Change of location, change of habits

Hello there! Long time to see.

I moved flats a month and a half ago, and this has changed my habits. I live in the same area, so have access to all the same shops as before. However, my new flatmates have a new way of doing things, which I hadn’t anticipated. In all my previous flats, each person bought their own food. Some things were shared (teabags, milk, etc), but for the most part each person was in charge of their own “stocks”. In this flat, however, everyone contributes to a kitty and we all share the bought food.

This does mean, however, that I don’t feel comfortable continuing the zero-waste lifestyle  in this context. How could I justify imposing my methods to the other three people? How can I justify spending more than necessary (even if it is justifiable, in my eyes), when we all share the costs? We all have different budgets for food, depending on our priorities, tastes, lifestyles, and dietary habits. I don’t want to upset the balance this flat already has, and have melded in to their way of living for now.

After a year of zero waste, I’m also rediscovering a lot of joy in small things. I have been strict about what I buy, and have deprived myself of quite a lot of things I love, because they are not available in bulk where I live, and because I don’t have the time to make them myself. For example, pasta has been making me very happy!

There are still some things that this flat buys in bulk: laundry/dishwasher liquids and oils, for one. Today’s bulk shop:

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Sadly, the dishwasher liquid is not refillable, so we will use the tub as a food tupperware.

So I guess my mission from now on is to actually do the long-awaited maths to see what items of food are cheeper bought as bulk, or as packaged. Thus some stuff can still be bought package-free, to the advantage of everyone involved….

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Iced tea

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Where I work, we make iced teas. We make mean iced tea.

At home, I have one type of tea, Christmas tea I brought back from home last winter. I have been meaning to go to a tea shop and stock up on herbal tea since I finished my packets a while ago, but it’s not up there on my list of priorities.

When it was really hot a while back, I was craving a really cold, fresh drink, and made my own batch of iced tea. It reminded me of the craze I witnessed when I was in Montreal in 2015 for David’s Tea iced tea sets, where you could buy tea that is specifically aimed at being cooled. Anyway, this bottle also comes from work – it used to contain Sriracha sauce.

I think the right type of iced tea would be a lovely summer drink to bring to a friend’s lunch or dinner.

Breakfast

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We had a few days of heat and that morning I had run out of bread and did not feel like hot porridge. I had one banana left and was struck by the coolest idea of the week: smoothie.

I never make smoothies because I can’t anticipate the reward enough to care, and will happily just eat fruit as it is. BUT. This smoothie is banana / soya milk / honey / peanut butter – and we all know how I feel about peanut butter. It is DELISH. I made the smoothie, poured it into a jar, and hopped on my bike to work.

I bought these two croissants from the supermarket and carried them to the cashier, holding them in one hand and handing over a few coins with the other. No one cared.  I ate in the grass, drank my milky liquid, and went to work. BREAKFAST RULES!

Honey!

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I never thought I would find a way to eat honey without throwing away excessive amounts of packaging, but there exists a way. Ed’s Bees in Glasgow re-uses the jars! You can bring them back from where you bought them (I buy mine from Locavore).

It’s amazing to think that the parks I walk through ans the gardens I walk by are the pollenating grounds for Ed’s bees, and that the honey is produced so locally.

 

Setback

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I am ill. My head feels like a balloon and I sound like an 80 year old chain smoker. After a meeting this morning, I decided to buy a juice-tox, because I haven’t been taking care of myself as well I should. I was in panic “I need to get home” mode and thought it wasn’t worth the guilt. I guzzled my juice and was left with this.

Once more, this post is exposing my constant battle with preparedness.

Gifts

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I’ve been given a few food items recently and I’m not at Bea Johnson’s stage of refusing medals from mayors  and refusing even the smallest of gifts is difficult. So I accept and guiltily eat away.

To anyone who has been living zero-waste for a long time, I’m sure it’s easy peasy to refuse things like the above. But for me, it is so counter-intuitive and against everything I have ever learnt – to refuse a gift (and especially a gift to me as a host) (and especially food).

I tell myself that I’m still a newbie and still transitioning relatively quietly i.e. not shouting about it on the rooftops, therefore it’s up to me to make the decision of when to alert people to my lifestyle.