Help Yourself

Zero waste blogs and shops

New year, new resolutions!

I bet that Zero Waste came to mind already, but because you are afraid to start, or you think it’s too difficult, you didn’t really put it on the list.

So I’m here to show you that a lot of people started and continue to live zero (or close to) lives!

Blogs: 

http://zerowastebloggersnetwork.com/

http://www.zerowastehome.com/

http://www.trashisfortossers.com/

http://ecocult.com/

http://eco-boost.co/

http://myplasticfreelife.com/

Shops in France: 

http://daybyday-shop.com/

http://biocoop.fr/

http://bio-c-bon.eu/fr

http://www.lavieclaire.com/

http://www.greenweez.com/

http://www.lamazuna.com/index.php

http://www.ecologie-shop.com/

http://www.beaute-au-naturel.com/

http://www.sans-bpa.com/

These shops provide either organic products or zero waste alternatives, or both.

Remember, going zero waste takes a lot of time, so… take your time without feeling too guilty. 

If you want to go even further: zero waste is not enough.

Eating local food, less meat and avoiding planes will lower your carbon footprint a lot faster than a zero waste lifestyle. 

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences with us! 🙂

Hugs,

Iulia

photo credit: http://www.letsdoitworld.org/system/files/uploads/zero-waste-home-uk.jpg

 

Village des Alternatives – Alternatiba Paris septembre 2015

J’ai eu la chance de participer à l’événement organisé par Alternatiba le 27 septembre, place République, au stand de Zero Waste France. Même le soleil a été au rendez-vous, du coup la journée était parfaite pour rencontrer et partager avec les gens 🙂

On a eu plein des questions sur les solutions qui existent déjà ou sur les solutions qu’on pourrait mettre en place afin d’avoir un monde zéro déchet, ainsi que plein des partages sur ce que chacun fait déjà de son côté pour diminuer le poids de sa poubelle.

WP_20151006_012

Personnellement, ce qui m’a fait le plus plaisir et m’a rendue triste à la fois, c’est le fait que les gens nous ont dit que Alternatiba leur a apporté plus des idées et de ressources utiles pour changer le monde que les politiques ou les initiatives politiques locales en général.

Cela veut dire que Alternatiba a été un vrai succès, mais aussi qu’il faut prendre encore plus les choses en main si on veut changer le monde, car les politiciens ont vraiment beaucoup de mal à s’y mettre…

Voici quelques initiatives/ associations que j’ai découvert :

http://www.paris.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/environnement-et-espaces-verts/dechets/reduire-et-recycler-ses-dechets-114

http://mcarre.fr/

http://en.calameo.com/read/00281275705887a02574b

http://www.lerelais.org/aussi.php?page=ding_fring

http://www.amisdelaterre.org/Comment-sortir-de-l-obsolescence.html

http://www.riposteverte.com/barometre-pap50

http://www.fullmobs.org

http://www.ateliers-souris-verte.com/home

http://www.france-libertes.org/-L-eau-bien-commun-de-l-humanite-.html

http://ecole-du-carton.fr/

http://www.les-alchimistes.com/

http://www.cerclederesistance.fr/

http://www.mangerbouger.be/IMG/pdf/enfant_et_nutrition-2.pdf

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1761917247/addbike-accordez-votre-velo-au-rythme-urbain

https://www.climategames.net/fr/home

http://www.informaction.info/iframe-science-technologie-comment-reparer-ne-jetez-plus-reparez

http://dm-compost.fr/

http://www.solicites.org/

Et voici quelques réponses aux questions les plus fréquentes :

  1. Où acheter en vrac ?

Sur Paris même, vous pouvez acheter en vrac dans vos AMAP, à BioCBon, Biocoop, Marché sur l’Eau… En 2016, DaybyDay et La Louve (supermarché coopératif dans le 18ème) ouvriront leurs portes sur Paris.

Pour les achats en vrac, vous pouvez utiliser des bocaux, créer vos sacs avec des chutes d’Emmaus, ou sinon les acheter, par exemple sur http://alterosac.com/ (Florence est géniale !), http://sans-bpa.com, etc.

WP_20151006_003
  1. Où acheter des cosmétiques en vrac ?

J’avoue, je n’ai pas cherché des solutions là-dessus, personnellement je fais les miens.

Quelques solutions :

Corps : utilisez l’huile d’olive en tant que lait de corps, et un savon sans emballage acheté chez Biocoop, BioCBon, etc…

Dentifrice : deux recettes ci-dessous

Brosse à dents en bois, produits d’hygiène intime, produits sans plastique, etc. :

http://www.bebe-au-naturel.com/

http://www.sans-bpa.com/

http://www.greenweez.com/

Dentifrice :

Recette 1 : 2 cuillères à café huile de coco, 1 cuillère à café bicarbonate de soude, quelques gouttes de votre huile essentielle préférée. Nous l’utilisons depuis quelques mois maintenant, elle est très bien, mais comme je veux utiliser des ingrédients locaux, je vais bientôt essayer la recette #2.

Source : http://www.trashisfortossers.com/

WP_20151006_007WP_20151006_008

Recette 2 : 1 cuillère à soupe argile blanche, 2 cuillères à café bicarbonate de soude, ¼ cuillère à café de sel fin, ½ verre d’eau bouillie et 2 gouttes de votre huile essentielle préférée. Comme expliqué dans le magazine, si vous avez des problèmes de gencives ou autre avec ce genre de dentifrice, vaut mieux demander l’avis de votre dentiste (ils connaissent des recettes eux aussi !) avant de continuer.

Source : http://www.modesettravaux.fr/article/creez-votre-dentifrice-naturel-5441

N’hésitez surtout pas à partager vos idées zéro déchet ou toute autre initiative intéressante, ou, si vous avez testé les recettes, vos propres résultats ! 🙂

Iulia

Crédits photos : archive personnelle, sacs créés par moi-même avec des chutes de tissus de http://www.sewetlaineleshop.com/ et dentifrice faite maison (recette 1).

photo Alternatiba : https://alternatiba.eu/paris/

DIY – coffeegrounds bodyscrub for a zerowaste life

If you’re a coffee lover, this one’s definitely for you!

WP_20150531_002

Because I wanted to reduce my waste, I tried to find ways of using coffee grounds.

I first tried it on my flower pots, then on the drain.

One that didn’t work for me was putting it in the fridge to remove odors – what worked though was a glass of boiled milk that you leave in there for a couple of hours 😉

Then I decided to use it on my skin as a scrub – and it actually works very nicely!

The main benefit is, of course, a very smooth skin, and it also helps my blood flow.

I use two coffee spoons for my body and only a pinch for my face.

Make sure you use a highly moisturizing cream/oil after your shower so that your skin is protected.

Here are some other ideas on how to use coffee grounds or make a body scrub:

http://www.elle.com/beauty/news/a14975/diy-coffee-cellulite-scrub/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicaprobus/amazing-things-you-can-do-with-coffee-grounds#.yw5dwDDoB

http://www.instructables.com/id/Biodegradable-flower-pots-out-of-coffee-grounds/

Let me know how this worked for you 🙂

Iulia

credit photo 1: http://inhabitat.com/the-pothra-flower-pot-is-made-from-recycled-coffee-grounds/

credit photo 2: personal archive

Why I decided to do an MBA – and why I quit  

Why I decided to do an MBA

The idea of an MBA was bugging me for years. Around 9 years, to be exact. mba

But because I come from a developing country and have a certain type of culture, I thought I could never do it. I didn’t think I was good/smart enough, and my university teachers were not helping me either.

Back then you wouldn’t hear much about international programs, like Erasmus or Leonardo da Vinci, for example, which are for undergraduates. You had to know someone that knew someone that had already done it. Anyway, for a while I stopped thinking of it.I started working at 20, created a career plan in my mind and followed it. Until one point, when I realised how little I knew, how vast knowledge is and how conditioned I was because of my job.

What also contributed was the fact that I decided to leave my country and start working in France. After you leave behind all the stereotypes related to it, you discover a country full of bright people who want to live in a better world, that value their heritage and don’t just follow others. That made me want to do the same!

So after 2 years of living in France, I started thinking that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, maybe create a “social economy” project, and change things for the better in my birth country, or even the world. And what better way of learning how to run a business when you have no experience? After searching, I finally decided for a school in London.

Yes, it’s an expensive city and the MBA’s are expensive too. But the experience you get cannot be measured in money. Plus, if you’re a good negotiator (which I am not, yet) you can convince your company to pay it for you, or you can find a crowd-funding source or a scholarship. As I am writing this, the first MBA session is finishing. We didn’t take any actual courses yet, but we already have assignments (great teaser for the brain!).

During these 3 days, I have met amazing people from all over the world(Tanzania, Italy, Cameroon, USA, Lebanon, etc), who not only want to know more and make more money – they also want to improve their environment through innovating projects that can help their countries.

Feel free to contact me if you want to know more about the MBA world – it’s a complicated one if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

I wrote this in October 2013, when I was embarking at the same time for a new job in Paris. So here comes the “Why I quit” part 🙂  

In the months that came, I was too busy with work and couldn’t continue with the MBA so the plan was to go back a year later.

But as I was rediscovering Paris, something changed in me – slowly but surely….. I started to do most of my grocery shopping in an organic store or in a local farmers market. I started working in an NGO and donating money/time to others (in France, 66% is paid by the State when you donate), started to crowd fund a lot more than before and did other “social” or “green” activities.

The time went by, and one day, after a meeting with a banker for a study loan, it hit me – I didn’t need an MBA to make a difference in the world. I didn’t need an MBA to prove myself that I am smart.

All I had to do was to write down my ideas and start changing things one step at a time.

So that’s what I’m trying to do now: buy vintage (second hand), buy organic and local, consume less electricity and less water, etc. And this is only the beginning!!

As for the MBA, I’m sure you’ll take the right decision 😉

Credit photo: http://motivationandchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/time-for-change.jpg http://www.edumirchi.com/mba-as-a-career/

Your career and corporate companies

In two months from now, I will be celebrating my 10 years work anniversary. It seems like I started working ages ago, but I still remember most of my colleagues and what I was doing in my first job.

Anyway, this made think about my experiences, my managers and what I like and dislike in multinational companies.

So, in short, here it is:

5 Things I like in the corporate world

  1. You open your mind

Because in most companies being n° is very important, you’ll always be constrained to find new ways of selling your products, improving processes, etc.

  1. You work with people from around the world

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford to travel the world these days. So, working in a company that offers an international environment is amazing, because you learn a lot about other cultures and, again, you open your mind.

  1. You discover (some of) your talents

You may discover that you have a talent to train people, to speak in public, to resolve complex issues or to analyze data. Personally I thought I could never speak in public or deal with customers, but my previous jobs allowed me to see this differently.

  1. You have a secure job

Yes, I know, this one’s arguable… But if you’ve done your homework, you know when things go wrong in your current company and it’s time to move on, or when it’s time to change roles, etc. From my point of view, no job is safe and no company is perfect, so it’s up to us to make sure we’re in the right place at the right time.

  1. You get your “time to shine”

Personally, it’s not something that interests me, but I can tell you that when you are praised in front of 500 colleagues, you’re kinda proud of yourself.

foxconn-protests

5 Things I don’t like in the corporate world

  1. Competition

Competition is good in general, but in corporations it can get really ugly. You get caught up in other people’s fight, or just because you do your job and keep a low profile people are scared you might take their job, etc. Having gone through that, I can say it’s very disappointing. But if you know yourself well enough, nothing can stay in your way J

  1. Same salary for years

When you have been with the same company for a few years, they tend to give very small salary raises – because they know you’ll stick around, they are no longer focused on how to motivate you. So it’s up to you to work really hard and get a huge promotion or to come with an outside offer to see how valuable you are to them.

  1. Managers

In my 10 years of working experience, I respected only 4 direct managers out of the 8 I had. Out of these 4, I admired 2. Is this a good ratio? Not for me (or maybe I have too high expectations??)! What about you, what qualities should a manager have from your point of view?

  1. Job change opportunities

Depending on the company policy, sometimes it’s really hard to get a promotion or to move to a different department. It can be because you didn’t get any training during your time with them, so you could not acquire new skills, it could be because they prefer to recruit externally or simply because they don’t have any available positions that might interest you.

  1. Higher Management

This one’s very tricky, because it can affect all the other items I mentioned before. If the higher management is really bad and has no long term vision, or all it wants is profits and has no sustainable goals, you’ll have no job change opportunity, no salary increase, you’ll have bad managers and bad team spirit so a lot of negative competition.

I will not say any more about my own working experience for now, but I’ll tell you one thing: no matter where you work, you can have bad managers and working conditions, low salaries and so on.

But it’s up to you to stand up to them, to know your skills and to make sure you make the most of your career.

If you are looking to change your job, here are some interesting websites: the first shows you the best companies to work for in the world (I don’t entirely agree with the list, but it’s a start!), and the second how you should prepare for job interviews.

http://www.greatplacetowork.fr/meilleures-entreprises/best-workplaces-europe

http://www.humanworkplace.com/

And please, do let me know what you like and dislike in your work environment! 🙂

INA

photo credits: https://yougotagift.com/blog/corporate-rewards-with-egift-cards/ and http://www.ukfast.co.uk/blog/2012/02/10/apple-factory-protests-escalate-as-foxconn-hacked/