Green smoothie

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get a huge nutrient hit and tick off some fruit and veggie portions for the day. I tend to freeze all my fruit and veggies for my smoothies, because they taste so much better when they are ice cold. Give this recipe a whirl to replace your usual breakfast. I love having this smoothie after a morning work out. Summer and Corey are fans of this recipe too- parenting win!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kale (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup mango/pineapple/papaya (frozen)
  • 1-2 bananas (frozen)
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 2-3 cups almond milk.

Method

  • Whack everything in a high speed blender and whizz until smooth!
  • Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick.

Food for thought: why is it called a smoothie and not a smoothy?

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning

When our family decided to go zero waste, one of the first things I looked into was DIY cleaning products. I researched the products that I was using like bleach, window cleaners, fabric softeners and surface sprays and was shocked by the dangerously toxic ingredients that I was spraying around my home everyday. The hidden toxins in the products I was using were linked to cancer, asthma, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, reproductive issues along with other health issues.

I quickly decided that I wanted a non-toxic, greener cleaning routine for my home, as I didn’t want to subject my family to the potentially harmful effects of nasty chemicals. The thought of my children taking a bath in the residue of toxic chemical cleaners completely freaks me out, so I decided to detox my cleaning products.

Do you find that you have a cupboard full of cleaning products for all different purposes?

I use four main homemade non-toxic cleaning products, that work great and also smell awesome! I’m a mama of two and I know that many people may not think they have the time to make their own cleaning products. However, the recipes below are super quick and easy and, as they are non-toxic, children could help to make them with you!

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • †††††††2 cups water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 2 tbsp of castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils
  • Pour into a glass spray bottle or reuse an empty cleaning spray bottle
  • Give it a shake to mix.

This multi-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and can be used all around your house. I find that a 500ml spray bottle is the perfect size bottle.

Disinfectant Cleaner

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils.

This disinfectant cleaner can be used with just vinegar, but I like to add water and essential oils to reduce the smell of vinegar.

I use this on harder to clean areas like sinks, drains and around the bathroom. I do tend to use the multi-purpose cleaner first for sinks, showers and baths.

Avoid use on: granite, marble, stone, iron or wooden surfaces.

Floor Cleaner

  • 9 litres hot water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and peppermint essential oils.

Mix all of the above ingredients into your mop bucket. I find that this floor cleaner has a streak free finish on my floors and it also smells amazing.

Glass & Mirror Cleaner

  • Equal parts of water (boiled then cooled)
  • Equal parts of vinegar.

Spray on glass and mirrors and wipe with a dry glass cloth (not microfibre) and keep wiping until there are no more streaks.

Zero Waste Cleaning Tips:

  • Cut up old clothes (that are in too bad condition to sell/donate) to use as rags
  • By cleaning frequently, you will reduce the need for heavy cleaners
  • Avoid plastic scrubbing brushes. I use biodegradable dish brushes , which I find are more durable than the previous plastic dish brush (the ones where you just change the heads, but still have lots of plastic waste).
  • Avoid ‘wipe’ products, you do not need them! Use rags/cloths etc. that can be washed, they are better for the environment and your pocket.
  • Opt for compostable cloths/‘sponges’, that you can cut into small pieces and add to your compost bin.
  • Bulk buy your white vinegar- it will save you money in the long run.
  • Don’t underestimate fresh air – open your windows rather than using toxic air fresheners.

NO BAKE ENERGY BALLS

These date energy balls are a super quick and easy snack to make. Perfect for on-the-go children and adults alike- my little girl absolutely loves them. It’s also something fun to do with children, as they can help measure the ingredients into the food processor- I always find that children are more likely to eat something, if they are involved in the making. The chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which make them great for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Ingredients

🌍 1 cup pitted dates

🌍 Handful unsulphered dried apricots

🌍 2/3 cup rolled oats

🌍 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Organic 100% Peanut Butter)

🌍 1/4 cup vegan chocolate

🌍 1 tbsp chai seeds.

Method

⭐️ Whizz dates in a food processor until they break up into small pieces.

⭐️ Add the oats, apricots, peanut butter, chocolate and chia seeds and whizz up until combined. You might need to add 1-2 tbsp water, if the dates are quite dry.

⭐️ Mould into small balls using the warmth of your hands.

⭐️ Pop in fridge for 15 minutes to set and then add them to a sterile air-tight glass jar.

⭐️ They should stay fresh for one week, or longer if you choose to freeze them.

Getting Started – 5 R’s of Zero Waste

Firstly, what is Zero Waste?

Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle, means that you essentially aim to send nothing to landfill.  For our family, of course, we do send items to landfill- we are not a perfect zero waste family, but we strive to be the best we can be.  Sometimes it’s called Low Waste, but for the purpose of this blog I will stick with the term, Zero Waste.

According to Bea Johnson (a Zero Waste influencer), there are 5 R’s of Zero Waste:

Refuse what you do not need.

Reduce what you do need.

Reuse by using reusables.

Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse.

Rot the rest (compost).

The order of these 5 R’s is of particular importance…notice that recycle is near the end?

recycle-1-1308687

 

So, let’s look at the 5 R’s in a bit more depth:

Refuse

  • Turn down freebies– don’t accept leaflets etc. (by all means talk to the people handing them out).  Leaflets are a waste of resources, and by refusing them you can help reduce the demand.
  • Opt for paperless bills– most companies are paperless now, which is great!  You can also turn off your postal marketing for other accounts, e.g. catalogues.

Reduce

  • Declutter your home.  Donate and sell unwanted items (please don’t just throw them out).  One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?
  • Reduce shopping trips.  By reducing the trips to the shops and by keeping a shopping list, you are automatically less likely to buy things you do not need.  I love keeping a list (on my phone) of items that I think I ‘need’ – I usually realise that it was just a passing ‘want’ and many of the items get deleted off the list.

Reuse

  • Switch disposable items to reusable items.  Here are just a few ideas:  stainless steel water bottle like a Klean Kanteen; shopping bags; cloth nappies; cloth wipes; reusable make-up cloths.
  • Avoid food shopping waste.  Take your reusable bags for your shopping and use cloth bags for loose fruit and veggies.  You can also take jars for bulk items and wet items like olives from the deli.

Recycle

  • Have you refused, reduced and reused?  If so, it is important to know your area’s recycling policies.  Think of recycling as a last resort…it is not the answer.  Much of our plastic waste, unfortunately, gets exported to other countries.
  • Buy second-hand or in bulk.  If you have to buy new, opt for items made out of glass, metal, wood or cardboard, avoid plastic.

Rot

  • Find a compost system that works for your household.  Fruit and veggie peelings, hair, coffee grounds and nail clippings are all compostable.  Compostable waste does not breakdown properly when sent to landfill, as air cannot get to the organic waste properly.  Instead, it produces harmful methane into the environment and contributes to climate change (this is something I didn’t know until recently).

 

“Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months.” www.recyclenow.com

 

If you try and stick with these guidelines, it will really help you to adopt a greener lifestyle.

Remember that everything that every person does to help the planet DOES make a difference.  Zero Waste is not about being perfect, it is about making conscious decisions about what you buy and consume and about doing the best that you can.

 

Thank you for reading this Zero Waste blog post.

Sending you love and light,

Louise 🙂

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

Featured photo by Byron Mctaggart from FreeImages

Recycling photo by jaylopez from FreeImages