Zero waste

Review: 100% Recycled Paper Towel

I was able to track down some recycled paper towel from Staples.ca, I figured I’d give it a try since I’m not ready to give up the disposable paper products just yet…

100% recycled paper towel

Rolls were small but when I did the price comparison it was on par with other brands. (I literally did price per sheet comparison)

Overall this paper towel works as expected, it cleans up my baking mishaps with optimal absorbency, it worked as good as any other paper towel I’ve bought with the added bonus of being 60% post consumer products (recycled newspapers, flyers, etc.)

My only critique is that the product came wrapped in plastic… I don’t think it would have been difficult to wrap it in an alternative (such as just the cardboard box it came in) but I’m assuming that there is sanitation requirements that still need to be complied to.

Will I purchase it again? If I find a recycled paper towel product that doesn’t come in plastic- No. If this is the best alternative to traditional “virgin” paper towel- Yes.

I try not to over use paper towel, but you never know when you’ll have a pot boil over with sugar in it- just good to have.

DIY Body Sugar Scrub

Continuing on with the slow pace of either eliminating the plastic in my home or finding uses for the things already in the house to avoid them getting into our oceans.. I needed some more body scrub!

Equipped with a plastic container from my last purchase I started cruising the internet to understand what makes a good sugar scrub. After some dozen articles and blogs about the best things to use, I was able to collaborate on a recipe that not only matched my preferences perfectly, but I already had everything in the house!

DIY sugar scrub

My Homemade Sugar Scrub included:

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup Coffee grounds

2 Tsp Vanilla

Mix everything together until well blended and store in a container that can be sealed. My general rule with scrubs is use them no more than twice a week.

Your shower will smell like sweet sweet coffee in the morning! It’s a great way to wake up.

DIY Sugar scrub

Review: Sustainable Earth 100% Recycled Toilet Paper

I will begin by saying… Transitioning to recycled fiber toilet paper was not as easy as I expected it to be… Sure there is plenty of products available but 99% of them come in plastic packaging… Which as you know contradicts what I’m trying to do here.

This post contains affiliate links, I may receive a small commission if you use the link to purchase a product.

Sustainable Earth 100% Recycled Toilet Paper

Sustainable Earth 100% Recycled Toilet Paper

Finally I was able to find Sustainable Earth by Staples available in a box and tissue paper. I did the math, and the price for this toilet paper is on par with other brands with the added bonuses of being made from 100% recycled fibers and at least 40% post consumer. Another added bonus that I wasn’t expecting was that it is made in Canada!

You can find the product HERE on the Staples website. Staples also offers cash back to Ebates members, sign up HERE.

Now for the dirty work… The reviewing process. I went in with a ton of optimism but also with the awareness that I have certain requirements for things that touch my derriere... To the hand it definitely is not as soft as the Costco sized toilet paper I’ve become used to, but the overall feel during use was the same for both products when comparing.

The edge sustainable earth has is that it’s nice and thick! No laser cut sheets like you’ll find in a shopping mall, this stuff is the real deal and will get the job done before it starts dissolving.

I do wish that the rolls were bigger.. Again used to my big Costco sized rolls, and it’s going to feel like we’re constantly changing the roll.

Aside from the smaller rolls and being a little rough this is a solid product, and I will continue to purchase it.

While I was researching recycled toilet paper options online, there was some concern brought up about traces of BPA being found in these types of recycled toilet papers, due to the fact that there is BPA in receipt paper that we get from retailers, which is then recycled into these sorts of products. The good news is that the general consensus is that there’s not enough BPA to do any harm to our bodies, so the benefits still outweigh the negative aspects of the product.

I’m hopeful this will become more popular and it will become available in stores, currently only available online.

Getting rid of plastic in your home (and keeping it out)

Getting Rid of Waste

I knew the process of eliminating plastic in my life would be a slow one… Anxiously waiting for items to empty out so you can feel proud of the fact that you can see progress.

I received a real sense of accomplishment when I was cleaning out my spice cabinet, virtually all single use plastic items have been eliminated, never to return again! 4 bags of spices remain to get through along with some larger plastic containers (however these will never see a landfill or be shipped off to a poor developing country to be “recycled.”) The big ones have already come in handy for replenishing the cabinet and allowing this corner of the kitchen (that used to be filled with small single use plastic shakers or bags to be 90% waste free.

All that remains of single use plastic bags in my spice cabinet.

All that remains of single use plastic bags in my spice cabinet.

It’s a small accomplishment but overall still one to be proud of, now every time I refill a container I think about the fact that it’s one less container in a landfill or ocean, one less new container needed to be manufactured for my consumption.

Plastic containers which will continue to be refilled

Plastic containers which will continue to be refilled

A reused plastic container.

A reused plastic container.

These little victories add up on a personal scale and even more so when I see people around me starting to do the same thing. Shortly after I switched from margarine in a big plastic tub to buying real butter wrapped in parchment paper, my mother did the same. I have people approaching me asking for advice for certain products, recipes or alternative items for the home. I’m hopeful that the momentum will continue in hopes that we will leave a healthier world behind.




Going Zero Waste

I’ve always been an advocate for avoiding overly processed foods or products that have an obscene amount of packaging, mainly for financial gains but now I’ve joined my generation in the efforts be become zero waste. (Or at the very least, as little waste as possible)

My beautiful collection of Mason jars

My beautiful collection of Mason jars

Some things I’m finding it difficult, my municipality requires me to put my kitty’s poops in a plastic bag before disposing (I get it, that urine is filled with bacteria), so until the day comes that Halifax figures out how to use animal poop as energy I am trapped in a cycle of plastic bags.

This however, has not deterred me from making as many changes as I can to reduce my waste and plastic use. Its a very slow process but slow is best because the whole process can be very overwhelming… You don’t realize how much plastic you use until you look around. The bathroom is a terrible place for plastic waste (mainly for sanitary reasons) from makeup to the toothpaste and body wash it’s all encased in a plastic shell.

It’s a slow change over in the bathroom, I have found a cosmetic company that makes their containers out of Bamboo (bonus points for being Canadian) https://elatebeauty.com/ they are also cruelty free and vegan and the containers are reusable!

For soap… I exclusively use bar soap which thankfully comes in a cardboard box, I also dabble in homemade soaps from my local market when I can. The shampoo and boyfriend’s body wash however is something I have yet to tackle.

Lastly toothpaste…. I’ve read articles on people making their own to avoid the waste, this is certainly something I intent to look into but I am still a little ways out for that step.

My kitchen has been my main focus, I love to cook and bake as it is so leveling up my skills by making homemade condiments, breads and sauces has been an easy transition. I was pleased when I looked in my fridge the other day and the only single use plastics were the milk jug and a package of bacon.

The pantry has been incredibly easy with stores like the Bulk Barn allowing me to bring in my own containers which keeps things affordable. Costco is also my best friend with having nice big 10KG bags of flour to take home and utilize.

I’ve also started reusing as many containers as possible, reminds me of the memes you see of trying to find the butter an Grandma’s because she has leftovers in all her reused containers! I remember my mom talking about her mother saving the wax paper that came in the cereal boxes to wrap sandwiches in.. This is me.

The cake business will most likely be my last venture once I get my personal waste use down, I know there will be challenges with freshness that will come up so I’ll be taking that one step by step.

I will be sharing recipes as I find ones that work. I’m currently experimenting with my favorite snack- Beef Jerky along with a Mustard recipe that tastes like French’s … Still some work to be done on both.