the ReFab Diaries: zero-waste lifestyle
Showing posts with label zero-waste lifestyle

Guest post: Shannon Bergstrom

The more we know about a product, the better we can assess if it falls in line with our eco-efforts—its production method, what it is made of, the company’s values, etc. And one tool that can help with our evaluation process, as well as assist in assessing our everyday habits, is the zero waste hierarchy.




At the beginning of 2016, I committed to trimming my waste. After years of using this blog to gently reinforce the message that mindless consumerism is a problem, I decided to take off the gloves and declared my intention for the year: to trim my waste. Because we are literally consuming ourselves. And we need to wake up.


THIS IS MY 2020 UPDATE!


EDIT 3/6: Winner: Christy P D




If, like me, you're dragging through the final frozen weeks of winter, then this post is a treat for you! A well-timed chance to win some sustainably-made, minimally packaged, totally beautiful beauty products. Ready to spring clean yourself?

Meet the world's first slipper that's helping to fight plastic pollution


Fab folk - I'm thrilled to introduce you to Sam Wright and his brainchild, Clearwaters! Clearwaters is a new, environmentally friendly footwear brand designed and developed in the United Kingdom. The brand's first product offering is a minimalist, high-quality slipper made from recycled plastic bottles. For each pair sold, they have committed 2% of the sale price to their partner Plastic Oceans – whether they're profitable or not!

How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Holiday

When you're thinking about booking a vacation for you and your family, it can often feel like you need to put all attempts at a sustainable, or eco-friendly, lifestyle on hold. Not so! While you may not be able to duplicate your at-home habits (composting!) there are definitely ways to continue to act sustainably, repurpose and upcycle while travelling. Here are a few ways to ensure that you're able to enjoy a vacation while still choosing to protect the environment and reduce your waste.

Wooden watches unique spring accessory

WIN A $100 GIFT CARD FROM JORD WOODEN WATCHES


If you follow this blog then you know my values, especially when it comes to manufactured "stuff". So when the lovely folk at JORD watches (pronounced -yoad) suggested partnering with me for a giveaway, I asked a LOT of questions before I said yes. JORD creates unique, sustainable, luxury wooden watches. Just how sustainable are they? Read on friends and prepare to be impressed.


sustainable dog treats
Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

If you're a dog owner and also trying to find ways to reduce packaging and plastic waste, this post is for you! As Nat Smith (from Rover) points out, do-it-yourself treats and toys are not only a great way to cut down on packaging: sustainable pet care can also save your money and improve the quality of your pet’s life. What could be better? Here are five ideas from Nat:

Thank you Tom's of Maine for sponsoring this post.


When I committed to trimming my waste in 2016, I happily replaced my plastic toothbrush with one made from bamboo and started making my own deodorant. I did not, however, commit to DIY toothpaste - I’ve had too many issues with my mouth over the years. What I did, instead, was switch to Tom’s of Maine.

Earth Day 2017

in , by ReFab Diaries

Happy Earth Day lovely people! 


I'm going to keep this short and just share these fab tips care of one of my favorite comic-strip characters, Chrostin. Follow Christina and Chrostin on Facebook and Instagram.







Welcome to deregulated energy markets! If you're a regular reader then you know I feel pretty strongly about the power of us putting our dollars where our beliefs are. If we want a future fueled by clean energy, we need to buy clean energy. And, thanks to the deregulation of energy markets, that's more possible than ever. I've already introduced you to several US providers and have shared resources for finding providers outside the US. Today, meet Alberta Energy Providers - serving Canada, British Columbia and the United States. 

Here's a little advice from them on reducing your carbon footprint: 

A second post from me in a week? Yes. Because sometimes I find a story right under my nose and I have to share it asap. Especially when it's about a flower company and Valentine's Day is around the corner. 

The cut flower business is bloomin' wasteful. 



At the beginning of 2016, I committed to trimming my waste. After years of using this blog to gently reinforce the message that mindless consumerism is a problem, I decided to take off the gloves. Inspired by the zero-waste movement, I joined Be Zero's #makelesstrash2016 challenge and declared my intention for the year: to trim my waste. Because we are literally consuming ourselves. And we need to wake up.


Cartoon credits: Zapiro and Green Humour


Since my last post, the USA elected a climate-denier as the next President. We will soon have the embarrassing honor of being the only major nation on Earth led by someone who rejects climate science (although that hasn't always been the case). If you know anything about me or this blog, I don't have to explain to you why I've felt paralyzed for a while. I wrote and rewrote reactions but never published them. Then I thought of saying nothing because I try to keep this blog light. Then I calmed down.



If you missed the Green Traveler giveaway, it's not too late to back the Kickstarter and get one at a significant discount. 

What is a Green Traveler? It's an eco-friendly container designed with four separate, leak-proof compartments. It can carry a total of 44 ounces of food or beverage and can easily clip to a bag or strap. The creators call it the world's first no-nonsense, convenient, leak-proof and reuseable to-go container. Find out more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Green Traveler blog. And become a backer to grab one of your own before the hit the retail market next year

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway - we appreciate your interest and all your help spreading the word across social. Here are the lucky winners - expect email from me very soon:

1. Teresa P.
2.  Rachel
3.  Katy SkipTheBag



Week 41 goals: 
  1.  November 8 is about more than the presidential race
  2.  There are LOTS of ballot measures related to environmental protection
  3.  Do a little research and use your vote to elect representatives who will fight for the air you breath 


I'm 40 weeks into my challenge to trim my waste and I'm so happy to be able to celebrate with an EPIC zero-waste giveaway. Really. Sometimes an idea comes along and it just makes sense. That's what I thought when I first saw My Green Traveler on Instagram. They just launched their Kickstarter and I have THREE of these amazing containers to give away.

Read on to find out more about this fabulous reusable to-go container, their Kickstarter and how to win your own Green Traveler. The giveaway is worldwide!


Week 35 goals:

1. Shop cleaner. Eat cleaner.
2. Boost my immune system

Last week I explained how and why I've committed to eating differently. This week, a little insight into what I'm eating, how I'm feeling, weight loss and lots of links in case you want to try any of this yourself. Then I'll take a break from blogging about food. Just to be clear: I'm not "on diet". If you do want / need to shed pounds, this will work. But that's not why I'm doing it.

Goals - Week 34: 

1. Heal myself (quite the goal huh?)
2. Walk the walk when it comes to zero-waste grocery shopping
3. Hit the re-set button on my eating habits 

It's week 34. I'm way past the halfway mark and you may have noticed that I have not yet mentioned food shopping, cooking or eating. In the zero-waste niche, this is odd. Search #zerowaste on Instagram, and you see a lot of this:


Why not me? Well, I knew a change in my shopping habits would be the hardest to pull off. I get to the farmer's market sporadically. I squeeze in grocery shopping when I can. I feed a fruitarian 6-year old and once I know I have what she needs, I tend to buy what's convenient for me. Not junk - think pre-grilled chicken, precooked lentils, cheese, apples. Just convenient. A lot in recyclable packaging. But still. A ton of packaging.

When you commit to 51 weeks of posts and then you skip a week ... well, it feels odd. But I had to thanks to being sick. Again. My immune system has been less than effective this year.

How is this relevant to breadboxes? It's not. But it has provided the kick I needed to take a hard look at the way I eat. And I'll tell you more about the changes I've made next week because they are, actually, relevant. To both breadboxes and trimming my waste!

Meanwhile... I needed to go back to my blog roots a little to get back on this wagon. I used to do a lot of these repurposing round ups in pre-Pinterest days (remember those?). So let's have some fun with old breadboxes before I tell you about my much-lower-waste eating.

Goals - Week 30: 

1. Make the most of things that come free
2. Make jam/preserves for the first time
3. Make sure that an abundance of fruit (free of pesticide and packaging) isn't wasted

I've never picked raspberries (I grew up in South Africa - I picked avocados, pecan nuts, papaya, passion fruit, lychees etc... but not raspberries). And I've never made jam or canned anything. So what prompted this series of firsts? Free fruit growing wild in Chicago. A huge, overflowing hedge of wild (ish) raspberries. In its prime right as my friend Johnny became a tenant of the property. Giving him some right to pick the berries. So we picked them. How could we not?

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