London Opens First Waste-Free Shop

In the past few months alone, the zero-waste community has grown exponentially. Environmental enthusiasts are ever going as far as hosting sustainable wedding receptions. Waste-free shops are manifesting across all seven continents, including this charming boutique in London.

“I created a shop that I wish existed. I wanted to cut packaging, I wanted to cut my footprint, and found it very difficult as supermarkets pack everything.” [said shop owner Ingrid Caldironi]

The shop, dubbed Bulk Market, boasts a wide range of organic products. Home essentials, including fresh produce, chocolates, and hair products, rest comfortably on its shelves. Caldironi’s ultimate goal is to prevent excessive buying and packaging waste.

“Why can’t we shop with smaller exact portions – 1-2 carrots, 1-2 eggs; why big packets with the environmental waste that goes with it?”

As an avid lover of omelettes, I’m not entirely sure 2 eggs would get the job done. However, the initiative is more than commendable, especially for environmental aficionados on a budget.

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Yes, You Can Rock A Studio Apartment

When you’re fresh out of university and stripped of your toga, reality hits like a right hook. Budgeting may not be your strong suit, and neither would interior design be — unless it was your major. Still, despite the looming horrors of adulthood, sustainable wardrobe trends and forward-moving technology soften the blow. Living alone isn’t easy. Not everyone claims they can rock a studio apartment, but yes — it’s possible!

Home shopping is often exciting, especially if you’re moving into your first one. Though the funding department can often speak for itself, not everyone is particularly thoughtful when it comes to space. Photographic memory or none, measure your room dimensions. Furniture “looking small” is just about as deceiving as two-dollar fortune tellers. Know your apartment’s limits. Anyway, you do want to make sure you can push a bed frame through the door.

Once you have your basics down pat, pick out adjustable storage. Putting away your things in one place will not only be less confusing — it eats up significantly less space. Scout department stores that sell shelves that shrink and expand. That way, they’ll only cater to what you have at the moment, an amount that will likely fluctuate. Bonus points if you pick up a couch with drawers!

Smaller apartments also mean smaller rooms, if not just a single space. In this case, you’ll want pretty versatile fittings. Purchase items with several functions. Finding altering desks, couches, and even beds are surprisingly not too difficult a find. If you can hide them away after use, even better! After all, Transformers aired ten years ago. And on the plus side, your studio should, by default, feel a lot more futuristic.

Though it mostly goes without saying, buy only what is necessary. Decor is crucial to personalizing a home, but if you’re low on cash, keep it on the back burner. If you can’t afford a particular necessity, make it yourself. Get creative, especially with items that aren’t too intimate. Show off your wardrobe on a makeshift wall rack. Nowhere to keep your books? Make a shelf — out of books!

If you’re fussy about an area looking tight, play with illusion. Decorate with striped rugs to make floors appear lengthier. Paint your walls with light colors to reflect sunlight as opposed to absorbing it. Embellish your walls higher up, to give rooms a sense of height. Make things pop in however way you see fit. What catches your eye will likely catch others’ too, but avoid overcrowding! Larger and fewer ornamental pieces trump smaller and plentiful ones any day.

Most importantly, be resourceful. Your home isn’t a doomsday bunker — keep it comfortable. Figure out several ways to use a single appliance. If hitting the laundromat or local diner is a simpler option, go for it. Home will always be there to welcome you back, mansion or not.

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Refrigerator Camera Helps Monitor Food

The British food market is on a roll. Sainsbury recently manufactured a smart label that reminds home cooks when to use up an ingredient. However, the labels are only for ham packets. Kitchen company Smarter hopes its newest device will be a game-changer. FridgeCam is an affordable refrigerator camera that helps users monitor food in real time.

The Smarter FridgeCam takes food “selfies” which are sent to the user’s phone, allowing an instant reminder of what could be on the menu for their next meal. The app also monitors use-by dates, and issues automatic top-up reminders to buy more food products based on remaining quantities.

Why not use any camera? Well, for starters, I wouldn’t recommend shoving a point-and-shoot into your fridge. Plus, it costs less than $150, which is a steal compared to full-on smart refrigerators.

“The supermarkets tell us that the way we shop has fundamentally changed. People are shopping little and often and using different shops. The more we developed and trialled this technology, the more we found that it could not just help reduce food waste but it also encourages people to shop in a smarter and more efficient way,” [said Christian Lane, founder of Smarter]

The quirky gadget could help reduce the over-purchasing of food as well as encourage timely use. It may seem like a superfluous purchase, but at least you won’t be tossing perfectly good veggies.

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