Think outside the trash · Tips

First of all, only try this if you feel good, excited doing it. Ok? Remember: “New solutions should be exciting, otherwise they won’t last”

That’s something I always thought and tried to practice when I was running businesses in Santiago of Chile (yeah, in a corporate-city life context) and I proved it.

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Then I tasted it here in Costa Rica, living in a hotel in the middle of the jungle and in the countryside, in a permaculture farm. And now that I’m experiencing the city life in San José, I’m more than convinced about it 🙂

So yeah, this is the general idea and maybe is not something new for you, but if it’s not, I’m sure is going to be a nice way to give you context about the tips I’m going to share with you:

1st REFUSE

The best trash is the one that we do NOT produce! Refuse what is unnecessary, what you can make on your own or replace with something more sustainable. Ex.: that’s why I started making soaps.

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2nd REDUCE

Focus consumption on true needs and improve resource management. Remember that there is a huge difference between needs and wants. Ex.: I love clothes but, after buying all the fast fashion (before knowing about it), I decided to learn about minimalism and bring joy into my life through natural, simple, sustainable and meaningful clothes.

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3rd REUSE or REPAIR

This is an opportunity to be creative, transform things, find another use for them, save money and share time with people being creative. Ex.: next photo it’s from the restaurant I co-founded a few years ago in Chile. Its deco was based on recycled things.

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4th COMPOST “Let nature do its job”

Compost is a magical process of nature where everything which is biodegradable becomes nourishment and helps make our gardens and forests bountiful! Ex.: healthy soil provides healthy food.

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5th RECYCLE “The last resort”

Recycling requires a lot of resources and it also generates waste. Let’s use it only as a last resort.

OK! here we go!

with some tips I’ve being practicing “doing my best” since 2017, for my personal life, when I’ve being managing restaurants, being in charge of the kitchen, also organizing events.

Whatever your lifestyle or job is now, I’m pretty sure you can apply at least some of the following tips:

Mostly when we go shopping, because waste does not only occur after we buy: much more waste occurs before we buy.

Local is the new black!

transporting products that come from far away requires a lot of energy, and they often also require more processing and packaging

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Refuse processed food let’s try 80% organic and 20% processed

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Refuse single-use plastic Using plastic cups/straws to just have one drink…you know. Use eco-cups or reusable ones (metal). Are you going to have a “pipa fría” in Costa Rica, do you really need a straw?

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Reduce consumption focus on true needs and improve resource management. Ex.: “value what you have” produce with what you have. And if you need to get something you don’t have, try local sources. 

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Refuse multinationals Buy natural, organic, local and seasonal. Maybe, start trying 50-50% and then 80/20%.

Replace plastic and aluminum wrappers. Use reusable containers 🙂

If you really need to use paper towel, try a compostable one, or replace it for towels!

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Refuse Plastic Bags

thinking about Groceries / Storage / Packed Lunch or take-away food / Cleaning

When you go shopping, use a backpack, cotton or compostable bags

Try to make your own bags with clothes that you don’t wear anymore or buy them locally, or ask to someone that would love to reuse that clothes. If you do it, could be also a lovely moment to spend more time with yourself/family/friends.

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To store your food, use reusable containers or for example: just leave the fruit uncovered and then when you are going to have another refreshing piece of watermelon, remove a thin layer from the top.

What about trashbags? try compostable ones or to wash the bins.

Refuse Plastic Sponges and Lighters

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Use compostable sponges/small brushes (made out of wood

and plant fiber or similar)

Use long matches instead of lighters (they can be composted!)

Refuse Packaging & Chemicals

Increase your food production or/and Buy local, seasonal and organic food.

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During the last year I was living in Santiago of Chile, I used to grow some food; potatoes, beetroots, celery, tomatoes, legumes, garlic, leafy greens…and I tell you, those were magically tasty!

The rest of the food, I just found it in local farmers markets.

Make (or buy) natural soap for dishes (solid, so you can rub the brush on it)

Make (or buy) natural detergent.

Replace store-bought juices and milks with natural or even homemade ones (get a blender!) or buy an organic and local alternative.

Replace cans of coconut milk

with homemade coconut milk or buy an organic and natural alternative (remember, try first 80/20)

Also, if you like and buy veggie milks, always check the labels and ingredients. Sometimes I’ve found in some almond milk boxes, that the higher percent of milk comes from rice and not almonds… and that’s ok! but Why would it say almond milk? 😉

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Replace traditional body care products

with local or homemade natural products in reusable containers.

Ups! very important if you like traveling:

Wherever you go,

and you generate trash,

take your trash with you.

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Another thing could be interested too!

Have you ever had a little mouse in your place?

Try an effective & natural Repellent for Rats in your house!

Yep! I’m saying: No toxic poisons or snap traps, no mess, no cleanup, easy to use.

You can put peppermint and cinnamon in reusable/cotton bags in your place (mostly in the kitchen) and replace it every month for best results.

I also recommend growing peppermint around the house 😉

And please remember,

I’m not saying you should do this or if you don’t you are going to be a bad person LOL!

Could you even imagine that?! Nope, I’m just sharing my experience,

maybe you can take what you think is useful for you now and then you also create your own way to do it 🙂

Pura Vida!

“Who knows from where that sunscreen’s bottle came from!” I said looking at the beautiful ocean, from a boat, in Galápagos islands – Ecuador,

I was surprised! ’cause trash was everywhere, even when locals and tourists that visit those natural places do care more about it, or at least they try!

But yeah, water is always flowing and taking all the trash with it wherever it goes.

“Trash does not just disappear. It is burnt or dumped in rivers and in the sea”

Nataly

While I’m having my morning coffee and being super excited to meet Sophie again 🙂

She was one of the first people I heard “I’ve never had meat”… yeah baby, new generations!

January 27th of 2020 San José, Costa Rica