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Low Waste Living – Weekly Grocery Haul in Brooklyn, NY

Please keep in mind that this is not everything we eat. I made a list of filler foods which will be made with what we already have in our kitchen. Food can be expensive, I hope this is helpful to someone who might be discouraging because they may not fit into a specific demographic.

I want to recognize that a sustainable lifestyle is not about perfection, it is about attempting our best with anything we have access to. When there are so many social issues to be aware of, it’s simple to get frustrated. So if we can be realistic and know we’re doing the best we can wherever we’re, that’s the most essential thing. I encourage you to keep going, even if your grocery purchases do have a minor impact on waste.

There are so many other places in our lives that we can build. I want us to be willing to remain passionate about the activity instead of being worried about stuff outside of our control. I can’t, and that’s OK because I try just to be mindful of my impact on the plant.

Read more here: Reducing Waste: What You Can Do https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-…

Let me know if you have any tips for a low-impact hack!

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Traveling Around Chinatown, NYC – My So-Called Vlog

Chinatown is one place you don’t want to miss visiting when you are in NYC. There are not only many things to do in Chinatown NYC, but the history and unique character of this Manhattan neighborhood also speak for themselves. You will find some fantastic food, exciting street vendors, and some great photo opportunities.

Chinatown

Places Mentioned:

  • Canal Street Market
  • Yaya Tea Basement (Speakeasy)
  • Canal Street Mott Street
  • Mulberry Street
  • AJI ICHIBAN (Candy Store)
  • Glossier Headquarter

What’s your favorite place? Please leave in the comment below!

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Three Sustainability Kit Hacks that are in My Bag Right Now!

My thought process and intention for sharing this with you are to convey that you can be sustainable no matter your income. It only takes little steps to achieve less waste. For myself, I get the urge to buy something that seems to “Save the World,” but in truth, if you didn’t need it before, chances are you don’t need it now. There is also things around your home that you can use, and items you can buy that is under $10 that will help achieve less waste.

As you go through these photos, please remember that another way to help is by contacting companies or following companies that have a reputation for being wasteful. It cost almost nothing to send a photo to their DM or write to these companies. In the end, it’s about getting larger companies to stop their wasteful practices. They are the main culprits of plastic and other waste in our oceans and land.

I have three kits. One is for eating out, another for drinks, and one is for grocery shopping. Most of the items shown were repurpose from other uses or purchase for a small fee. I try my best not to buy plastic, but if it comes down to it, my kit will last me more uses than a single-use item. I feel it’s worth it, especially if your budget does not allow you to buy fancier items. It’s more about the statement that you can be sustainable without given into the companies requirements for consumption and to add a quiet protest to their pollution impact on the planet.

First Hack: Eating Out Kit

I found this satchel and thought it would work quite lovely for this kit. It gave it a new use and time. In it, it contains a tea towel, a collapsible silicone straw, and a spork.
The tea towel was getting old. I didn’t want to throw it away, so it became my on the go napkin or seat covering. It works well, and it is easy to clean. I have saved myself from using too many paper towels or asking for paper towels because I have this is always with me.
The spork was something I found in our local donation bin. Our building allows people who place useable but no longer needed items into a small area. I saw this and jumped right on it. I found I was in luck. The plastic is environmentally friendly and non-toxic to me as it is made with 100% recyclable and recycled material. I know it isn’t entirely eco-friendly but for a starter it, it’s a piece of gold. I will continue to use it until it has been worn out.
The collapsible straw I found on Amazon. It is made with safe plastic and very inexpensive. I struggled with this as I heavily rely on straws.
I have physical issues that make it hard for my head to go back to drink completely. This item works well, and it is easy to clean. It is contained in a case, so I don’t have to worry about leaks or getting it dirty. I love this straw very much.

Second Hack, My Drinking Kit

I love Mason Jars. I particularly like the blue jars. When they were on sale, I bought four. I use them every day to drink or to eat from the jars. They are fantastic for on the go person like me.

However, I have an issue with drinking. The lids are not friendly for drinking liquids. I certainly did not want to go out and buy different containers for all of my needs, for example, smoothies, ice coffee, soup, oats, and water. It was just easier to have it all in one. This is where I found my answer to my lid issues.
This lid is pretty amazing. I thought this type of product did not exist, but there is was, on Amazon, for less than eight dollars. I bought with the assumption that it may not work. However, it has proven me wrong. The seal is tight, and the mouthpiece stays closed. It is a real gem to have this as a convenience but also as being sustainable and practical that keeps me in my habit.
However, there is also the issue of condensation. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, your jar will sweat. It also can get scorching with soup and coffee. I realized very quickly but did not want to buy a sleeve. I thought about it. I remember that I keep my odd socks in a drawer. I do this because sometimes they show up. However, sometimes, they do not.
Some of my socks are too cute to recycle, so “ding!”
I repurpose my sock to be a sleeve and a mouth protector. It works well to control the dewiness and heat from the jar. It also works as a layer of protection in case the mouth opens in my bag.
If you don’t have a mason jar, you can always use a jar that you have at home. I would make sure that it is heat resistant, but this empty jar is an instant coffee container from Trader Joe’s, and it works well.
I have used it in the past, and it fits enough to get me through the day. It is also much lighter than my mason jar, so on days that I need to travel light, I will reach for this jar.

Third Hack: Grocery Shopping Tote

Living in NYC, having an extra tote in my bag almost seems intuitive. Plastic bags can get clunky and can be hard to move in the subways.

The most significant change happened a few years ago when I realized that I did not have to use plastic bags. I can use my tote. It has been a game-changer for me. I can fit more in my bag, and some stores offer discounts for bringing your bag. It’s pretty awesome.

The bag I currently use to do my shopping is a bag from H&M. It was on clearance and it only a $1. This seems to be the right tote for me. I have used it ever since. It is sturdy, but light and can carry a massive amount of food. I love it.
My produce bags came from Amazon. I got them for an excellent rate. It is the same brand that I have found in eco-friendly stores around the city but for a fraction of the price.
I couldn’t resist it. I use them every time I buy food.

I am taking steps to get to understand my impact on the planet. These three habits are available in my bag that are staples in my routine. For me, they are the easiest way to start. It takes a little creativity, but I bet that most people can find one low impact habit that does not cost money and can be reused, recycled, and reduce your waste.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. Please let me know some of the ways you worked into your life to reduce waste.

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Low-Waste Kitchen Hacks for Busy People

Living a fast-paced lifestyle is a convenience we have grown increasingly comfortable in, but like everything else, such comfort comes at a cost. The price we are paying for convenience is a considerable one.

Our convenient lifestyle that accommodates our need always to be on-the-go comes at the cost of the environment, which is why, I wanted to share with you some simple methods that I try to use, to keep with my eco-friendly values while maintaining that sense of convenience daily.

I live a lifestyle vibrant with entropy. No two days ever look the same. I need a structure in place to help me function properly, even to be able to perform the most basic of tasks like, eat, or maintain some level of sanity. I am sharing with you today just a few of the things that really help me and hopefully help you as well.

Make your own drink!
Who doesn’t love a warm/cold drink in the morning? Having tea or coffee every morning is something we all look forward, too, it gets our day going. Unfortunately, on the busiest of days we can be tempted to get one at a shop, but making your own, at-home drink could make all the difference for the environment since most of these shop cups are not recyclable or compostable. Every day millions of us around the world buy these cups and dispose of them. When a single person buys one cup of coffee every day, it builds up the numbers landing in the trash.

Try to make your own, help the environment and of course, hence, help yourself!

I’m a big believer that your morning routine starts the evening before. Every night I set out my coffee needs (cup and top) and have the water ready in the fridge. I have my coffee already ground and store it for use in the morning. When the morning arises, I can quickly put it together while I am getting ready. I then put it in my thermos, and I am prepared to go. It’s quick, and it’s easy, and you don’t have to think about it.

I stopped going out for coffee in the morning when I realized it just wasn’t any faster. You’re probably not saving any time by making a 20-minute trip and waiting in line to get a coffee. It’s that extra step that will help you maintain your convenient lifestyle without having to give up your eco-friendly values.

Freezing prep for your meals
I love freezer meals. I measure it out so that one mason jar is enough food for one person. I can layer the rice on top of the beans and then add a sauce or vegetables. You can let them thaw overnight, and then you can throw it in your bag on your way to out or for a convenient meal.

You can heat the glass, but you have to remove the lid off the mason jar and put it in the microwave.

You can also save most of your glass jars and use them for this purpose. When you freeze something in a glass jar, make sure there is enough space between the liquid and the top since liquids expand on solidifying. When you heat up your to go meal, make sure to let it thaw and defrost naturally or the glass will be shattered and can cause harm, not to mention it is a pain to clean!

Yes, I know this from experience!

You can freeze individual serving sizes of things like hummus in little containers and just let them thaw in your bag when you head out. By the time you are ready to eat it, it is prepared!

Please remember, if you have plastic containers, it’s OK to use them to freeze. Just make sure that they are safe to be microwaved. Some plastics leak toxins into your food and your body.

Mason Jackets!
The condensation on the outside of the glass was causing a mess in my bag. The jar also can be sweltering and hard to touch with your hands if it is heated. I’ve been grateful for how convenient jackets are for my needs!

I love them, and they’re brilliant. The jackets come in a variety of different materials like silicone or cloth. You wrap them around your mason jars, they protect them from getting broken, and they protect your hands when you hold it.

It takes away a little bit of the stress during the day because I don’t have to worry about these small, simple things. I can go about my day without having to worry if the mason jar’s broken and caused a disaster in my bag.

Pre-chopped frozen veggies
Chop those vegetables up, put them in a container and fill it with water then pop them in the fridge. Not only do your veggies remain fresh and crispy, you always have a healthy snack at hand. Just think of eating crisper carrots and celery with your thawed hummus throughout the day. It’s like you went to the store on days you don’t have time to stop, and it requires less packaging.

It works wonders. The best part is that you could do this with almost any product, It’s comfortable, convenient, and helping maintain a cleaner Earth.

The multipurpose ice-cube tray
You can use the ice trays as measuring devices to measure the individual sizes of things like lemon juice or vegetable broth. You can put them in the ice tray, and then after they’re frozen, you put them in a jar, You’ll end up with frozen individual-sized servings in bulk quantities.

You could do the same with silicone muffin or cupcake pans for more significant portions.

You can also use your ice-cube tray to make homemade candy and other treats! One easy recipe is, buy chocolate chips, melt them down, put a little in the bottom of the tray and then add nut butter or fruit, top with a bit more chocolate, and you have package-free butter cups and bonbons.

Be creative
Instead of buying unique products that are marketed with “eco-friendly” agenda, you can use those everyday things lying around your house. For instance, instead of putting the leftover in zip locks or unique wraps or containers, just put the food in a bowl and close it with a plate. Alternatively, cut old fuzzy socks for jar jackets or you could even a knit or crochet. It’s effortless to make one of those jar sleeves and a great way to use up scrap yarn and recycle old clothing.

BONUS HACKS:
Here are a few simple tips that could help you along the way:

  • Prep your food for the week on Sunday nights, you could be watching Netflix or listening to some music.
  • Also, try storing herbs, green onions, celery, etc. upright in a few inches of water to retain its crispness.
  • Lastly, the plastic bins with screw-on lids are GREAT to reuse for things you buy in bulk and for art supplies like crayons or markers.

I hope these tips and hacks prove useful to you. They are effortless to execute and efficient. However, this might not work for all of you. You may need to be slightly altered your practices from time to time as life gets in the way. Just remember to be a little creative and find different styles and structures to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Let me know some tips that have helped you spare more time in the morning or in life, just leave a comment below.

Also, check out my Amazon Associate Store if you need some inspiration for your journey. Here it is: https://amzn.to/2YJdfbn