**Update to add that Imperfect Foods has begun taking back any gel packs or aluminum packing that came in your order to reuse with future orders, making this even more zero waste!
Incase you missed it last week we tried out Misfits Market for the first time. While we decided it wasn't the best fit for us, we were still excited about the idea of having a grocery delivery service for sustainable groceries. Enter Imperfect Foods. This is another delivery service I've heard of and from what I had read it had slightly different features than Misfits Market, so we figured this week we'd give it a try!
I'm going to break down my whole Imperfect Foods experience for you the same way I did with Misfits Market, then I'll be making a comparison post to showcase the different pros and cons of each service compared with your local grocery store option as well. Here are my thoughts:
The Set Up:
Setting up my account was really easy. I put in my zip code and email so I could be sure they delivered to my area and then created my username and password. Once logged in I saw that my delivery date would be Friday and was told I would be able to log in to make my selections starting Monday at 1 pm through Wednesday at noon.
I think that not being able to choose your delivery date is a con because if you don't work from home it wouldn't be great to have all your groceries sitting out if your delivery date is on a weekday. However, for me personally I want my groceries delivered on a Friday and that's the date I got so I was perfectly happy with it!
Choosing My Box:
I picked the medium produce box for $22 after shipping. I thought this would be a good fit. However, in the end it didn't really matter what box I picked because you add all of your items in individually and your total is based on what you buy. Imperfect Foods is great because you can fully customize your box and there aren't any restrictions by placing foods into groups etc. Also they let you know what's wrong with the items where you add them to your cart so you can decide if the imperfections are something you're okay with. I really liked this added feature because it helped me decide between organic and inorganic broccoli based on what imperfections I was okay with etc.
While you can fully customize the box, they do start you off with a full produce box in your cart of seasonal items. If you forget to go in and make any selections this is what you'll be sent for the week. While I don't love that, one feature I did really like is that you can select a "never list" of food items you would never want to receive. You can also add in recurring weekly items so that they know if you want anything each week and what quantity.
Another thing I really liked was that their grocery section of the site was really well built out with tons of options. They also had skincare and lotion (all zero/low waste options too) that I have a hard time finding. I felt that everything was priced reasonably too.
With Imperfect Foods your cart just sits until the cut off date and time when it's submitted, so even after you're "done" you don't fully submit it on your own. It made me a little nervous to not "check out" my cart but after the cut off time I received an email stating that my order had been placed.
The delivery process was very smooth, I received a text on Friday when my order was out for delivery with an estimated delivery time and I could see what number my delivery was in the queue. I also received a text right after the package was delivered so I was able to go grab it and bring it in!
The packaging I thought was great! It was very minimal, just a cardboard box. My special add ons I chose were in a recyclable aluminum bag with an ice pack.
After last week's box from Misfits Market I was feeling cautious about how the produce might be. However, we were pleasantly surprised with how great the produce was. Honestly it was all stuff I would have picked out at the grocery store -- actually the romaine lettuce heads where HUGE and I probably should have ordered 2 rather than 3.
All this to say we've converted to Imperfect Foods! We loved the experience and the produce and are going to keep up our subscription and spend hopefully less time at the grocery store from now on!
Would you try a grocery delivery service? And if so which one and why? Let me know in the comments below!
*Links to Imperfect Foods are my refer a friend link, if used you'll get $20 off your first 4 orders and I'll get $30 off my next order too :)
I'm not a huge fan of Zero Waste DIY's honestly. I feel that more often than not the product comes out subpar and the effort I put into it just isn't worth the end result. And most of the time if I can find the ingredients near me I can't get them without plastic. However, this is DIY is one of those rare occurrences where it's easier, cheaper, less waste and it works just as well as what I would buy in the store. And that's my leave-in conditioner.
Using a leave-in conditioner is pretty standard for people with wavy/curly hair, I don't need quite as much for my hair because it's more fine and on the thinner side. Which is why I love that I can customize this leave-in conditioner to meet the needs of my hair.
I use a spray bottle I bought last year and fill it with water. Then I add in several drops of my Plaine Products conditioner, some drops of a liquid protein treatment and voila! That's literally it. The beauty in this is that you can use it and then continue to tweak the ratios until it's right for you and your hair.
The protein drops that I use I got last year and honestly think they will last me forever given that I use less than 10 drops a month. However if you're looking for a zero waste alternative to these I found these from A Simple Planet. I plan on replacing mine with these if I ever do run out.
Obviously how much you use will depend on how often you wash your hair and how much hair you have but I find I can go 4-6 weeks on a single bottle of this. And since it's so easy to make it's never hard to whip up a new bottle anytime I run out!
What DIYs do you love doing? Let me know in the comments below.
Ever since I started my journey zero waste I've been hearing about different grocery subscription boxes that rescue odd-looking produce and sell them to you at a discount. I've gone back and forth a lot on whether or not to even try one of these out for quite some time now and had ultimately counted this option out for myself. That is until one of my co-workers mentioned she started a subscription at Misfits Market and was enjoying it!
With an unsponsored recommendation behind the company I decided that I wanted to try it out for a week to see if it would fit my life and budget, I also wanted to document the whole process and put it together here as a review for anyone else considering trying it! I often find these reviews online to be sponsored so I wanted to see for myself how the process and the product are and give an honest and thorough review. Maybe even a little too thorough, buckle up because this will be a long one!
To give some more information on Misfits Market first, they partner with farms and food hubs across the Americas who supply certified organic produce that will be thrown out based on looks and rescues it to deliver to consumers like us at a discount. Their website claims their packaging is recyclable and compostable as well. They also supply produce as they are able to get it so their offerings will change with the season, ensuring you're always eating seasonal produce!
The Set Up:
To set up your account you start by entering your zip code so they can ensure that you live in a delivery region of theirs. If you live in any of the states that they currently service in you can live in any zip code and they will deliver to you! After this, I had to select which box size I wanted and pay. One thing I didn't like about this was I didn't get to see what the options would be before I had already paid for my box. However I later found that on their website you can visit the "What's In Your Box" page for what they currently have so you can ensure you can pick things you'll actually eat/like.
Then I picked what size box I wanted, their smaller box they said had 12 types of produce with 1-2 portions per type. This was the cheaper of the two at $22 for the week and was recommended for 1-2 people. Typically I think that Kyle and I would go for the larger box which was 14 types of produce with 2-4 portions per type but for the first try I wanted to go with the cheapest option and see how it worked.
Next I got to pick my delivery date. This was really important to me to be able to control what day my order arrived. If my box came too early in the week it could go bad sitting in the fridge while I'm eating all my food I just bought over the weekend.
I set up my account on a Sunday and it was already time to make your selections for a Thursday or Friday delivery. Nothing before Thursday was available so keep in mind that with a service like this you'll need to plan ahead. Usually we grocery shop on Friday, for this week however I selected Thursday incase we didn't get enough of something that way we would be able to buy more the next day. (If I continue using this though I'll probably switch it to a Friday delivery).
Choosing My Box:
Next was the fun part! I got to pick out all the items I wanted in my box. They had the produce in groups and you had to pick a certain number from each group. One thing I didn't like is that it didn't let you select any item more than once. So if I wanted them to send me double the apples and have it count for 2 slots of that group it wasn't an option. This to me is the biggest con because if I was to upgrade to the larger box I would want the option to double or triple up on items to make a full weeks worth of meals on, not just get more varieties of produce! There is only 2 of us after all.
Honestly though I was pretty impressed with the variety of produce they had and I was able to get all of the items for my meals next week.
One other thing is that you could choose an option called "Surprise Me" and just get a variety of the offerings if you're feeling adventurous or are just too busy to make your selections. I think it's great they have this option but personally I would probably always want to control what items I'm buying and I went with this service specifically because I could pick my box. Scroll through the images below to see what was available in each of the three groups.
After I selected everything in my box I was brought to a grocery page where I could add in more options. I really liked this because if you wanted to you could easily get everything you need for the week in one box! I did go through and check out what they had in each category but I didn't add anything on this time around. If I like the box and I think the packaging is eco-friendly I'll definitely do more of these add ons in the future.
The delivery of my box was overall smooth. On their website they say they use FedEx to deliver the boxes. I scheduled my delivery for Thursday but it actually got delayed and I received an email letting me know my delivery was delayed the day before and my package would come on Friday. I'm not sure if this is a normal occurrence with this box or truly just a one time thing but for me this week it was fine. I think it would bother me a lot though if I set up my delivery on a day I knew I would be home all day and it got delayed to a day I wouldn't be home.
Misfits Market recommends not leaving the box out for too long so you should schedule your delivery for a day when you'll be around to bring it in somewhat quickly.
I received some texts from the delivery service to let me know the estimated times of delivery and then again with a photo of the package on my doorstep after the package was delivered. I was overall happy with this delivery process.
Overall I found the packaging to be what I would expect from the website description. It was mostly paper minus the ice pack. Their website says they are non-toxic and eco-friendly ice packs. We put ours back in the freezer so we can use it again. However, if I constantly used this service I would probably run out of use for ice packs and would need to find somewhere I could donate them.
This is the unfortunate part. The produce was only okay. Since this box is supposed to be the rejected fruits and vegetables I was by no means expecting them to be perfect. However, when they say 1-2 portions per person what they really mean is 1-2 items regardless of how small they are. Scroll through my pictures below and you'll see what I mean. I selected potatoes as one of my choices because we plan to make curry for dinners this upcoming week and we got the two tiniest potatoes I've ever seen. I don't care that they are tiny but for 1-2 portions per person I should have received at least 10. Same with the head of lettuce, I had planned on making salads for lunch and I could probably only make one salad out of this.
The bell peppers were also extremely small as well, and my only other complaint is that the bell peppers and the tomatoes were both bruised and were well past ripe. I can look past a bruise on an apple that I can cut off but I really didn't like that I just paid for a some tiny going-bad peppers.
Honestly I ended up cancelling my subscription service after going through my box and seeing the amount of produce that we got for $27 (after shipping). I really think if I had the option to control better the amount of each item I was getting I would like it a lot more. Also, if I was using each of these items for just one meal each it would probably be fine but since we tend to make the same dinner every night for the week it just wasn't enough for us. I think that this box could be great for some people but it just wasn't a good fit for our lives and how we like to shop and eat.
I still really like the idea of a subscription box so next week I'm going to be trying an imperfect foods box and then I'll make a post comparing the two with also just grocery shopping at Walmart for the same produce! Be sure to sign up for our email list if you're interested so you'll get an email with the posts!
Comment below your thoughts on these grocery subscription boxes and if you've tried any before!
Back in March I tried a beer rinse for the first time on my hair as a protein treatment, and now I'm back to try a rice rinse!
Like I mentioned with the beer rinse, a rice rinse is a protein treatment that you can use on your curly hair to help maintain the balance between moisture and protein. This is a fairly standard practice that a lot of people use and I figured I would try it since you can get rice from bulk bins and easily have this be a zero waste hair care product.
To do this I followed the instructions on this blog post.
First, I measured out half a cup of rise and rinsed it in the sink. Then I put it in a pot with 1 cup of water and brought it to a boil, just like I was making rice!
After the rice came to a boil and the water was cloudy, I strained the water out into a bowl to use for my hair treatment.
Here is where I had a moment of hesitation, my rice wasn't nearly done cooking. What do I do with the rice now? I could compost it, but tossing it just felt wasteful. I couldn't find anyone who regularly did these rinses say what they did with the rice after.
Luckily, Kyle came up with a great idea on how to finish cooking the rice: I measured out the amount of rice water I had just removed from the pot (~3/4 cup), and I added in 3/4 cup of fresh water to the pot and brought it to a boil, then covered and simmered it for another 10-15 min. I wanted to see if I could actually fully cook this rice to eat after taking out the starchy water.
It worked too! I was able to cook the rice and even taste tested it to ensure it was perfectly fine rice! Pro Tip: do this hair rinse on nights when you're planning a rice dish for lunch or dinner and you've killed two birds with one stone!
Back to the hair though: after I had my rice water in a bowl and cooled completely, I took that plus a second bowl up to my shower to begin rinsing my hair.
First I wet my hair down and shampooed it like normal. After that, I let my hair sit in the rice water for a minute or so. Then, with the second bowl underneath my head I slowly poured the rice water over my head, catching it in the second bowl.
I repeated this process a few times and also let my hair soak in the bowl a few times in between. I took my wide tooth comb and combed the rice water through my hair detangling it as I went.
This whole process only took me about 5 minutes. After I was done I rinsed my hair completely, conditioned and styled like normal. Here are the results!
I'm really happy with how it came out and will definitely be doing this again! Even the side of my hair that struggles to curl was curly which is always a bonus.
If I had to compare this to the beer rinse I liked this one better for the lack of smell, plus I always have rice in my kitchen but I don't always have a beer. I think the beer rinse did a better job of conditioning my hair, it felt so much smoother and was easier to detangle in the process. But the rice rinse did a fine enough job.
What do you do to follow the Curly Girl Method and reduce waste? I'd love to try anything!
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.