Zero Waste Dental Care

Have you ever thought about brushing your teeth with a mixture of Xylit, Baking Soda, Coconut Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil? No?
Then this article will hopefully be a game changer for you.

As you know, I recently started my Zero Waste program which also includes making my own toiletries. Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for Zero Waste toothpaste.

For one portion of toothpaste (lasts 1.5 to 2 weeks) you need:

1 Tbsp Raw, organic Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Pure Baking Soda
0.5-1 Tsp Xylit
10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Just double-boil it and stir it all together, fill it in a small jar, store it in a cool place and you’re done!

Here’s some information about the ingredients:

Peppermint Essential Oil: Essential oils are antibacterial, my dentist also recommends rinsing your mouth every now and then with essential oils.

Xylitol: Xylitol or Xylit is a type of sugar that has an antibacterial effect as well.
Sugar- good for your teeth? Yes, because the bacteria in our mouth thinks it can use the sugar but it actually can’t metabolise Xylit and it dies.

Baking Soda: Baking Soda increases alkalinity in your mouth since it neutralises acids because of its pH. Additionally, it has a small whitening effect on your teeth.

Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil is a good base for your toothpaste and it might help reduce bacteria that causes caries.

I’ve been using this toothpaste for two weeks before I went to the dentist and surprise, before I even told her about my toothpaste project, she said that my gums looked really good and healthy.
I asked her about the ingredients in my toothpaste and she was very supportive and said that she can really recommend making homemade toothpaste and especially using essential oil and xylitol.
Additionally, many toothpastes contain artificial colorings, glycerine and even small particles to „peel“ the teeth. This DIY toothpaste is perfect if you are looking for a natural and organic alternative. I also started buying bamboo toothbrushes that are bio-degradable. You can buy them at a package-free store for around 3€ and I am really content so far.

Have you ever tried making your own toothpaste?
Have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

Disclaimer: I am neither a dentist, nor a professional. All the information in this post is from a dentist and the internet.

What we ate in Thailand Part #1

Welcome back to my „Travel-What we ate-Series“,

today I would like to show you my (not so „instagramISH“ food pictures I took in Thailand.  Hope you like it!

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My first Mac’n’Cheese at the Bali airport, but on our way to Thailand 😄
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Pad Thai with tofu in BKK
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Fresh Lemonade in BKK
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A not so Thai Donut in Siam Paragon Mall
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Breakfast at the Eco Resort, Chiang Mai
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Mango Smoothies at Chiang Mai night market
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Pad Thai at Chiang Mai night market
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Mango Crêpe in Chiang Mai
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Pad Thai in Chiang Mai with tofu and eggs
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Waffles at the Mango Café in Pai
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Fried rice in Ao Nang
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Banana Split, not as good as the banana split in Bali
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Again, fried rice

I’m getting hungry writing this, asian food is so amazing!
Have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

 

 

Zero Waste Toiletries

Take a look at your bathroom cabinet, what is your body lotion packaged in?
Your toothpaste or your body wash? I know we already had this but I am always shocked every time I look at my bathroom.

What can I do about it? Make some products myself. 

The past few weeks I tried some recipes and prepared some articles about different products. This will also be a „critical“ Zero Waste series, since it is not that easy to find the right recipes that actually work, but you will see!
I just want to underline that I am not one of those „proselytizing“ (okay maybe a bit exaggerated) vegans or hardcore environmentalists, telling everyone what to do.
I mean, I won’t spend my summer at home (stay tuned, I will be sharing my plans next Sunday) and I will definitely not be able to make my own products during my travels, since you need a cool space to store them and I am NOT (yet) 100% plastic free.
Additionally, as you will see in the following weeks, it is not so easy to get used to these eco-friendly DIY products.

Alrighty, today I wanted to briefly share with you what kind of products I bought for my experiment and tell you a bit about it and why I chose them.

Almond and Jojoba oil:

Jojoba oil is extracted from the jojoba bush which grows in southwestern American states like Arizona. The woman at the pharmacy told me that the lipides are not ligated through glycerine, but through long-chained esters, which are similar to the ones our sebum (Hauttalg für meine deutschen Leser) consists of. Consequently, jojoba oil perfectly connects with our skin and is moisturising but not greasing.

Almond oil is a cold-pressed plant oil, made of bitter almonds. This oil contains important Vitamins like Vitamin A, D and E, but also different kinds of B Vitamins. It protects the „acid content“ of your skin and is also known to protect your skin a bit from the sun.

Essential oils:

Essential oils are usually produced in the plant’s leafs and stored in the plant tissue. They can be extracted through steam distillation.
However, essential oils do not contain lipides and are liposoluble (fettlöslich).
They are used for aroma therapy, perfumes, but also for different medical conditions.
I bought tea tree essential oil because it is good for your skin (but smells so bad) and peppermint oil for my toothpaste because it has an antibacterial effect.
You can also buy different essential oils in order to change the scent of your products of course.

Arrowroot powder:

This product is often used for cooking and to replace gelatin. You can buy it in any wholefood shop

Xylit:

Xylit (in Germany known as Birkenzucker) is a type of sugar and is almost as sweet as usual saccharose. Good thing about it is, that it does not damage your teeth and you are actually doing something good for your choppers 😄
I will get more into detail in my upcoming posts.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is supposed to have a natural whitening effect for your teeth, but you can also use it to make deodorant. I will talk a bit more about it in my DIY-Deodorant post.

Coconut oil:

I guess coconut oil is everyone’s all time favourite these days. It is good for your skin, you can cook with it, it has a low dripping point and you can use it as a solid oil as well.
You will need natural coconut oil for every recipe I will share with you!

Shea butter:

Pure shea butter has loads of Vitamin E in it, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids.
Using this amazing product, your skin will be more elastic and it protects your skin from UV radiation.  It is also good for people with very dry skin and neurodermatitis and eczema. It has no significant scent which tells me that it is actually a natural product without any added chemicals.

Cocoa butter:

Cocoa butter is of course vegan and you can use it for cooking and doing something good for your hair and skin as well.

Unfortunately, the only cocoa and shea butter I found in the stores were both packaged in plastic. But I thought it is my first try and next time I might order something in a jar online, but ordering online is not to great as well… Additionally, I like to support our local stores.
The problem with Zero Waste is that our (food-)industry is not designed to provide plastic free products and I try to avoid ordering on amazon.

However, what I love about this DIY project is that all the products are simple, mostly natural products without tons of added chemicals and perfume. The less ingredients, the better 😊

Hope you found this helpful!
Stay tuned,

Sophie

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Hello everybody and welcome back to my Zero Waste series!

A few weeks ago I posted my first Zero Waste Article, explaining the main points and my goals. Today I would like to share with you my first project – Zero Waste Grocery Shopping -!

Many people started to buy unpackaged food the past few years and many package-free food stores started their business. In my city, we also have such a store and I recently started to shop most of my groceries there, especially dry foods like Rice, Cous Cous, Seeds etc.
Now our local Zero Waste store is going to move to the city center which is quite exciting, since I hope that they will have a larger impact on the people in our city and encourage  them to reduce waste.

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Vegan chocolate at its best.

The idea of those package-free stores is pretty simple and I am sure most of you have heard of it.
Basically you bring your own jars and bags and spill your dry foods into your own sustainable package.
Cool thing is – it’s not only sustainable, it’s also so much fun and I recently started to really enjoy grocery shopping.

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Of course you can’t buy everything unpackaged but there are some simple hacks you can try in order to reduce waste.
At this point I have to underline that I only follow this lifestyle to a certain extent at the moment, but I really hope that I will improve within the years.
I strongly believe that we can have an impact together and reduce waste step by step.
Going „Zero Waste“ shouldn’t be another burden for you and you shouldn’t feel bad about yourself if you aren’t able to follow this lifestyle 24/7.
Personally, I feel that the main goal should be enjoying and appreciating this journey, showing respect to our beloved earth and feel good about making a difference.

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So here are some „rules“ I try to follow when shopping groceries:

  1. I buy dry foods at the package-free store and try recipes that include loads of good seeds, nuts, good carbs etc. Here are some of my favourites I always have in my kitchen cabinet:
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    – Brown Rice
    – Quinoa
    – Cous Cous
    – Bulgur
    – Wholegrain pasta
    – Chick peas
    – Red and brown lentils
    – Unripe spelt grain
    – dry soy bolognese
    – different kinds of seeds and nuts for salads
  2. I buy unpackaged fruits and veggies. Although people at a normal grocery store might be annoyed that they have to weight 8 apples without a plastic bag…however you could bring a reusable paper bag 🙂
    If they only have broccoli wrapped in plastic, I probably won’t buy it and look for an alternative.
  3. You can buy vegan chocolate and other kinds of sweets at the package- free store 😍
    I usually bring a chocolate jar, unfortunately most of the chocolate will be gone before I get home 😅

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  4. I avoid take away foods and prepare and cook as many meals as possible at home
  5. Buying at the local market supports local farmers and it’s environmentally more friendly to shop seasonal and local foods. (Unfortunately we don’t have home-grown bananas in Germany 😄)
  6. Due to sanitary and health protection, shops in Germany are usually not allowed to put meat, cheese etc. into your own plastic boxes, however some of the smaller/local companies sometimes make exceptions.
  7. One of the biggest problems for me is that I haven’t found any place yet that sells soy yoghurt in jars. I know you can buy cow milk products in bottles in jars but at the moment I am often trying to make my own oat milk. But unfortunately I am not able to make my own yoghurt. 😄

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As I already said, this lifestyle shouldn’t be a burden and I don’t fail just because I bought foods in plastic. Making a difference is very important and we all have to work together in order to reduce plastic and fight against marine pollution. It is so sad that there are several plastic „islands“ in the pacific ocean and that most beaches are polluted and full of trash. A few weeks ago National Geographic started a new campaign called Planet or Plastic? and I can highly recommend you to read it. We must not keep our eyes closed, we need a change.

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I love using an old smoothie bottle as a reusable water bottle!

What do you think about going Zero Waste and is this a project you will take into consideration?

I wish you all the best!
xx

 

Zero Waste Project – A Brief Introduction

img_0030Did you know that there exists a huge island consisting of plastic trash in the pacific ocean?
Probably yes, many people know that we produce and use way too much plastic in our daily lives and that this lifestyle damages our beloved earth.
However, there is still no solution for this problem besides from reducing the use of plastic.

 

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Visiting Indonesia was eye opening. I’ve never seen so much trash lying around and it was heartbreaking to see plastic bottles floating in the ocean and stepping into plastic bags while surfing in paradise. During rain season, all the trash gets flushed into the ocean and beaches are full of trash every morning. We need to change.

 

img_0029Why do I need a straw to have a drink?
Why do I have to buy food to-go wrapped in plastic?
Why should I get a new plastic bag every time I go shopping?
Why do I buy packaged food even though processed food isn’t even good for us (in many cases)?
Why do we rely on plastic?

 

Two weeks ago I watched a Ted Talks about Zero Waste, the speech was held by Lauren Singer, a young women who inspires other people to „go Zero Waste“.
I was so excited about this idea to reduce waste and immediately made a plan how I can stop producing so much waste and improve my ecological footprint.

img_0015The first step is probably to become aware of how much plastic we are actually using. It’s a lot.
Toothbrush? Made of plastic.
Toothpaste? Plastic.
Shampoo? Plastic container.
Even most „eco-friendly“ products are packaged in plastic.
Yes, it is really hard to completely stop using plastic, but we can at least give it a try.

 

Here are some of my ideas, on which I will elaborate in future posts:

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  1. Minimalism, having less and buying less leads to a decrease of demand, consequently less stuff will be produced.
  2. Buy unpackaged food, f.e. in package-free-stores, use your own bags and go to your local market
  3. Shop second hand
  4. Go digital and try to use less paper
  5. Learn to recycle and to compost

6. Grow your own veggies (might be a bit difficult, depending on where you live)
7. Make your own beauty products and use hair and body soap instead of buying big shampoo plastic bottles.
8. Make it a hobby, reducing waste should not be a burden, you are doing something great today that our earth will thank you for in the future! 🙂

 

img_0006I am very excited to start this new project and can’t wait to tell you more about it. I hope you enjoyed reading this and be prepared for my next „Zero Waste-themed“ articles.

Have a good week,

Sophie