second hand jars

February Recap – Less stuff, less waste, less worries

February, has been a very mixed weather month (in the Netherlands weather is No.1 topic, of course), with rain, rain, frost, cold winds and some sunshine. The latter was my motivation to visit the allotment and get some work done. Last month organic cotton was on top of my alternatives list as well as Eko Plaza and vegetarian cooking.

Gardening

After a very wet January, February appeared colder but drier. Winter was really knocking on our doorsteps which meant that the garden could finally rest and absorb all the flooding that had accumulated since the rainy season started in November. Seriously if our weather is going to move from four seasons to hot and dry vs. rainy season, climate change won’t be about just “climate change” anymore but about a sick planet.

Allotment February

I put down a path of 12 meters, one side path and sowed some broad beans. The garlic I sowed in January already started showing some growth. At home the tomatoes are already growing, and it feels like spring (or what spring has become in the last years) is just around the corner.

Sustainable Wardrobe

Another month without shopping for clothes. I do some window shopping when I happen to pass by a shop but I don’t really get the feeling I need anything right now. One resolution I made was to change my shopping behavior in the future by switching to organic cotton. Whenever I will need new clothes I will make sure they are either made sustainable or made from certified 100% organic cotton. At Eko Plaza in the Netherlands they sell basic organic cotton T-shirts, socks and shopping bags. A great source for alternative products.

Organic cotton bag Eko Plaza

I sorted out some old/rarely worn clothes and plan to bring them to a 2nd-Hand shop so that they can make another person happy and less wasteful.

Zero Waste

February was a good month for zero waste and I found a lot of new ways to produce less trash and shop package-free. First of all I got myself some 2nd-Hand jars from our local “Kringloop”, the Dutch 2nd Hand shop, as well as terracotta pots and baskets. All for a small prize and in great condition.

second hand jars

Over the last months I managed to buy more and more products without packaging and recently got my first organic and package-free champignons from Eko Plaza. Normally I couldn’t get them without a plastic bag from the farmers market and this annoyed me a lot. From now on I can shop for all vegetables package-free.

Organic cotton bag Eko Plaza

Cooking

We cook every day and sometimes even twice when we have soup for lunch on weekends. Our food comes unprocessed and mostly from raw ingredients or homemade like jams. When I started this zero waste journey I thought it was quite unrealistic to get to zero waste at all. Meat and fish come heavily packed in the supermarket and even at the butcher they pre-pack a lot of things. I would even think that being a vegetarian and living in a single household requires you to do far less to reduce your impact.

To tackle the issue of eating healthy, sustainable and zero waste I decided to focus on alternatives for meat and buy my meat and fish locally. I even managed to get my fish package free.

The result is that we eat meat twice a week and replace it otherwise with products from “De Vegetarische Slager”, which my boyfriend comments with: “It doesn’t taste exactly like meat but it’s still tasty.”

I do try to shop very seasonal, no fresh tomatoes, bell peppers or courgettes in winter but therefore spinach, kale and mushrooms. All it requires is a great, seasonal cookbook.

In March I plan to check my plastic waste again and see how much I have improved from last year. And while we are at it I will be documenting how I shop and what the alternatives are that make zero waste achievable if you are not a vegetarian, single or living surrounded by bulk shops.

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