Going Zero Waste: DIY natural all purpose cleaner

By becoming a minimalist I have voluntarily decided to downsize my belongings to have a more simplified but intentional and conscious life. The point is being focused on what is really important to us, to eliminate distractions so we can be open and present for everything that really matters. 

For me this meant to be more careful to – and to have more time for – sustainable and eco-friendly living.

By growing up, I always got more and more interested in different ways in which I could be sustainable, but by pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle I noticed that I could do more about it.

The following recipe I am about to share is something I started doing a few years ago already, and now that I am more careful in producing less waste, I thought it was worth sharing to show people how quick, easy, inexpensive it is to make your own cleaning product that is also 100% environmentally friendly. Plus, if you compost, making this product is completely zero waste, if you don’t compost instead the amount of waste involved is really really low.

The recipe is not originally mine, so I don’t take the credit for it. I made my own modification though, because I’ve substituted the rubbing alcohol with drinking alcohol (non toxic and safer to use, but not less effective).

Recipe’s credit: http://www.naturalmentestefy.it/2013/09/28/detergente-allarancia/

This product can be used as a great alternative to those store bought all purpose cleaner: it works wonders, cleans very well and thanks to the ingredients contained can also disinfect, it smells really great and can be done with only 4 ingredients!!

schermata-2016-09-04-alle-22-56-38

The ingredients you will need to prepare 500 ml of product are:

  • 50 ml of vinegar
  • 50 ml of alcohol
  • 400 ml of warm water
  • orange peels (or any other citrus fruits peels that you have on hand)

Recipe:

  • put the orange peels into a large bowl
  • add firstly the alcohol and the vinegar
  • before adding water, press the peels using a wooden spoon making sure to squeeze as much juice and essential oil out of them as possible
  • after pressing them for a few seconds, add water
  • give the mixture a very good stir
  • leave the cleaner to rest for at least 24 hrs
  • use a strainer to strain the peels out of the liquid
  • transfer the liquid into a spray bottle for a more practical use

Let me know if you’ll give this recipe a try!! Go green and downsize your cleaning routine! Make sure to share this post and spread the word: being eco friendly and sustainable doesn’t require a lot of effort, time or money!

If you prefer, you can watch/share the video I made on my Youtube channel:

 

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Jen

 

 

BERLIN WEEK 26-28


Yes, I know. I haven’t been that much around here lately. 

After being quite involved in various things outside of my full time job, I felt like I needed a pick me up. These are the things I’ve been focusing myself on: slowing down, doing what I love with no pressure to do it all, and look at the beauty around me. 

I am always trying to do my own part in being responsible and sustainable as much as I can. Whenever it’s possible, I’ll go zero waste. You have no ideA how much this makes me happy and excited!!! 

I’ve been exploring my beloved Berlin a bit more, by going to a free tour at the Reichstag, by chilling in a couple of new parks, or by enjoying the famous Sunday’s karaoke. 

I’ve been trying to slow down: I’ve applied for the ‘Busy boycott challenge’, enjoying more what the present has to offer and trying to be more focused on what I love and I have around me that I like rather than thinking about what I have on my to-do list  

CAPSULE COMBO #6: SUMMER’S OVER..HOPEFULLY NOT YET


The weather has been quite crazy and unpredictable lately, at least here in Berlin. It has really been the greatest summer, so I was already in the mindset (sort of) that I had to start layering up and swap some clothes as a pre-fall prep. 

Today it wasn’t exactly sunny, but at least it has been warm enough to wear one of my favorite combinations for this summer. 

Of course I’m all about neutrals, so I paired this super comfy and airy printed b/w pant (unknown brand) with a plain black tank (Pimkie). I absolutely couldn’t  resist to wear my trusty black sandals (Birkestock),especially knowing that it’s probably one of the last chances to do it this year. For bag, I went with my black faux leather backpack. 




I ‘fancied’ the outfit with my white wooden earrings and my minimal stainless steel pendant necklace

Have a lovely day! Xoxo

Jenny 

BERLIN WEEK 25


I have to be honest. I have been quite busy since I got back from my holiday: people visiting, my social life that is (finally) growing, my Youtube channel which I am dedicating myself with motivation and devotion. I almost forgot how important was for me to go to this building this week and finally phisically get my residence permit in my hands after more than 4 months of waiting list. 

The one pictured is the Foreigners Office, a.k.a. Berliner Ausländerbehörde. 

This is, at least for now, the final point of my looooong bureacratic journey in Berlin. 😊

BERLIN WEEK 23-24


Getting back to my life after a whole week of holiday. While ‘getting used’ to relax and rest takes us usually no time, it’s a bit harder to get back into the madness of the daily routine… Thankfully, I had the chance to get the visit of two dear friends, which made me do one of my fave things ever such as touristing in my own town. It’s awesome how the excitement of a visit of a dear person makes us see everything in a different perspective and appreciate much more the beauty we have around us. ❤️ 

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY 1ST PLASTIC FREE JULY

Incredibly, July is basically over. I almost didn’t even notice it was July, it flew so fast.
This means it’s time for me to make a summary of my month in terms of plastic waste and everything I have learned from my first ever experience with the Plastic Free July challenge.

If you have never heard of it, read this blog post I made at the beginning of this month:

https://mylifeasjennytraeumerin.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/plastic-free-july/

I have signed up to avoid ALL single-use kind of plastic, and I knew already it was going to be hard. I live in a city that luckily gives me plenty of opportunity to avoid plastic if I want (if you check my latest posts on Instagram you’ll see a few examples). Unfortunately plastic seems to be EVERYWHERE nowadays, so I couldn’t keep it 100% plastic free, but this challenge teached me some precious lessons.

  • if you can’t go 100% plastic free, always choose the item with less packaging
  • of course, always prefer more sustainable alternatives to plastic, such as paper/cardboard and/or glass. For example, I recently found at my local supermarket 2 different brands of yogurt that instead of being packaged in plastic small containers covered with a foil and eventually a plastic lid on top of it, they come in glass jars that can be returned to the supermarket once they are empty, such as returning bottles. You pay a small fee when buying them and you get it back when you return the jars. Maybe some research is needed, but it’s totally worth it.
  • local food markets are the best way of buying unpackaged food, especially fruits, vegetables and eggs. Bring your own reusable bags and an old cardboard egg box and you’re done.
  • looking into your plastic trash is an awesome way to learn which is the biggest source of disposable coffee in your home and eventually how you can prevent it/reduce it. Unfortunately, most foods get packaged in plastic here in Germany, and I don’t have the chance to always go to food market or to the bulk store. So whenever I checked my plastic waste this month (which I have keep collecting on purpose to have a full overview of it), I noticed which were the items that kept recurring in the plastic trash bin. I truly suffered a lot when I noticed the amount of waste (especially plastic one) that is surrounding me everyday, but instead of focusing myself on everything I haven’t been doing right or I haven’t being able to do, I decided that it is better to be focused on and proud of what I have done and accomplished. Learn to refuse the plastic sources that can be avoided and, when inevitable, recycle that plastic properly and don’t toss it in the regular trash.
  • look at your daily habits. I have surprisingly found myself astonished when I realized how much plastic gets wasted considering I wear contact lenses on a day to day basis. I have been wearing daily contact lenses for ages (I started at the age of 16, and now I am almost 31…) and I seriously have never noticed what a waste of single-use plastic this is, because this was such a rooted habit for me, that I have never really paid attention to it until this challenge. I need to use two different kinds of lenses (one for each eye), so this means: 2 lenses x 30 days (days of the month) = 60 lenses per month. Switching to monthly lenses would allow me to dramatically cut down the plastic waste: 2 lenses re-used for 30 days = 2 lenses per month. This means using 2 lenses each month instead of 60 (a difference of 58 pcs. each month really makes the difference at the end of the year!!). So that’s why I have decided to switch to monthly lenses as soon as I will use up all of my daily lenses I still have at home. The point is trying to learn from our daily habits, and deeply analyze them to fully understand what can be changed to benefit our environment.
  • drinking less coffee cannot be that bad. I am super guilty of this one. At my work place, we have a Nespresso coffee machine that, of course, works with disposable capsules. I am fully addicted to my morning coffee (sometimes I even need 2 in one day) at work, and I have deeply thought of how that daily coffee can affect the environment. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it can make the difference, but it does. Multiply that daily coffee for 5 days a week, and then for 4 weeks a month, and then for 12 months in one year. That makes 240 capsules a year per person, considered on a daily basis of 1 coffee capsule a day. Making my own coffee at home and simply making a little bit of preparation in advance and bringing my own coffee at work (made with my Italian espresso maker, 100% plastic free), would allow me to be low-waste in the coffee department at work just like I am at home. I totally have to work on this one!!!
  • always refuse the 4 biggest source of disposable plastic: bringing your own re-usables is the way to go!! I took the habit months ago of keeping a re-usable cotton tote in my bag, and I just let it live there. So whenever I need it, I don’t have to get a plastic bag at whatever store I find myself buying something. Consider investing in a re-usable water bottle and carrying it with you wherever you’re going. If possible, ask for no straw when you order a drink (I tried this one and I failed when, for some reason, the waiter didn’t get that I didn’t want a plastic straw in my drink… so yes, I have collected two plastic straws during this month). And finally, take a few extra minutes to drink your coffee directly on spot or, if on the go, ask the person at the counter to fill up your cup instead of taking your coffee away in a take-way cup. These four are the biggest sources of single-use plastic that get wasted everyday and end up junking up or seas and landscapes. Being more conscious of the usage of these 4 items totally makes the difference, and can even positively influence those around you, creating the “avalanche effect”.
  • the menstrual cup is a heaven’s send. I had my troubles in using it and learning how to make it work for me, but things keep getting better and there’s no way I am going back to pads and tampons that are packaged in plastic and pollute like crazy. Investing in an item that can be re-used for years is not only cost effective, but definitely more safe and healthy and, more importantly, much more sustainable and eco-friendly. If getting used to a menstrual cup takes a bit more time and practice for you, consider using organic and natural pads as a “back up plan” to avoid bad surprises (yes, these pads are still disposable, but still better than the regular drugstore ones) or, if feeling more adventurous, re-usable and washable cloth pads. If you end up having some pads, liners and tampons that you don’t need to use anymore (once you are 100% confident in using a menstrual cup), give your disposable leftovers to friends or, even better, donate them to organizations who support women in need that can’t afford basic items such as, indeed, period essentials.
  • Nothing is impossible. A little bit of practice is needed and no big changes happens over night. Be a positive example and be open to learn something new everyday.

What do you do to cut down your plastic use? How did Plastic Free July go for you, if you signed up for it like I did? Let me know, I’d love to read that!!

xoxo

Jen

1000 subscribers on Youtube! | Thank you! | Q&A, ask me anything!

Hi there,

I know I already shared my happiness about reaching what for me is a true milestone… but I made a video to thank all of my subscribers on Youtube. Check it out if you want, it will mean a lot to me.

And I want to do a Q&A!! Feel free to ask me anything: about minimalism, my personal life, travels, life abroad, anything!🙂 I’ll be super happy to answer to you!

 

xoxo

Jen

MALLORCA (BERLIN WEEK 22)

A fun, nice, relaxing week in Mallorca. 

Learning to slow down thanks to the more relaxed and siesta-friendly lifestyle of Spain and a limited internet connection. Relaxing on the beach, exploring, enjoying what was around us and appreciating every single bit of this place. ❤️  

And having a couple of friends of ours living there made everything more special. 

1K SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUTUBE! Thank you! 

Hi there, I’m back! 😊

What have I have been up to lately?

Well… The first 2 weeks of this month I haven’t been doing that much… Just working and trying to be zen enough until my holiday arrived. And then I finally flew to Mallorca for one week (and I sooooo needed a break!)

Whilst I was in Mallorca, something amazeballs happened (and yep, I was so happy about it that I made a screenshot of this):


I have reached 1000 Subs on my Youtube channel. Me. Never ever have I ever thought so many people could support me by liking &commenting my videos and by subscribing to my channel. I started in September 2015 as a shy person who just wanted to share her thoughts and ideas and I couldn’t expect at all that people could be so kind to me and could find what I was creating and sharing as something interesting, helpful and engaging. And never ever I could know that working on videos could be such a rewarding and satisfying ‘hobby’.

My mind is litterally blown and I wish I could personally hug each one of my new friends, the ones that have been there since the early beginning, the ones who just joined the community and the ones who unsubscribed too, because I am sure they would tell me something I can learn from.

When I started Youtube I didn’t tell to anyone I know because I was too shy and I thought that the content I was sharing wasn’t good enough. But during these months, I learned that I will keep on doing what I love no matter what people thinks (haters gonna hate anyway, right?). As long as what I do can be helpful, informative and entertaining for even just one person out there, I’ll be happy and I’ll keep doing it.

Thank you so so much. 😍

Xoxo

Jen