Petition to reduce waste in Ottawa by eliminating single-use, disposable plastic cups, plates, cutlery and bags!

plastic free zero waste ottawa change petition earth day a dream lived greener i am mai art


Happy Earth Day everyone! In honour of today, I’ve started a petition to reduce waste in Ottawa to eliminate single-use plastics & bags in our city!

I, along with many others, would love to add Ottawa to the growing numbers of cities implementing a similar ban and need your support.

Refusing to use single-use plastic is one step, bringing this signed and supported petition directly to City Council is the next.

Please help us by signing this petition!
Click HERE to support.
Thank you in advance!


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plasticfree ban the ban ban single use plastics ottawa

Mattress pick-up in Ottawa

Zero waste ottawa mattress donation
Hey Ottawans,

Recently I had to go through the process of getting a new mattress and discarding the old one. We had a king-size mattress that we wanted to save from the landfill and donate because it was in good condition so I called around. To no avail, no companies would pick it up because of either the size of the mattress or because they stopped receiving mattresses due to bed bugs.

The places that I was referred to that DO NOT pick up used mattresses but DO pick up large, gently used, furniture were:

Habitat for Humanity – Fee for pick up
Canadian Diabetes Association – Free pick up
Salvation Army – Free pick up
GoodWill  – May be a charge
Helping With Furniture – Free pick up
St. Vincent De Paul – Free pick up

However, one man in Ottawa is a volunteer that picks up gently used mattresses of ANY size FOR FREE and donates them to people who are new to Canada.

Paul Dietz
Cell: 613-791-3877
Resettlement Resource Service Volunteers

Pick-ups will not be immediate and can take a week or more. Please have patience as it is completely volunteer run.

TIPS:

My strong recommendation to anyone purchasing a mattress in the future is to buy a protective cover for your mattress, especially a waterproof one if you have children. This will help protect it from bed bugs, wetness etc. and is helpful for furniture donation in the future.

When traveling, keep all of your clothing and bags away from the beds, floors and any places that may be accessible to bed bugs. As soon as you return home, leave your suitcases and bags away from your bedrooms (if it’s winter, you can leave them outside) and wash your clothing on hot. For more tips on preventing bed bugs visit this article: HERE.

If you have any other information, please feel free to comment below.

Simple 2 Ingredient Eyeliner

 diy-vegan-eyeliner

 

June 01, 2016:

I did it! I finally made my own eyeliner, and it’s vegan!  It was really easy. I have no idea why I procrastinated for about a month before finally making this.

Here’s how:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 tsp (or 4 capsules) Activated Charcoal
  • Distilled Water (I just used filtered, filtered by my Binchotan Charcoal Filter)

STEPS:

  1. In a clean bowl pour 1/4 tsp activated charcoal.
  2. Take about 2 drops of water (I used a wooden chopstick to drop and mix).
  3. Mix it up and continue slowly adding a few drops of water until charcoal is clumpy.
  4. Pour mixture into a small glass container or empty tin and pack down and smooth with your fingers.Make sure to use a clean pointed or angled brush when applying. Dampen the brush beforehand. You’ll notice it’s a little gritty, but that’s how activated charcoal is. Provided I don’t rub my eyes, this can last me all day and I’ve been using this for over a week now. Other recipes that used oil, I found didn’t stay on as long. But you let me know which works better for you!


     

    **Update (January 24, 2017) Now, I actually ONLY wet my brush and dip it into the container of powdered charcoal. I’ll take a little tiny bit of powder on the end of my wet brush and mix it together until it creates a paste before applying. 

INTERVIEW: Soap For Sale, the soap-making process

soapforsaleottawahomemadenaturalzerowastesoapottawacanada

**Just a note: This is a post transferred from our other site written on June 20, 2016**

Hey everyone! I wanted to give a little bit more background into the wonderful world of our soaps that we sell here, handmade by our permaculture, nature loving Mama aka Jodi aka Soap For Sale.

When I first went no ‘poo (meaning I quit conventional shampoo) I panicked but finally quit messing around and started to use Jodi’s soap and I haven’t looked back since. I actually got over the huge hair hurdle, don’t even use conditioner anymore and barely have to think about what my hair is doing. The amazing hair days are back in full force and lucky for me, the kinds I LOVE are 100% Vegan.

Both Jodi and I use this soap daily – for hands, face, body and hair. Sometimes we even use her plain, unscented all-purpose cleaning soap for our dishes, which is basically coconut oil, lye and water. We don’t sell this, but we can do custom orders.

We only use what she makes and have even converted most of our friends and family.

So, let the questions begin.


Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO SOAP-MAKING?

A: I really love soap and I used to spend a lot of money at Lush until I realized that most of their products contain ingredients I am no longer OK with having in my cosmetics. I first got into making soap around this time, which was about 7 years ago; I was starting to feel like I had very few practical skills and that I was very dependent on other people to make and do things for me. I began looking into how things are made and if I can do it myself before I bought something. I’ve learned how to make a lot of things now but I think soap is my favourite. I really love coming up with new recipes and I can hardly wait to unmould a new batch of soap to see how it’s turned out.


Q: WHY DO YOU USE LYE? IS IT NECESSARY FOR SOAP MAKING?

A: Lye is sodium hydroxide, a very alkaline solution and it is essential for soap making. Real soap is made with lye and is otherwise a detergent. When Lye is mixed with fats/oils (the acids), saponification occurs and both are neutralized, forming a salt. Once a batch of soap is finished saponifying, all of the lye will have reacted with the oils and there is no lye remaining in the finished product. Soap makers use more oil/fat than will react with the lye so that you have a gentle, moisturizing bar of soap. The standard is about 5% extra.

There are different ways to label soaps so you may not see lye/sodium hydroxide on the ingredient list. I label my soap by listing the ingredients that go in before saponification occurs because I think it is the easiest to understand. If I listed the ingredients as they are in the finished product, you wouldn’t see lye but you would see ‘glycerin’ (a natural byproduct of saponification) and the names for the saponified oils would be different; instead of, for example ‘coconut oil’, you would see ‘sodium cocoate’. A lot of vegetarians may be buying soap with animal fats if they don’t the name of the fat in the finished product.

For more information on how soap is made: http://www.soap-making-resource.com/how-is-soap-made.html


Q: WHAT DO YOU USE AS MOULDS?

A: Most of my soap is made in wood moulds that my husband made for me. I line them with parchment paper because I can compost it when I am finished, although most soap makers use silicone liners or freezer paper because the soap comes out with smooth edges. Freezer paper is lined with plastic these days so I don’t use it.

I also have a round silicone mold for making soaps and sun screens but I try not use any plastic and never any that I have to dispose of when I’m finished.


Q: SOME PEOPLE THINK NATURAL SOAP IS EXPENSIVE, WHY ARE THE COSTS DIFFERENT THAN STORE BOUGHT?

A: Buying my soap is more expensive than most of the soaps you find at a store because I try to buy ethically sourced materials. I am also a small business so I don’t get the better deals of buying in very large quantities. I use only essential oils for scent which are much more expensive than synthetic fragrances or perfumes. Essential oils are natural oils extracted (usually by steam or water distillation) from plants. Most of the soap you find at the store use synthetic ingredients that are cheaper, but also more harmful to your skin.


Q: ARE THE ESSENTIAL OILS YOU USE CONSIDERED HEALING?

A: The lye reacts differently with everything that goes into the batch of soap and so it is difficult to say what benefits you may get from the essential oils. From my own online research, it seems people believe that the essential oils do retain most of their beneficial properties. To be honest, I do not know very much about aromatherapy and the healing benefits of essential oils and because so much is needed in cold process soap, I use them mainly for their scent. For salves, I stick to the few I know more about. If you are interested to know a little more from someone more knowledgeable, I found this great interview about essential oils in soap making: http://roberttisserand.com/2011/06/essential-oils-in-soap-interview-with-kevin-dunn


Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO MAKE A BAR OF SOAP?

A: It doesn’t take very long to make the soap – just a couple of hours for all the preparation, making it and cleanup but it needs at least 4 weeks to cure. Saponification only takes up to 48 hours but as the soap sits, the water will evaporate and the bars will harden which is good because they will last longer.

DIY Chocolate Tooth Powder (Without Coconut Oil)

June 11, 2016

CHOCOLATE TOOTHPASTE

chocolate toothpaste zero waste ottawazero waste simple chocolate toothpaste

**Update (January 24, 2017) – I did purchase Tom’s of Maine toothpaste once, since writing this. I was dropping my son off at a weekend babysitter and completely forgot his toothpaste at home so I purchased it on the way. I now alternate (for my son and myself) between Tom’s and a simple 50/50 baking soda and cocoa powder. Sometimes I find that too much baking soda can cause redness under my son’s bottom lip, so I prefer to switch back and forth. He hates the mint taste though and actually prefers the baking soda. 


 

After creating many versions of toothpastes, I’ve settled on this (for now) because it combines healthy, natural ingredients and my son enjoys the flavour. I don’t claim to be a health specialist or anything, but I do know that the fluoride in conventional toothpastes isn’t particularly good for you and apparently scientists believe so too. I am able to create this in under five minutes.

SUPPLIES

  • 1 small sealable container
  • 1 chop stick
  • measuring spoons

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bentonite clay
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xylitol (you can leave this grainy or you can blend it in a coffee grinder for a finer texture)

Combine together and store in a small sealable container. When brushing your teeth, wet your brush, dip into the powder and use as needed. Avoid sharing the container with others to avoid the spread of bacteria.

In my FREE guide, the combinations in the recipe were a little different only because I had a smaller container. There is no right or wrong combination of each. You can change them slightly depending on how sweet (xylitol), chocolatey (cocoa powder) or salty (baking soda) you want it.

If you can’t find bentonite clay in your area, simply eliminate it. I use it only for additional health benefits. I would recommend you researching the health benefits of each ingredient.


Q. WHY DO YOU NOT USE COCONUT OIL? ALMOST ALL THE DIY TOOTHPASTES OUT THERE USE THIS INGREDIENT. 

A. In most recipes online, you will find the use of coconut oil. When I first started, I followed the exact same recipes, but now I do not use coconut oil. Why? I choose not to do this because the oil coats your teeth, preventing any of the other ingredients from penetrating and doing their main job. I only use it after (think of shampooing your hair, then conditioning) as a form of mouthwash. If you want more health benefits, you can do twenty minutes of oil pulling.

I don’t use coconut oil often, mainly because I am trying to avoid unnecessary coconut oil consumption. The demands of the western world severely affect the farmers in the Philippines (where I am from) and Thailand, where most of the coconut comes from. Do some research as to what goes on and please consider purchasing Fair Trade.