CHAPTER 2 – PART 2 -BONITA’S STORIES – 20 € per week in Paris.

In the first part of this chapter, I mentioned some horrible facts around the world in terms of our waste of food. The enormous numbers are shocking for me. But I did  not start to have the LEFT, OVER. habit after I started this project. Actually, I have been doing it for a long time and I realized no matter where I am, I should always keep doing the same – Save food as much as I can; No waste of food or anything else as much as I can. However, no matter is for me or for anyone, it always takes time for us to get on the right track of doing the right things. Sometimes we need to learn it in the hard way, sometimes we don’t have to if there is a person who can kindly guide you through.

In my grandparents and parents’ ages, they learned in a hard way how to appreciate food because they never had enough before. They know the feelings of starving and hanger. You might want to ask me: did they change because of the better conditions of living in China. I will answer you that only my mum is spoiled so far. She has been always the spoiled on since she was the kid. I tried to convince her by showing her the different me after four years college. I completely amazed her by finishing up  every single plates left on the table a year ago when I visited her in China. She thought I was crazily starving or never had enough food in The Netherlands.”You are gonna throw them away anyway, but I can still have more, so we don’t have to waste it” I said to her. Then I start to tell her all my stories about saving food, make a better planet,etc.

All I have been doing is very simple – Less and less waste, less and less, and better no waste! In 2014, I went to New Zealand, started my exploring trips from this amazing country and with some awesome friends! I was working in a hostel as an intern and living together with other interns from the same hostel in a dorm room. No matter how tired I was, I was always into cooking nice food for everyone, so as other people. We shared food together and we try to eat out the best we can with our little money. I still remember we kept out food bags on the shelf, in a small fridge, and some in the bigger common fridge in the canteen. Every week, when I about to see the bottom  of the food bag, then I know I need some food. Sometime people forgot their stuff in the fridge, we will eat it if it is good but no one claims it. We did not get paid so well as an intern, so saving some money from food did us a big favor. If I cook a big meal for everyone. At the end, I only asked for around 2 NZD each person. You can’t never have a nice meal with 2NZD in Auckland. Even the horrible Kabab next to the hostel was 5 NZD. Most of the time, I cooked for my friends because I love it. By doing so, everybody else saved a lot of time for cooking, saved a lot of money on dinners, and we never waste food because we will finish our left over the next day if there is any. I lived like that for 5 months and I really missed it. The most important thing I learned is sharing food is so wonderful! When I finished my internship, I went Paris for exchange study.

Paris, we all know how crazily expensive it is. I was already unhappy about spending too much money on the accommodations, so I was so nervous before I arrived there. Surprisingly, I found out that I can still manage my grocery expense quite reasonable without wasting any food. My budget for a week was 20 Euros. Every week, more or less it was around that number. You want to know the secret? I ate a lot of homemade crepes! That’s not true! The secret I managed my money is all about balancing. My body consumes a lot of food or you can say I have a huge stomach. If I don’t know how to balance what I need and what I don’t, I will not able to live with 20 euros per week. Sometimes I even share some food with my host families.

After France, I got back to The Netherlands. I raised up my weekly budget to 25 euros since I realized that it was more expensive to live in The Netherlands. Until now, I start to work full-time, my budget raised up to 30 euros because of the extra energy I needed for my work. My closet and fridge shelf will be mostly empty after 5 or 6 days, then I will purchase another grocery round. And on and on, like this. It has been more than two years living with certain grocery budget.

The reasons that why I am doing this is not because I was/am poor. In my eyes, it is a matter of how I discipline myself about food. I do not like to waste food, not even the bread drops or source on my plate. I swipe off the plate until it is all clean. Saved a lot of water to wash it. On some level, I know that I am a tiny person on this earth and I have limited power to influence on the change of the earth. There are many grand projects or big organisations have been encouraging people to do the right thing and help create less waste and pollutions to the earth. I don’t have the power for that. However, what I do know is if I don’t start from myself, no one is going to believe in me. Saving planet is not mission impossible. It should starts from small things, from ourselves, such as wasting no food, no water,and so on.

Whoever reads my blogs or supports the project, please spread the idea of  mine to your friends and families if you think I am doing the right thing. I hope there will be more and more people to participate into this project,start from yourself and start from today.

Today, maybe start with empty your plates and finish the leftover first. You can eat whatever you want, but don’t treat food like junks. Remember food is gold, food is treasure!

Next part, I will be bringing up the concept of the project and the general idea. So you will know how to participate into this project. Again, I appreciate your support and am grateful for your efforts.

We are small, but we can make a big difference together!