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Top 10 Ways To Use Our Silicone Ice Trays

Top 10 Ways To Use Our Silicone Ice Trays

The freezer is one of modern day's greatest inventions. The ability to preserve and prep food for later is monumental in decreasing our food waste as well as our daily workload.

We've come up with a few ideas below to use with both of our Everyday and XL Ice Cube Trays. What are some of your suggestions?  We would love to hear!

1. Leftover herbs to pop out and use at a moment's notice⁠


2. Squeeze and freeze your lemons and limes before they go sour⁠


3. Leftover coffee for tomorrow's iced latte without diluting your drink⁠


4. Coconut or almond milk to put in your iced coffee or blend into your smoothies


5. Ginger juice to add to sparkling water and lemon drinks⁠


6. Your favorite stock for future soups⁠


7. Baby food


8. Leftover pasta sauce or tomato paste


9. XL ice cubes for your favorite cocktail as seen below


10. Dress up your cocktail with fruit filled cubes like pomegranate

 

     

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    Freezing Meals With Stasher Bags: Tips & Tricks

    Freezing Meals With Stasher Bags: Tips & Tricks

    Stasher Bags make meal prep and freezing meals in advance super duper easy, and we're here to show you a few tips and tricks to motivate you and get you started. Sometimes life happens and you just don't have time to cook a meal, but want something nourishing and homemade instead of picking over your pantry and fridge for whatever you can find.

    DESIGNATE A TIME 

    I know firsthand how hard it can be to find time to do things that don't necessarily feel like a necessity, but setting aside 2-3 hours every week will save you time in the long run and will benefit you more than not.  Lots of people like to do some meal prepping on Sundays, or at the very least two Sundays (or any day that works) a month.  You might not think this will be enough time, but try it out and see for yourself.  It WILL make a difference!

    DOUBLE YOUR RECIPE

    If finding time throughout the week to meal prep feels too hard, then you can choose to double your favorite recipes while cooking, and freeze the extra portion.  It will hardly add any extra time to your day and will produce extra meals so easily. Before you know it your freezer will be stocked!

    FREEZE YOUR FAVORITE SAUCES

    Having pre-made sauces on hand can inspire a really quick meal.  Seeing your favorite pesto or grandma's homemade marinara recipe chilling on the freezer shelf can invoke a desire for a warm pasta or veggie dish.  Just freeze the sauces in the ice cube tray and pop them into your Stasher bag of choice once frozen.  Then dividing out the portion you need could not be easier.

     

     

    FREEZE BROTHS FOR SOUPS

    This is definitely one of my favorite meal prep tricks.  Making a soup is incredibly quick and easy if you have your preferred broth on hand.  For my household, anytime we have a roast chicken and are low on stock, we slow cook the carcass and drippings for 24 hours to produce many portions of stock.  Once cooked, we freeze in silicone trays and then transfer to our Stasher Stand Up until we're ready to use it.  You can also freeze big batches of veggie or beef stock, whatever is your fav! Want to see one of my go-to soup recipes? Check it out HERE! 

    FOODS THAT FREEZE WELL

    Needs some ideas of fabulous freezer meals?  Well here you go!

    Frittata, Quiche, Burrito, Lasagna, Soups, Chili, Stews, Banana Bread, Scones, All sauces like Bolognese and Marinara, Casseroles, Meatballs, Meat or Veggie Pies, Chicken Tikka Masala, Kebabs, Fish Cakes, Curried Potato Pasties, Cheeseburgers, French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Cannelloni, Homemade Fish Fingers, Fried Prawn Rice, Veggie Burgers and on and on it goes.  Just google for more ideas!

    WAYS TO REHEAT

    Did you know that Stasher Bags can go straight from freezer to oven? Yes it can!  Just leave the seal open, place it on baking sheet or oven-safe pan, and place it directly in the oven.  Saves on time and on washing up too.

    Personally we are not a microwave family and don't actually own one, but for those of you who are, Stashers can go in the microwave too!  Just remember to leave the bag open when microwaving and it will be defrosted or cooked in minutes.

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    We hope these tips and tricks have given you a little inspiration towards streamlining your meal prepping and planning. And if you have any of your own ideas, please do share below in the comments. Our community would love to learn more!

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    What's In My Shower?

    What's In My Shower?

    Looking for ways to create a more sustainable bathroom?  Let's take a step into my shower to give you some ideas, and check out the items I love to use the most in my bathing routine!

    1. Plain Products Organic Liquid Shampoo & Conditioner: I have used shampoo bars before, but after some trial and error, this product has become my top choice for washing my locks.  Organic, vegan and safe for the waterways, it's also packaged in a recyclable or reusable aluminum bottle with an aluminum cap. How awesome!

    2. Bareaya Safety Razor: I've used a handful of razors along my safety razor journey, and this one is hands down the best. So easy to use without nicking yourself, great for both men and women alike, super beautiful and designed right here in Hong Kong.  Big crush!

    3. Olive Oil Soap Bar with Pearwood Soap Dish: I'm in love with this soap by Marius Fabre because of it's purity and moisturizing qualities. It may seem expensive, but it lasts much longer than other soaps, especially if you allow it to dry out in between uses. Handmade in France and cooked in a cauldron to traditional Marseille soap-making methods, it also requires very little packaging!  And the soap dish?  Well it's just plain gorgeous and looks great on my white tub:)

    4. Natural Sea Sponge: Responsibly harvested by hand from the Mediterranean, these sponges are a perfect sustainable alternative to synthetic sponges, are super absorbent, lather very easily and gentle on all skin types. Care for it properly by squeezing it dry and air drying between uses, and it was also last a very long time.  And the cherry on top? It makes a great natural bath toy for the kids!

    5. Wooden Foot File: This ones all about the self-care!  Extend the length of your pedicures and keep that dry skin at bay. For me one of these is a necessity if I want to keep my feet looking presentable, and what's better than a wooden option!

     

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    40 Things to Stash in Your Pocket Size Stasher

    40 Things to Stash in Your Pocket Size Stasher

    Our new Stasher bag to join the party is small but mighty! You'll find the pocket size super useful for all the little things in your life and it looks so pretty too.  For your daily on-the-go activities, the office, the home or on your next traveling adventure, you'll find they always come in handy. Here are 40 ways to use them, and we're sure there are much more!

    Keep your on-the-go essentials organized

    1. Snacks - take a handful of almonds to-go or save a half-eaten health bar

    2. Supplements - stash them in pill or powder form

    3. Medicine - ibuprofen, cough drops, homeopathic remedies

    4. Menstrual cup - both sides of the pocket stasher are frosted for discretion

    5. Hair clips & hair ties - finally so much easier to find

    6. Jewelry - transform from day to night with extra sparkles in your stasher

    7. Make-up - stash midday touch up essentials like our lip tints or deodorants 

    8. Cards & Cash

    9. Coins for laundry

    10. Earbuds / phone charger

    11. Essential oils

    12. Crystals - take your aura with you wherever you go

    Choose Your Adventure

    13. Shampoo bar

    14. Mini first-aid - stash bandages, alcohol wipes, ointment and aloe

    15. Keep matches dry when you’re camping

    16. Bring parmesan to a picnic

    17. Pack salt for margaritas on a beach retreat

    18. Stash a festival survival kit - lip balm, bandaids, bug spray, mints / chewable toothpaste, sunscreen

    19. Small allen/hex keys for long-distance cycling

    20. Tiny climbing gear like nuts, anchors and slings

    21. Golf tees

    Stash Around The House

    22. Small leftover fruits and veggies - save the other half of your jalapeno, or that handful of berries your toddler demanded and then refused.

    23. Loose leaf tea - stash a special blend

    24. Keys for doors around the house

    25. Herbs - save your sage, thyme, rosemary and more

    26. Garlic cloves

    27. Homemade Pesto

    28. Seeds for gardening

    29. Pet treats

    30. Craft notions - buttons, bobbins, tape measures, etc.

    31. Bolts and washers - no screws or nails!

    32. Spare shoelaces and bra straps

    33. Mini ice pack

    34. Exercise bands

    35. Batteries

    For the Office

    36. Business cards

    37. Rubber bands

    38. Paper clips

    39. Flash drives

    40. Sticky tack

    SEE ALL STASHER BAGS HERE

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    Compostable vs Biodegradable: What's the Difference?

    Compostable vs Biodegradable: What's the Difference?

    Feeling a little bit confused about the difference between compostable and biodegadable? Don't worry, you're not the only one!  Both words get used quite frequently in the sustainability world, but they are quite different!  Let's set the record straight...

    COMPOSTABLE

    • Composting is a human-driven process in which biodegradation occurs under a specific set of circumstances
    • Composting is an accelerated biodegradation process due to optimized circumstances
    • The material needs a certain environment in order to properly compost in regards to temperature, moisture and oxygen
    • Leaves no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue
    • Most of the material breaks down completely within 180 days
    • This compost not only returns to it's original state but is also beneficial and can be used to enrich soil

    BIODEGRADABLE

    • Biodegradation is the naturally-occurring breakdown of materials by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi or other biological activity
    • Products that will biodegrade in nature or in home compost heaps may not biodegrade in landfills, where there's not enough bacteria, light, and water to move the process along
    • Is meant to occur naturally without human intervention and without causing harm
    • Can decompose back into natural elements
    • Capable of biodegrading without any oxygen source
    • The timeline for biodegradation is not well defined, and can be quite varied

    DEGRADABLE

    • Any product can be labelled "degradable" because everything will eventually break down
    • The product will naturally break down into smaller pieces, eventually, but this could take thousands of years
    • Depending on the material, it could leave behind toxicity to the soil and the environment around it

    KEY POINTS

    While all compostable material is also biodegradable, not all biodegradable material is compostable

    Compostable materials are broken down with human intervention, while biodegradable materials break down naturally

    Compostable materials break down quickly and within a specified timeframe, while biodegradable materials are not held to a specific timeframe and could take years (like steel products which will eventually rust)

    Both processes should not cause any harm to the environment, while composting is known to also be beneficial to soil

    Many companies may use these terms to "greenwash" their products and make them appear more eco-friendly than they actually are

     

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    5 Easy Changes For Plastic Free July

     

    Plastic Free July has grown from a handful of participants in Western Australia in 2011, to millions of participants across more than 150 countries worldwide today.
     
    This incredible transformation has led them to become an independent, not-for-profit charitable foundation and their vision is a world without plastic waste. 

    By encouraging people to be more aware of their plastic use, and supporting behaviour change during the month of July every year, hopefully this dream will become more of a reality.

    It might seem overwhelming to think of living 100% plastic free, but any small change you can make matters.  Read below to see 5 easy changes everyone can make without any stress!

    1. CLEANING: Make your own household cleaners in a glass spray bottle.  These highly durable, refillable 16 oz glass spray bottles make it easy to replace wasteful store-bought chemical cleaners with all-natural, non-toxic homemade cleaners you make at home.

    Simply choose a recipe, add ingredients to the fill lines on the bottle, shake, and you're ready to clean!

     

     

    2. KITCHEN: Replace your disposable plastic zip lock bags with silicone storage bags.  Long-lasting, useful and so versatile, you'll never need to visit the zip-lock aisle in the grocery store again.  And think about all of that plastic saved from the landfill!

     

    3.  EATING:  Bring along a reusable bamboo cutlery set for food on the go. How about a bamboo utensil set to round out the perfect toolkit for life on the go? A handy carabiner on the back lets you clip and carry a fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks wherever you may roam. Perfect for a busy lifestyle and our precious planet. 

     

    4.  BAGS:  Always carry a reusable bag with you while you're out and about.  This tote is my new favorite PFHK product!  It is so versatile and can carry lots of weight, and of course eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags.  From the grocery to the beach, I always find I'm reaching for it while I'm out and about.

     

    5.  BATHROOM: Stainless steel safety razor instead of plastic, disposable one. Over 2 billion disposable plastic razors are thrown out each year in the U.S. alone.  That's enough to wrap around the Earth end-to-end 6 times!  Let's return to the good old days of safety razors and eliminate the need for this type of plastic waste.

     

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    From Our E-Shelves: Top 5 Father's Day Gift Ideas

    In our home, we try to live as minimally as possible.  And when we do buy things, we ask ourselves "Is it useful?"  and/or "Does it bring us pleasure/etc?".  We don't want things clogging our home that don't serve a purpose or bring us joy.

    So when the holidays arrive and days of gift giving occur, sometimes it can be difficult to think of ideas because we feel like we have everything we need!  (and what a blessing that is!)  So we thought we'd put together a short list of possible ideas for your dad, husband, brother, son that could show your love, sustainably! 

    1.  Teakwood S'well Bottle  $290

     

    2.  Brass Wire BBQ Brush  $200

     

    3.  Zero Waste Shaving Kit  $415

     

    4.  Three-In-One Lunchbox  $275

     

    5.  Reusable Coffee Cup  $100

     

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    Can Plastic Truly Be Recycled?

    Can Plastic Truly Be Recycled?

    So can plastic truly be recycled?  Let's break it down, plain and simple...

    Materials like metal, glass and paper can truly be recycled because they can be remade into the same form without needing any additional materials to do so. A recycled glass container can be continually remade into a glass container, over and over and over again, without ever needing new material and without ever needing to go to the landfill.

    Plastic on the other hand, cannot be. The process of recycling plastic weakens it, so new, virgin plastic must be added to it in order to make the same form again. Essentially, plastic can be DOWN-cycled but not truly REcycled. For example, a recycled plastic water bottle can be down-cycled into teddy bear stuffing or a synthetic rug, but not into another water bottle without needing to add new plastic.  And eventually, this down cycled plastic will run it's lifecycle to the end and will end up in the landfill.

    So now you can see why recycling is definitely not the answer.  Not much of plastic gets recycled anyways, and that which does, is destined one day to end up in the landfills or waterways.  So what is the answer???  Refusal!  Not using it at all, and instead, finding a truly sustainable alternative that can be reused, recycled or will biodegrade and return to the earth one day. 

    And for Hong Kongers looking for glass recycling drop off points, check out this link:  http://www.glass-recycling.com.hk 

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    Reusable Coffee Cups: Just Do It

    Single-use disposable coffee cups are one of the most wasteful inventions of our time. In any given year, 58 billion paper cups are thrown into landfills by consumers in the U.S. alone! Yes, I said BILLION!  What’s more, 4 billion single-use coffee cups are thrown out by consumers of Starbucks every year! It takes 1 million trees to produce the paper for all those cups, and that’s without consideration of the energy and water needed, as well as the space in landfills to hold these disposable cups. A study done by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) found that Hong Kong is the 17th largest market for tea, with 1.428 lbs drunk per capita per year. With this scale, we have to do better. Ocean Recovery Alliance “persuaded the Pacific Coffee chain to get on board with reducing plastic waste by launching a lid-return programme... Customers who bring back their coffee cup lids are given a free drink upgrade, while the plastic lids are sent for recycling.” Although a considerable improvement, what would be even better is reducing the number of disposable cups used. That is the goal of the new tax imposed on coffee cups in the U.K. Consumers will now have to pay more for using a disposable cup provided by coffee shops. Maybe something like that should be implemented in Hong Kong... 

    But you know, there is a very simple, very easy solution to all of this - bring your own cup! All of our reusable coffee/tea cups here at Plastic-Free HK are sourced from the British reusable coffee cup company, Ecoffee Cup. According to their website, cups are made “with the world’s most sustainable crop – bamboo fibre”, and are BPA and phthalate free. Yay! I love this brand because their values align with mine, and their products are just awesome; you can choose from a variety of colours, sizes, and patterns, and there are even accessories. There is also a William Morris collection… be right back; I’m getting one of these! They do customisation and bespoke design for Universities and companies alike and are currently selling their cups at “1000 independent retail outlets, cafes and restaurants in the UK, Europe, Russia, South Africa and beyond” (including here in Hong Kong at PFHK)

    You can see all of our reusable Ecoffee Cups currently in stock by visiting our website, and please feel free to use the below discount code for an extra 10% off our cups until the end of the month, or while supplies last!

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    Zero-Waste Oil Cleansing

    Zero-Waste Oil Cleansing
    Have you ever heard of oil cleansing?  I discovered it this year and I will never wash my face with anything else ever again!  Not only is it cleansing for all skin types, but also moisturizing, simple, effective, efficient and of course zero-waste!  I can't flaw it really. Continue reading