Archive of ‘Reduce’ category

Holiday-ing in Languedoc

Market-Day-Uzès-France

We are back from our holidays in France, in Languedoc.

Pictures were not all taken by me (too difficult with 3 young kids to supervise), it is just for the pleasure of the eyes. The pleasure mainly to buy directly from the producers (when possible).

marcheuzes

We ate in galore: melons, zucchinis, tomatoes, apricots, plums, goat cheese…
Our house had a lovely vegetables garden providing us with different kinds of tomatoes, zucchinis, bell peppers…let’s not forget our 4 hens providing us with a few eggs each days ( a hen can produce between 180-280 eggs a year depending on the breed) to the delight of the kids and the adults.

We also gave them a lot of the peels which were intended to the compost as well as their own eggshells (wonderful source of calcium for the chicken).

Needless to say that a lot of people grow their own vegetables and fruits without the help of any chemicals.

It is also one of the largest wine world producers.

The region is blessed with enough rain and sunshine to grow almost anything.
Sadly, it was not the season of figs and blackberries, we missed them by a month.
Wonderful family times, food, wine, scenery, hikes in nature, kayaking, medieval towns all over the region.

Happy to be back in Asia.

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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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HK Christmas Trees

Since, in HK our real Christmas tree are from Canada or USA and then tossed in landfills this is our versions.
1. Our family second hand tree which must be now almost 10 years old with homemade decorations and some made by local craftsman in Rajasthan.
2. Caroline’s family tree, done by her 2 children, gorgeous.
3. Florence’s family tree, down by upcycling cardboard paper with the help of her children, beautiful.
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Please, post your version of beautiful Christmas tree.

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Finally made it to the new store Pyaar in Causeway Bay.

Adorable store located in Causeway Bay, the store promotes quality over quantity and fair and traditional manufacturing.
I really appreciated the small net/ voile bags from Made Sustained excellent to buy fruits/ vegetables, 2 bags/ $80.
I got a few packs of the beeswax wrapping comes with 3 sizes sheets: S-M-L a perfect substitute to plastic/ aluminum wrap. Reusable endlessly if well taken care off, ultimately 100% compostable $160/ 3 sizes sheets (also great present, I just offered 1 pack to the parents at a 2 years old birthday party last weekend)
I also got the fruits/ vegetables paper 8 sheets $60/ pack, its keeps your vegetables fresh for 3 weeks (your return on investment is done in no time since a box of organic blueberries is $80.
10653316_809162192469091_3818919712800722621_nFor those who do not go to CB, their e-shop is coming soon meanwhile if you cannot wait, feel free to email them directly at kirby@pyaar.com.hk, this is Kirby store and she is really passionate about her selection of products. You can email her ask her about different products and pay by bank transfer. This is a small business we like to have in HK and I wish them all the best of luck, I dearly hope they will get great support from our local community.

 

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Reduce

Ahah the shoe cabinet, one of the most difficult closet to tackle in our quest to minimalism and reduce our waste.
It probably took me 3 years to finally arrive to that stage, hubby is very easy when I met him he had just 4 pairs of shoes but my shoe collection was probably close to 40. I am around 10.
I sold/ gave to girlfriend/ nanny and charities.
I am now in my late 30s so my shoe collection will pretty much remain the same for the next decade.
I agree there is still room for improvement
My shoes are being endlessly repaired.

Every woman is different, this is my shoe closet (none of those shoes have been bought this year and neither last year except for the flip flop)
2 pairs of ballerina/ flat (both soles have been fixed many many times).
2 pairs of high heels (1 pair are my wedding shoes) (black and colored ) 1 closed and 1 open toe
3 mid- heels/ d’Orsay/ kitten heels (silver/ gold/ animal print)
1 everyday winter boots
1 super high heel winter boots
1 platform summer heel
1 pair of flip/ flop
1 pair of running shoes
Total 12 shoes
They are all extremely good quality and all are, yes expensive but it is worth the investement.
I am not saying expensive shoes = qualities that is not true at all but often cheap shoes do not last and are made in factories where human workers work in appalling conditions, plus cheap shoes are filling up our landfills way to fast because yes often they do not last and cheap is often associated with disposable.
Find good shoemaker brands that you can tell have good craftsmanship and can be repaired endlessly.
We just gave to one of our neighbor our shoe closet last month (which we were now using as inefficient storing shelves), it feels good to have the space back plus it i much easier to pack, decide what to wear in the morning etc…
The 3 girls have 2 pairs each. 1 pair in fabric/ leather (which I buy every 6 months or so) the plastic like Crocs or Havainas I try to get them 2nd hand from my neighbors.
Again, I know the shoe cabinet is a big step, take it slow and easy… baby step just start by selling/ donating shoes you have not worn in at least 1 year and then go gradually again it is a journey and it took me like 3 years to get to 12 shoes and I have been on a plateau for a year now I can probably downsize more but only when I am ready.

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