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Showing posts from September, 2019

#42 - Saving wasp instead of letting it drown

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A wasp decided that the “Aperol Spritz” in the drink of my friend is very tasty. But because he was a bit to greedy, he almost drowned. With the straw that was in the drink (I’ll come back to that), I managed to get him out and put him on the ground. He needed some time to get the sticky drink of his wings, but he made it.

#41 - Sapindus mukurossi shells instead of detergent

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A friend of my mum told her about an alternative product for washing cloths. And she told me. It is purely biological she told me, as it apparently consists of shells from Sapindus mukurossi fruits. You just put a few of these shells in a bag, put this bag with the cloths, put 10 drops of essential oil in and you are ready to go. Sounds just as easy as using normal detergent, right? Well, it is. I never tested it with cloths that are really dirty, but I can say that it works really well for cloths that just need refreshing.

#40 - Using hair soap instead of shampoo in a bottle

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Shampoo in a really thick plastic bottle ... I don't know how many years I've been using such products without thinking about it. Now I can’t stop noticing how much plastic is used here. So I've been trying other things to wash my hair, such as rye-flour. That didn't work very well for me, so after one of my friends told be about hair soap, I was eager to try. And I'm pleased that it works perfectly! And even better, I was able to buy it without any wrapping.

#39 - Using net for shopping instead of taking a bag

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Recently, I found nets that can be used for shopping. So instead of for example in a supermarket put vegetables in a plastic bag, I can use these nets. Now I have them, I also used it for buying bread in the bakery. The sales person at the bakery was very willing to put the bread in there.

#38 - Making a pile of branches as home for insects

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I hear a lot about the fact that these days there are a lot less insects. And I notice it of course. For example: I used to catch a lot of flies with the sun cream on my arms during cycling; these days, only a few flies get stuck. But what can I do to help insects? I did some research and found* that one way is to create a pile of dead branches. As I had some branches lying around for a while anyway, I created such a pile. I hope it helps! * https://www.natuurpunt.be/pagina/algemene-tips-voor-insecten-je-tuin

#37 - Reusing bag for waste bin instead of throwing it away

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During a trip, I bought something that came in a paper bag. Instead of throwing it away on the way home, I decided to take it with me. Now it is sitting in my waste bin to be filled with garbage. This gives the bag a second live and therefore saves one.

#36 - Using rechargeable batteries

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Even though micro-SD is becoming more often the way to recharge batteries, I still have a few devices that need the more old fashioned AA- or AAA-batteries. I am using rechargeable batteries to make sure that I have to throw away as few batteries as possible. And I’m glad that the local supermarket takes the ones that I occasionally do have to throw away, so they get at least disposed properly.

#35 - Not fully opening tap whilst showering

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When I take a shower, I make sure that I don’t fully open the tap, so save water. When fully opening the tap it feels that doing so causes an unnecessary amount of water pour down the drain. And as I take warm showers, this also reduces the amount of energy that is needed to heat up the water.

#34 - Leaving grass after mowing instead of getting rid of it

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When I mow the grass in my garden, I usually leave the grass on the ground. This works great as natural fertilizer. Also, I don’t generate biological waste that needs to get processed.

#33 - Using leaves from garden instead of bought tea

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As I promised yesterday, I found an even better way to brew my tea. I remembered that I have mint in my garden, so with fresh leaves, I can brew delicious tea. The good thing here is that I not only reduce waste, the tea also doesn’t have to travel the world to end up in my cup. This saves transportation costs, including fuel.

#32 - Using a tea infuser instead of tea bag

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In #21, I promised to look for alternatives for tea bags. I found two. The first is to use a tea infuser, which is better because this tea is sold in one large bag and in some shops only the leaves. I herewith can definitely reduce the amount of waste. I’ll tell you about the second one tomorrow.

#31 - Buying butter in wrapping instead of cup

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I used to buy butter in a plastic cup as you can see on the left. I still use this cup, but I every time fill it with another type of butter that comes in merely a wrapping. Yes, this is similar to the decision I made in #7, but importantly, in the hotel I couldn’t change their purchase anymore, but I can at home.

#30 - Pulling out the plug when charging is finished

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Some chargers still use electricity even when no device is attached to it for charging. Therefore, I pull out the charger whenever it is done. I have to admit that I also sometimes forget, but well, no one’s perfect :-).

#29 - Filling waste bag to reduce number of required bags

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This one is related to #4. Not only do I use my bags well by flattening my waste, I also put in as much as possible before taking a new one. The bags are made of plastic, so each additional bag causes more plastic waste.

#28 - Turning off shower when soaping my hair

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In # 9, I spoke about taking shorter showers. This one is related as it also saves water. During soaping my hair, I decided to turn off the shower to save water. I have to admit that I got a little cold, but that made the shower even more wonderful afterwards.

#27 - Eating ice cream from cone instead of cup

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I love ice cream and always eat it in a cone. I like the taste of it but also hate the waste that is caused by using a cup with spoon. The cup you can see on the picture is biodegradable according to the info plate that was displayed. But it also says that it takes a maximum of 5 years for these cups to degrade. Even if it’s 3 years, that is way too long for me!

#26 - Using lid so that heat remains in the pan

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When I cook, I use a lid so that the heat remains in the pan. One important reason to use it is that it saves energy. Also the water boils quicker and when using a wok, my vegetables are ready sooner.

#25 - Heating up water for tea below 100°C

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Every morning, I drink a cup of tea and on the weekends a pot. But boiling water and then wait to let the water cool down again doesn’t make sense to me. So, I started heating water for a pot at 90°C and for a single cup of tea at 75°C. I have to admit that while writing this, I wonder whether this is a problem for whatever reason. A brief search in the internet tells me that some teas are actually tasting best with a lower temperature. Excellent, because that means that there are two good reasons to do it this way. And I love doing things for more than one reason!

#24 - Turning down fridge when leaving for more than a week

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As I eat the food that I buy to reduce food waste (see also #18 ) and give away the left-overs to my neighbors when I leave (see a lso #23), m y fridge is almost empty when I’m gone. Therefore, I turn down (when leaving for one to two weeks) or completely switch of my fridge (when leaving for more than two weeks). This saves a lot of energy.

#23 - Giving away left-overs before going on holiday

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Sometimes I don’t manage to eat all the food from the fridge before I go on holiday or on a trip. This is great when I can eat it during the journey. But when it is too much or I can’t bring it, I give the left-over to my neighbors. They are always happy to take it, either for themselves or for their guinea-pigs, and I am really pleased that I don’t have to throw it away.

#22 - Opening window instead of using ventilation for fresh air

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My house has a ventilation system for fresh air. I appreciate and use it sometimes. But whenever possible, I open a window or if it is too cold outside open the bathroom door. And when I use it, it has this great functionality that when I turn it on and after one second off again, it only runs for about 7 minutes.

#21 - Buying tea bags without extra wrapping

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As I drink quite some tea, I buy boxes that merely contain tea bags: I find it unnecessary to put an extra wrapping around it. I guess that this bag is important for hygienic reasons in a public place for example at work, but not at home. And while writing this, I realize that it of course would be even better to buy tea without any bags. I’ll give that a try later.

#20 - Using storage box instead of plastic bag

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I love eating cheese, especially one specific Dutch type. For a long time, I have been storing the cheese in a plastic bag. But after a while, the bag became so disgusting that I threw it away. So one day, I asked for Christmas a box to put the cheese in. It works great as I can clean the box and don’t have to throw anything away*. * Okay, I still have to throw away the wrapping from the shop, which is something to consider for a next blog post.

#19 - Cleaning brush in glass instead of under running water

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In a previous post (#3), I already mentioned that I love crafting. This includes painting. In the past, I cleaned my brush under running water until I got the hint to use a glass with water instead. That this saves a lot of water is so obvious, but I didn’t see it myself. So I’m grateful I got this pointed out. Now I always do it this way, and look how colorful the glass becomes after a while.

#18 - Finishing food instead of throwing it away

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In my cupboard with food, I found bread without carbohydrates. I know who bought this and I also know why I had to finish it. So I had to choose between three options: 1. Throwing the bread away 2. Leaving the bread until it has gone off and I can’t eat it anymore 3. Eat the bread before it has gone off Well, even though I don’t like this kind of bread – I think it tastes spongy – I chose option three.

#17 - Using normal instead of plastic cutlery

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With one of my friends, I went for a walk and pick-nick. Of course, we also brought cutlery. We would have to carry less weight when bringing plastic forks and spoons. But throwing them away afterwards was not an option for me, so we brought normal cutlery. And as my cutlery has bright colors, it made our day even happier.

#16 - Flushing toilet with as little water as possible

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I’ll make this one short ;-). Most toilets allow visitors to flush different amounts of water, or allow flushing to be stopped. Without having checked this fact, my toilet uses 3 or 6 liter. So, I choose well :-).

#15 - Drying cloths on a laundry rack instead of using drier

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I have to admit, deciding to use a laundry rack takes a bit more time than using a drier. But while putting the cloths up, I usually listen to some music so it is not so bad. And it just feels better to only use the drier in case my cloths – or usually bed sheets – need to get dry fast. Not only do I use less electricity, my cloths wear off less quickly too!

#14 - Reducing temperature and washing time

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With my washing machine – and I guess most can – I can choose the temperature and the time it takes to wash the cloths. The standard setting of the program I pick is 40°C and 2,5 hours. I have tried whether it works just as well to wash with 30°C and only about 1 hour. And it does, which saves a lot of energy.

#13 - Filling washing machine instead of leaving it half empty

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Whenever I use the washing machine to wash my cloths, I make sure that it is properly filled. Leaving it half empty is I think a waste of electricity and water, as the machine then needs to run twice for the same amount of cloths.