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5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today

04.14.19

I was inspired by my friend, who made a New Year’s Resolution to cut down on her waste, to do the same. For the past couple of months I’ve been trying to put a conscious effort to minimize waste that I create on a daily basis. It’s been challenging and I feel no matter how hard I try, I will still create waste. But, I decided I’m okay with that as long as I am trying whenever possible. So, today I thought I’d share with you 5 easy steps you can take today to get started on the zero waste lifestyle.

5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today

I also want to preface this post by saying that for getting started on the zero waste lifestyle, you don’t need to go out and buy stuff that is zero waste. That defeats the purpose. Use what you already have around the house and once a particular item finishes, then think about how your future purchases can be smarter and fit the zero waste lifestyle. I just want to train my mind to be more conscious of the waste I am creating.

5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today

5 Easy Steps To Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle

1.Reusable Bags/Cloth Tote Bags:

Always keep a tote bag on hand. I started keeping a couple of cloth bags in the car. I’ve had these two cloth bags for a long while now and they were just sitting in my closet. So, I pulled them out and now I leave them in the Jeep. Any time we go to the mall, a store, or just out and about, I take one of the totes along with me. So, whenever I get to the checkout, I just say I don’t need a bag and use my own.

The same goes for our weekly Friday night grocery shopping. I have a lot more reusable bags that I collected from stores like Lululemon and Saje and they make the perfect grocery shopping bag. I just bring them along with us and say no to the plastic bags at the store. I’ve noticed that with just having some tote bags easily accessible, I’ve really cut down on how many plastic bags I bring home!

2. Coffee Cup:

Say no to disposable coffee cups and take along your reusable coffee cup with you. Gursheel and I go to Starbucks at least once a week and during the week I usually go out to get some coffee at least once or twice. And never do I bring my own coffee cup. But, this has also come to a stop now. Any time we go out on the weekends, we bring along our coffee cups with us. Starbucks is really great because not only do they give you 10 cents off your drink when you bring your own coffee cup, but they also tend to give you more coffee! We always ask for a tall, but since our coffee cup is pretty big (20 oz), they fill it up all the way (that’s basically a venti sized drink)!

I also bring my KeepCup with me everywhere. In the mornings I make myself a lemon honey tea and in the afternoons at work, I either make myself a latte or I use my KeepCup to get a coffee. Just having a coffee cup with you really helps you cut down on all those disposable coffee cups that really add up to your waste. And they’re fun. I am obsessed with my KeepCup!

3. Reusable Water Bottle:

Start taking your reusable water bottle with you everywhere. I think this one is pretty obvious and I think almost everyone has a reusable water bottle. It is shocking to me the amount of plastic water bottles that are out there and used on a daily basis. My in laws actually use them quite a bit and this is something I really would like to encourage them to stop using. It is so easy to bring a water bottle along with you everywhere. There are water filters everywhere: at work, at airports, at malls and you can even ask any restaurant or coffee shop to fill up your water bottle.

4. Reusable Straws:

Get yourself some reusable straws. I really enjoy drinking cold beverages out of straws. I use it for my morning green smoothie as well as iced coffees or frappacinos when I am out and about. We all know how terrible plastic straws are for the environment, so now I have started to keep a stainless steel straw in my bag at all times. If I’m ever in the mood for an iced coffee when I’m out, I just pull out my own reusable straw. And if I don’t have my reusable straw with me, I’ll opt for a drink that doesn’t require a straw.

5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today
5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today

5. Reusable Ziploc Bags/Stasher Bag:

Finally, my last step is to stop buying ziploc bags. If you already have them, re-use them as much as you can. But once you’ve run out, I’d highly recommend to invest in some Stasher Bags. I am obsessed with my Stasher bags. I have a total of three now, but I’d like to get a few more so I can have easy access to them whenever I need. My favorite way to use mine is taking some to go snacks, making smoothie pouches for the week and making some popcorn. The Stasher bag is great because it is made of silicone and is BPA free, microwavable, freezable and heatable. It is multi-functional and a great way to opt out of ziploc bags.

I hope you find this post helpful. I saw this quote recently that really inspired me: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

5 Easy Steps to Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle Today

For more lifestyle related posts, check out the Kamfy Living section of the blog 🙂

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Cooking Up A Storm About Why You Should No Longer Buy Oven Cleaner

08.21.19

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If you’re anything like most, you probably dread cleaning your oven. There are few things harder to get sparkling, and even the thought of trying might give you a headache. A headache which, ironically, will get a whole lot worse when you do get down to this. 

That’s thanks to the heavy chemicals most of us use in the hopes that it makes this job more manageable. Industrial strength oven cleaners are easy enough to pick up at your local store and, for many, they seem like the only option. The trouble is that, as the skull and crossbones on the back suggests, these chemicals aren’t the best. 

Thanks to ingredients including sodium hydroxide and other high-alkaline additions, off-the-shelf chemical cleaners can spell bad news for our health and our homes. Is it any wonder, then, that you dread cleaning your oven as much as you currently do?

The good news is that heavy chemicals aren’t your only option. Keep reading for proof of why you should avoid repurchasing your standard cleaner, and what you can use instead.

Toxicity + food = A recipe for disaster

If you have to wear a mask and gloves to apply a cleaner, what do you think those chemicals will do to your food? The fact is that, no matter how well you wipe your oven, there are sure to be some cleaning spores left behind. When you next cook food, then, you risk unwanted toxicity. This is an issue which becomes even worse when you consider cleaners that stay in your oven overnight. Before you know, those chemicals cleaners could get into your digestive system. Over time, that could do untold damage to your health.

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What about your oven?

You’re cleaning your oven to extend it’s life, not do damage. Yet, shop-bought chemical cleaners have been proven to do just that. That’s perhaps not surprising when you consider that these are products which can burn your skin. When used on your oven, they could lead to issues such as corrosion of metals, rotting of rubber, and a distortion of your elements. In every case, you would need to either contact a local appliance repair company or buy a whole new oven. All because you did what you thought was best for your oven. 

So, what other option do you have?

Many of us realize the damage cleaners can do but use them regardless because we’re unaware of alternatives. In reality, though, there’s every chance you already have the ingredients you need to make a replacement. By mixing half a cup of baking soda with a few teaspoons of either water or vinegar, you can create a cleaner which cuts through grease just as well as the best products out there. And, you can do it all toxicity-free and zero waste. Not to mention that you could save a small fortune on those expensive ‘oven-specific’ products. Even if you’re reluctant that this will work at first, one try will surely convert you for life.

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Simple Solutions to Little Life Problems

08.14.19

We all face struggles, some emotional and some physical. Sometimes we just face problems that make us want to pull our hair out because we just cannot think of the solution.

Today we are going to look at what we perceive to be complicated problems and just how simple the solution may be.

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Lack of confidence

We have all been here, we have woken up one morning and felt like absolute trash. Not wanting to leave the bed and an overwhelming sense of impending doom.  When we feel this way, there seems to be no way out apart from wait for it to just go away, right?

No! This is absolutely not right, the solution is quite simple. It’s all about resetting your mind frame. Going to the wardrobe and picking something out that makes you look fabulous, put on a scent that triggers those memory neurons, find something you want and buy it. These three things together are a remarkable trio. They, in fact, help you trick your brain into reversing your mood. The clothes give you more presence, the smell provides a happy nostalgia and the shopping stimulates your visual pleasure receptors. All in all, do this magical trio and you will feel on top of the world.

Friday the 13th

Are you just having one of those days? Has absolutely everything gone wrong? Have you gone feet first into a large puddle, had a jam spillage from that donut at lunch? Locked your car keys in the car?

Fear not! Put a towel around your feet, destain with some soda and get a locksmith to help you retrieve your keys. Bad luck is actually something we create for ourselves. Feeling like you are having bad luck, will in all seriousness bring you bad luck. 

Although this notion sounds ludicrous, it is simply a matter of attitude, slightly altering your own perception of a situation will in turn, alter the outcome of that situation. Don’t believe it? Give it a try.

That Was Foolish

A problem we all come across from time to time is making a fool out of ourselves. We hate to admit it but it’s something we all do. Whether it be at an office Christmas party or just making a little bit of a scene in public. How do we repair something like this? Well, the solution to this one is quite simple. 

Making a fool of oneself is 80% down to how we perceive the situation ourselves and definitely how we react to it. Generally, people will react in accordance with our reactions. So react thusly, react with confidence and nonchalance. Whilst this may seem like simple advice, if you embrace anything deemed as an imperfection in your nature, it only serves to humanize you. By dwelling on a foolish incident and allowing it to govern future actions, this then reshapes you into something you are not.     

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Cut Down On Food Waste With These Simple Tips

08.13.19

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Food waste is such a huge issue these days. So many families and households are throwing away large amounts of food every day, and this is creating a difficult problem to solve. Not only does it mean that households are wasting money on food that they are throwing out, but it is also an issue for the environment. We all know that the environment is under a huge strain right now, and farming and other food industries are damaging the environment just for us to throw the food out.

So, what can we do to cut down on our food waste? Here are a few helpful tips.

Store Food Correctly

First of all, it’s worth taking a look at how you are currently storing your food. It is essential that you are doing so in a way that will help you keep food, especially fresh items, for as long as possible. That way, food won’t be going off too quickly. For instance, it’s important to store some veggies separately from one another. Tomatoes, bananas, and avocadoes produce ethylene gas while they ripen. They therefore need to be stored away from the likes of potatoes, apples, and peppers as the gas will cause these to ripen too quickly. If you aren’t sure how to store something, you can search online.

Start Growing Your Own Vegetables

Lots of people find that growing their own vegetables help them cut down on food waste as they will only harvest what they will eat. They won’t have to buy such a large pre-packaged bag of potatoes for instance, if they can go out to their garden and pick the exact number they need. If you are new to growing your own you can buy soil and more at growerslane.com. It’s also worth researching the best veggies for beginners to grow online.

Save Leftovers For Later

There’s no reason to throw any leftovers from a meal out. You might be able to use them again the next day. For instance, you can reheat leftover meals like lasagne and curry. If you have leftover ingredients, you might be able to use them in a different dish. Most cooked meats can be added to stews and curries, for example. If you aren’t sure how to use a leftover ingredient, take a look online as there are plenty of great recipes for leftovers on sites like canadianturkey.ca.

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Eat Your Skins

Lots of people peel the majority of fruit and vegetables that they eat and then simply throw the skins away. Are you guilty of doing that too? This is something you can easily change as there are so many ways to use all of the skins. For instance, you can keep the skins on your potatoes for extra taste. With the skins of vegetables that you can’t really eat, you can keep them to make tasty vegetable cooking stocks with.

There is really no need to waste so much food these days, especially not now you have these tips!