Zero Waste birthday party

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The twins celebrated their 3rd birthday.
We decided to have a no gift birthday gifts.
Everyone is different whatever makes you more comfortable we have been invited to fantastic party with book swapping instead of gifts or donation to charity etc… We felt it was more simple this time to just do it this way and just have a great time together. Hubby & I did a magic show, luckily a 3 year old audience is easy to convince, we do apologise to the adults in the audience wink emoticon
Extra bonus, Since there was no birthday gifts parents offered to bring food, we had some great addition to the table: mini cupcakes, cheese sticks, cookies, samosas, strawberries salad etc…
We did not have enough bamboo plates and used our breakable daily plates. We had no breakage, meaning if we give a ceramic plate to a 3 year old he will know to respect and be careful. If we had a broken plate it would not have mattered anyway they are just things after all.
You will recognise our usual cloth banners we use for every celebrations. We compensated the lack of balloons by fresh flowers.
The girls received presents from their grandparents, they are actually toys that our lovely neighbor Marianne has outgrown and given us. I wish the toys would be in such impeccable condition after few years of usage, one can only wish.
Have fun planning celebrations in a respectful manner, a kid party should also be about their better future. Also, it can so stressful on parents to plan, when we forget it is all about being together and have a good time.

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National Geographic feature

It is here, I hope the video will inspire friends, family members etc…
Thank you very much to the “National Geographic” crew for this fantastic video.
My wish is we spread the word, we do have to reduce our waste and consume more conscientiously if we want to protect our world. It does not have to be difficult or complicated but more in symbioses with who we really are and enjoy the whole experience.

 

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Clear desk, Clear mind

10407413_923629421022367_4856104430078614812_nOur zero waste, minimalist desk
Ask yourself: does this still work? Take a look at all those e products (USB keys…) donate, recycle all the things you have not used in a while. Do I use it regularly? We had a collection of professional books, we donated them to HK public library years ago. Do I already have a few? We donated a shoebox of pencils, pens, staplers, calculators etc…to Vision First.
You will notice there is no bin under the desk, the little mail we get is cut and used as scrap paper (put a sticker on your mail ox no junk mail, the post office hands them out). The printer is there but barely used thanks to the camera on the phone we barely have to print nowadays.
In the compartments:
1 fountain pen + ink
Reading Glasses
HP old cartridges that need to be recycled scrap paper( receipts, envelops cut in 2, A4 cut in 4…)
3D glasses for the movie theatre
Stamps
Envelops (still using spare from my wedding 7 years ago, I might have a lifetime worth of envelops).
Enjoy clearing your desk

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Zero Waste/ Minimalist bathroom

Bathroom shared by 4 persons, 1 adult, 3 children and 1 dog (she baths in it too).
So you know, my hair has always been very thin & few and needs extra help and crap on it: volumising shampoo, mousse and hairspray. Those add to the clutter and the hairspray can cannot be recycled (I use about 1 bottle a year) but being minimalist is not about depravation but finding happiness in a more simple life without so many things. At this stage in my life I would not be happy without those since I use them everyday and they make me feel better about myself.
11040394_914483101936999_4554549887372982955_n1- Picture of entire bathroom
2- Bathtub/ shower ledge: solid (non packaged) soap used by the entire family, in the pump kids/ dog local organic shampoo (large bottle from Bella Sapone $210/ 1L), my shampoo from P&S Avalon volumising organic about $100/ 400ml.
body brush (for exfoliating…) head massager (hoping it will help with hair growth), in the case: foot scraper, cuticle pusher.
3- solid soap and sponge to clean/ remove makeup on the face every night + makeup case.
4- under sink 1: You can be minimalist and still enjoy makeup & fashion, my book collection (guilty pleasure) on makeup and outfits, they seem frivolous but I still enjoy them from time to time. The organic apple cider (about $30/ bottle is used once a week on my hair to remove all the crap I put on my head
5- under sink 2: We have a total of 10 towels which is plenty even when we have guests.
6- hair products
menstruation supplies
compostable toothbrushes + essential oils.
Face products (serum+ face & eye products from Native Essentials, I return for reuse the empty bottles), chap stick from Lavera, Lush solid deodorant (unpackaged), homemade toothpaste.
Almond oil (excellent to remove waterproof mascara)
Share your tips if you know how we can optimize the space, lower the waste even more.

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Reuse…endlessly

I wrote a post on cloth pads about 18 months ago but many women still do not know we have eco-friendly, economical, healthy (cotton vs plastic) and plain practical solutions (no more shopping, no more fear of running out etc..).
11038876_910438025674840_1113577001088291760_nThis is a picture of my bathroom shelf, it must be the same picture I posted before. A lot of companies who sell those pads sponsor social programs (Operation Smile for Charlie Banana, Pads4Girls for LunaPads…) check out also the Diva Cup or Moon Cup ideal for swimming etc… Give it a try, see the difference and embrace the freedom.
Local Hong Kong brand Charlie Banana sells a set of 3 pads for HKD 140, you need about 9 to start (I have a few more because I lost some over the years while traveling).
Please share if you know other brands available in HK at a cheaper price.

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Recycling… and hoping for the best.

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At the Apple store returning our ‘antic’ (according to our modern economy) but actually just few years old Apple TV to get it properly recycled. The store made me sign a document but could not quite tell me where it was going, they thought maybe Singapore but they were not sure. I can only hope it will not end up in a very dodgy Chinese or West African ‘recycling plants’ where electrical products are burned on the ground for their precious metals destroying the surrounding environment, workers (breathing the highly toxic fumes) and the local economy (you cannot fish or grow anything anymore in those no man’s land ).
The obvious solution would be not to buy it first but we still need phones, computers…and those break down and need to be replaced.
This is quite a sad post because we do not have a solution for this kind of waste. Our phones, old tablets etc… go to Saint James Settlement, a collection is organized once a year in Pokfulam by Paul Zimmerman. Sigh

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