First #INSPIRECHALLENGE completed!

Zero Waste

Reading time: 4 min

The first challenge of the Inspire challenge came to an end: 21 days of eating local and vegetarian food.
Once a month the Inspire team will come up with a challenge that I need to do. These challenges are thought to help people to be more conscious and inspire a shift towards a Zero Waste life or at least a more sustainable one! You can participate in this fun game too!

How did it go?!
Well… to be completely honest with you, I feel I could have done better, but I am also happy about the results.

Vegetarian or Local – what’s more difficult?

Between local and vegetarian what scared me the most was the local food. I’ve been vegetarian for years and loved it, I love to cook and prepare different dishes, always research new recipes, and experiment. I still eat vegetarian most days and usually eat now and then some meat or fish at the restaurant. Going back to full vegetarian life wasn’t that difficult. And for the ones that are wondering, yes, I am also very careful with my protein intake (even if they are vegetarian proteins)… of course being on a Spanish island, I got used to very tasty Jamon Iberico, but I know I can live without it.

When it comes to local products, that was a bit more of a challenge. I’ll give you a bit of background – I’m currently living on an island – Tenerife, half of which is kind of like a desert. On top of this, I live in a very small town on the seaside, so you can imagine that it can be a bit of a challenge. Island life is limiting as we import a lot of products and when you are on a small island the amount of locally produced ingredients diminishes a lot. So I had a few difficulties in finding all ingredients.

A few funny things happened:

  1. I discovered that my morning tea was produced in Poland… WTF.
  2. As it’s summer I was really craving an ice-cream… most are imported and even at the ice-cream shop the ingredients are not from Tenerife – imagine chocolate, strawberries… nope, but I found the Gofio (a cereal from here) ice-cream which was good…I still prefer chocolate eheheheh.

But let’s start with the very positive sides of this challenge.

Break the supermarket cycle

Vegetables at the supermarket

First of all, it helped me break the cycle of just going to the supermarket to buy my food. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most convenient option you have, because it’s always open and you can go there any time you need, satisfying all sorts of desires you have in the culinary arena.
But then, the downside of this is that inevitably you are going to (or at least me) spend more than needed. If you are a foodie like me, then every time you go to the supermarket, you will end up buying more than it’s necessary just to treat yourself. Also, I noticed that I would throw away more food, as I would go to buy new products more often.
I went from going to the supermarket 3 or 4 times a week to going to the markets on Wednesday and Saturday morning. This led to a more organized grocery which made me spend less, waste less food, and increased the quality of my food.

There is a decent variety of vegetables in Tenerife, let’s be honest it barely changes, as we don’t have seasons, but they are very tasty. In terms of fruit, it is quite poor there are mainly bananas and papayas (which I cannot eat) and watermelon which costs double than the supermarket one. Now and then I would find something new and different. You should have seen my face of pure joy when I found figs! So unexpected, so tasty! Recently, I discovered that you can find local apples, apricots, and peaches…. Peaches are at 4 euros per kg… I had to donate my liver to buy some peaches!

At the market, I was able to buy local goat cheese which is amazing which made me very very happy! I discovered that at one of the markets I would be able to buy, if I want, local fish and meat (some kinds, not all of them).

The downside was that it’s almost impossible to find local legumes, couldn’t find any lentils, chickpeas, etc., and I couldn’t find a local option for milk or butter, olive oil, and other basic products that we use to cook.

Big PRO – the amount of plastic packaging was reduced by 80% and as a consequence also the trash I generated was way lower.

Home-made lunch

Another aspect was that I was spending quite some money on buying lunch, since I started the challenge, I started also to bring to work every day my lunch. And thanks to this I was able to reduce cost and also eat healthier as I was used to eating a sandwich almost every day.

Drinking local

Let’s talk about the water we drink. The tap water in the village where I live is terrible and I’m pretty sure you’ll die of cancer if you drink it but also taste terrible. So we are used to buying 8-litre bottles of water. Every week we use 3 or 4 large bottles of water. To my surprise, at the market, I could refill the empty bottles with potable water from a local source! Cheers to that!

Talking about drinking, another beautiful surprise is that the island has a local brewery (well…this wasn’t a surprise), it’s actually cheaper to drink beer than water on this island hahahah, but I discovered several local incredibly tasty wines like Bodega Frontos! And love them all!

Other local products I introduced to my purchase list

During the 21 days, I finished the shampoo, the conditioner, and the toothpaste and I was able to find local sustainable options! This made me happy, because I always wanted to buy these kinds of products, but it was never a priority until now. And trust me, now that I’ve tried them, I would never go back. Alma guanche is a local producer of soaps, shampoos, conditioners, creams and toothpastes. All her products are simply awesome!

The downside of the first toothpaste I found in a shop, was the price … like 13 euros – WTF, I mean I understand it is sustainable, but it’s not sustainable for my pocket!!! So I looked for a cheaper solution with Alma Guanche 🙂 The thing is that you need to invest time to find the right products…

I recently finished the laundry detergent and I discovered that in another town, 25 min drive from where I live, there is a shop where you can bring your jars and bottles for refill. So I will make sure that in my routine, once a month, I’ll go there to buy all the products I need that I cannot find at the market.

Overall, I think I enjoyed this challenge because it made me discover new interesting stuff, appreciate local ingredients, and helped me better plan my weekly grocery, and reduced waste. Did I mention that the quality of the food I ate increased incredibly?!

Restaurants were less locally focused

As you might have understood by now, I like to eat a lot of tasty food. So one of the biggest challenges was not to go to the restaurant. I know I sound spoiled, but for me eating at the restaurant now and then is a treat, and when the food is good I think it’s worth it!
But thinking again about the fact that I live on an island very far away from everything, you can understand that most restaurants don’t use local ingredients and there are very few good vegetarian options in town. If you think about it, even pizza cannot be local on Tenerife as the mozzarella is imported… and no, I’m not eating a pizza without it eheheheheh I’m so Italian! So I avoided as much as I could going to the restaurant, declined several dinner invitations, but at the very end of the challenge there were some social work events I had to attend and the only option was to try to order the most local dish I could find.

Dinners with friends – OUCH!

The other downside of this challenge is that I had a few dinners at home and friends would bring some food too and it was not local, not vegetarian and I have to say that I am guilty of having succumbed to temptation…

Overall a wonderful experience

In general, I think this challenge helped me to open my eyes a bit when it comes to buying products. To not just select immediately the first one and the cheaper one I find, but I started to check where it’s coming from and if it is from far away, I started to ask myself if I really needed it and if it’s really worth buying it. Then I tend to ask myself, “can you find a more sustainable solution?” It’s a challenge because you need to invest a bit more time while buying what you need and be more conscious. 

Also, I think that I like the fact of being able to contribute to the local economy and buy as many local products as I can, however, I am also aware that it takes extra effort, because you have to break a convenient routine built around a frenetic life where we don’t have much time to waste to go to the market, find the right shops, find better local products. But if you manage, it’s really rewarding!

I’m very curious to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment!

The first challenge is behind me and on Monday at 7pm (Italian time) the Inspire ladies will give me the next one! Can’t wait to hear which one is it!!! Keep you posted!

Can you go zero waste?

Zero Waste

Reading time: 12 min

Have you ever thought about being planet conscious?

What it has to do with being a kite girl?

Spending a lot of time on the beach and in the water, whether is kiting surfing, or snorkeling and the truth is the amount of trash I´ve seen and keep on seeing both on the beach and in the water makes me feel incredibly useless. 

I´m not going to stay here to tell you the 1000 times I felt deeply angry and sad in finding remote and desert beautiful places covered by human trash. Because you’ll think I’m very boring, it’s an uncomfortable truth that most want to avoid or think it’s a reality too far away and you don’t feel connected. I get it, I mean… after all, why should you care about a remote beach in Guatemala?  

So when you travel a lot you see a lot of crazy situations bad and good, as they say, traveling opens your mind and soul. 

See that plastic thingy hanging from my wetsuit?

And when you travel, you get to know new people and the beautiful thing is that some of them will inspire you and elevate you. 

My ex-partner was a “planet-conscious freak”, I loved him so much for this because he challenged my consumeristic approach to life. Just to give you the idea he became vegetarian, quitted drinking, and started meditating just after we got married… THAT WAS A TRAP!!!! Eheheh jokes aside he started a journey around self-discovery, consciousness, and meditation that elevated both of us, me as a follower. If it wasn’t for him, the current version of Gio would not exist so I owe him a lot! 

I used to buy a lot of useless things, clothes and shoes – omg I had sooo many pair of shoes – and buy all sorts of food in any shape and form depending on what I wanted to eat no matter if it came from New Zealand, or was processed food plenty of chemicals or wrapped in 200 layers of plastic… as long as it was tasty I would buy it!

Of course, living with somebody who embraces the cause of a conscious living, that makes his goal to reduce his footprint impact is no piece of cake believe me. We were buying mostly locally produced products (imagine that on an island where everything is imported from the USA…) we were both vegetarians back then, clothes shopping was reduced to the bare minimum, we started to live a minimalistic life. We were full of experiences and low in material things. 

I remember he ”brainwashed” me with love for the planet, that each time I would go grocery shopping when I wanted to buy a product I would think “Would Dani buy this?” And in my mind, his first reaction was a no go eheheh

People like Dani are essential because they help the change by supporting their cause even for the others. If I have to be completely honest, once we decided to split ways I went banana and forgot for a while to be planet conscious. It was an easy life again! Because let’s be honest, living a planet-conscious life is no joke. It’s way easier not to think about how much waste we are generating every single day. We live a life where if something breaks it’s easier to throw it away and replace it with a new one than repair it. We got used to buying processed food rather than raw local ingredients and cook by ourselves. Our fruit and vegetables now are coming from the other side of the world. And we are preferring quantity over quality. This brings us to generate a bizillion tons of waste. 

All the trash I create now!!!

So I went banana on waste life, and then, the little planet conscious Gio came to knock at the door because she was feeling more and more guilty. She remembered all those beautiful places she saw full of trash. All those white sand beaches and river canyons full of waste, the reefs dying, the kids playing in streets covered with trash. All things she saw with her own eyes. To not talk about the gigantic island made of trash in the middle of the ocean, I only saw videos of that but it was enough.

And right at this moment when I felt I needed a guide, life wanted me to cross paths with Alice, one of the founders of an Italian organization called INSPIRE. Alice explained to me that the real issue here is not using less plastic, the real issue is the amount of waste we generate which it’s increasing each year more. This is becoming unsustainable and lots of countries are struggling in dealing with this issue.

Click to check their website

So what can we do? We can be more conscious about our purchases!

Alice told me, every time you buy something you should ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Do I really need it? 
  2. If yes, is there an alternative with less packaging/waste products? 
  3. Can I improve the quality of this purchase by substituting it with a product that would be more sustainable and durable, which would not become useless within a short amount of time, forcing me to buy a new one? 

If we could apply this to most of our purchases I bet it would reduce quite a lot the amount of the things we would buy and mostly we might not going for the first option, training our brains to do a more conscious purchase.

Talking with Alice we immediately clicked and we similarly see things and I guess meeting Inspire was the awakening call I was looking for to go back to a more conscious life.

We are teaming up with Inspire to create awareness about Zero Waste, because sometimes we think the change needs to be big but in reality, we can start to change small habits and be more impactful! 

That’s why each month Inspire will propose a Zero Waste Challenge, we will launch it with a LiveVideo on Instragram, and the challenge will last for 21 days. Which apparently is the time we need to change a habit!

During these 21 days, I´ll keep you posted on how it is going through my daily stories. The fun fact is that all the challenges are secret and I´ll get to know them live together with you! 

Would love for you to participate in the challenges and share how it’s going! You can use #InspireChallenge so that we can interact with your content! And don´t forget to tag us in your stories @lagiokite @inspire.ecoparticipation

On the Mondayy 31st of May at 19:30 Rome time via Instagram Live we´ll launch the first challenge so stay tuned to get to know what’s cooking!


In the meantime Inspire asked me to do an assessment of my Zero Waste level so that they can be as creative as they can to make my life impossible eheheh

Here’s a nice exercise for you as well, rate yourself from 0 to 10 how much of the following points are already in your routine. 0 being something you don’t do and 10 something you definitely do.

You can find the full version of the Zero Waste Guide by clicking here


General suggestions: the easy ones 🙂

Be mindful of how we move around  Adopt the transportation that has the least impact on the environment

I´m rating myself 8/10 – I mostly move around walking, however as soon as I need to go out of El Medano I need to take a car as public transport is not really well connected in the island

Reduce buying online products, especially on big e-commerce and mostly it would be way better to buy local!

I´m rating myself 5/10 – Living on an island far away from everything it’s quite difficult to find some products!!! I can definitely buy more local products!

Let’s meditate 

I´m rating myself 1/10 – Is kiting meditating? I really can’t meditate or I really never put my mind into it… I prefer meditation in sport!

Repairing instead of rebuying

I´m rating myself 7/10 – I try to repair all things that I can!

Let’s not blow it all up in…smoke!  

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Oh yeah! I don’t smoke cigarettes!!!


Local purchases

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I used to go more often to the market … I definitely can do better!

Reusable bags and nets for groceries and all kinds of purchases

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I forget a lot the reusable bags… I´m terrible! 

Package-free and on-tap products

I´m rating myself 1/10 – Omg this can be brought to another level!


Eliminate single-use plastic bottles

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I now buy 2 bottles a month… but in Tenerife, we need to buy gallons of water for the house

Plan your meals and food shopping

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I usually prepare my meals but sometimes I still go grocery shopping last minute

Adopt a Zero Waste kind of diet (local products, seasonal ingredients, vegetarian diet)

I´m rating myself 4/10 – omg I used to do all of this.. now it’s food madness

Waste oil

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yess I put waste oils in glass jars and periodically dispose of it at a nearby drop-off point!

Moka machine and reusable pods

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yesss I use a Moka!


On-tap and DIY detergents

I´m rating myself 0/10 – nope I usually buy them at the supermarket

 Cloth napkins and reusable tableware

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I only have the reusable tableware

Loofah sponges

I´m rating myself 0/10 – omg I use normal sponges!

 Eliminate plastic and aluminum foil

I´m rating myself 6/10 – Yesss I usually use jars 


Soap bars soaps on tap

I´m rating myself 5/10 – mmmmmmm I buy quite some normal soaps in plastic bottles BAD GIO

 Diy toothpaste and deodorant Cotton swabs

I´m rating myself 7/10 – I have a crystal deodorant and reusable cotton swab but the toothpaste?!? Can you DIY?!?


I´m rating myself 0/10 – I used to have bamboo ones now I went back to the normal plastic ones!

For women, the Menstrual Cup

I´m rating myself 10/10 – BEST PRODUCT EVER!


Turn the tap off instead of having it uselessly run when we wash something

I´m rating myself 6/10 -Maybe guilty a little bit

Turn off the lights when nobody is in the room

I´m rating myself 3/10 -yup I’m one of those people

 Choose a fan instead of an AC

I´m rating myself 10/10 -I hate the AC!!!

Sweep the floor with a broom instead of using the vacuum cleaner 2 out of 3 times

I´m rating myself 2/10 – Come on the vacuum cleaner is so easy to use!!!

Hang clothes to dry instead of using electric dryers

I´m rating myself 10/10 – YESSSSS! Also, I don’t iron them so I need to properly hang them!

Don’t charge electronic devices more than necessary

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yess I’m very careful because otherwise, you risk ruining the battery as well!


On-tap and homemade detergents

I´m rating myself 0/10 – ok ok definitely can improve this!

 Transform Old sheets, towels, and cloths to clean

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I’m on a good way there

Reusable garbage bags

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Wait what the hell?!?!?!


No fast fashion

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty

Swap and borrow

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty


I´m rating myself 3/10 – My grandma taught me a lot!

No online shopping

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty


Let’s be mindful of how we move around

I´m rating myself 7/10 – yesss I´m kinda

Reusable water bottle

I´m rating myself 8/10 – almost 85% of the days!

Carry your own Zero Waste meal

I´m rating myself 7/10 – could do it more often!

Reusable cutlery kit, sporks, and cotton napkin

I´m rating myself 8/10 – Missing this napkin thingy!


I´m rating myself 10/10 – No straws please indeed! I even bought the metal ones just in case!

Leave no trace

I´m rating myself 10/10 – I usually bring back all my trash and if I found more I´ll throw it away too


Stock rainwater

I´m rating myself 0/10 – it doesn’t rain in Tenerife 

Grow your own food

I´m rating myself 1/10 – I grew tomatoes!

 Natural and homemade pesticides and remedies

I´m rating myself 7/10 – yess I try to!


I´m rating myself 0/10 – not doing this currently!


Party rentals and cutlery

I´m rating myself 8/10 – whenever I’m organizing a dinner at home I use normal dishes

No balloons and lanterns

I´m rating myself 9/10 – No no no 

 DIY decorations

I´m rating myself 10/10 – I don’t decorate so it’s easier eheheheh

 Sustainable wrappings

I´m rating myself 8/10 – yes I try to

DIY presents

I´m rating myself 2/10 – mmmmm I tried once and I sucked so I went back to normal presents


Zero Waste procedures and policies (Before printing a document, let’s ask ourselves if we truly need to – make our own personal notebooks, agendas, and calendars – reduce the use of technology to only what’s needed)

I´m rating myself 0/10 – I’m kind of a tech freak….

Carry your own meal and snacks

I´m rating myself 6/10 – still missing some days but getting there!

 No vending machines

I´m rating myself 10/10 – we don´t have Vending machines at the beach!


Uuuuuuufff I don’t have kids! But for the ones who have them 🙂

Washable diapers

 Second-hand objects, clothes, and accessories

 No single-dose

 Percarbonate and baking soda instead of detergents Biodegradable wipes only when necessary 


Don’t have pets but if you do:

Biodegradable bags for poop 

DIY Treats and toys 

Food in bulk or homemade 

You can find the full guide with lots of explanations and details here

Do you want to be part of the change?

On Monday the 31st at 19:30 we´ll launch (via instragram Live) the first challenge that will run from the 1st of June till the 21st. Are you ready for it? I definitely am!