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Creative break

Hey everyone,

you might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for a week. After more than a year of posting articles twice or even three or four times a week, I need a bit of a creative break. I will be back with more plastic-related stories, recipes and ideas in April. If you get bored in the meantime, check out my column on The bird’s new nest. The next article for “Mein (fast) plastik-freies Leben” will be online on the 10th of March.

See you in April!

A little break

ingloriousplastics on the road

Well, actually “on the road” might imply that I am physically travelling, which I’m not. I did, however, broaden my horizon: That means from now on you can find my thoughts on plastic on The bird’s new nest, a green lifestyle magazine.

autorenbutton

My first text on The bird’s new nest went online today. I’m so excited! Here’s the link. So if you can understand German, I would be happy if you checked it out and left a comment. P.S. I’m sure you will find loads of other interesting articles there as well!

Going green in Vienna

Tips for an eco-friendly weekend in Austria’s beautiful capital

Karlskirche

From organic soap heaven to upcycled decoration ideas – I had no idea Vienna would give me so much inspiration for ingloriousplastics. I went there in December (This was one of the reasons why I didn’t update my blog for a while) and absolutely loved it. The moment I stumbled out of the train I knew there were a bunch of things I would have to share with you. So here they are – my belated green travel tips for Vienna. I wouldn’t consider them a proper list of advice, it’s more like a little (very limited) collection of impressions.

Getting started: The city of Vienna offers an entire (!) website dedicated to “Weniger Mist” (less dirt) including tips on avoiding waste, eco-friendly grocery shopping and recycling. I found it to be a great resource. Unfortunately it’s only available in German.

Useful phrase: Kein Sackerl, bitte ­čÖé (No bag, please)

One of the first things I noticed: Vienna is home to the world’s most creative rubbish bins. That made me smile instantly.

creative rubbish bins

But encouraging bins weren’t the only thing that made me love this city. As a foodie one of my first destinations (after a visit to Konditorei Demel) was the Naschmarkt. From fruits, veggies and staples to exotic spices, fresh homemade pasta, dips and sweets, there is nothing you can’t find at this bustling place. There a lot of veggie and vegan options as well – and if you want to buy dips, olives and antipasti, you can of course bring your own container. In the middle of the market you can also find a little health shop with lots of organic and veggie products and a fair-trade chocolate shop called the Schoko Company. And make sure you try some things at the many food stalls!

Naschmarkt1 Naschmarkt2 Naschmarkt3 Naschmarkt4 Naschmarkt5 Naschmarkt6 Naschmarkt7 Naschmarkt8 Naschmarkt9

My best discovery, however, was definitely the little organic soap shop in the middle of the market. Alles Seife sells handmade natural soaps – a lot of them with certified organic ingredients – for all sorts of purposes (including shampoo soaps, shaving soaps, bath soaps, body butter, body scrub soap etc.). I couldn’t believe my luck. Ever since my skin revolted against Lush’s shampoo soaps, I’ve been trying to find a natural, plastic-free alternative. I bought an alge shampoo soap and a cinnamon hand soap for test purposes (at a very reasonable price, too) and I instantly became a fan of Alles Seife. Fortunately they have an online shop and if you live in the EU or Switzerland you can get their lovely soaps sent to your place.

Alles Seife1 Alles Seife2 Alles Seife3

The next thing that absolutely blew my mind was the Christmas market in front of Karlskirche. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a market as creative as this one (not to mention the impressive scenery!) The trees and benches had colourful “knitted dresses”, most of the stalls offered handmade (and even upcycled) products and the foodie stalls offered many regional and organic choices. Unfortunately you have to wait for another year for the next Christmas market to open, but check out the images and keep it in mind!

Market1 Market2 Market3 Market4 Market5

And if that wasn’t enough to convince me I suddenly spotted the coolest merry-go-round I had ever seen in my life. Bird cages, bicylces, old boxes – It was made entirely from trash. The kids seemed to love it just as much as I did.

Market6

On the way back to my place I stumbled upon another cool idea – using wine corks for decorating Christmas trees. I spotted this upcycled tree on Stephansplatz.

upcylced tree

Tired from walking around all day (no need for public transport, it’s very easy to explore Vienna on foot) I had a relaxed dinner at Sch├Âne Perle, a laid-back restaurant specializing in modern Austrian cuisine. They use a lot of regional and some organic ingredients and there are really good vegetarian options, too. On my way back home I would have loved to try a cookie from the “Kekstauschb├Ârse” (cookie swap) some kids seem to have organized. Unfortunately I was a bit late, so no cookie for me – but lots of love for such a creative city.

cookie swap

Of course there is so much more to see (I didn’t even start listing the sights…), but I hope that if you plan on going to Vienna this would help you a bit.

New Year’s resolutions

How to say goodbye to unnecessary packaging in 2014

Broken resolutions, anyone?

Broken resolutions, anyone?

Happy New Year everyone! Losing weight, exercising, being healthier etc. – Have you broken made any resolutions for the New Year yet? How about including “avoiding single-use plastics” in your list?

As for my part I decided to be a bit stricter with my shopping routine again. I could see how at the end of the year – no matter how hard I tried – my rubbish bin would fill up quicker and quicker. This was mainly due to big dinners that required a lot of preparation (and too little time to always go to the right places). So if you want to follow my plan and cut down on your single-use plastic consumption, you can get started with this useful list. Find a more detailed list on my blog (I just updated it).

For those of you who are too lazy to read it all, here are my best tips on avoiding single-use plastics. Some of them might seem rather obvious, but the more we spread the idea the better!

ingloriousplastics New Year’s pledge

  • Ditch plastic bags once and for all. Bring your cotton bag and re-use old plastic bags for things like loose salad or vegetables.
  • Get yourself a re-usable bottle and ditch single-use plastic bottles and bottled water.
  • Choose loose fruits and vegetables over packaged ones.
  • Buy things in re-usable containers (juice and milk in glass bottles, yoghurt in glass jars etc.).
  • Re-use and upcycle things. On ingloriousplastics you can find a lot of ideas for that. Just click through “upcycling“.
  • No matter if it’s bread or candy – Make more things from scratch. Click through my plastic-free recipes and explore!

And last but not least: Spread the idea!

I know that some people get annoyed by it, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it. Haters are gonna hate, you won’t change that. Single-use plastics are one of the main sources of pollution in the world and if the fact that I’m annoying someone with this just makes them think about it for a second, I’m already happy. So I hope I could give you some inspiration to get started. Happy New Year!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be light

A few hours of daylight, that’s all we got in this part of the hemisphere at the moment. So let’s make the most of it and enjoy light AND darkness. Here are some examples:

Lisbon

Lisbon

Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Stockholm

Stockholm

Talking about enjoying light and darkness: I’ve got such a busy week ahead of me, I won’t be able to update ingloriousplastics. Will be back on the 7th of December with loads of Christmas ideas and strategies for a plastic-free festive season.