There are several different ways to make zero waste coffee like the French press, reusable cotton coffee filter and pour over coffee maker, Turkish coffee, and the percolator. Those are some great options although you need the equipment to do it.
Alternatively, there are also refillable, reusable capsules and biodegradable pods.
The refillable pods very often get negative reviews when it comes to the quality of the coffee they are making.
The biodegradable pods are often called Zero Waste but I don’t think they deserve it. You can find detailed information about biodegradable coffee pods on Zero Waste Man’s website: Why changing to biodegradable coffee pods isn’t the answer.
For all of the above-mentioned ways to make zero waste coffee some kind of equipment is required. And in the end, there is always a bit of spend coffee grounds left.
But here is good news for you:
There is a 100% natural, super simple, and quick way to make coffee, and you can use it ANYWHERE without special equipment!
A young Haarlem based company just came out with a breakthrough when it comes to zero waste coffee:
Liquid coffee beans!
It’s called Magic Coffee and comes in black glass bottles. The ‘liquid coffee beans’ are used like an instant coffee (in liquid form) but it does have a really amazing taste.
They also offer a bottle of Iced Coffee Sirup to make Iced Coffee speedy and simple.
Magic Coffee’s mission is to encourage the drinking of tasty fresh coffee while significantly reducing the waste mountain of capsules and the environmental impact of recycling them.
I personally think they are absolutely on the right track. The coffee does taste great! I’ve never liked black coffee in the past due to the bitterness. But coffee made from just a spoon of the liquid coffee beans from Magic Coffee and some hot water makes a round-tasting black coffee that I even enjoy drinking without any add-ons. No bitterness!
And the best thing is that it’s much easier to make than coffee from pads or capsules. One spoon ‘liquid coffee beans’ plus hot water and your cup is ready. Or you add whatever you like best in your coffee. But the point is, you save one coffee capsule with every cup you drink.
I would even think it might save space in the kitchen since you don’t need the special machine, nor a bunch of different capsules for all the different coffee types your guests or family members or roommates or co-workers prefer. You can make any coffee type you like with Magic Coffee, cold and warm, even coffee-infused cocktails.
The Ingredients of Magic Coffee
The ingredient list of Magic Coffee is wonderfully short: water, arabica coffee, and cocoa. No artificial stuff, no E numbers, all is 100% natural.
The Iced Coffee Sirop from Magic Coffee additionally contains cane sugar so you can easily make iced coffee, enhance desserts, even use it in cocktails.
Make it anywhere
Since there is not much equipment needed to make Magic Coffee, it’s hands down the best coffee for a camping trip. I used to take a small french press with me in the past. Even on our Grand Canyon trip. We carried a french press, pot, and mini stove, cups, a tin with coffee grounds, water, and a container for the used coffee grounds all the way down Grand Canyon.
A small bottle of Magic Coffee instead would have saved a lot of space in the backpacks.
Give it a try!
You can now find Magic Coffee in the oodles and pinches online shop. With your first order, you’ll also get a set of recipe cards (plastic-free) and a reusable measuring spoon.
The US, Germany, and the UK respectively are the three nations using the largest amounts of toilet paper. An average American needs a shocking amount of 141 rolls per year – that’s one roll in just over two and a half days. Often, this toilet paper is made from virgin wood pulp and comes packaged in plastic. That’s a high environmental cost to pay.
Using sustainable toilet paper and reduce your overall consumption is an easy way to have a positive impact. Whether you’re going all the way to zero waste, or just hoping to reduce your impact.
Sustainable toilet paper options
Let’s start with the basics. What is the best sustainable toilet paper option? Much of the toilet paper we buy today in supermarkets is made from virgin wood pulp. This is contributing to deforestation. An alternative is recycled toilet paper, which is significantly more sustainable. However, be aware that recycled toilet paper often contains BPAs, which are a health hazard.
Bamboo toilet paper seems to be a great option, thanks to the many environmental benefits associated with bamboo. It grows much faster than an average hardwood tree and produces 35% more oxygen. It also doesn’t need to be treated with pesticides because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and provides more yield per area.
That’s why you can find bamboo toilet paper at oodles and pinches. It’s completely plastic-free, vegan, and not made from trees.
Reduce your toilet paper need with a bidet
Some countries like France have a much lower consumption of toilet paper. They have a tradition of using bidets. These nifty installations can drastically reduce your toilet paper consumption. While the traditional bidet needs to be installed and plugged into the plumbing in your home, there are cheaper and more accessible options.
HappyPo is a portable bidet, which is a hand-held device that works just like a conventional bidet – but at a fraction of the price, without the need for any structural changes to your bathroom. And since it’s portable you can also use it when you’re traveling, at work, and in other places.
A family cloth may be right for you
There’s another zero waste option, which you may want to try – although it’s certainly not for everyone. Family cloth is a set of washcloths, which is either stored in a container or in a roll. Instead of toilet paper, you’d use these washcloths and wash them after use. Most often, they’re used with bidets rather than on their own, which makes them a lot more sanitary. However, opting for family cloth does mean that you need to do quite a lot of laundry. On the other hand, it means that you’re not flushing any toilet paper down the sewage – a great zero waste option.
There’s no one answer to what’s the best sustainable toilet paper solution. My preference is a combination of a bidet to reduce consumption, along with bamboo toilet paper. However, what works for one person may not work for another, so give the different options a try and see what’s best for you!
24 rolls Bamboo Toilet Paper SubscriptionFrom: 20,95€ every 5 months
32 Rolls – Bamboo Toilet paper SubscriptionSale Product on saleFrom: 26,90€ every 5 months
HappyPo Portable bidet1,99€ – 24,99€Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
Bamboo Toilet paper6,99€Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
You found out about Zero Waste Lifestyle and this new way of living resonates with your values. But since there so many resources out there (blogs and books for example) and a lot of recipes for things to make from scratch it can be somewhat overwhelming in the beginning.
Before you start digging in your trash can, make sure to separate your organic waste. You can buy a fancy compost bin somewhere or simply use a bucket with a lid. This bucket or bin you put next to your trash can and all organic waste goes in there except for meat and bones. So any type of veggie or fruit peels or cores, food left overs, egg shells but also coffee grounds, tea (without the tea bag), even the cardboard rolls from toilet paper.
Now find a way to getting rid of the contents and that will greatly depend on what’s available in your area. Hopefully you can get a green bin. Or even better you’ve got a garden and can make a compost. If not, maybe a worm bin is for you. If all those options aren’t for you, maybe you can find a friendly neighbor who has and would be willing to take green scraps from you. Also look for larger gardens in the area, maybe there is a compost option there?
We’ve grown used to disposable products up to the point that we’re not even realizing how much waste they create. Find the disposable products that you are using and consider switching to a reusable alternative. For example handkerchiefs: Maybe you can find some lovely cloth handkerchiefs at your local 2nd hand store, or maybe your grandma still has some she could share with you. Another example for a disposable item often used is the plastic straw. There are reusable alternatives made from bamboo, glass and metal. The plastic shopping bag is also one disposable item that can easily be replaced with a reusable alternative. Or those plastic ear swaps! There even reusable ear swaps available made from bamboo.
There are often things in our homes that we either bought in the past or received as a gift, that we don’t use any longer. That happens with clothing and other things like electronics and toys and kitchen tools. Pick a time and date for your first decluttering session, like for example 2 hours on Sunday. And then review all the pieces of clothing in your closet. All of them. And for each item, ask yourself if you really need it. Or if you in reality wear it. Some things we just keep because they were gifted to us and we would feel guilty not keeping them. But there might be another person out there would absolutely wear those pieces. So maybe you can let go of them?
After the decluttering session you might have a bundle of things that you’re willing to let go. Now you can either try to sell them online, give something to friends or find a nice 2nd hand shop where you can donate them. There is a list of 2nd hand shops and also online places where you can sell things in this Guide to Zero Waste in Haarlem.
When you’ve managed to find a nice 2nd hand shop make it a habit to look here for things you need. Many tools for the kitchen and books and toys can easily be found in 2nd hand shops. And if you have kids, 2nd hand shops will save you a ton of money since kids are growing like weeds and need new clothes all the time.
Everything is easier together. Once you’ve done the steps above, you’ll be ready to look into the details, product by product. It can take time to find a good alternative solution for so many things but if you find a group of people that are on the same look out, you can help each other out. So maybe consider joining a Zero Waste Group. There is one specific for Haarlem and one for Amsterdam. Both are in English. If you’re looking for a Zero Waste Group in Dutch, have a look at Zero waste/less waste Nederland.
- Switch from liquid soap and shower gel to soap bars. You can even ditch the shampoo and conditioner bottle and use shampoo bars and conditioner bars which your hair will love.
- Rethink your dental care. There are lots of options to get rid of the plastic in that area too: Bamboo toothbrush, plastic free floss, plastic free toothpaste and powder…. Click here for zero waste dental care.
- And how about plastic free deodorant (also vegan and free of any nasty ingredients btw.)
One important point to always keep in mind:
Don’t get stressed out in the process! You don’t have to be perfect, it is not a contest.
Every thing you can change for the better is just that: it’s better!
A word upfront: This page is work in progress.
This is a growing guide for eco-friendly living and going zero waste in Haarlem. It will be updated and added to. So it’s worth checking back again over time. And if you happen to know a location or business that would fit well on this list, just let me know.
If you’re a business owner and would like to be considered for this list, send me a message as well.
Second Handshops in Haarlem
This is simply an amazing place! You’ll find here preowned Materials for handcrafts including paint, buttons, fabric, paper… a ton of stuff. Please check it out! And you can also donate materials! Link
Thrift Rataplan Haarlem
Bijna Gratis Markt
This 2nd hand shop is across the street from Rataplan Zijlstraat. It’s smaller but they have really nice finds there. So if you go to Rataplan, definitely stop by at Bijna Gratis Markt as well! Link
Kringloopwinkel Paleis Noord
One of the genuin thriftstores in Haarlem: good prices, she supports several charities as well as the community and has true heart! Link
Lovely little kids clothing 2nd hand store in the city center with good quality products. Link
Buy things packaging free
Simon Lévelt coffee and Tea
Good bread and pastry and you are welcome to use your own bags. Link
Sogno di pasta
Bring your own container for different types of fresh and packaging free pasta, ravioli and variety of olives. There is also a selection of olive oil on tap available. Bring your own clean bottle or get one there. You’ll get a discount each time your bring a bottle. Link
oodles and pinches
An ever growing range of Zero Waste Products for bathroom, cleaning, kitchen, baby, on the go… Find vegan & cruelty, plastic free, natural products and as local as possible. Check out the Market Day page to find the oodles and pinches market stand in Haarlem.
Check out the shop: Link
Packaging free cosmetic products with wide range of soaps and bath bombs. Not every ingredient is natural though so check the ingredients list. They welcome customers with their own containers. Link
Zero Waste Haarlem
Definitely join this group! You can ask questions, get inspiration, find events and likeminded people for Zero Waste Lifestyle topics specific to Haarlem. Link
Buy & Sell Amsterdam
Huge group with mostly English offers. Link
Gratis spullen gezocht en aangeboden in Haarlem
Dutch group for things that are given away for free. You can also ask if someone wants to give away what you’re looking for. Link
Gratis af te halen
Dutch group for free things. Link
Haarlem Buy & Sell
Mostly English in this group. Buy or Sell products in Haarlem. Link
Zero Waste Blogs
|Waste Land Rebel||wastelandrebel.com||English and German|
|Zero Waste Home||zerowastehome.com||English|
|Trash is for Tossers||trashisfortossers.com||English|
|Going Zero Waste||goingzerowaste.com||English|
|Het Zero Waste Project||hetzerowasteproject.nl||Dutch|
Other helpful web links:
World overshoot day Learn more about world overshoot day, our resources and how to make it better. Link
There is even a calculator where you can calculate your own personal overshoot day. Link
Hautschutzengel: Find out what’s in your cosmetic products. This page is written in German but google translate can translate it for you. Either find the product in there or add a product and then you can see how good the ingredients are for your body. Link
Since plastic pollution finds it’s way into the general media more often these days, Zero Waste Lifestyle gains traction. Around the world articles about Zero Wasters appear in magazines and new books get published helping newbies finding their way into the Lifestyle.
Zero Waste Lifestyle in Haarlem gets a kick start
The newly founded business oodles and pinches sets out to help beginning and advanced zero wasters on their journey towards a Zero Waste Lifestyle. It aims to offer any product, be it reusable or consumable, for the Lifestyle and to make it the most convenient possible for it’s customers.
What does that mean actually?
Inge E., founder of oodles and pinches, explains:
Bulk products delivered to Haarlem Residents in reusable containers will be the heart and soul of the company. The initial product range circles around anything in the bathroom and includes liquid bulk products used in the bathroom, zero waste dental care products, a range of zero waste hair care products and plastic free body care products.
“Embarking on the journey towards Zero Waste can be fun and rewarding. I want to help people to get started and to make it so easy and convenient that the changes stick. Since everyone is different and has different preferences and needs, it’s important to me to offer not only the obligatory reusable straw for example but a good variety of options so that everyone can find the perfect solution for themselves.“, says Inge.
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