My Zero Waste Journey So Far

I started this journey towards zero waste about 3 years ago and have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go. I thought it might be helpful if I documented some of the milestones, so I could have a better sense of where I am and where I want to go.

Changes I’ve Made


In The Bathroom

  • Conventional Toothpaste to Homemade
  • Plastic disposable toothbrush to compostable Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Plastic disposable razor to Stainless Steel Safety Razor

  • Shower Gel to Bar of Soap
  • Microbead scrubs to homemade salt/sugar scrubs
  • Feminine Hygiene artificial pads for reusable Bamboo menstrual pads
  • Factory produced lotions and creams in plastic containers to Homemade
  • Disposable cotton face wipes for washable reusable bamboo face wipes/pads

In The Kitchen:


  • Disposable artificial J-Cloths and scrubbers to Coconut Scrubbing brush and wooden brush
  • Artificial Sponges in kitchen and bathroom to Loofahs
  • Foraging for wild foods

  • Artificial coasters to wooden coasters
  • Artificial placemats to Slate placemats


  • Cartoons of Soya, Rice & Oat Milk to homemade Oat milk in glass bottle
  • Cartoons of various creams to homemade Chickpea cream
  • Plastic bin bags to Compostable bags


  • Tea bags to Loose Tea
  • Tupperware containers to glass and tins
  • Plastic electric kettle for stainless steel hob kettle

Out & About


  • Plastic Water Bottles to Stainless Steel & Bamboo Water Bottle
  • Plastic disposable Straw for Glass straw [waiting for bamboo straw to arrive]
  • Plastic disposable Cutlery for reusuable compostable Wheat Straw Cutlery set
  • Plastic bags for cotton & linen tote bags
  • Disposable Tissues for reusable cotton Hankies

Other Changes I’ve Made

  • Using 2 litre plastic milk containers as funnels, jugs, storage, planters…
  • Cereal boxes now recycled as drawer dividers and sorters. also reused as gift boxes
  • All glass jars reused for storage, organisation, homemade cosmetics…
  • Cardboard Egg cartons used to start off seeds
  • Resealable plastic bags used as freezer bags
  • Horse Chestnut soap used instead of conventional detergent [seasonal]


Changes I still want to Achieve

  • Swap plastic disposable biros for reusable bamboo&steel fountain pens
  • Start using Shampoo and conditioner bars
  • Make my own Beeswax Food wraps
  • Buy Tiffin tins/stainless steel canisters
  • Acquire a Glass tea infuser bottle


  • Make my own soap from left over oil
  • Acquire an oil lamp for emergencies

In Conclusion
I’ve had as many failures as successes over the last three years with my endavours to live in a more sustainable way but learnt as much from the failures, as I did the successes.Its been a remarkable and fascinating journey, often not easy but always rewarding. The sense of self-sufficiency, greater connection with the world around me and a greater awareness of how everything and everyone is connected.

I look forward to sharing my continuing adventure on the zero waste journey with you. xx

P.S. Here is a short video of one of the inspiring zero wasters I follow that sum up how I feel perfectly!


How To Make Creamy Vegan Vanilla & Chickpea Ice Cream



  • ¼ cup aquafaba (liquid from chickpeas)
  • 3 cups full fat coconut milk (2 cans)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 Tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 Icing sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  1. Place coconut milk in refrigerator at least 24 hours before making ice cream.
  2. In a bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the aquafaba on high for about 5-7 minutes or until it’s turned into a fluffy mixture that comes to stuff peaks.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together the coconut milk (both solid and liquid parts), vanilla bean paste, sugar, and sea salt.
  4. Gently fold whipped aquafaba in with coconut milk mixture, doing your best not to deflate the aquafaba.
  5. Once thick, spoon into a freezer-safe container, cover tightly, and freeze. Alternatively, you can eat it right away!
  6. To serve, remove from freezer about 10-15 minutes before scooping with an ice cream scoop that you’ve run under hot water.
Other Variations
  • Banana Ice Cream
  • Coconut Ice Cream
  • Raspberry Ice Cream

Next Time

I shall be making yummy Nutella [not vegan] ice cream, Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter and talking about all the other culinary experiments I’ve been doing! Xx

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P.S. Advice on How to Stay Well in This Wintery Weather from the wonderful Niamh at Fairyland Cottage

How To Make Delicious Vegan Cream & Tasty Carrot and Black Pepper Hummus


Aquafaba almost sounds like something you’d say to cast a spell. Fitting, because this is indeed a magical ingredient. But what is it? Simply Chickpea juice!

In my last post, I talked about my discovery of the astonishing countless uses of chickpeas. I continue to explore its many possibilities including gorgeous cream…

Aquafaba Chart1

Aquafaba has some unique properties, one of which is the ability to be whipped into stiff peaks like heavy cream or egg whites.

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This whipped topping is plant-based, making it suitable for vegans and those who may be dairy-intolerant.

  • 1 can unsalted chickpeas
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • Drain and reserve the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Save the chickpeas for another use and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl if using a hand mixer.
  • Drain and reserve the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Save the chickpeas for another use and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl if using a hand mixer.
  • Drain and reserve the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Save the chickpeas for another use and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl if using a hand mixer.Drain and reserve the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Save the chickpeas for another use and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl if using a hand mixer.
  • Drain and reserve the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Save the chickpeas for another use and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl if using a hand mixer.

Add the cream of tartar and vanilla and begin whipping at medium speed. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whip for about 10 to 15 minutes, until firm peaks with slightly softened tips form.

You can use this cream to make vegan meringues and pavlovas.


This cream is best used immediately, as it can begin to collapse quickly. If you’d like to make it in advance, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours and re-whip it for a few minutes to reform the stiff peaks.


How To Make Carrot and Black Pepper Hummous


  • 1 can chickpeas (roughly 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 Roasted Carrots
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon), plus more to taste
  • 1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas: Drain the chickpeas into a strainer and rinse under cool running water. If time and patience allows, pinch the skins from each of the chickpeas; this will make your hummus smoother.
  • Combine all ingredients in the food processor: Combine the chickpeas, roasted carrots, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of the food processor or blender.
  • Blend hummus until smooth: Process the hummus continuously until it becomes very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to integrate any large chunks.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings: Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to taste. If your hummus is stiffer than you’d like, add more lemon juice or olive oil to thin it out and make the hummus creamier.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve: Scrape the hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips or raw vegetables. Hummus will also keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


How To Make Tahini

Making tahini at home is easy and much less expensive than buying from the store. Tahini can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.

Makes approximately 1/2 Cup


  • 1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) sesame seeds
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons neutral flavoured oil such as grape seed or a light olive oil
  • Pinch of salt, optional



  • Add sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and very lightly coloured (not brown), 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer toasted seeds to a baking sheet or large plate and cool completely.
  • Add sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about 1 minute.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the oil then process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times.
  • Check the tahini’s consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable.
  • You may need to process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil.
  • Taste the tahini for seasoning then add salt to taste. Process 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in


Next Time

Over the weekend, I will be making Homemade Ketchup, vegan Aquafaba Butter and Creamy vanilla Chickpea Bean Ice Cream, so stay tuned for more healthy yummy recipes! 🙂



How to Make Tasty Chickpea Tofu, Zero Waste Chickpea Hair Mask and Fabulous Flax Milk


I recently discovered the many amazing benefits and uses of Chickpeas and the more I find out, the more I’m amazed. Chickpeas really are a wonder food.

Chickpeas help to increase satiety(feeling full), boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable, increase protection against disease and more. Called Besan or gram flour, chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and if there’s one food trend we think everyone can agree is here to stay, it’s gluten-free eating! It’s also high in protein, iron and fibre.


Look for dried chickpeas in the “bulk bin” section of your favourite health food store, where you will likely be able to find organic dried beans for sale at a very low cost. Dried beans remain fresh for a long time, so you don’t need to worry about buying too much and having them spoil.


It’s best to soak all dried beans overnight prior to cooking them, which helps to make them more digestible, to aid in absorbing their nutrients, and to decrease cooking time. Keep some dried beans in your kitchen for whenever you have some extra time to cook.


Tofu sets in about an hour and is soft and pillowy, with that slightly nutty chickpea flavour that I love.

The wonderful thing about this chickpea tofu recipe, apart from the fact that it’s a wonderful soy free alternative to tofu, is that it is also budget friendly too. Chickpea flour is relatively cheap especially if you are able to source it from an Indian grocer.tofuprocess

How To Make Tasty Chickpea Tofu

Chickpea flour is mixed with water to form a smooth batter. The batter thickens into a thick custard like consistency which sets and can be easily sliced.

You can use it as a substitute for soy tofu in many recipes. It does well in curries, tossed in dressing, in wraps, salads, also makes a great morning scramble, or egg salad!, breaded tofu etc.


Blend the chickpea flour water and spices into a smooth batter.

Cook over medium heat. the batter will start to get lumpy after a minute or so.

Keep stirring frequently.

The batter will eventually thicken evenly and become custard like.

Cook for another 2 minutes so the chickpea flour is cooked through.


You can taste the mix carefully at this point to ensure that the chickpea flour doesn’t taste raw and adjust salt if needed. the mixture will also start to come away from the pan

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and even it out using a spatula if needed. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

Remove the set slab from the pan.

Slice into cubes.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

The tofu can leak some moisture while it sits. drain and use.

Zero Waste Nourishing Chickpea Hair Mask


Top 10 Hair Care Benefits of Chickpeas/Besan

#1 Hair cleansing
This all-natural product is an excellent hair cleansing agent.

  • Make a runny paste of besan and water, and apply it to your hair.
  • Wash it out after 5-10 minutes for clean, shiny and chemical-free hair.
  • Make sure the paste isn’t too thick, or else you’ll have lumps stuck in your strands.

#2 For hair growth
Besan is a chemical-free product and it helps nourish hair in ways that no hair-growth shampoo will. Use gram flour for hair that bounces with health and beauty.

  • Make a thick-ish besan pack and apply it on your hair.
  • Wash it off thoroughly after 15-20 minutes.

#3 To prevent hair fall
Besan is not only good for hair growth, but it also prevents and stops hair fall.

  • Just whip up a hair pack using besan and half a bowl of curd
  • Apply this mixture to your hair
  • Do it regularly and you will notice a dramatic reduction in hair fall.

#4 For Healthy Hair
If you want nourished, healthy hair and do not believe in off-the-shelf treatments, try besan.

#5 For Long Hair
If hair is healthy and strong, it will grow long. By using besan regularly, as a cleanser or as a hair pack, you can get the long hair that you’ve always dreamed of but didn’t manage because of damaged strands.

  • You can make a deep-nourishing hair pack with besan, almond powder, curd, and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  • Coat your hair with this mask and wash off after it dries.
  • Do this twice a week for quick results.

#6 To fight dryness
Besan and curd is also a good way to beat dryness. Use this mask regularly for softer hair.

#7 For shiny hair
You can’t beat the result of hair coated with besan and washed with water drained from cooked rice. The shine that you get is unbeatable.

#8 As a natural conditioner
When you wash your hair with the besan runny paste, you don’t need to use a conditioner. The natural properties of besan will leave you with soft, manageable hair.

#9 To control frizz
If most shampoos and conditioners leave your hair frizzy and dry, opt for a besan wash instead to control frizz.

#10 To fight dandruff
Besan fights and controls dandruff, making it an essential component of your regular beauty regime. You can also use Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo for severe dandruff and then continue to use besan.

Homemade-Hair-Masks-for-womenTo Make The Hair Mask

Make a besan hair pack by mixing 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons besan, 1 teaspoon curd and ½ a teaspoon lemon juice.

Apply this paste to your hair all the way to the tips.

Wash it off with water after it dries. It may take several rinses to remove all the residues.

If any residues remains,it will brush out easily once the hair is dry.

flaxmilk-recipeHow To Make Fabulous Flax Milk


      1/2 cup (150g) flax seeds, any colour

        4.5 cups (~1L) cold water

          Maple syrup, vanilla, or dates for sweetening (optional)


            Rinse flax seeds.

              Place the seeds and cold water into the blender.

                Blend seeds on high for 1 minute, rest for 1 minute.

                  Blend for 2 more minute, rest for 5 minutes.

                    Blend for 30 seconds.

                      Pour liquid through cloth or sieve and into large bowl, separating the pulp and the milk.

                        Be sure to squeeze the pulp by hand or using a spoon to ensure you extract all the milk out of the cloth/ strainer.

                          Rinse out blender and pour strained liquid back into blender.

                            Pulse milk for 30 seconds.

                              If you wish to sweeten the milk, add a dash of maple syrup, vanilla, or 1-2 dates to the milk and blend together until well combined.

                                Using a funnel, pour milk into an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

                                  Shake bottle well before each use

                                      No Waste!! To Use The Pulp left over:

                                        Spread the flax seed pulp onto a metal cookie tray.

                                          Bake the pulp in the oven on low heat (~150° F/ 65° C) until dry, between 1-2 hours.

                                            To make flax flour, transfer dry pulp to a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds – 1 minute.

                                              Store flax flour in airtight jar in a cool, dark place.

                                                Add to smoothies, cereals, or baking recipes for a great source of fibre!

                                                Hummus-2Next Time

                                                I will be making sensational Chickpea Cream, Homemade Hummous and talking about Aquafaba: a revolutionary tale in the world of veganism! 🙂


                                                How to Make Plant Milks, Super Easy, Super Nutritious & Super Delicious! Also How to make Death Wish Irish Coffee!!

                                                PISTACHIOSI recently came across a video on youtube about making your own plant milk and was astonished at how easy and how cheap it is to do and wanted to share it here with you.

                                                There are many reasons why more and more people have stopped drinking dairy and are turning to alternatives.

                                                plant-milk-oat-almond-coconut-1015x677A considerable proportion of the population are lactose intolerant and so for health reasons need to avoid dairy.

                                                open-uri20170531-3-1x7ei98Others choose to give up dairy for ethical reasons [calves are taken away from their mothers as soon as they are born so humans can drink the milk], environmental reasons [plant based milks need far less land, water and other resources then dairy] and some people stop drinking dairy simply to lose weight.

                                                Whatever the reason, well done and welcome to a world full of exciting new tastes and flavours! 🙂

                                                The only true downer about dairy alternatives is the price tag…here in Ireland anyways, soya milk, rice milk, coconut milk are all quite pricey, usually averaging about three euro per litre. As for oat or hemp milk or nuts milks, they are much harder to find and just as dear.

                                                The good news is that making your own milk is super easy and super cheap!



                                                Coconut milk is made slightly different to other milks in that, it needs hot water but that is the only difference.

                                                01-January23I find coconut milk quite sweet so don’t recommend adding anything for extra sweetness such as dates, as it doesn’t need it.


                                                If you want a healthy warming treat on these cold autumn evenings, a cup of Hot Chocolate Coconut Milk is just what you need!

                                                Simply combine the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat until it starts to steam. Pour into a mug and enjoy. For extra yumminess, add a sprinkling of caca powder on top.


                                                3bb62d3ac3e2fcb2363d3536f27e736e--vegan-milk-non-dairy-milkIn my last post, I talked about the many wonders of flaxseed and all its incredible uses and here is another.

                                                Flaxseed makes for a lovely mild milk full of nutrients and is made by soaking the seeds in water overnight, place in the blender until smooth, then sieve and filter and bottle.

                                                The flaxseeds can be used again one more time, as they are so full of natural goodness and plant oils.

                                                One of the first milks I made last week was Oat milk. The first recipe I tried was just plain oat milk and as simple as could be. I put a cup of oats in water, left it to soak for half a hour, then blended until smooth, sieved and filtered and then bottled.

                                                Result, a rich creamy milk but a trifle too bland for my tastes. This recipe would be more suited for soups, smoothies and sauces.

                                                So onto the next recipe: this time I added three pitted dates and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence and only used half the quantity of oats.


                                                Result, a smoother sweeter milk that tasted delicious nice & cold straight from out of the fridge and onto my cereal. Definite winner! Lovely in cereal, in your tea or on its own and full of natural goodness!

                                                One popular dairy alternative is Almond milk, which has many health benefits and for those who like almonds, is a must!

                                                It is important to use raw ideally organic almonds and if you don’t like the slightly earthy colour, use pealed almonds.

                                                Benefits-Of-Almond-Milk-e1421462975310Simply soak a cup of almonds overnight in water, discard the water in the morning and then add fresh water to the nuts, place in the blender and whizz…sieve and filter using a muslin cloth or cheese-bag.

                                                Enjoy as a hot drink with a sprinkling of cinnamon or coco powder or add to smoothies for a nutrient boast.


                                                HazelnutMilk2One recipe I tried today was Hazelnut milk. I soaked a cup of blanched raw hazelnuts in water overnight. This morning, I changed the water, blended and filtered. Delicious! For extra sweetness add a pitted date or two.

                                                Another tasty option is to add organic cacao powder to make a delicious chocolate substitute drink.

                                                I recommend a few drops of vanilla essence and two pitted dates for extra sweetness.

                                                Another popular dairy alternative is Rice milk. Below is the easy to follow recipe. Best of all if you have rice left over from last night’s dinner, it wont go to waste!


                                                We come at last to the most popular and most readily available of the plant milks, Soya milk.

                                                Soya milk is everywhere these days and available in a wide variety of flavours from vanilla to chocolate to strawberry.

                                                However most soya milk is long life milk which has been so treated that most of the nutrients have been destroyed in the process. Fresh really is best.


                                                To make Soya milk, you need raw soya beans, ideally organic, water, vanilla essence and if desired either apple juice or three pitted dates.


                                                • ½ cup white soybeans
                                                • 2-3 cups water for soaking
                                                • 4 cups water for blending
                                                • Three pitted dates or two tablespoons of Apple juice to sweeten


                                                • Soak soybeans in 2-3 cups of water overnight.
                                                • Discard water and rinse soybeans.
                                                • Remove skins as best you can.
                                                • Add soybeans and 4 cups water to blender.
                                                • Blend until smooth.
                                                • Strain the blended mixture using a piece of muslin or A tight-weave cloth is preferable, as twisting the top tightly enables you to continue squeezing out more milk.
                                                • Heat the strained milk in a heavy-bottom pan to 180ºF (82ºC). Hold this temperature for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cool the milk and store.
                                                • Refrigerate up to 4 days.


                                                Another variant of this simple recipe is to use the raw green soya beans:


                                                *Important note: the material left over after filtering your plant milk can be used in baking or smoothies.*

                                                Some suggestions for what alternative milk works best for cooking, baking etc.


                                                I shall finish tonights post with a recipe for Death Wish Irish Coffee:

                                                jjjWhat you need:

                                                • Strong Coffee, brewed [There is an actual brand called Death Wish Coffee that you can buy]
                                                • Irish Whiskey
                                                • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk [ *Refrigerate coconut milk for at least six hours.]
                                                • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
                                                • 1 teaspoon of very hot water
                                                • Mason Jar, frozen for 15 minutes
                                                • Stemmed Glass


                                                • Shake heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup in freezing cold mason jar for two minutes straight. Freeze for up to 15 minutes before serving.
                                                • Brew strong coffee.
                                                • Just use the excess water from the kettle to preheat your glass in the next step.
                                                • Melt brown sugar into hot water and swish. Since the whipped cream that we made is only lightly sweetened, this is your opportunity to add more sugar if you enjoy very sweet coffee.
                                                • Pour your glass 3/4 of they way full with Coffee. That should leave the perfect amount of space for whiskey and cream
                                                • Add a shot of Irish whiskey
                                                • Add cream
                                                • Enjoy!



                                                Next Time

                                                I will be making Flaxseed warming neck pillows, Rice heat pads and other natural products to keep you toasty this winter! 🙂