Increasingly, it is getting harder at your local grocer to be plastic free and when COVID arrived, pretty much impossible! But the positive side of that is I am finding small local businesses that offer plastic free options with a smile. 😀
If you haven’t already visited, I would like to introduce you to Fraser Orr’s Butcher & Deli in Saanichton, BC. A beautiful selection of meat with no plastic, wrapped only in butcher paper if you ask and chicken galore. My fave is the asparagus wrapped chicken breast, no coatings, just lovely tender chicken, asparagus and provolone.
Next, I would like to introduce you to The Farmer’s Daughter. This lovely little fromagerie, Bistro and wine bar is located in Sidney, BC. A bit of a dilemma with the cheese in their case, it is all wrapped in plastic to keep the flavours from spreading. They have a special cheese wrap, but there is some plastic involved. Solution, they sell cheese storage bags that are re-useable and are happy of course to place your cheese in these. The bags (in a package of 15) sell for $16.99.
While changing to plastic free may be a challenge at times, when you search for solutions, you meet wonderful people who encourage rather than dampen the plastic free enthusiasm. Last year I watched a YouTube launched by our own UVIC as part of Ideafest 2020. The data is staggering that we must break our plastic addiction.
It's fantastic to see the bulk food options have returned almost fully at most grocers and glass milk bottles are making a comeback, so if we all get on board with that, maybe it will help drop the price.
Every little thing we do makes a difference and as a community, we make a huge difference. In less than 6 months we saw Tru Earth laundry strips go from online only, to Ecotopia, to Home Hardware and then Fairways. Big steps to get it out to the general public when there is demand. Now when will English cucumbers be free of plastic?
#butcher #fromagerie #FraserOrr #FarmersDaughter #buylocal #ditchtheplastic #freetheenglishcucumber
Through support from Piers Island Association and grant funding from CRD, we were able to put together and film this presentation about how every consumer has the power to #ditchtheplastic
I was able to buy the products that I'd found and use them as draw prizes for our audience, which was present with masks (only 6 people) or there via Zoom. I apologize in advance for my Ums, which were many...but I hope you come away with inspiration to try and change the way you buy. I had to remind myself today...when buying green relish - choose the glass, not the plastic!
Thank you for watching, please hunt out these fantastic refill stations in your area and spread the word to "ditch the plastic".
Another great find at Ecotopia Naturals in Sidney. Miiko Skin products are refillable, yes! They are also 100% Fair-Trade, Non-Toxic, Cruelty free and Gluten Free and made locally. What could be better. The 4 oz bottle is $27 and to refill the bottle is $24. All Miiko products are $3 less to refill the bottle. You must use the same bottle and it needs to be cleaned before refill, except for serums.
There are quite a few skin care products including sunscreen - the link will take you to the Ecotopia product page.
I was using a bar soap, but this is just so much nicer for the face. And they are in glass dispensers.
#refillable #skincare #glass #shoplocal #yyj #buylocal
Well, I finally took the plunge and changed from Brita to Soma. What was the big deciding factor? Well, there were two!
1. My old Brita was not BPA free
2. No one wanted to recycle my Brita filter, so...
When I went looking for something new, I found Soma, with compostable filters that last 2 months. BPA free and a cool design with excellent taste ratings were sellers for me. Unfortunately www.drinksoma.com does not ship to Canada so you can not get regular filter shipments for free, so thank you Amazon.ca, I purchased the 6 cup size as my fridge always seems to full and it did come with a filter. I wasn’t sure, so I purchased an additional 2 pack, so I’m set for a while! Very happy with the look, the floating fill hole and great tasting water. 👍👍
I've been posting new products as I find them on the New Finds page and I wanted to update on a couple of them because there is some good and some bad, or rather...disappointing.
First up - the good news - Tru Earth Laundry Strips. I've bought my second package and will continue to use them. No more lugging laundry soap, hooray! Ecotopia in Sidney sells them by the package or you can buy from the company direct on a auto-supply basis for a cost savings for families. I don't do that much laundry, so I would rather buy as I need, #supportlocal even though I pay a little more.
I'm still using the silk dental floss - it's been wonderful. And my fave bar soaps from SoapWorks are olive and the cucumber/calendula.
#newproducts #barsoap #refillstations #toothpaste
I started this post in January 2020 and since COVID-19, home baking has sky rocketed to the point that in early March flour and yeast became extinct species, eggs and butter were rationed and still the shelves are often bare of flour and yeast. It feels like a big score when you find some.
The two things that I find myself needing to remember, is that while I am still committed to ditching the plastic, I am also very thankful to the farmers and the various companies that provide baked goods. Hopefully post COVID-19 we will be able to purchase without plastic.
In the meantime, I want to share with you two recipes that have proven winners over and over and are super easy, I am a lazy baker, so they are Pauline Proofed! The recipes have been adjusted to work in an 8 cup Cuisinart Food Processor. I told you...easy! :)
I finally got to finishing this post, as I'm waiting for my bread to rise and just popped in the oven. I was really lazy today and did no pinching...it rose much higher today and I've got gaps! So...maybe pinch!
#lazybaker #homemade #baguette #energybars #chocolatefix #nutlover
The great strides that were being made for a world with less plastic, have been decimated over fear of the COVID-19 virus. Bulk foods have been shut down, as of today in British Columbia, Canada, you may no longer us your own bag in a store. (Correction- Thrifty Foods yes if you bag your own). Buying anything not covered in plastic has been an almost insurmountable challenge. For the time being...
What good things have come out of this? Your local butcher is no doubt seeing an increase in business and people are doing more baking and cooking at home, so there is less fast food packaging.
I'd like to give a shout out to Ecotopia Naturals in Sidney, BC who have stepped up with an online shop and I got free, same day delivery! They were featured in a previous Blog and have a Soap Refill Centre and many other natural and plastic-free products including Tru Earth Eco laundry strips. I bought those from Ecotopia as I didn't want to do a subscription. A little more money than a subscription but I don't do that much laundry, or as I tell my friends...much of any housework! :)
Visit your butcher, your baker and remember if you are getting take-out food - ask for no plastic utensils and help cut down a little bit of plastic.
Growing your own garden is great, but don't forget to support your local farmers too!
The popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" is about all we can do and be kind to each other.
Here's hoping we can return to normal soon and once again ask to #ditchtheplastic.
#smallbusiness #localbusiness #localfarmers #localheroes
- article reproduced with permission from Russell Nursery
No one cheerfully pays $6.99 for a plastic wrapped cauliflower flown in from afar. All those flimsy plastic bags in which we pack any number of fruits and vegetables? So bad for the environment! And don't even get me started on stickers ... the bane of shoppers and organic gardeners everywhere!!
Do you want a way to avoid these plagues of modern life? The solution is within your grasp! Grow your own produce. Why? It can be less expensive, involve far less plastics, and you won't ever see a single sticker again!
Starting fruits and vegetables from seed can be extremely rewarding. From sighting the first sprout of green to harvesting delicious and healthy ingredients to compose your supper, being involved in food production gives a rare sense of power and well-being. Seed starters have a hand in creating life and, through cultivating and consuming the food they grow, can also be confident that they know where their food came from, how it was grown, and that it is nourishing.
We carry West Coast Seeds, Salt Spring Seeds, and Pacific North West Seeds. These companies specialize in seeds that thrive in our climate. We also carry the seed starting supplies you need to get you growing whatever your circumstances. Do you only have a sunny window sill? Try our sill-sized seed starter trays. A north-facing condo that is cool with low light? Perhaps a Growlight Garden light set and heating mat will be just the items you need to start some herbs and vegetables this spring.
Choosing the right seeds to grow well in your particular light and soil conditions is important too. Our staff are happy to help you choose wisely. Perhaps you'd like to sow your seeds in plantable pots that decompose as the summer progresses, such as our pots/pods made of coconut coir that can be directly set in the soil. Not quite ready to take on seeding everything yourself? Try planting raspberry canes, herbs, strawberries, potatoes, onion sets and/or vegetable starts.
Whether you have a greenhouse, raised bed, backyard, an acre or two, a windowsill or something in between, we can assist you to find a way to grow your own. Once started, in addition to eating the best tasting produce ever (once you have homegrown lettuce, you'll never want store bought again) you'll also be contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases (your cauliflower will no longer require jet fuel for delivery!), you'll reduce plastics in the landfill (only a bowl will be needed to harvest), and you'll dispense with stickers altogether! And that's a good thing. Enjoy!
#gardenveggies #growyourown #spring #seeds #noplastic
I put out a challenge to island neighbours to walk the shoreline and collect all the junk they could find. Several took up the charge and made a difference in their area. There was a surfeit of styrofoam of all types along the shore. Much of it was broken up in to smaller pieces that could be mistaken as food by fish. The photos above were shared by friends and neighbours who participated and recorded their finds to share with others.
The next question was what to do with it? In our area, Island Return It will take styrofoam if it is dry (not water logged). There are a multitude of different types of "foam" and not all is recyclable, so you need to bone up on your recyclable materials. I wanted to know the end result of styrofoam recycling and found some interesting Youtube stories on the process which can be large scale, or very small. It was good to know that it is very successfully recycled - but then it's back again in another form!
We need to protect our oceans and every bit of garbage we pull off the beach helps. Most garbage ends up ashore, however briefly, within one week of entering the waters. If we continually monitor our beaches and collect the garbage, we will save it from enlarging the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and save a few fish along the way. We are all connected.
I encourage anyone who has waterfront property to take a stroll every few days on the high tide line - you will be amazed what you collect. If you are not on the waterfront, then visit your favorite beach and take a stroll. The walks will benefit us all and recycling the found materials will help the oceans and all marine life.
#beachwalks #hightide #collecting #recycling #styrofoam #singleuseplastic
By Pauline Olesen
The first Piers Island Beeswax Wrap workshop was held today at the Firehall. We were using a method and recipe that I found on YouTube by Crafty Patti. We used her fave method, I forgot a few steps, but we worked through it anyways. So...things we learned...we had a full group of 12 booked, 3 couldn’t make it and really it was so intense, 6 would have been an ideal group. There were waits for the irons and the wax kept cooling and slowed down the process. In the future, we will ask everyone to bring their own ironing board and iron.🤣. With respect to the wax mixture, we will have a way figured out for next time, to keep the wax hot and do it like Craft Patty! We probably only got half as many wraps made as we could have because of the cooling wax and limited irons that we also should have had on higher heat. Lessons learned!
Regardless, I think everyone had a good time, made a few wraps each, learned the process and would be happy to do again if they wanted more. Scroll down for the recipe we used in a downloadable and printable format.
Sharing the discoveries of how to #ditchtheplastic in our lives.