Since we’ve been trying to reduce our waste, we’ve also tested lots of recipes and tips to lower our waste. Some of them were great and have become parts of our routine, and others, were, well, not so great. Keep in mind that it’s only our experience, and that you might end up loving what we hate and vice-versa!! The best way to know is to try and see what works for you!!
Clothes have always played a big role in societies throughout the ages. They used to tell what you were doing for a living, how well off you were, if you were married or a widow, and so on. Today they have lost a bit of their most specific meanings, but they still say something about you, whether you want it or not. They’re ‘our chosen skin’ as Safia Minney from People Tree would say. And today’s clothes are very different from what our ancestors used to know: once expensive and well-cared for, they are now cheap and disposable. Fashion trends don’t last more than a few weeks – as does most of what the fast fashion industry produce. It’s an ecological and social disaster on all levels. So, how can we do different? Here’s what I have done.
We are in the process of redecorating our dining room – we take all our meals there, and we like to have family and friends over to share good food, it’s a very important place in our appartment, and we would like for it to be a bit nicer. But instead of running to Ikea to buy new stuff -which is often our first impulse, let’s be honest- we’re trying to do it in a frugal, low-waste way!
Our 4 chairs are about 13 years old and in good condition, except for the seat cover: it’s straw, and with 2 children and a cat at home, it’s definitely seen better days. We’ve decided to see what we could do to make it look nicer, and comfier!
A few weeks ago, I decided to cut off a pair of jeans. It’s a kid’s pair of jeans. I bought it second-hand years ago. My oldest wore it, and my youngest. It still fits her, but it had holes at the knees that I couldn’t possibly repair and that my daughter wasn’t very happy with (she’s too young to be into grunge clothes. Is that still a thing anyway??).
So I made shorts out of them. Simply cut them off just above the holes, folded them twice and back-stitched the hem with a contrasting (and daughter requested) pink thread. My daughter was pretty happy with them, and I was as well.
A little act of resistance in this crazy world, I thought!
My daughters love to get dressed up. Cow-boys, princesses, pirates, Gaul warriors, Vikings (complete with shields and axes)… they just love it.
My oldest had been asking for a princess cape for a long time, and I finally found a tutorial that seemed both easy and bluffing. You’ll find it here: it’s in French, but I think it’s self-explanatory. You only need two rectangular pieces of fabric – or one, if you don’t add the lining.
Despite not using a lot of makeup – none at all most of the time in fact – there are two things that I use from time to time: mascara, and blush or bronzing powder. During winter I use a light peach pressed blush, and during the warmer months, some bronzing powder. Being very fair skinned, it’s nice to get some color on my skin even if I don’t tan – at least it enhances my freckles and makes me look less like a vampire.
It’s the second year that I make my homemade bronze powder, and not only it’s easy, cheap, and low waste, but it allows you to get the exact shade of brown you want.
Let’s get to the recipe!
A quick post to complete my entry about Christmas wrapping! I’ve seen it here and there and wanted to test it with a few Christmas cards salvaged from work – we receive a few every year and they always end up in the trash bin, so no one fought me for them!
The idea is to keep only the decorated part, that’s not written on! You’ll need a few cards, a rotary cutter and a mat (or a good pair of scissors!) and a ruler. That’s it!
There are plenty of things that I do that aren’t zero waste – or even, let’s say, low waste, which I find a more realistic goal. There is something disturbing behind the perfect zero waste pictures you see on Instagram, or the perfect zero waste lives you spy on YouTube: they ignore that the real world isn’t zero waste friendly for the most part, and that sometimes you haven’t a choice.
My mother-in-law was kind enough to give me her sewing machine as a Christmas present, as she bought a newer, more sophisticated one. I immediately sold my old one on the French equivalent of Craigslist (it was gone in the afternoon!). The old one was a cheap supermarket brand, but it really did its job well for a few years and I’m happy that it will continue to do so for someone else!
My to-me-new sewing machine is a much fancier Brother model and I’m somewhat intimidated! Let’s see it:
So, me and my new electronic friend had our eyes on a poor old 3yo top that is too small for my daughters, and could not be sold as such.
In French, the famous French toast is called ‘pain perdu’, or lost bread, because it is a cheap mean of saving bread that is several days old and has become too hard to eat. It’s the French equivalent of the English pudding – we all used to use everything, and throwing away food was unheard of.
Our family eats a lot of bread, and it generally hasn’t the time to get bad. But there are times when I miscalculate how many baguettes we will eat, and the holidays usually are one of those times. When that happens, I gather what’s left of the bread and prepare what’s both a treat and a perfect way to avoid wasting food.