Zero Waste Challenge

Zero Waste Challenge: Day 7

My last day of the Zero Waste Challenge! I decided to go all out and finish my cleaning supplies, but was somewhat thwarted in the food department by a killer hangover.


With a cracking hangover this morning, McDonald’s was a must. Luckily, all the non-fruit things come in paper. However, I did buy juice – so that’s another one of my free passes gone.

For lunch, I had Mexican food because it’s tasty and comes in cardboard containers. It’s been a takeaway kind of day… Bad for the finances. Easier on the zero-waste side of things. Luckily, I’d tried out all the takeaways in my area on UberEats, so I knew what kind of packaging everything came in. It would be a bit of a minefield if I hadn’t, so I’m going to call my sloth “research” instead from now on!

Dinner proved a bit more tricky, since I really couldn’t justify another takeaway – but had no intention of cooking. Going out in your 30s really is too, too exhausting… I just couldn’t face figuring out what to do with the dregs of our market purchases. In the end, fed up with my disinclination to move, Dan volunteered cook and go to the supermarket with our own containers to get the ingredients for a fish pie. A nice, home-cooked meal was a fitting end to the challenge – and made even better by the fact that I didn’t have to cook it.


We ran out of bin bags today, but after a quick Google search I came up with compostable paper bin bags. If we’re using our bins correctly, there shouldn’t be any wet waste – but I’m a bit worried about that! In the spirit of the thing, I’m going to give them a go.

Paper Bin Bags

I decided to finish up switching out my cleaning supplies, as well.

A friend gave me a fantastic recipe for oven cleaner. It works an absolute treat, and, apart from allowing me to stick to the rules of my challenge, is also non-toxic.

Recipe for Oven Cleaner

15 drops Thieves

15 drops Lemon

4 tbsp baking soda

4 tbsp white vinegar

Water to make a lather and rinse

  1. Mix the Thieves and Lemon oils into the baking soda in a bowl, a few drops at a time.
  2. Spread the baking soda over the bottom of the oven and door.
  3. Mix white vinegar into about a third more water and use to make a lather with the baking soda in the oven.
  4. Leave for several hours and then scrub with steel wool.


I also made a version of my cleaning spray with white vinegar for the kitchen and bathroom. My original cleaning spray is fine for other surfaces, but where we’re preparing food or nasty bugs might lurk, I want something with a bit more oomph.

White vinegar kills 80% of nasty bacteria and virus’. Along with salt and essential oils like Lemon and Thieves, with their anti-microbial properties, I feel pretty confident that adding a tablespoon or two of white vinegar will do the job. That being said, if I was feeding the public or particularly paranoid, I would probably also add a little hydrogen peroxide.

Making my own bleach was also relatively easy. As I’ve said, for maximum germ killing, you really need to use hydrogen peroxide. Since we’re only using bleach for the toilet, and no-one’s eating out of that, I’m fine with just a white vinegar mix.

Recipe for Homemade Bleach from

2 cups hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) or white vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups water

10 drops lemon essential oil

Makes one quart. Store in dark or covered bottles, as exposure to light will weaken the solution. Lasts up to 1 month in a clear bottle, 2-3 months in a dark bottle.


With my cotton pads heavy on the plastic wrapping, I decided to replace them with washable bamboo cloths. I like Panda Wipes because they’re the perfect shape for removing make-up, you get a lot in a bag, and they’re relatively cheap. Plus, they come in a super cute drawstring bag.

Panda Wipes


8 thoughts on “Zero Waste Challenge: Day 7”

  1. Ah, we use GeoOrganics. I have to say though, it has a slightly unpleasant texture – which takes some getting used to! But we like it now. Oh some of it definitely is! My Mexican food came in straight up cardboard boxes. But the other takeaway I got did not…


  2. That’s a good idea! I honestly used neither the first time and it still came up great. Way better than regular oven cleaner. It was pretty remarkable really!

    Liked by 1 person

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