Going zero waste with Stine Friis

Have you ever heard of the zero waste philosophy? It's a fantastic movement towards a world without waste through simple techniques you can incorporate into your daily life, and a reaction against the consumption society. This means reduce, reuse and send as little as possible to be recycled and to be composted. For some people, the philosophy might relate to the New Yorker Lauren Singer, one of the first famous zero waste role models out there. She makes her own deodorant and toothpaste, and actually managed to keep 2 years worth of trash in a mason jar!Whats exciting is that we have our very own zero waste superwoman right here in Europe - more specifically from a small town in Northern Norway. We had a chat with Stine Friis some days after she guested the national morning TV show God Morgen Norge (check the behind the scenes video here), to understand more about this mysterious subject.Hey Stine! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?Sure! I’m Stine Friis, 24, from a small town in Norway/Nowhere. I’m a copywriter and run a zero waste/sustainability blog.Can you explain briefly what zero waste is, and why is it so important?Zero waste is about reducing your climate impact through reducing consumption and producing as little trash as possible. Zero waste has us use our resources in a more thoughtful way, and lets resources go in a circle – instead of ending up in an incinerator or in a landfill. Everything we make should get reused or remade into something new. Reuse, repurpose or recycle. Don’t throw it away.

THE 5 ZERO WASTE PRINCIPLES: Refuse - say no to what you don't really need, reduce - reduce the consumption of what you need, reuse - use things multiple times, recycle - goes without saying, rot - compost your food.

NORWEGIAN TRASH TALK: On average each person in Norway produced about 433 kg (!) trash in 2016 (1).

How did you get interested in it?I realized that I was becoming vain. Suddenly I was into high-end makeup, and certain labels, with no thought for the person who made it – or what ingredients were in the products I bought. I used to be a politically active teenager and didn't really recognize myself anymore. So I started researching how I could become environmentally friendly, reduce my carbon footprint and consume without other people having to suffer. Slowly, I started to change my habits, decluttered my life – and got into zero waste.How does a meal become zero waste?Buy as many ingredients you can package free, or make stuff yourself. You don’t have to buy those plastic wrapped tortillas, you can totally make them from scratch. Try to choose sustainable brands when possible, skip the meat when you can – and don’t throw out the leftovers. Pop them in the fridge for lunch the next day. Recycle or reuse any packaging.What are your top five zero waste hacks for the daily life?

  1. Buy dry goods like beans, coffee, and popcorn in bulk with a cloth bag.
  2. Always keep a reusable cup in your bag
  3. Keep a spare tote bag in your purse or backpack.
  4. Be nice when you ask to have cheese, bread or whatever put into your food containers. If you’re nice it’s so much easier.
  5. If you find a store with self-checkout counters: use them! It will save you loads of funny looks.

Is it challenging to go zero waste in Norway?Partially. In Oslo, we have a few stores made for zero waste people like myself, but the products can be quite pricey. I go there for dried goods and opt for my local shop or international food store for vegetables and sweets. Our food budget is somewhat limited, as my boyfriend is still in university.In some of the bigger cities, there’s been an increase in zero waste/eco-friendly food stores in the past few years. But try staying zero waste in my hometown... it’s impossible.What are your favorite zero waste products?My coffee cup, cloth bags, menstrual cup and fountain pen. And my backpack.Follow Stine and her exciting story on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and on her blog!Zero waste is a probably a big leap for most of us (authors included) but we really want to strive to follow Stines footsteps, and every small action counts. How about starting with saving your glass jars and use them for smoothies or to store bulk foods in, or bringing your own cup when you buy coffee in the morning? Personally, this is a bit of a barrier, but it will keep your coffee warm longer! Zero waste shopping can, with some planning, be done in many regular shops, but some specialty stores in Europe are worth mentioning for those interested:

If you need even more zero waste inspiration, Pinterest is a great source!

Guide to: Organic is the new black @ Axel Guldsmeden

The hotel group Guldsmeden Hotels is drifted sustainably, and by using mainly organic materials and food. We got to experience a dreamy weekend at Axel Guldsmeden in Copenhagen. The interior design is beautiful, and you drift into another world when you enter the front door. The interior is inspired by the Balinese style, where one of the hotels is located. The group has three other hotels in Copenhagen, as well as one in Oslo, Aarhus and the French Riviera.Guldsmeden Hotels er en hotellkjede som drives på en økologisk og bæredyktig måte - og vi har vært så heldige å få oppleve denne drømmen over en helg på Axel Guldsmeden i København. Innredningen er helt nydelig, og man forsvinner inn i en egen verden når man kommer inn inngangen. Interiøret er inspirert av stilen på Bali hvor et av hotellene i kjeden ligger. Kjeden har videre tre andre hoteller i København, samt et i Oslo, Aarhus og på den franske Riviera.Axel_Hotel_room_2All the hotels are certified "Green Globe", and have received the Danish golden Ø-mark, which means that 90-100% of everything that is served at the hotel is organic. They are tested by the Ministry of Environment and Food three times per year, and their latest result was an astonishing 98.6% organic food. They also serve at maximum 20% non-vegetarian dishes, and therefore always have veggie options available.Alle hotellene er sertifisert "Green Globe " og har fått det danske gull Ø-merket, som betyr at 90-100% av alt som serveres er økologisk. De testes av Ministeriet for Fødevarer tre ganger i året, med seneste resultat på 98,6% økologisk mat! De serverer omkring 20% kjøttretter maksimum, og har dermed alltid tilgjengelig vegetaralternativer. Their goal is to become 100% organic, fair-trade and bio-degradable. They focus on choosing local suppliers, buying what's in season, supporting sustainable production of everything from furniture to towels, and have made this feel like the biggest luxury to experience. All bathroom products, sheets and linen, towels, keycards, toilet paper etc. is organically produced.Deres målsetning er å bli 100% økologisk, fair-trade og biologisk nedbrytbart. De fokuserer på å velge lokale leverandører, å kjøpe inn etter sesong, å støtte bærekraftig produksjon av alt fra møbler til håndklær, og har virkelig fått dette til å føles som den aller største luksus. Blant annet er alle baderomsprosukter, sengetøy, håndklær, nøkkelkort, dopapir etc. økologisk produsert.SAMSUNG CSCOther environmentally friendly actions (as an inspiration for other hotels):

  • The hotel's goal is to reduce their energy use and waste by 5% per year
  • They never use air condition, but set up fans when its too hot
  • The napkins are unbleached and made by recycled paper, with a print that says: "Love Food, Hate Waste"
  • The electricity is delivered by "Natur Energi" which provide 100% renewable energy
  • They are working on building solar panels on the roof
  • They print as little as possible, and the employees communicate electronically

Andre miljøtiltak (til inspirasjon for andre hoteller):

  • Hotellet har som målsetning å redusere sitt energibruk og avfall med 5% i året.
  • Det benyttes aldri air condition, men bruker vifter ved varmt vær.
  • Serviettene er ubleket og laget av resirkulert papir med mottoet "Love Food, Hate Waste".
  • Energi er levert av Natur Energi som bistår med 100% bæredyktig energi fra fornybare kilder
  • De jobber med å etablere solsellepanel på taket
  • Det printes så lite som mulig, og kommuniseres på mail mellom de ansatte.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCThis hotel is located at Vesterbro in Copenhagen, close to the city center and the Meat Packing district. In addition to regular hotel facilities, Axel Guldsmeden has a large spa, a lovely backyard, bike rental and a cozy restaurant.Coffe and a huge assortment of tea are available at free disposition in the café. They also have lots of products you can buy, among others the dinnerware, organic ice cream, chocolate, caramels, shampoo and conditioner, robes and postcards.Dette hotellet ligger på Vesterbro i København, nærme sentrum og Kødbyen. I tillegg til de vanlige hotellfasilitetene har Axel Guldsmeden en spa-avdeling, stor bakgård, sykkelutleie og koselig restaurant.Kaffe og et stoort utvalg av te var til fri disposisjon i cafeen. I tillegg har de masse produkter man kan kjøpe rundt omkring på hotellet, som blant annet det utrolig fine serviset, økologisk iskrem, sjokolader og karameller, shampo og lignende produkter, badekåper og postkort.SAMSUNG CSCThe breakfast was a dream, and they had a huge selection for every taste. The food is marked with small signs that explain whether its local, organic etc. They also have a large selection of bread, spreads, vegetarian dishes, eggs, juice, fruit, and veggies. They are imaginative when it comes to re-using - for example, the bread from the day before is used for toasting, and dry rye bread is used in the granola.Frokosten var en drøm i seg selv, og hadde et stort utvalg til enhver smak. All maten er merket med lapper som forklarer om den er lokal, økologisk etc. Det var et stort utvalg av brød, pålegg, vegetarretter, egg, juicer, frukt og grønnsaker. De er også oppfinnsomme når det kommer til bæredyktige alternativer her -  eksempelvis legger de frem brød fra dagen før som toast brød, og bruker rugbrød som har blitt tørt som ingrediens i en supergod muesli.  SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCWe highly recommend staying at Axel Guldsmeden - a hotel dream! By choosing this hotel you are doing a good deed at the same time as having a magical experience. For more information, check out their website here and here.Det anbefales virkelig å bo på Axel Guldsmeden - en drøm av et hotell. Ved å velge et slikt hotell gjør man faktisk en god gjerning samtidig som man bor helt fantastisk!For mer informasjon, sjekk ut nettsidene deres her og her.