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 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 tahiniโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚



Ten Ways To Love Planet Earth On Valentine’s Day

1) Go Plastic Free

2) Switch off gadgets and lights when you leave a room


3) Take the train, a bike or walk

4) Use less

5) Reuse what you already have


6) Recycle when something isn’t reusable


7) Don’t be afraid to speak up for the planet


8) Make Your Own


9) Switch to green energy

10) Grow your own


Happy Valentines Day!! xx

P.s. here is a link to eco friendly free valentine’s Day ecards from WWF

The Art of Spinning Gold Out Of Straw / Or How Cornucopia [The Horn of Plenty] was revealed to me in a Flash of Lighting & The Practice of Zero Waste

guessmynameDear Reader, my apologies for my absence these last few weeks, my husband has been quite unwell and life just snowballed, so its only now that I’m catching my breath. Thanks to The Powers That Be, he is slowly improving.

It has been a strange often surreal exhausting time, a haze of disinfectant sprays, wipes, washes…In the face of serious illness in the house, I had to give up much of my zero waste lifestyle. 

There is just no way to reuse or recycle used surgical gloves, bandages, bin bags etc, where there is infection, so our landfill waste bin has to be emptied every single day, where it used to be once a week. It may not sound so awful but it weighed heavily on my mind.

Bottles and bottles of disinfectant laundry detergent, floor disinfectant, surface disinfectant everywhere…The danger of infection and illness was too serious to use anything but the prescribed methods, which to be fair, worked but were very harsh, both on one’s skin, lungs, clothes and the environment.

61DiY-gCCtL._SY550_On a side note, the one natural product I was pleasently surprised the hospital approved of, was Tea Tree Oil. So it went into everything, detergent, floor cleaner, shampoo, shower gel, soap…


Tea Tree Oil is an awesome and powerful antiseptic, which I cannot recommend enough!

As my husband was bed bound and I became his full time, if temporary carer, money has been really, really tight.

This added stress and worry to the already tough situation and I felt overwhelmed, lost and without hope.

Thankfully I didn’t have to resort to calling on Rumpelstiltskin, as the unfortunate girl who had to spin gold out of straw needed to in the well known fairytale but I found my salvation in the practice of Zero Waste.


Late one night, unable to sleep [the couch by necessity had become my bed], I was browsing on Youtube and suddenly, like a flash of Lighting, I found myself captivated by people, who changed completely how they looked at the world, the ‘waste’ they created and the exciting concept of The Three Rs!


reuse-or-renew-1The Three Rs

There are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A remarkably straight forward concept but one which I have taken to heart and which is revolutionising my life! ๐Ÿ™‚


With Christmas on the horizon, I have taken ordinary everyday items that are usually used once and then discarded, such as milk cartoons, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, margarine tubs, plastic bottles and with some help from Youtube and unwanted fabric, paper bags, glue and scissors, I am turning them into Gift Boxes, Gift Bags and storage containers.

I talked about my ventures into this a month ago but my endeavours are coming on considerably since.

I love turning something which is plain and ordinary into something beautiful and special, which will bring pleasure to someone I care about. It is tremendously satisfying and an excellent way to unwind and take your mind off your troubles.

hand-warmer-diy-1Out of necessity, Homemade gifts shall be the order of the day this Christmas, so I have been making Heat Pads, Neck Warmers, Hand Warmers for all, as well as cushions and homemade beauty products.

Yes, it is true, it takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, mumbled swearwords under one’s breath as you prick your finger yet AGAIN…but its so worth it.


The most wonderful side effect of all my recent frugal endeavours is an unexpected feeling of ‘plenty‘.

fortune-built-table-not-walls-we-are-humanity-e1510180168838.jpgFrom being stressed out of my mind about how we would manage with all the necessary cut backs and economies, I’ve been delighfully surprised to feel excited about all the ways I have learnt to make a little into a lot.


I feel as if someone has handed me the horn of Cornucopia [the mythical horn of plenty] and all it takes to unlock the door into this world of wonder and magic is some imagination, a bit of inspiration from the web and a willingness to experiment.

Next Time


I have started sleeping on the floor, for a variety of reasons and after doing a little research and using my own experiences, I can’t talk enough about the amazing benefits.

People are shocked and worried, when I tell them I’m sleeping on the floor but I’m loving it! Each night is a new adventure, a new experience and I wake up feeling restored, relaxed and ready for a bright new day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sleep well xx




Upcycling Juice Boxes, Milk Cartons, Tissue Boxes & Other Common HouseHold Items

upcycleRecently I have been thinking more and more about how I need to do more as regards recycling. Its not just enough anymore to wash my cartons out and sort them for the trash, I want to find ways to reduce the amount of waste I produce and one way of doing that is to find new ways to reuse stuff I would usually throw away.

3773430-origI have been paying more attention to what goes in our recycling bin lately and the biggest culprits are:

  • Juice Boxes
  • Milk Cartons
  • Postal Packaging
  • Newspapers
  • The odd magazine
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Crisp Bags
  • Recipes
  • Packaging from store bought products
  • Chocolate Wrappers
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Tins
  • Tissue Boxes

reuse-milk-cartons-5So I have started finding ways to upcycle these things. The first I looked at was Juice Boxes


You can make Juice Boxes into Storage containers, wallets, bags, gift boxes, toy boats…



Cereal Boxes make great Filing containers for envelopes, papers, study notes…


Tissue boxes are great as gift boxes, for flower displays, for seasonal decorations and childrens toys.


Milk Cartons are useful for so many things. you truly are limited only by your imagination.




Plastic Bottles can be made into pencil cases, bird feeders…


Some Gift Boxes I’ve made so far using recycled materials: [not very exciting or professional looking but practice makes perfect!]


Next Time

I will be looking at ways to reuse Tin Cans, making DIY Autumn and Halloween Decorations and talking about autumn wildlife.

Until then, sweet dreams.



How To DIY Heat Neck Pillows, Hand Warmers & Other Heat Packs To Keep You Warm & Cosy!


So Autumn is most definitely here and in a ideal world, it should be something like this:


Instead its usually more like this:


So if your autumn is more like mine with long damp days and dark chilly nights, we could all do with a little warmth and cheer. Solution, make your own fabulous heat packs to stay toasty all the year long! ๐Ÿ™‚


There are a number of choices for what to use as filler for the heat packs, from rice to wheat to cherry stones to flaxseed.

937647c08def87fbff95382c05f0d65b--therapeutic-pillows-rice-bagsYou can also add herbs and flowers such as lavender, chamomile, mint…As well as your favourite essential oils but remember a little goes a long way, as when the heat pack is heated, the scent will be much more intense.

After much research, Flaxseed seems to be the most popular choice for stuffing your heat pack.


Flaxseed provides a gentle, moist heat which promotes healing.

  • Flaxseeds are flower seeds, rather than grains, so they contain 30-40% oil which remains inside the seed to be warmed again and again. Other products lose their ability to retain heat as the water cooks out of them over time.
  • When heated, flaxseed pillows retain half their heat after an hour. Under covers (think about those toesโ€ฆ) the pillow will still be warm hours later.
  • Flax never has that โ€œcooked grainโ€ smell other grain based products have when heated over and over again.
  • The weight of flaxseed is gentle and comforting.
  • Flaxseed pillows can also be chilled in the freezer to sooth fevers or slight inflammations, though they donโ€™t get cold enough to provide the numbness needed for things like sprains and back injuries.


  • Choose your fabric. Something heavy but not too stiff, like brushed canvas or cotton ticking, works well.
  • Its best to use 100% cotton if possible as artificial materials are more likely to burn in a microwave.
  • Decide what size you’d like your finished pillow to be. Customize it to suit your needs, but a rectangle about 6 inches by 18 inches is a good place to start. (This is long enough to drape around your neck.)
  • Cut your fabric. You can cut two pieces of cloth, adding about half an inch for a seam allowance all around. Or you can cut one piece of cloth that’s twice the width you want the finished pillow to be plus half an inch seam allowance on each side. (In this case you’ll fold the fabric in half lengthwise and sew three rather than four ends closed.)
  • Place right sides of the fabric together and sew, using a half-inch seam allowance on each side. Leave one short side open for filling.
  • Turn your pillow right side out.


Fill your pillow about two-thirds to three-fourths full of flax seed.

Add about 1/4 cup of dried lavender flowers. Don’t overdo the flowers, because the scent will become stronger when heated. And don’t overfill the pillow or the seeds won’t be able to move around and the pillow won’t drape comfortably.

acbfa49b74dd818ae2763313e414a016Sew the last end closed. (You can fold the ends in and sew by hand or by machine.)




To use your pillow, warm it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Shake and warm for another 30 to 60 seconds, until the desired warmth.

To warm it in the oven, place in cold oven and turn heat to 200 degrees. Shake pillow after five minutes, then replace for another two to five minutes, testing often.

Note: Be careful not to overheat the pillow! It can get hot enough to burn you or even start a fire!


Other Options

  • Design your pillow in the shape of a “U” to fit around your neck. Or make a muff to put your cold hands in.
  • Make a no-sew version using tube socks. Just fill with flax and lavender and knot the end
  • Sew a liner to fill with flax and lavender and a removable cover for washing. Simply make the cover just a bit larger than the liner, for easy removal. And be sure to prewash and preshrink your outer fabric. (You don’t want it to shrink so that it no longer fits over your liner.)
  • cd51fedb53d5b39e5163a4870408aaec--diy-heating-pad-heating-padsChoose a liner fabric that’s lightweight and a bit open weaved but tight enough to hold the contents.
  • Use dried rose petals, mint, or other dried herbs that you enjoy for scent in place of the lavender flowers.
  • Use your pillow over your forehead, or under or over your feet, too.
  • Try chilling your pillow in the freezer when you need to cool rather than warm an area.


Flax pillows make wonderful gifts. Choose fabrics that are appropriate for the recipient, and tie with a pretty ribbon or raffia. Include a little card with directions.

You can even make them into stuffed animals or incorporate them into slippers but I will be talking about that again in the future.

il_340x270.1056921972_s3rtIf you have Sore wrists and spend a lot of time in a chilly office, you can make simple Keyboard and Wrist Support Heat pads.

Or if you you have a old flannel shirt, it would be perfect for making some seasonal hand warmers…diy-flannel-foot-warmer-gift-idea-05

In Conclusion

I have made one neck pillow, one heavy pillow for sore tummies and one comforting hand warmer and have tested them all in the microwave with success! Hurrah!

These were made from material I had on hand, heavy denim from a old pair of jeans and a lighter cotton from too long summer trousers.img_20171006_225137.jpg

I plan to make a lot of them in the coming weeks, as I hope to have a stall at a local Christmas market for the first time, so lot of work to get ready for that!

In the meantime, if you try making a heat pack yourself, curl up in bed and enjoy the many days and nights of warmth and comfort you will have from your very own fabulous DIY Heat Pad ๐Ÿ™‚







How to Make Fermented Probiotic Ginger Ale at Home & Thoughts on ‘The Girl Who Waited’

Organic Ginger Ale Soda

It’s been a strange start to September, hot and humid and now cold and wet, all in the space of four days but thats the west of Ireland for you.

I had some raw ginger root in the house and thought some natural fermented Ginger Ale is just what I need, something that will hit the spot perfectly!

There are quite a few ways to make this simple but delicious and healthy drink but this is the one I usually use. You will need:


  • 3 – 4 nodules of Raw Ginger
  • 1 – 2 Lemons or Limes
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla [Optional]
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • Water
  • Container to store the ale while its fermenting




  • Grate the ginger. Leave the skin on, as this has wild yeast and bacteria on it, which will help with the fermentation
  • Place the ginger, water, sugar, lime or lemon juice and vanila into a mason jar or large container
  • Add some hot water [but not boiling], about a third of the container and then add cold water to fill up the rest of the container
  • Cover the top with some kitchen paper towel and a elastic band or you could use a strong pressurised glass jar like the below
  • Leave in a cool place away from sunlight for a week
  • Strain



  • Bottle and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚


Ginger Ale makes a great base to make other gorgeous and refreshing drinks such as Fizzy Turmeric Ale, The Victor’s Drink [Brandy, lime & Ginger Ale] and Ginger Ale with vodka, lemon and pineapple for a tropical feel.


Another delightful possibility for a late summer/early autumn drink is Jack Daniels whisky and ginger topped with lime…Divine… ๐Ÿ™‚


This time of year, I find myself thinking of the girl who waited and how no matter how old we get, she is always still inside of us.

For those of you not in the know, the girl who waited is Amelia Pond in Doctor Who, a remarkable girl who dared to dream, who went on many incredible adventures and saw the universe in all its splendour and glory and all because she waited, all night long, for twenty long years for her ‘Raggedy Man’.

This is the time of year, when the night skies grew clearer and the stars are scattered across the milky way like diamonds and the air whispers of the turn of the seasons.

I fell head over heels in love with the new Doctor Who series and in particular, with the character of Amelia Pond, her bravery, her faithfullness, her belief, that one day, the Doctor would come back for her, as he did, if a little late.


I think the girl who waited, is the child inside us all, the girl who had such faith and hope. Her strength, sense of purpose and perservance comes from this place of remarkable faith, hope and belief, that as adults, a lot of us have lost.

As we grow older, we lose sight of this girl, we forget her. She becomes the past, an undiscovered country, where you believe in six impossible things before breakfast, where dragons roam and magic lives in the heart of every living thing.

Amy-Gifs-amy-pond-33403277-245-245Yet, it is now, more then ever, that we need her. In this exhausting, bewildering chaotic fast paced world, where burnout is the norm and even the youngest of children is cycincal to the bone, we need hope.

Amelia Pond is the wellspring of hope and belief, that bubbles up from deep within the soul and gives new life and meaning to our existence.

She reminds us of all that is good in this world and the importance of having faith in your dreams, for it is only then, that they will one day come true. She reminds us of the things that truly matter; friendship, kindness, courage and above all, love.

So if you are out walking some evening and you look up at the magnificance of the night sky above, think of her, of Amelia Pond, The Girl Who Waited, The Doctor and that Blue Blue Box…