ring Binder by Naked Binder
    • EXTREMELY DURABLE. Made with one solid piece of heavy-duty binders board. The hinge has been tested (opened and closed) 250,000 times and it did not fall apart!
  • Handcrafted A5 Weekly Planner
    • cream 100 % recycled paper (Clairfontaine)
    • 80 gsm plain recycled boards with printed monstera leaves
  • Naked Binder 3-Ring Tab Dividers
    • 100% post-consumer fiber, and FSC certified Neenah Conservation Paper. 100% recyclable.
  • Yamama Memo Pads
    • Four Side Colored Memo Pad.  180 sheets
  • Yamama Metallic Sticky Notes
    • Metallic Sticky Notes. 33 sheets

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Accessories

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

All those little accessories add up, don’t they? I gotta tell ya, I have no idea where all those paper clips, staplers, staples, scissors, etc ended up. Well….I think I do…they all ended up in the trash. So, let’s try our best to fix that!

Here is our list of eco-friendly accessories

  • Yamama Bamboo Paper Clips
    • These innovative bamboo paper clips project positive impressions for all of your presentations. And they are beyond eco-friendly, they’re 100% work-friendly!
  • Onyx & Green Scissors
    • These 5″/127 mm scissors have stainless steel blades and a rounded tip. The handles are made from corn plastic.
  • Staple Free Stapler
    • Easy to shred and recycle papers without the worry of staples getting jammed. Without staples just drop in the shredder or recycle bin. It’s environmentally safe.
  • Midori Storage Boxes
    • 11″x7″x5″ ht.  100% Recycled Paper Storage Container
  • Cork Desk Organizer
    • This desk organizer is a simple zero waste product.  It is made of cork and designed to hold cell phones, pens and note pads.
  • Vegan Recycled Felt MacBook Sleeve
    • The colorful felt is made of multi-color fabric. The waste textiles have been cut into tiny pieces and then transformed into a new fabric – colorful felt from recycled textiles.
    • The felt made of vegan fabric is non toxic, health and environmentally friendly (European Union REACH Certificate of Compliance).
  • Cell Phone Covers by Pela Case
    • COMPOSTABLE PHONE CASE: Pela cases are made of a combination of flax straw ‘waste’, plant-based biopolymers and contain organic ingredients that meet rigorous standards for compostability in municipal and industrial composting facilities.

 

Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste School Supplies: Backpacks

eco-friendly & zero waste school supplies

What better way to finish off the school supplies guide than with the amazing bags to hold all your goodies?! Here are a few of our favorite environmentally friendly backpack options. Just remember, there is nothing more sustainable than what you already own. If you already have a backpack, please use it!

Here is our list of eco-friendly backpacks

  • TerraThread Backpacks $
    • The Earth Backpacks are made using heavy-duty 14 oz organic cotton canvas. These fairtrade backpacks are spacious and feature one large exterior pocket, one small interior pocket, and a laptop compartment. The organic backpacks can be used for school, outdoor activities, traveling, and more!
      Each purchase of this backpack contributes 20 MEALS to children, families, and seniors in need in the United States through Feeding America.

      • Made with 100% Organic and Fairtrade Cotton
      • Processed and Manufactured per Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
      • Color dyed using low impact GOTS Certified Dyes
      • Manufactured at a Fair Trade Certified Factory
      • Hang Tags are made using recycled kraft paper
  • United By Blue Backpacks $$
    • 100% recycled polyester with water repellent finish
    • Padded laptop sleeve accommodates up to 17″ laptop
    • Interior zippered pocket and open pockets
    • Exterior flap pocket with magnetic closure, zipper pockets and side pocket
    • Adjustable, padded shoulder straps, haul strap and cross sternum strap
    • Water bottle sleeve fits bottles with a diameter up to 3.75″
    • Equipped with a Lifetime Guarantee
  • Kathmandu Backpacks $$$ (Children to Adult Options)
    • When it’s time for your kid’s first pack or to upgrade their current one, the Cotinga Kids’ Pack will be a welcome surprise. With an ergonomic harness and sizing to specifically fit kids, your growing child won’t want to remove it. There’s also a spacious front area for lunches – because books and bananas don’t mix. Made with 15 recycled plastic bottles.
    • Outer fabric contains REPREVE™ – polyester created from recycled plastic bottles
    • kidsFIT technology – an ergonomic harness with adjustable shoulder straps
    • Elasticated sleeve in the main compartment – for your kid’s books or portable device
    • Grab handle and reflective detail for safety

 

Use what you already have!

After all of our research and digging, I was so shocked by just how many companies are in support of sustainable school supplies. This is such great news!

Like we always say here at WonderMamas, please use what you already have first. Even if you have a drawer full of plastic supplies, I beg you to use those first before buying anything new. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford the pieces listed above, please check out your local second hand stores, second hand online shops, or even second hand swaps. Join facebook groups in your area for second hand school supplies, yes they exist!

In the end, being a conscious consumer is so much more than buying the latest and greatest eco products. The first step is to evaluate what you got, extend its life, and then replace when necessary. I am so honoured that you have chosen us to help you on this journey. Have a beautiful school year!

 

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

Zero Waste Deodorant that Actually Works

Zero Waste Bathroom Products

Our Real Life Imperfect Zero Waste Home

7 Ways Parents Can Save the Earth From Home

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guide to zero waste skin care
Guide to Zero Waste & Cruelty-Free Skin Care

Guide to Zero Waste Skin Care

Yes, my loves, these changes are easy, effective, and eco-friendly!

Welcome back to the blog! Due to the huge response to our Instagram Zero Waste Swap posts, we have decided to turn these into proper blog posts to chat more, educate more, inspire more, and (hopefully) help you on your journey! I think the response was so great for these posts because I am using all first hand experience and sharing what has ACTUALLY worked for us as a family. This isn’t for the Pinterest perfect lifestyle – this is my real life and what works for me. Read more

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How to Store Fruits and Veggies
How to Properly Store Fruits and Veggies

How To Store Fruits and Veggies

Hey there, mamas! Welcome back to the blog. This week, we are going over everything you need to know about how to store your fruits and veggies. 

Let me guess; you most likely do not go to the store every day to stock up on fruits and veggies for lunch and dinner. As a result, you might have some old broccoli or carrots hanging out in your crisper! There is nothing wrong with that, but if you can store your fruits and veggies correctly, you can keep them fresh for a longer time. 

The best thing about keeping fruits and veggies fresher for a longer time is that you can consume most of them before they go bad. 

At the beginning of the week or when you do head to the store, I highly recommend planning your meals ahead, so you can know which fruits and veggies you will be needing. 

If you have some extra fruits and veggies, especially towards the end of the week, I love going through the rest of my fridge and throwing together a recipe with those ingredients.

So, now that you have some fresh fruits and veggies for the week, where do you store them?

What To Store in the Fridge 

First, we are starting with what items belong in the refrigerator. Surprisingly, a lot of fruits and veggies are versatile. They can be stored in the fridge or on the counter. The kick to this is that anything stored in the refrigerator will not ripen any further, or just extremely slowly. 

I recommend fruits like avocados, kiwis, melons, peaches, and pears, you should store them on the counter, but if you don’t use them when they are ripe, move them to the fridge to get a couple more days out of them.. 

This produce, however, will need to skip the counter entirely and go straight into the refrigerator:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Berries 
  • Grapes 
  • Lemons 
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon

There are also some particular cases:

  • Corn: fine on the counter for 24 hours, but any longer, throw them in the fridge.
  • Figs: eat immediately, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What To Store on the Counter

Now you know what to store in the fridge, what about the counter? Good news, the list is only a few items long, so that you won’t need to take up that much counter space. 

  • Onions 
  • Potatoes (Regular & Sweet)
  • Winter Squash (Butternut & Acorn)
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Persimmons 

You shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge because the cold air kills their flavor producing enzymes, and it changes the texture. The great thing about storing fruits and veggies on the counter is that you are less likely to forget about them because you can see them as they age. 

What Veggies To Keep in Water For Freshness

If you like to pre-cut your veggies for the week ahead, storing some in water is a great way to maintain freshness. 

Store in fresh, lukewarm water. Change the water every couple of days if you are trying to prolong freshness. 

What veggies can you store in water? 

  • Apples (not a veggie, but hey, they’re still cool!)
  • Celery
  • Carrots 
  • Potatoes

A great way to plan ahead is to cut up some celery and apples, and then you will always have a snack on hand when you need them! 

How to Wrap Herbs and Greens in a Damp Cloth

First, you need to determine what kind of herb you have on your hands. There are two different kinds, soft/tender and hard. 

For soft herbs, or herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, or Parsley:

Similarly to a bouquet of flowers, you need to trim the herb stems first. Then, place the herbs into a small vase, glass, or mason jar of about an inch of water. Cover the herbs loosely with either the lid of the mason jar or a reusable bag. Store in the refrigerator. 

For the hard herbs, or Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme:

Wrap the herbs in a damp cloth. Place them into a storage container, and store them in the refrigerator. You will need to re-moisten the cloth every few days, or as required. The cloth should be damp, but not soggy. 

For both of these wrapping methods, wash the herbs when you are ready to use them. 

Here is a great youtube video tutorial on storage for herbs, fruits and veggies. Check it out here.

Now it is time to cook!

I hope this blog has helped you out! You can use some of your freshly stored produce to make delicious plant-based recipes including:

Creamy Vegan Carrot and Apple Soup

Vegan Green Goddess Buddha Bowl

Vegan Cauliflower and Broccoli Stir Fry

If you are interested in some more plant-based meals, check out our WonderMamas Meal Plan Membership! You get a weekly family-style meal plan to cut to the chase with making amazing plant-based meals for your whole family. 

 

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Zero Waste Pantry Guide

Zero Waste Pantry Guide

Welcome back to the blog! We are discussing all things zero waste and sustainable pantry today. I am covering my pantry must-haves for the best organized and utilization as well as what are my top 5 items I keep consistently stocked up!  Yes mamas, it is possible to have a fully stocked sustainable (and money-saving!!) kitchen. It takes a little bit of time to start but once you get going (and once you’re done reading this blog post), you will feel confident! 

 

zero waste pantry guide

Here are my top 3 MUST HAVES for a zero waste & sustainable kitchen: 

Reusable Glass Jars:

Simple mason jars are the perfect staple for storing shelf-stable foods, almost all pantry items but also to use as a perfect substitution for plastic tupperware or food savers (and, much easier to clean, too!). You can get jars in all sizes and I recommend getting an assorted variety. 1L-2L jars are great for storing cereals, flours, oats, etc. Medium-sized jars (.5L)  are great for storing beans, baking ingredients and kid snacks and the small ones make great use for home-made items and leftovers.

I even love the extra small ones to store things like garlic and spices!

Mason jars are also a neat way to store things inside your fridge but as well as make your pantry look organized. Showcasing your beautiful foods in your stunning pantry is the best way to create a healthy and happy environment.

Mama Tip

You can buy mason jars in bulk online or at most local bulk stores! BUT the best way to build your mason jar selection is to save the jars from leftover jams, olives and other jarred foods! Clean them out and peel off the label for a great way to reuse and recycle! I also love to get creative with the kids and make our own labels for every jar, these are also always fun to match to the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Vegan Wax Wraps:

The healthy way to saran and save! The ultimate saran wrap substitute which is reusable. This wax wrap can fit onto multiple dishes, jars and more.Save and store your foods without plastic or pollution.You can get them in all kinds of sizes but I also cut them to size for my own personal bowls and find this is the easiest way to keep using them! The wraps are so easy to wash and are definitely one of my most favourite multi-purpose kitchen tools. There is seriously no excuse for plastic when you happen to have these amazing vegan wax wraps!

I love Vonuva Wax Wraps check out my review here. 

Grocery Baskets & Produce Bags:

This one often gets forgotten but it’s such a great thing to keep in your pantry. You have to get the food in there somehow, right? So by having a large reusable grocery basket to take to the store or the market, makes it ideal and simple for you to unload into your pantry! Another favourite item, similar to this are produce bags. They’re inexpensive and simple mesh bags to carry and store fresh produce in, (they also allow the produce to breathe, if you want to store produce inside the bag continuously), they’re reusable, wash-able and keeps your produce tidy while shopping or at home. I also find both grocery baskets and the produce bags make a great gift for people and as a consequence, it helps create a lot less waste for everyone.

 

What to Stock In Your Zero Waste Pantry
 

Now that you have your three must haves, here are my favourite zero-waste and vegan dry goods you should always have handy and stocked in your pantry.

These are the things I use on a daily basis. Usually I tend to restock once or twice a month but I try to always have a big enough stockpile to keep my pantry comfortably full to ensure a productive week ahead:

  1.  Legumes: These are a staple in every plant-based kitchen. I use beans for almost all meals: snacks, baking, lunch, dinner and sometimes dessert!
  2. Nuts: Great for cooking, baking and snacking! I love to have a stock of walnuts, peanuts, and almonds to use in all kinds of recipes as well as great snacks for the kids. If you have a nut allergy, you can sub this out for granola (which I always like to have too), vegan chocolate chips and your favourite crackers.
  3. Grains: Rice, quinoa and flour are staples that I use everyday. Great for meals and any baking we do. I use all my bigger mason jars for this as the rice and quinoa are used almost every evening. Also, I keep a heavy stockpile of different shaped pastas and I store these in mason jars. I have a wide selection of noodles to keep things exciting but always have a big stock pile of penne as we love our pasta. Grains are one of the biggest must haves as I’m sure you know you are going to use these consistently.
  4. Spices: This is huge for cooking! Keeping your pantry stocked with your favourite spices. It is going to save you time and give you the best selection for cooking each and every meal. Spices are an absolute NEED in my kitchen as I love to spice up everything (especially those pasta dishes), I keep garlic, basil, oregano sesame, salt and pepper and vinegar in bulk.Also, I enjoy growing my own herbs too!

The more you have in your pantry, the happier you and your kitchen will be. Starting here, will give you a great head-start on your perfect zero-waste and sustainable kitchen.

zero waste pantry guide

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DIY Zero Waste Swaps
5 DIY Zero Waste Swaps. Simple, Fun, and Effective!

Simple, Effective, and Fun

5 DIY Zero Waste Swaps that you can make at home!

Welcome back to the blog, loves! It’s always an honour to have you here. Today I am going to share with you my top 5 DIY Zero Waste Swaps that I create in the comfort of my own home. These swaps have saved our family tons of money, they are super simple and effective, and can even be turned into gorgeous gifts for birthday/holiday season. Yay for Zero Waste and DIY!

This will definitely be the first of many DIY Zero Waste Blog Posts because there are just so many and I love them all. I will start with the 5 easiest ones that you can do immediately with items around the house. Keep a look out for links within this blog post as well – they will direct you to further information or even a direct link to a recommended product.

 

If you are new to the zero waste / low waste / minimalism lifestyle, I want to make one thing clear. Do NOT throw any of your used/abused/torn/ragged items out until you have checked in with the zero waste community first. There may be some amazing DIY crafts that you can do with these so-called “trash” items. Ragged old towels, stained/worn clothes, broken reusable bottles, old Tupperware, etc. The longer we can keep these out of the landfill, the better. So let’s get to crafting and creating!

 

DIY Zero Waste Swaps: Homemade Cleaning Solutions!

5 DIY Zero Waste Swaps

I grew up hating the smell of vinegar. My father had a bottle that he loved to keep in the bathroom to wipe down the cabinets and bath tub every week or so. The smell would linger for days and it hurt my little nostrils. Later, when I was much older, I was hesitant to ever use vinegar as a cleaning solution.

That is until I found the infusion method. Here is how it works: Fill a large glass jar with a tight seal about 85% full (I love this size here) with white distilled vinegar. Peel 2 large lemons and toss the peels into the jar. Grab a handful of fresh rosemary and toss that in next. Feel free to add in extra citrus peels (orange/lime) and herbs (lavender is heavenly) and then tightly seal. Let sit in your pantry or a cool/dark place for 6 weeks.

Voila! You have infused your vinegar.

Take a spray bottle (I love these) and fill half way with the strained infused vinegar and half distilled water. If you wish, you can also add some 60-70% proof alcohol (like rubbing alcohol) as well for the disinfectant power. Shake and use as you would a general cleaner. I love to use the vinegar and water mixture for cleaning windows, the kitchen, floors, and the like.

If using alcohol, I add 1 part of each: 1 part alcohol, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part water. Many like to add 2 parts alcohol, 2 parts water, and 1 part vinegar or less. Do as you wish!

Keep the already infused vinegar in the pantry, sealed, until ready to refill your spray bottles again.

So, what about the baking soda? For any hard to clean surfaces, simply shake some baking soda over it and then spray the vinegar infusion. The combined power will cause bubbles and an epic cleaning machine!

Curious how to make your own white distilled vinegar? Check this post out here!

DIY Zero Waste Swaps: Homemade Hankies and Wipes

Homemade Hankerchiefs

The options are really endless for this DIY swap. You can create your own hankies, cloth wipes, wet wipes, face wipes, and even toilet paper if you are up for it! All you need are those old raggedy clothes/towels that no longer serve their purpose.

For hankies: I love mine to be a nice long rectangle. It’s as easy and cutting the fabric into your shape! To avoid any fraying, you can easily sew the edges but I only do this for certain fabrics that are already on their very last leg. For the most part, just slicing and folding is all I need to do.

For cloth wipes/wet wipes: I love to use the babies old blankets/old clothes for these. Soft and perfect for wiping them clean! Simply slice into small squares and store into a reusable bag. If you want wet wipes, you can grab a mason jar and fill with water and a tsp of coconut oil. Add the small squares to the mason jar and use as you would wet wipes! For on the go wet wipes, pull out a handful of the squares, squeeze gently, and then place into a reusable bag (like these here). To wash, simply toss into the washing machine as you would soiled towels. Be sure to replace the water and coconut oil every second day.

For face wipes: I like to use two types of fabrics for this! One super soft fabric like an old baby blanket and another semi-rough fabric for a light exfoliation. Slice into small squares. These are fantastic for oil cleansing.

DIY Zero Waste Swaps: Never Buy Drinking Glasses Again!

It may drive Martin a bit crazy, but we have NEVER had traditional drinking glasses. We drink from old jars!

As a woman who loves to DIY just about everything…I have to say that I have my fair share of glass jars! We save each and every one and use them for drinking glasses, overnight oats glasses, dessert glasses, DIY beauty recipes, and tons of prepping needs. I cannot recommend saving your glasses enough! It’s like…free stuff! haha.

Every Sunday I start off my meal prep by blending up 3 sauces/dressings for dipping and drizzling. My glass jars are the perfect companions for this and I have them in almost every size, so it’s always a perfect fit! We keep the large ones (think sauerkraut or pasta sauce) for drinking, keep the small ones for baby sized drinks, and the rest is used for everything in between. I do recommend storing the lids in a reusable bag somewhere that’s convenient – they are a pain in the butt for the junk drawer!

DIY Zero Waste Swaps: Homemade Face Cleansers

DIY Zero Waste Swaps

There are a few different ways to go about cleansing your face in the zero waste/low waste realm. You could go with Martin’s routine of using warm water and a light exfoliating cloth wipe (his skin is fabulous by the way), you could go with a sudsing clean via Castile soap, a muddy clean via bentonite clay, or an oil cleansing clean via my current favorite recipe! I’ll be sharing each one with you today.

Warm Water and an exfoliating cloth wipe: this is where your raggedy old towels and clothes come in! You need a light exfoliating cloth (Martin uses the babies old bath towel cut into squares) and warm water. If he is extra dirty, he will use some coconut oil as well.

The Castile Soap Solution: For this you will need some Castile soap and water. Essential oils are a great addition (I enjoy lavender and frankincense). I used this face wash for the first year on our journey and it was lovely! However, my skin let me know (yes, she speaks to me in her own way) that she needed something much more nourishing as I got older. If you want to try this cleanse out, mix together 8 oz water with 8 oz liquid Castile soap. If you wish to add the essential oils, add in 15 drops of each lavender and frankincense! Feel this recipe out and then add more water as needed until it reaches your desired feeling.

Shocked? See! I told you it was easy!

Bentonite Clay Cleanse: Even though I am strictly and oil cleanser now (see below), I still use my bentonite clay once a week to deep clean. I highly recommend it! Simply add 2 tsp (using a non metal spoon) of bentonite clay to the palm of your hand followed by 2 tsp of water. Mix and then rub into your face very well. I like to let it sit for a few minutes and then wash off with luke warm water. Pat dry and follow up with a face oil or moisturizer.

My Oil Cleanser: First, you want to choose your base. My research recommends sunflower oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, hemp oil or grapeseed oil. You can mix and match to your liking. I personally use straight jojoba oil and then I add lavender and frankincense essential oils directly to the bottle with a dropper. I pick up my jojoba oil from our local farmers market every 6-8 weeks or so for about 10 euros a bottle and bring back the empty bottle. So here is how I go about this: First, I add about a hefty tsp of oil to the palm of my hand and rub it into my face and neck. I like to massage my face for a solid minute or 2 and let the oil sit for an extra minute. I grab my face cloth, run hot water over it, and quickly wring it out. Next, I lay the warm cloth over my face and gently wipe my face. There should still be oil sitting on the face (a very light layer), so no need for an additional moisturiser!

DIY Zero Waste Swaps: The Orphan Socks

DIY Zero Waste Swaps:

This swap is genius and I cannot take any credit for it. I owe all credit for this idea to our neighbour who has been doing this for years haha.

Take all of your old orphan socks and place them in a two jars: One for the large socks and the second for the smaller. The large socks are fantastic to use as dusters and many will even fit the a dusting mop (think swiffer!). The first time I saw her dust mop with the orphan sock, I fell in love.

The small socks are fantastic for SO many things. Crafts, halloween costumes, homemade dolls, bath soaks (add oatmeal to a sock, tie and drop into a bathtub!), ice compressor covers (fill with some peas, ice or whatnot when someone has a boo-boo), and so much more. Keep those socks!

 

I truly hope these 5 simple ideas helped you to look at zero waste a bit more enthusiastically! I promise, it is such a fun and creative way to live. 

Need more inspiration?

Check out these other zero waste posts!

A Zero Waste Period Guide

Zero Waste Bathroom Hacks

Our Real Life Imperfect Zero Waste Home

A Peek Into our Zero Waste Home

That’s all for today, Mamas! I hope this blog post helped and please feel free to leave a comment about your own journey or to ask any questions! Heads up, we did use a few affiliate links and will receive a small commission if you purchase through them. As always, we truly stand behind the products we link. Thanks for stopping by!

 

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zero waste period
Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Treating Your Body (and the Environment) Right!

Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Figuring Out What Works For YOU!

Welcome back to the blog! If you missed our latest Instagram post where talked all about the magical vulva and vagina, then please check that out on your way out of this blog post. So many of us do not even know the correct name for our genital area and I find that to be a crucial first step to understanding our beautiful bodies. I have found that loving ourselves is one of the BIGGEST steps we can take in this journey to a healthier, more environmentally friendly and more self-compassionate self.

One of the ways that I show my body and my natural surroundings how much I love them is by choosing all-natural and safe products. This includes my shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and even the products that I use for my monthly cycle. A zero-waste period is so much easier, so much more budget-friendly, and so much prettier than we could have ever imagined. Today, I hope, will be the LAST time you ever place anything toxic or disposable into your precious body. In this blog post we will dive into the magical world of a zero-waste period and just how beautiful (and comfortable!) it can be.

Zero Waste Period

Tampons and Pads have been a part of our lives since most of us received the gift of our cycle around puberty. Commercials, media and good old’ peer pressure lured us into the world of bright-colored plastic-tubed tampons that we somehow figured out how to shove up our vaginas (I’ll never forget that first day, pretty sure that scarred me for a while) or big old disposable pads that never seemed to sit quite right. If one could not afford a tampon or a pad, which is quite common at these high prices for single-use items, then we were forced to roll up some toilet paper into a makeshift pad and hope for the best. Can I just say…Thank goodness those days are over! Today I am going to educate you all on the much better options. Better options for our bodies, our wallets, our environment, and our future. Let’s do this!

A Zero Waste Period: Why Traditional Tampons and Pads Need to GO

Interestingly enough (but not surprising), the astounding waste that disposable tampons and pads create is pretty hard to track down. Turns out, this plastic waste is deemed “medical waste” and was left unnoticed for years. Rough estimates show that in 2018, those with cycles in the U.S. purchased over 5.8 million tampons and ONE human being, in their lifetime, could use anywhere from 5-15 THOUSAND pads and tampons. Guess where those thousands of pads and tampons end up? Yep….in the trash bin.

If you would like to read a ton more on how plastic became such a “norm” in the menstrual world, check out this amazing blog post by National Geographic. It’s a fantastic read!

Toxic Shock Syndrome

I’ll never forget that day in the theatre class when I was just 17 years old. I had finally got up the nerve to try out a tampon for the first time (pads were driving me absolutely nuts) and within hours of inserting, my skin turned pale white and I nearly fainted in front of my teacher. I attended an all-girls high school right outside of Chicago at the time and the very first thing my teacher asked me was, “Are you wearing a tampon?”

Looking back, I cannot even believe it. How many girls had nearly fainted, or fainted, in front of this woman in all her years of teaching at this school? I was sent to the nurse’s office and then the doctor. Turns out, I was one of many who got Toxic Shock Syndrome from the use of tampons. TSS is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Each year toxic shock syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 people but the numbers have been on the rise since the popularity of tampons has increased.

Toxic Shock Syndrome began when the tampon companies introduced artificial fibers into the tampons for better absorbency. These fibers are still used today despite this issue and this is something that we all need to be aware of.

Toxic Chemicals Found in Tampons

Toxic chemicals found in tampons include aluminum, fragrance additives, alcohols, and hydrocarbons. Some tampons also contain dioxin that is leftover from bleaching. Dioxin is a very toxic chemical that has been linked to cancer and is not even legal to use in Europe.

A Zero Waste Period: Making the Switch!

I am going to list all of the zero waste period options from my least favorite to my favorite. It should be noted that I didn’t HATE any of these options, but I do have favorites when it comes to comfort, personal preference, and what works for me. If you love my least favorite, then it’s all good! It’s all about what works for you. I do recommend giving them all a try and even using all of the options – I bounce back and forth between all 4 options depending on how I am feeling that month and also on how heavy or light my period is. Our body is constantly changing.

 

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Period Cups

Reusable Period Cups

While I do believe that these are the most popular (I’m assuming due to the huge social media impact and super busy lives that most of you lead), these are number four on my list of favorite options. If you do choose the cup, I recommend the Lena Brand!

First, let me tell you why these cups rock:

  • Reusable! Just wash them out and you are set to use again and again and again!
  • Compact and come with a little bag for your purse/backpack/pocket.
  • Very aesthetically pleasing
  • Do not contain any harmful ingredients!
  • The cups move with your body; you can dance, run, swim, jump or, if you are like me, sleep all day haha.
  • Different sizes for different ages and size.
  • SUPER afforadable. I mean…..SUPER DUPER affordable.
  • The cups simply collect the blood without absorbing or drying out your sensitive insides.

Sheesh, these really do sound amazing, huh?! So why am I not a big fan? I guess it’s just my personal preference but I do not like inserting anything into my body. Again, just a personal preference.

A few things I noticed about the cups that I did not like:

  • While this is washable and reusable, if you are not in a certain type of bathroom then it’s a pretty big mess. I was in a public restroom with the sink outside of the bathroom stall and I was in a sort of a period emergency situation haha. Let’s just say…I do not recommend using these if you have a heavy month and will be using public restrooms a lot!
  • Insertion: Again, I do not like anything in my body. The insertion process was just uncomfortable (as are tampons for me) and I never like to do it. I will say though, once the cup is inside, I could not feel a thing!
  • Smell: After about 1 month of use, there was this smell that I could not get off of the cup. Thanks to bloggers like EthicallyKate, I found out that placing the cup in the sun cleared this up right away! This is a really big tip for those of you who want to use the cups. The sun is a great disinfectant and works like magic.

 

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Pads

Period Pads

Third on the list, The amazing and super cute reusable period pads! I have talked about this before, but when the boys first started to cloth diaper, I used the extra bamboo inserts for my periods. I LOVED them! About 4 months later, they needed more inserts for their growing urine needs (hahaha!!) and I decided to purchase some pretty reusable pads for my bathroom. I actually keep these in a pretty golden vase right above the toilet and use them as needed.

Why Reusable Period Pads Rock:

  • No need to insert anything into your vagina; just snap them onto your undies and you are set!
  • Super easy to wash, I wash just like I do my cloth diaper inserts. I use soap nuts (any detergent will work) and when finished, I hang dry in the sun. They are totally dryer safe too.
  • Gorgeous – the prints are so cute and they snap into little squares that fit right into the palm of your hand.
  • Absorption: They absorb surprisingly well and I have yet to have any issues in that department.

So Why Number 3 on the list?

  • As many of you know, I ride my bike at least 3-4 times a week with the boys attached with the bike stroller. Oye. These pads are not meant for cycling at all. The snaps at the bottom of the underwear dig right into my body from the cycling seat and it hurts. Best for doing everything BUT cycling haha.
  • A bit bulky: I am a tight and yoga pant wearing lady who doesn’t pull out the jeans unless I’m feeling fancy. These are just a tiny bit (really not bad at all) bulky and not the best for yoga pants. These are fantastic for jeans, dresses, and skirts!

 

A Zero Waste Period: Free Bleeding

I’m actually laughing as I type this right now because I am assuming there are a ton of you with faces like, “What the HELL?!”. Yes, I thought the same when I first found out that folks still do this. Of course, we all know that there were times when we free bled all over the world because tampons and pads were not in existence until pretty recently. However, why would anyone continue to do this today?

It’s actually pretty amazing. I was talking to this woman who told me that she has been free-bleeding for 10 years now and can control her body. Meaning, she can control when the blood was released from her vagina and when it was to stay put. I couldn’t believe it…so you know what I did? I tried it for myself!

For the entire year of 2017, I free bled.

I talked about it a few times but mostly I kept it to myself and just did my thang. I did as the woman said and bought two, thick red towels that I used when I was at home. For the majority of the week, I simply walked around with just the towel wrapped around my waist (no underwear) and had a t-shirt or sweater on top. Anytime that I felt the release of blood coming, I would either walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet or I would use the red towel to wipe it up. I am not even kidding you, within 3 months I was so confident in my practice that I would walk around town with nothing on. My body and I were completely in-sync.

Now, if you are going to go this route, you have to take the entire menstrual cycle (4-6 days) easy and really be aware of your body. This practice is best for those who can stay at home for the duration of the cycle to get used to it. I would suggest this to stay at home moms, bloggers, or anyone who works from home. It’s amazing how we have lost this natural connection to our bodies through the use of tampons and pads. If you can, give it a whirl!

So, do I still Practice this? Yes! Not all the time, but anytime that I am home, it’s just me and my towel. I did start using option number 1 for whenever I do yoga.

 

A Zero Waste Period: Period Panties

zero waste period panties

We made it to my number one zero waste period option: The Period Panties! 

I cannot tell you how much I love these period panties. They feel just like regular underwear with just a tad bit of extra padding (which I just call comfort) added to absorb the blood. There are NO leaks. All comfort, no leaks, feels like you are wearing nothing…how can you beat this?!

I have only ever tried the period panties by the Wuka brand. I am sure there are a ton more options out there but I do love this brand. (use discount code Wuka-WonderMamas for 10% off!)

Why Period Panties Rock:

  • Feels like regular underwear. Yes, I do wear these even when I am not menstruating!
  • Absorbs like a champ: I have never had a leak in all the time that I have used these panties.
  • Holds at least 20ml of blood, which is about 4 tampons worth.
  • Wuka panties are made by MicroModal fabric that is CO2 neutral and 3.5x softer than fine cotton.
  • It can be worn under workouts pants, jeans, skirts, all of it. They are a dream.
  • Vegan approved!
  • Different undies for different days: You can opt for light, medium and heavy flow. I have just the heavy flow ones and I adore them so much.
  • All age approved and different sizes for different ages!
  • Comes in a “first period” pack for our first timers! I love this so much. I feel like this makes that day really special instead of scary. The box contains period panties (based on age), a wash bag and a booklet on everything period!
  • Washes like a champ!

P.s. Feel free to use our discount code at checkout!: WUKA-WONDERMAMAS

 

That’s all for today, folks! I hope this blog post helped and please feel free to leave a comment about your own journey or to ask any questions! Heads up, we did use a few affiliate links (for the cups and the pads I believe) and will receive a small commission if you purchase through them. As always, we truly stand behind the products we link. Thanks for stopping by!

If you liked this blog post, check these other ones out!

 

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