September 19, 2014

A Zero Waste Evening with WTF Magazine X Tipi Project

What happens when you plop a teepee in the middle of Havemeyer Park in South Williamsburg and Natasha Garoosi is able to plan an event there? Magic, that's what.

On Wednesday WTF Magazine X Tipi Project had this amazing party and asked me to do a demo on how to make zero waste toothpaste. Oh yeah, and the demo was INSIDE of the teepee.
In short, it was an amazing night full of amazing Rawpothecary and The Juice Witches Organic juices, Sweet By Jana cookies, Pushcart Coffee pastries, Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes and new friends. And toothpaste. Lots of Zero Waste toothpaste.
We had all of the juices in large bottles and everyone was able to drink them out of mason jars. The decorations were all from friends - Natasha used a curtain as a tablecloth, The Juice Witches brought an awesome blanket, and I brought a bunch of mismatched jars from my house to use as vases that I filled with plants that were growing around the park. (The flowers were just kind of thrown on the ground, and others I literally picked out of the trash!) It was an incredible night that Natasha actually pulled together in THREE DAYS. It just goes to show you that you don't need much more than good people and a couple bottles of juice to host an extremely successful event.

September 16, 2014

I used super wasteful, toxic drugs and sorry, i'm not sorry.

There comes a point in life when you are like, "screw values" and whatnot. For me, that moment was last week. Let me explain….
… That lover, that's Ivy. She was my puppy growing up. I got her before I was even a tween because I was stuck at home with poison ivy.  Not just any poison ivy though. I am really, really allergic to the stuff. One whiff (yes, I got it airborne) and it turned my body into the itchiest place on earth. When I was little I used to get it so bad that that my face would be covered, scratchy, and oozy and it would be all over my hands, legs, arms, eyes, everything. It was miserable. I mean come on, my family got me a DOG to compensate for how bad it was if that is saying anything.

Luckily, I avoided poison ivy for 13 years, but somehow got it again 3 weeks ago. (Is that what I get for frolicking in a corn field?) Anyway, it started as a patch the size of a couple little mosquito bites, which is exactly what I thought it was. Not worrying, I took my trip to New Mexico, but it got worse and after some googling and retrospection I realized I had poison ivy. I looked up natural poison ivy remedies (peppermint oil, baking soda, lavender oil) and tried them with absolutely no success at all. In fact, the rash got worse and worse, and by my last day in New Mexico my entire right leg was covered in a raised itchy rash. It was painful, and it was spreading fast.

So I had no choice but to go to the dermatologist. And like any doctor would, she prescribed me medicine. Steroids. They work but they are hardcore and are burning my esophagus out and making me all dizzy and stuff. In addition to pills I got a topical steroid cream that contains crap that I would NEVER otherwise go near with a 40 foot pole including polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, oh and non-recyclable packaging. I got a little worried when I read the warnings: "tell your doctor right away if you have…vomit that looks like coffee grounds." WHAT?!
The pill bottle is recyclable, but the tube of topical steroid was more trash than I have made in such a long time! It's metal, so I guess I could cut it open, dispose of the chemical, and then recycle it? But i'm not sure if that is legal, so i'm not sure what to do.

The good news is, after three days of taking the medicine, my poison ivy is almost gone and my legs are almost back to normal. The bad news is my heartburn is out of control and i've made trash. Did I do the wrong thing? I don't think so, but maybe? I was in a lot of pain and didn't know what to do besides get meds because the natural remedies weren't working so I don't feel like I had a choice.

August 13, 2014

Cleaning the Toilet, Naturally

Cleaning the toilet is definitely not the most glamorous thing in the world, but at least it isn't hard. Some people use bleach and other nasty chemicals to get their bathroom clean, not me! My method is completely non-toxic!

I use four things to clean my toilet:
1) Organic liquid castile soap
2) Distilled white vinegar
3) Washcloth
4) Plastic free toilet brush
Here's how I do it.

Step 1: Spray the entire toilet with white vinegar. This includes the top, cover, seat, under the seat, and around the base. Let sit.
Step 2: Put liquid castile soap in bowl and brush clean with toilet brush, let sit.
Step 3: I use one washcloth to clean the entire toilet. To I do this I first fold the towel in half and wipe the top and the seat clean. Then I fold that in half again to do the seat and then under the seat. I then repeat the process to clean the rim and the base of the toilet. That way I use a clean section for each part of the process and only dirty one towel. I then just throw that in the laundry. Easy!
Step 3: Flush toilet, close lid. Easy pee-z. Ha.

August 11, 2014

Hosting a Zero Waste Picnic.

I'm so grateful to have friends that are passionate about lots of different things. Two of my friends, Anna and Kate, are passionate about healthy, Organic food and we decided to join forces and have a Zero Waste picnic.

The planning was easy because we chose to make our picnic potluck style. We each made a dish and since I was hosting the picnic at my house, I provided the blanket, silverware, cups, and plates. However, if you wanted to host this at a park or beach or wherever, you could have each person bring their own plate/cup/napkin/fork to make carrying everything easier. 

Anna and Kate brought their dishes in mason jars and larger, lidded glass containers instead of in plastic or other disposables. This made cleanup and carrying the food extremely easy and prevented spillage! Also, since our meal was vegan, Organic, and mostly raw, our ingredients were easily found package-free!

I made mashed purple potatoes with roasted onions, Kate made spaghetti squash with figs and vegan cheese topping, and Anna made roasted eggplant with tomato sauce and brussel sprouts. For dessert we had fresh figs and dried dates. To drink I served meyer lemon vodka with sparkling water infused with basil and mint from my terrace garden. 

The cleanup could not have been easier since 1) we ate all of the food and 2) there were only a few jars and plates to clean, and the girls took their containers home, so I only had to clean 3 cups, 3 forks, a couple of serving spoons, and 3 plates. This event was so simple that it could be scaled up for more people without much effort at all and is the perfect way to host your friends because everyone gets to make something that they love and share it with one another.