Tag Archives: Zero-waste

Fall leaf mobile craft

fall leaf craft with children

This year we had a long and beautiful fall here in Colorado’s Front Range, and so we have collected a lot of leaves during our times in the mountains where boys attend their forest school program. We called them ‘forest jewels’.

In this quick post I wanted to share with you one of our crafts with those beautiful fall leaves. It is very simple. We made this craft with kids both indoors and outside, although having a windy day would make it challenging. This craft is also low waste — it uses forest finds such as leaves and sticks, and the only other supplies needed are a small amount of regular white glue and a bit of biodegradable string or twine.

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Our forest school to-go faves

best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste

In one of our earlier posts I shared that last year my family has started a forest school in our area. It’s been a lot of fun and of course a lot of hard work. But we all have been really enjoying having a community of outdoor loving kids exploring together on a regular basis each week. And having my kids spend 4 to 8 hours 3 days each week year around in nature with their friends has been incredible!

best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste
best kids outdoor gear sustainable and zero-waste

Here in this post I wanted to share the outdoor gear and accessories they have been using and enjoying during their forest school time. In the past I have shared our favorite winter gear, as well as our favorites for the wet and muddy season. For summers they simply wear white shirts made from organic muslin fabric and shorts, all sewn by my mom for them. Summer hiking shoes is the only area where our search for the best gear still continues, as we are yet to find something I could recommend.

And in this post I wanted to share some of the accessories we’ve been using on our hikes. As always, the products are sustainable and ethically made and their mention here is not sponsored.

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Zero-waste kitchen: cleaning supplies

zero waste kitchen cleaning supplies

Hello friends, I wanted to take a moment and share with you few easy swaps you can make in your kitchen to eliminate or greatly reduce single-use plastic waste. I’ve tried many different products sold at various zero-waste shops, and these are the items that ended up working best for us.

About plastic pollution

Before I jump into sharing with you what has been working well for our family I wanted to share with you a little bit about why it matters.

 

Many people are under impression that as long as we put our plastic waste into a recycling bin it will be taken care of. But sadly we produce such colossal amount of plastic than recycling industry simple can not keep up with it and vast majority of our plastic waste ends up littering our planet and will remain there hundreds of years.

Here, in the above images is the very sad reality of where our plastic trash ends up.

And if you use instagram check out these profiles — @ourgoodbrands, @no_plasticwaste and @plasticfreedom_ — both for eye opening images of what is happening with plastic, and for some great inspiration of things you can change in that regard.

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Gardening in Colorado’s Front Range: fruit trees

 colorado front range gardening growing fruit trees and berries

Hi folks, this post is region specific to share some of the things what we’ve learned in the 7 years of living and gardening in Colorado’s Front Range. Although we come from a family of gardeners and have had lush gardens in our home country, gardening at this altitude (6,975 ft or 2126 meters) has given us a lot of challenges. But gradually we found what seem to do well and give good results with least effort. And while it does take work and often comes with many heartbreaks (those late Spring 2 foot snowfalls) it is so worth it!

Whether or not you live in Colorado or at another high-altitude (and not very garden-friendly) place on Earth I hope you find this post helpful to you as well.

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Use your end of the season florals for zero-waste decorating

Hello, now that it is summer I wanted to share a quick little post about how flowers make the prettiest decorations for gift wrapping. Here I used just some of the roses from our own yard that already finished blooming and dried right on their branches. But you could use any other flowers that are abundant in the region where you live. I also really like using some of the herbs for decorating, such as rosemary, thyme or lavender. Those I just clip fresh and add to the little ribbon I’m tying around the gift. They add loveliest smell to the wrapping making it even more special.

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Zero-waste and non-toxic laundry detergent

Where to buy: Meliora website

Hi folks, I wanted to share with you this great laundry detergent we’ve been using that comes with absolutely ZERO plastic packaging. Which is a huge deal, considering that plastic pollution is considered one of the most severe and devastating environmental issues our planet is currently facing.

As usual, this is NOT a sponsored post. I have no arrangement with Meliora to post about their products. This is me sharing with others a product that I believe is good for our families as well as gentle on our planet.

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Bathroom: Going toxin and plastic free

zero-waste chemical free bathroom personal care kit

Ok, looking at this photo probably makes you think it is some hippy-dippy stuff that just isn’t your thing. 🙂 Honestly, where all the fancy skin and hair products? Instead some funky powders and a metal shaver on top of it all! Right?

But hear me out on this one and give me a chance to show how these products are actually incredible, they are cleansing, nourishing and make you healthier.

The short version

  • Conventional cosmetic products contain chemicals that are toxic to the reproductive system, disruptive to the endocrine system, neurotoxins and/or known carcinogens
  • Contrary to common assumption the FDA does not regulate the majority of ingredients used in cosmetic products
  • The word ‘Fragrances’ in commercial products mean further undisclosed synthetic chemicals
  • The word ‘Natural’ in the product name is pure marketing, there is no official certification or standard associated with it. It is 100% unregulated term.
  • Even products labeled ‘Organic’ can contain petrochemicals and as little as 10 percent of organic ingredients by weight or volume
  • The list of substances banned for use in cosmetics in Europe is over 1,000, while in America it is only 8 substances long
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Our favorite to-go ware for kids (and ourselves)

stainless steal to-go ware container non-toxic food container

Few years ago we got this container from To-Go Ware. I was attracted to it for being stainless steel rather than plastic, and also being an upright container. Over these few years it’s been such great and integral part of our outings with the boys, so I wanted to share it with you.

One thing that has always been a bit of an inconvinience for me with regular rectangular broad-base containers is that when placed in a bag they pretty much always end up getting on their side and the contents are at risk of leaking some liquid out into the bag. And that is if the lid doesn’t come ajar from all the shaking and rattling in the bag. And when they do stay put the way you had them they always take up more room than I wished.

This container is made in the style of Indian tiffins — Indian style lunch container. They have been around for ever in India, but are apparently a cool new thing in our cutting edge Western world 😉

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Where we shop for natural toys (no plastics!)

natural

Alexandros turned 3 years this weekend! Few weeks before I asked him what he’d like for his birthday. This is how our conversation went:

— Me: “Ale, what would you like for your birthday?”
— Ale: “Garbage track! Yellow one. No, blue. No, white. No, red!”
— Me: “But you already have 2 garbage tracks…three actually.”
— Ale: “I want GARBAGE TRACK!” Big beaming smile! 🙂

So, we got him this big beautiful Fagus wooden garbage track from Wooden Wagon.

wooden tracks Fagus tracks wooden toys
wooden tracks Fagus tracks wooden toys
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Zero-waste and non-toxic baby care

nontoxic baby washing and baby care

These three products, or their variations, are all that we use. No shampoos, no fancy lotions and special baby things…none of it. It saddens me to see all the chemically laden, plastic wrapped so called baby products all over the internet, magazines, not to mention supermaket shelves. Parents are made to believe that they need those to take care of their most loved little ones. But in truth our children need none of that. And with these basic products they could be cared for in a healthy, simple and sustainable way. 🙂

This isn’t a sponsored post. These products are just the ones we are using. You could use other similar ones. There are many small businesses offering great natural care products. You could also make your own.

No shampoo is needed. E.V.E.R.

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Zero-waste dog food

zero waste door food

Recently I have discovered a Zero-Waste community over on Instagram. It is inspiring to see people around the world striving to live without leaving a trail of trash behind them. Through this community I’ve learned a number of good tips and merchants where one can buy package-free goods (here is a good one). A blog post on this is coming soon… providing my boys nap at the same time at least couple times this coming week, so I get a chance to get to my computer. 🙂

One thing I noticed people have difficulty with even among the Zero-Waste community is finding a package-free (read trash-free) way to feed our four-legged buddies both canine and feline. So, I wanted to put this little blog post together, because this area is one where one can easily shift away from packaged goods. In fact, in Russia and Kazakhstan where I come from we never bought dog food and always fixed dog food at home, using the same produce we had for our family.

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Sustainable guide to Holiday gifts | Children edition

wooden children toys nontoxic handmade

[ On the photo: Gnomes from Mama Owl; Ostheimer wooden animals from Wooden Wagon ]

How beloved is the beautiful tradition of decorating a tree, lighting the lights on it and waiting for the magical winter-y man to bring us some sweet gifts under the tree! This tradition has survived the rises and demises of kingdoms, cultures and religions. It has changed the name from Yuletide to Christmas and even became a New Year tradition in some countries. Yet, the tradition itself has barely changed in centuries and all of us big and small are excited every year to light up the tree and unwrap our gifts when the time comes. 🙂

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Organic clothing: Why it matters

organic baby clothes and organic children clothes

On the photo: Organic wool fleece jacket from Engel, organic wool overalls from Disana

I started writing this blog post several times, but always ended up tossing the draft away. It is such an immense and important subject that I found it difficult to make the post informative and useful without turning it into a long and boring doctorate essay :). So here I’m trying again and I thought first just to give a short version:

Reasons to go organic (short version)

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Less Junk Mail — More Trees

Paper junk mail..arrghhh.. Who doesn’t hate it? In addition to being a nuisance it is also a contributing force in deforestation and consequentially loss of animal habitats, increased greenhouse gasses and wasted water. And according to Rainforest Action Network, while United States has less than 5% of the world’s population it yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.

Stopping the junk mail

I’ve been on a mission to eradicate the annoying and wasteful junk mail delivery we receive and wanted to share the things that have worked.

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Propagating Rosemary and Thyme

I love plants and so does my mom! My husband enjoys our plant addition and our house is a bit of a jungle to be honest, with my work desk soon having no more room for any more plant pots. We even have a tomato plant in our bathroom (we got two giant windows right in the bathroom which I find rather inconvenient in general, but it worked out good for the tomato plant) that’s been yielding modest, but consistent crop of cherry tomatoes over the last couple months. 🙂

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