Beautiful Vancouver, Canada! Where the bustling city meets greenery and our greatest gift, nature. Although we find many negative aspects of our actions and the negative effects they have on our environment, there are a large growing number of initiatives in Vancouver that is not only spreading awareness of preserving our environment in different ways, but also empowering others in the community to share their knowledge.
One of these is The Soap Dispensary and their recent workshop in which they welcomed Rashmi Aradhya to share her knowledge on how we can strive to achieve a lifestyle as close as possible to zero-waste!
What is The Soap Dispensary?
Vancouver’s very first shop specifically for premium soaps and refills, household cleaners, personal care products, DIY ingredients and fine edibles. In addition, The Soap Dispensary carries many zero-waste lifestyle goods as well, such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, containers, lunch boxes and so much more!
An initiative like this makes various positive changes in our community –
- Eliminates Single-Use Plastic and limits Plastic Pollution.
- Raises awareness of the problem and a solution for everyone one of us to be a part of!
- Decreases the requirement for our governments to use energy-intensive recycling systems, hence decreasing our carbon footprint
Meet Rashmi Aradhya!
Rashmi Aradhya is striving to live a zero-waste lifestyle through finding better alternatives to our daily needs while also focusing on many Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-As-A-Community initiatives to help people save their money and save our environment!
Rashmi is a Certified Master Recycler through Vancouver’s very own Waste Reduction and Prevention Education Program through Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)! Safe to say, we can learn a lot from Rashmi!
The 2-Part Workshop
Part 1 – Zero-Waste Kitchen
The workshop’s main purpose was to enlighten us on different ways to reduce food waste in our kitchens, package-free grocery shopping advice through Nada and The Soap Dispensary, sorting through kitchen waste, recycling and composting!
What is a Zero-Waste Kitchen? In a perfect world, which we can get quite close to, a zero-waste kitchen would include zero food wastage, using different composting techniques, zero single-use items, recyclable items over disposable plastics, and finally, no garbage!
Now I know what you all must be thinking, either the fact that you are all aware of this, or the fact that this is difficult – Rashmi was kind enough to create a document for us and I truly believe in knowledge sharing, so I’d love to share some of the key takeaways from the document! If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Rashmi!
- Make a list of things to buy! A lot of the times, as consumers, we go grocery shopping because we are fully aware our homes, our families, our children are all expecting different meals. However, without a list, a lot of the times, we end up purchasing things we DON’T REALLY NEED! It’s important for us to recognize this fact, and stick to the what you need, so you consume what you need and finish what you purchased
- Check for use-by date/expiry date of things in your kitchen – A lot of the times, we see the Best Before date and think it’s too late – however, this is just a marketing technique for businesses to get you to buy more! We’re humans, and we have amazing senses, have a sniff, and really check the product before you decide to toss it out!
- This was amazing – Use leftovers as ingredients to cook interesting dishes – Rashmi ensures that many dishes she cooks, can be used as ingredients in other dishes – take the 5 minutes to Google what you can use the leftovers for and make your DELICIOUS SECOND DISH!
- Use fabric kitchen towels instead of paper kitchen towels – think of it this way, less money spent on purchasing kitchen towels over and over, and less garbage!
- Carry your own shopping bags, reusable water bottles, and your own containers for take out food!
- Make sure to emphasize NO PLASTIC STRAWS OR CUTLERY when you’re out. Without us changing our behaviours, restaurants will never change theirs!
- Two types of composting methods
- “Vermi Composting is an aerobic method and uses worms to break down the organic kitchen waste into nutrient rich compost”
- “Bokashi Composting is an anaerobic method and uses micro-organisms to break down the organic kitchen waste into nutrient rich compost. Meat and Dairy Products can be added into a compost bin. This can be used in apartments too! (No excuses!)
- Buy in bulk from stores that sell-package free products (Nada and The Soap Dispensary)
- Use glass bottles and containers
- Use Beeswax wraps to carry your bread from a market or instead of plastic cling film.
Part 2 – DIY Beeswax Wraps
- Parchment Paper
- Cheese Grater
- Pre-Cut Fabric
- An Iron
- Place pre-cut fabric on parchment paper
- Grate the Beeswax onto the fabric – remember, you don’t need a lot!
- Fold the parchment paper over the fabric
- Use an iron to gently press and melt the Beeswax – not for too long! Just a couple seconds as you see the beeswax melt!
- Lastly, if it is not evenly spread, all you have to do is, use a paintbrush, spread it evenly and simply iron it again
Overall, it’s only a 30-second process!
Some advice I took away from this was that we need to
HONESTLY THOUGH…. BE EASY ON OURSELVES AND HAVE A CLEAN CONSCIOUS THAT WE ARE ALL TRYING ON THIS JOURNEY. SOME PEOPLE, WHO ARE EXTREMELY PASSIONATE, MAY STRESS OR MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES POSING CRAZY CHALLENGES FOR THEMSELVES! BE REALISTIC, AND COMMIT 🙂
HONESTLY THOUGH…. REALISTICALLY, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GO FULLY ZERO-WASTE FOR A LONG TIME. WHETHER IT’S TRAVEL, OR THE PENS WE USE, OR THE TRANSITION TO AN ELECTRIC CAR BEING UNAFFORDABLE AT THIS STAGE – HOWEVER, WE CAN ALL WORK ON DECREASING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT BIT BY BIT WHICH WILL ADD IMMENSELY!
HONESTLY THOUGH…. IT’S ALL ABOUT SUPPLY AND DEMAND – BUSINESSES AND STORES OUT THERE AREN’T DOING ANYTHING UNETHICAL BY SELLING SINGLE-USE PRODUCTS. THEY’RE STRIVING TO MAKE A PROFIT BASED ON CONSUMER DEMAND. IF WE STOP DEMANDING AND USING MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS HARMFUL TO OUR ENVIRONMENT, BUSINESSES WILL NOT BE PROFITABLE AND WILL CHANGE THEIR WAYS TO SELL ITEMS THAT ARE ECO-FRIENDLY, TO MEET THE MARKET TREND!