Our weekly zero waste diary runs from Monday through Sunday, meaning that I usually start writing it the Monday after. But procrastination is an art, and I sometimes (read: often) postpone it until Tuesday afternoon.

We had three days off at the start of our week what is now, already, two full weeks ago. I planned to write our seventh zero waste diary the evening before posting. But instead, I spent most of my evening on the toilet and my entire Wednesday in bed. I had the flu!

Before we get into this week’s zero waste diary, please turn on this Christmas playlist. It’s what I’ve been listening to in the office the past week and thought you might like it too.

 

Flu cravings and zero waste living

Do you have particular cravings when you’re not feeling well? When your stomach is icky, but you know you have to eat something to get better? For me, these things are apple juice and a specific type of crackers.

Apple juice is easily found in glass bottles with metal lids, and Ireland has lots of local apple juice around. So those are easily recycled. But the crackers I like (I’m super picky when I don’t feel well) are covered in non-recyclable plastic or mixed material. Hence, I skipped these this time around.

Do you have any of these items that you don’t buy for the sake of the planet, even if you feel miserable? I’m curious to know which items you (would have to) skip because of your zero waste lifestyle!

wholemeal sourdough bread

 

Sourdough experiments

Jordy baked more bread over the past two weeks! His starter (who’s still nameless) is going strong. The first loaf Jordy baked, we enjoyed with sliced avocado and lemon juice. Of course, the avocado wasn’t ripe enough to turn into a guacamole – aren’t they always?!

This wholemeal sourdough is so filling, though! I believe we shared six slices for lunch in the office and we had trouble finishing them.

Our second loaf didn’t turn out great, however. We used our cast iron skillet to rest the dough and bake the bread. It’s called ‘Dutch oven baking’, but I believe we must have made a mistake in the process. It incredibly difficult to remove from the pan, and jordy said it failed miserably. I still enjoyed whatever we were able to save, however. The crust was actually incredibly crunchy. As always, any tips and tricks are welcome!

 

Christmassy tea in the office

When we volunteered at the Zero Waste Christmas Festival earlier this month, we bought some loose leaf tea. We bring one of the three jars to work every day, along with a metal tea filter. At the end of each day, we bring the tea and filter back home to make tea in the evening, and pick a new tea flavor to work the next day.

Filter and Brew Tea in Glass jars

We have had this metal tea filter for the past three years or so, and it’s worked a treat. There were compostable tea filters available to go along with these teas. But although these filters are incredibly convenient and plastic free, they are still wasteful in a way. We already have a metal filter and it can be reused day after day. We don’t really mind an extra object in the dishes if it prevents unnecessary waste and costs!

I have my favorite mug on my desk in the office. It was a gift from a friend, and it makes me happy every time I look at it. Jordy grabs a mug from the cafeteria, which is even easier because he doesn’t have to wash it.

We can get mugs in the cafeteria, but there are plastic and compostable cups as well. Most people tend to go for the latter two options. That makes me wonder, would people opt for the reusable mugs if they didn’t have a choice? Do you have a reusable mug at work, or does your office have their own?

 

Zero waste blog

The focus of our website is slowly switching more and more towards sustainability. We simply write about what we are most passionate about at the time, and zero waste living is currently it.

Gift giving (and receiving) has been on my mind a lot, recently. With the holidays fast approaching, it was time to write down my ideas for alternatives. We also decided to share our favorite breakfast recipe as it’s been a staple most mornings for at least two years now. A few months ago, we found a way to make our overnight oats waste free. So it was about time we shared our recipe!

Bowl of zero waste overnight oats

 

Produce

As always, we visited the market both Saturdays. We were out of luck the second time, as there was another storm in Ireland (the fourth since we’ve lived here) making it impossible for our friends at Minimal Waste Grocery to attend that day. The first week however, we bought a number of items:

  • wholemeal flour
  • white flour
  • nutritional yeast
  • dried cranberries
  • hazelnuts
  • dates
  • thyme

dry package free produce in glass jars

 

Firsts

Our journey to a zero waste lifestyle is full of firsts. Last week, we used dried chickpeas for the first time! We usually get canned legumes, but these are actually more affordable and package free. After soaking them overnight, I boiled them for 90 minutes. The little kernels tripled in size! We froze them all and simply take out a jar in the evening if we need them the next day.

What have you been up to this week? Were there any firsts in your zero waste journey?

Freshly cooked chickpeas in glass jars to freeze

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