With Thanksgiving taking place last week, let’s start by sharing what we’re thankful for.
We finished the 8 month build of our home on wheels in May, earlier this year. Though we hoped to spend years on end driving it around countless countries, we ended up doing something completely different. This change – moving into an apartment in Dublin, Ireland – was out of necessity.
Somewhere along the way I got stuck thinking about how we weren’t doing what we planned. We weren’t doing the thing we worked so hard for. But I’ve come to realise that sometimes things just don’t go as planned. That sometimes, we end up somewhere entirely differently. But Jordy made me see that this isn’t a bad thing.
No. Instead, we should be grateful to have been given this opportunity. And that is what we are.
Changing our mindset
It all truly boils down to a much-needed change in mindset. And this has allowed us to enjoy the little things in life so much more. Limiting plastic and other packaging materials in all aspects of our lives is one of the subjects that really makes us happy.
We used to take it all for granted. Five or so years ago, the effect of plastic packaging didn’t even cross our minds. Sure, we had reusable shopping bags, but that’s about it. And we even forgot them half of the time. What started as a difficult but exciting challenge has become a true hobby.
Last week, we were off on Monday through Thursday. Not having our minds set on work usually brings cravings, that’s just how things go! Having both mentioned chocolate and donuts a few times that day, and nearly buying a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, it was time to bake a delicious snack.
We still had some carrots left from our Green Earth Organics veggie box we received the week before. And what’s better in Autumn than a carrot cake with ground ginger and cinnamon? The challenge was however, to replace egg in our cake without using flax seeds, as we didn’t have those at home. I replaced them with chia, and boy, it worked a treat!
Our cake was about 90% zero waste. We still had walnuts from Lidl in mixed material packaging, and the maple syrup comes with a plastic lid. But you should at least be capable of finding nuts in bulk – as should we, in the future.
Interested in making a delicious carrot cake? Here’s the recipe for you all!
Eating the rainbow
Talking about happiness, this picture says more than a thousand words. Receiving this week’s delivery from Green Earth Organics, we were over the moon. Can you believe it? A couple of twenty-something that just graduated are excited about fruits and veggies. Well, we truly are. We had lettuce and rocket without plastic packaging! Additionally, we had grapes, garlic, and many other items we had difficulty finding package free since moving to Ireland.
After going through the contents of the boxes and packing them away in our pantry and fridge, I removed it all again to build this veggie rainbow. Crazy? Yeah. But it made me happy. Looking at this picture brings me joy. So yes, this is now also the background on our MacBook, don’t blame me!
No dry produce
After having four days off, we were at work on Friday and Saturday. Since we can only visit Minimal Waste Grocery on Saturdays, we missed out on this week’s trip! And we are in desperate need of dish soap! It’s Wednesday now as I’m writing this, and we’re still good. We’re excited to fill our bottle with Lilly’s Eco Clean, locally made biodegradable washing up liquid that we’ll talk about in next week’s Waste Waning Wednesday.
On the days leading up to Black Friday, we kept reading similar messages. Mainly in Facebook groups gathered around minimalism and plastic free living, members explained that not not buying anything means ‘saving 100%’. We agree, one shouldn’t buy simply because items are on sale. But we did spend some money.
Around a month ago, Jordy bought us a Nintendo Switch. It was an item he wanted for a long time, as he missed gaming quite a bit. A Switch is a console that one can use anywhere, without the need for a TV. Perfect for wanderers like us, right?
It came with two games, discounted because we bought the console. Last week, Jordy finished the first game. And it’s a type of game one doesn’t play twice, as it’d just be boring. Instead of buying a new game straight away, we decided to sell it to someone else. It came packaged in plastic, so we wanted to find it a new home, making it at least double-use packaging!
For future games, we hence also decided not to buy them in store. Instead, we acquired a microSD and download the games to the memory card. This is an (almost) waste free way of acquiring new items. So, that’s what we spent money on this Black Friday. Jordy made a list of games he knew he really wanted to buy at some time and waited until he sold the first game to buy them online at a 40% discount. Great deal, and not forced on us by marketing skills at all.
How was your week? 🙂