April 3, 2014

Eleven Days of Travel, Zero Waste.

I have been in Europe for 8 days now. At this exact moment I am sitting on a big comfy couch in the living room of an apartment that my cousin, her friend and I rented in the 11th Arrondissement in Paris. Our balcony (Yes, balcony) overlooks the Eiffel Tower. I just ate Organic cheese. I'm dreaming.

BUT… and there is a but… this trip did not come without a challenge, and a  big one at that. Eleven days of travel, and Zero Waste.
Guess what. Eight days and going strong!!!!  How did I do this? It all started at home…

Packing. I only pack in a carry on, I never check luggage. To achieve this and still feel like I have outfit choices, I packed with care.

Clothing.  I packed all black, versatile clothing that could be layered and worn over and over again. This takes preparation so I definitely thought out outfits beforehand. Here are some of the outfits that I wore. I also brought laundry detergent to wash between wears.
(Left) was a pair of leather leggings, a blouse, blazer and I brought a scarf and heels in a reusable tote.
(Right) was a pair of trousers, a cropped top, the same blazer as the other outfit and I had my hair in a different style to change up the look. The shoes were the same as the outfit on the left. I also brought my breakfast in hand.

Supplies. Toiletries. I packed my toiletries very carefully and only brought exactly what I needed. I packed bulk shampoo and conditioner in glass, homemade body and face lotion, contact solution, a lens case, and my glasses, a face and body cleansing bar, apple cider vinegar for blemishes, some meds and vitamins, a couple of hair ties, my homemade deodorant, toothbrush, and homemade toothpaste.

Supplies. Travel. I also brought a mason jar, a cotton napkin, a metal straw and my Life Without Plastic spork to eliminate the need for plastic cutlery.

Food. To ensure that I would have food during traveling, I brought a bunch of Organic apples that I ate for breakfast while in Switzerland my first few days, some peanut butter, and a reusable bag full of nuts, dried fruit, and energy cubes that I bought in bulk the day I left. Once I arrived in paris, I used the Organic and Fair Trade cotton bag to buy cookies and pastries so I didn't have to use a paper bag.

(Left) some cookies I bought from an Algerian pastry shop in Paris, it is my absolute favorite and they were so sweet and let me put all of the cookies that I bought in my cotton bag!


(Left) Me on the electric train in Basel, Switzerland eating one of the Organic apples I brought from home. They were such life savers as the food in Basel was super expensive, i'm talking 12 dollar fries, guys!













(Left) me on the train eating some of the bulk snacks that I brought from home that are in my cotton bag and some wine in my jar.




(Above, Left) some bulk food at a small shop in Paris (Above, Right) coffee at the airport in Zurich, no plastic! They had ceramic mugs and the sugar was in glass instead of individual packets!

…and for now.. that's it! Let's see how I do during my last three days here!

46 comments:

  1. Hi Lauren, do you have the adress to the bulk food store ? I'm working on itineraries to small independent shops selling in bulk first edition was in Montmartre http://smalletbeautiful.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/courses-en-vrac-a-montmartre/

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    1. Hi Allie! It is called À BOIRE ET À MANGER and it is located 61 rue Oberkampf 75011. I loved it! The owner is SO nice and the products were beautiful :)

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    2. Salut Lauren, j'ai été y faire un tour, très joli! Thanks for the tip, well this one and all the others

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    3. do you have any more tips on where to buy organic and/or waste-free in Paris? I will be traveling there next week :)

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    4. Hi Rosan,

      It totally depends on where you are staying. There are a ton of greenmarkets that you can look up that have amazing produce that you can buy in bulk so you should research a few that are close to you before you go. I found an article on Chocolate and Zuchinni that says there are three all-organic open-air greenmarkets in Paris: Batignolles (Saturday mornings on boulevard des Batignolles outside the Rome métro station in the 17th), Raspail (Sunday mornings on boulevard Raspail, between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes in the 6th), and Brancusi (Saturday mornings on Place Constantin in the 14th).

      The stores that sell good produce are Naturalia, Biocoop, Bio c’ Bon, Les Nouveaux Robinsons, and La Vie Claire. Also, a lot of stores in paris sell package free because they are awesome like that :) I went to a beautiful store on Rue Oberkampf called a bore et a manger on 61 Rue Oberkampf :)

      Hope this helps!

      Lauren

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    5. Ah thank you so much for the quick and long reply! :)

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  2. Oh my gosh, you are so cute and impressive. Good job!

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  3. This is truly inspiring. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kasey! Thank you, that really means a lot to me :) Have a great day!

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  4. I miss bague de kenza! Have to pick up one of those nifty bags

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  5. My only question is how to pack the GLASS. I, too, travel to Europe yearly to visit family, and I would love to do this without plastic. HOW did you get by the TSA without a quart-sized plastic bag? And how did you fit your Mason jar in? I know this post is old, but I just found your site and I am dying to know how you've done it! Thanks, I hope you'll answer soon! :) --Jen in Kansas City

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    1. Hi - I use a plastic bag. I've used the same one for 7 trips or so. I just take care to keep it clean so I don't need a new one. If the mason jar doesn't have liquid in it, I don't have to put it in a plastic bag. I just put it in my carry on and i'm good to go :)

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Lauren

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    2. Girl, YOU ARE THE BEST. :) Thank you so much for replying. I use a heavy-duty, permanent one that actually snaps into my carry-on. I was looking at your containers in the post again, and it looks like you have several TINY glass containers. As luck would have it, we have a Container Store opening across the street in a few months! :) They carry these. Is that where you procured yours? And congrats on your Kickstarter success! I donated $25. :)

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    3. That's awesome! You can definitely find so many good containers there. Also, thank you SO much for donating to my Kickstarter! ! ! ! :)))

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  6. Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for your blog which has been such an inspiration and has really started me on this journey. I live in London and have already started to find some alternatives to supermarkets, such as agreat organic, fair trade and local veg and fruit box scheme and bulk shop. I also started using your tips about cleaning house and body naturally and decluttering!
    I was wondering if you have any tips about zero waste and natural alternatives to:
    -freezer bags
    -lip balm
    -spunges for cleaning kitchen and house surfaces
    -shaving cream
    -nail polish remover
    -face and body moisturiser
    -dental floss
    -intimate wash
    Thank you so much! Good luck with your new company! Gaia

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    Replies
    1. I would love your input on dental floss as well- I can't find any that doesn't come in those silly plastic cartridges.

      I have some ideas though on the other items, if I may :)

      Freezer bags- mason jars and Pyrex storage containers work great for a lot of foods
      Lip balm- make your own by melting beeswax with coconut oil or other oils, you can refill the little tubes
      Sponges- use cloths, you can launder and reuse
      Shaving cream- coconut oil and hair conditioner both work
      Moisturizers can also be made, diy recipes are everywhere (I worry about sun protection factor, though, and still purchase dedicated facial moisturizer)




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    2. Dear Gaia, I am moving to London in a few weeks and looking for organic markets and fair trade shops, it would be great if you could share some tips about living a zero waste life in London! (:

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    3. As far as intimate wash goes, warm water is really all you need! If you've got a bit of funk going on, you can use buttermilk or yogurt as a soak/mask/wash, add apple cider vinegar to a bath, or dab a bit of (diluted!) tea tree or lavender oil down there with a cotton pad. I can't stress the diluting in a carrier oil step enough-- tea tree can burn, especially if you're sensitive like me!

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    4. I am also looking for alternatives for dental floss but I couldn't find a more organic/zero waste one here in my country (Philippines). But then I discovered this portable water flosser, called Pocket Flosser, in Kickstarter and I think it's a great alternative! Water flossers works just as good, or even better, than dental floss. It's basically water pressure pushing food debris (and even plaque) off. What's great about this is that it doesn't need any electricity or even batteries so you don't have to worry about energy. It only requires easy manual hand pump to accumulate pressure then it's just as good. While this doesn't necessarily fit in your pockets (as the name may suggest, the pocket actually refers to spaces in between the teeth), I still think it's a better alternative to those pricey and stationary water flossers, and it's very still handy when traveling. While the pump may be made in plastic (the developer didn't specify the exact material), at least it's BPA-free. It's also better because it's only a one-time purchase and you don't have to worry about running out or disposing anything. :)

      If you love this product, you can get them here and help the developer produce this awesome invention:
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1781019896/pocket-flosser-flossing-made-simple-and-pain-free/description

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  7. Hello, your blog can gives good ideas but I think you're not totaly zero waste and no so honest
    when you pretend to be . The clothes you wear doesn't look at all like second hand, the leather leggins ! your sneakers and high heels... It seems that you like to follow the trends and that you want to wear trendy clothes that are not avaible in second hand stores.

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    1. Thank you for calling me trendy. I pride myself on my ability to spot a needle in a haystack so to speak. All of my clothing is secondhand :)

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    2. Living in Russia I can't but doubt stuff like Lauren or other zero waste bloggers wear can be found in second hand stores. But a lot of them will give you references to the stores the shop at. Check out Ariana from paris-to-go.com She seems to only wear high end designers like Dior and Stell McCartney not only for their looks, but first and foremost for their quality. And all her clothes is second hand too. And cost her peanuts!
      But again, there's no way you can buy that kind of stuff for that money in this country. It doesn't mean she or Lauren lie about their clothes.

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  8. Look we can all agree that pollution is BAD.

    However, this is so f*cking pretentious I want to vomit.

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    1. As long as everybody understands it does nothing long-term, and it is just a hobby, I'm fine with it. Capitalism is unsustainable, and these no trash people are capitalists so they are huge hypocrites. It's called "lifestyle-ism," it's a huge joke in Marxist circles because these clowns think they are somehow saving the environment.

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  9. Anonymous
    If you think it is pretentious than don't read it.
    Super simple don't you think.

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    Replies
    1. They can read what they want. The blogger's a capitalist so none of what she is doing means anything in terms of sustainability.

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  10. Do you have any tips on hot oil treatments for hair? I mean, when I use a spray bottle it's plastic. Is there an alternative to a plastic spray bottle? Thanks!

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  11. Do you have a recipe for body lotion and face soap?

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    1. You can buy face soap bars package free. OR try cleansing your face with natural oil, wiping it off with microfiber cloth. The cloth is very absorbent and the oil dissolves make-up and "dirt" without over drying your skin. Worth a try.

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  12. Hi, I am curious, when you are in a country where it's not safe to drink tapwater, what's your solution? Kelly

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  13. Wonderful what you are doing. I would like to know how you composted your organic waste in Paris (where I live). In general, what is your solution for toilet paper?

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    1. You might want to check out Ariana's www.paris-to-go.com she's a waste free and she lives in Paris

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  15. Hi Lauren! I found your blog a few days ago and have been enjoying it. I aim to travel with only a carry-on as well, and I'd like to take reusable containers. How did you get around the liquids restrictions? The glass jars don't look like they would pack well...

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  16. HI! I just wanted to tell you that I've been following your blog for months now. You are truly an inspiration and have impacted my life a lot. I use your toothpaste, deodorant, and body butter recipes and you have overall taught me countless sustainable alternatives. You seriously rock and I give you so much credit for the work you put in.

    I'm so happy that I finally discovered you wear contact lenses! I see that you use Biotrue solution (I do as well) and was wondering what you did about having to always buy new containers for it (I don't think a place that sells it in bulk exists lol). What do you also do with the packaging that the contacts come in? I hope to hear back from you!
    Chelsee

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  18. Hi Lauren, I know this is an older post...but just the same I wanted to say bravo! Thanks for inspiring us to live simpler, healthier, more abundantly by being better stewards of this beautiful planet we call home.

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