One Zero Waste Act, Many Benefits

1. 500 gram pots I was buying.

1. 500 gram pots I was buying.

I've wanted to do something about all the store bought yogurt pots I'm throwing out each month (I eat 8Kg of yogurt a month). I constantly went about refining how to cut down on my plastic consumption.

In the beginning I switched to larger yogurt pots so I'm making fewer trips to the store and saving on *some* plastic waste in the process.

2. Then I switched to bigger pots.

2. Then I switched to bigger pots.

When that wasn't enough:

I used some of the pots for my numerous plants making lightweight homes for various plants I've bought, lightweight matters because I can hang them more easily.

But after a few plantings, I've still throwing the rest away.

My last idea was to buy my own yogurt maker, I found I am saving enough money that I will pay back the investment in the yogurt maker, save money on a monthly basis AND I get the chance to eat a healthier yogurt than store bought, even if I was already buying greek style (already one of the healthiest).

From this third idea, I buy a much smaller amount of yogurt from a plastic pot as my starter culture, I buy the milk that comes in glass from 7/11 (the only place I’ve found that sells glass bottles, everything else is PET in HK).

So in summery I’m only throwing out some small plastic wrappers that secure the tinfoil to the top of the glass milk bottles, I can return the bottles and get a discount saving further money and the tinfoil is recycled. As you can see in the photos, the plastic wrappers are far smaller than entire yogurt pots so that's immediately better in terms of minimising my waste.

The milk I’m using and the 3 materials, glass, foil and plastic, two of which I can return or recycle.

The milk I’m using and the 3 materials, glass, foil and plastic, two of which I can return or recycle.

3. Amounts of plastic I’m throwing away compared (left), plastic wrapping from ten milk bottles that would make 8 portions of yogurt for me (right) the old tub I threw out that would contain 4 portions.

3. Amounts of plastic I’m throwing away compared (left), plastic wrapping from ten milk bottles that would make 8 portions of yogurt for me (right) the old tub I threw out that would contain 4 portions.

If I can make sure to look after my own yogurt culture, I'd hopefully never need to buy yogurt itself ever again, but I've already made 4.5L of yogurt from a store bought greek yogurt (0.5L pot) - I usually buy 8Kg of yogurt per month, so the difference is dramatic.

Fourth, greek style means you've got whey ( protein packed liquid) as run off which is useful for (1) watering tomato plants with because it's slightly acidic and I can use it to ferment other foods simply by mixing the whey with the fruit or veg, see link below (2):

https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/celeste-garden/beet-kvass-recipe.

So I'll be making that today for the first time and learnt something about food culture outside my own environment! I've even started soaking nuts (3) using the whey instead of water to better activate them.

There are even more uses for the whey besides.

Anyway, I just wanted to share because it's amazing how things are snowballing into different directions that I would never imagined just because I wanted to cut down on my use of plastic pots and have instead expanding my ability to make even healthier probiotic foods. Some of my friends even suggest I should sell the yogurt. I'm fermenting the yogurt at a minimum of 24 hours and my current batch is fermenting for 36 hours.

TLDR:

1, reduced my plastic waste drastically.

2, saved money making my own yogurt (honestly its so easy).

3, expanded my diet options.

4, educated myself.

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If you’re interested in saving money by going zerowaste, then download the podcast for more ideas.