Zero Waste Stain Removal Chart

I wasn't allowed in the kitchen until last year, and my command of French is middling at best, but a lifetime of thrift shopping and being clumsy turned me into a stain removal expert the likes of Heloise. All you need are a few natural ingredients you probably have on hand. Pretreat stains as directed above, then wash with savon de Marseille and cold water- olive oil-based soap is magic on delicate fabrics and greasy stains. Remember, use vinegar and baking soda one at a time, not in tandem!

Our clothes are made from natural fibers, so I don't know if these work on synthetics. If you're wearing synthetic clothing, though, you have bigger problems than stained laundry.  All items can be found in Paris in bulk (salt, cornstarch, soap, wine, carbonated water) or fully recyclable packaging (baking soda, vinegar).
Paris to Go

Gluten-Free Métro Map of Paris

Rimbaud famously said "Je est un autre." I say, "Je est une coeliaque."* Click to download the Gluten-Free Métro Plan de Paris in PDF form. To read the original gluten-free guide to Paris, click here.

*I can't believe I have to explain this to people, but this is a joke. In real life I say "Je suis coeliaque," or "J'ai la maladie coeliaque."

Paris to Go

Private Reopening of Musée Picasso, Le Marais, Paris


Musée Picasso closed five years and racked up millions of euros of debt only to reopen as a series of climatised rooms with pictures in it, some good- Massacre in Korea- some bad- Verre, Homme à la pipe attablé.  I visited with this New York Times article in the back of my mind. It suggests staring at a painting 20 minutes to three hours for increased well-being, but there was no "flourishing" for me today.

Over 5,000 Cubist works, including sketches, personal correspondence, and sculptures (see Tête de taureau, above) are curated by theme in Hôtel Salé, the beautiful 17th century Baroque residence of Philippe Aubert. I'm purposely not going to explain who that is, because it's very Parisian to name-drop an obscure Louis XIV-era financier and act like everyone should recognize him immediately. Musée Picasso features a wrought-iron staircase modeled after Michelangelo's design, and was a bronze factory and storage facility before becoming a museum in 1985. It was also supposed to re-open three years ago, back when "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" was on TV.

I may not understand the art world, but the Picasso museum does explain why our landlord still hasn't fixed the towel warmer that was broken when we moved in, or why I play cat-and-mouse with French delivery services for weeks before receiving a package, or why it takes three hours to return something at Carrefour, even when I'm the only person in-store. Vive la France! Click here to preview the collection.
Paris to Go

Our Apartment

We had a photo shoot of our place today. I didn't like the photographer very much and the pictures won't be ready until next month, so that's all I can say about that. In the meantime we'll make do with these. The apartment doesn't look anything like we imagined because a) we were working off Leboncoin finds, b) our renter's agreement limited modifications, and c) the radiators are placed stupidly around the rooms. It may be too spare for most people. For us, it's bright and sunny and we feel good whenever we get home and look at a clean, uncluttered space.


We've lived here two years now, but I didn't know our home was "minimalist" until I started this blog. On one side of the entrance is the utility closet and kitchen. On the other side are three built-ins with shelves for coats and shoes, linens, books, and files. Our kitchen is "American style"- open, not enclosed in a separate room.


The Nkuku locker room shelves are from La Tresorerie. My husband bought a lot of art before we got married, massive pieces that physically don't fit in the apartment. Instead, we display personal items- photos, cards from friends, and vintage prints with extra hangers or salvaged frames. I love growing, gardening, and having plants everywhere, but the cats can't resist nibbling and get sick.

Our apartment is 70 square meters (around 753 square feet), with an additional 14 square meters outdoor space. We were happy to have lots of closets and drawers under the bathroom sink. This allows us to live with only ten pieces of furniture, which is very freeing.


There's homemade mouthwash in the capped bottle and grapeseed oil in the small one. They held Aesop products originally, but now we use bulk soap and oil for everything.

In our bedroom, we have two built-in closets and a TV, which we only got because I lost a fight with my husband. The back balcony overlooks Invalides and Tour Montparnasse. From the front balcony, you can see the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, and La Defense. 


We travel and move often. Things get increasingly tiresome the more you pack them up and carry them around. Everything we own, we use- there isn't any furniture you can't sit on, or decorations you can't touch. In the realm of everyday useful things, both the needs and wants of undemanding persons are easily satisfied, and you don't have to be an aboriginal goat herder to figure that out. For more photos of our apartment, click here or here. To see how we clean and organize everything, click here. Click here to read Parts I, II, and III of our Paris apartment search. P.S. Our home is on Apartment Therapy today.


Kartell Componibili, vintage from LeBonCoin
Ikea sofa from LeBonCoin, similar here
Habitat Ikebana bed from LeBonCoin, similar here
Rocker, Eames
Linen sheet set, secondhand
Dining table from Leboncoin, similar here
Chairs, LebonCoin, similar here
Thrifted flatware, Arne Jacobsen for Georg Jensen
Copper mugs, gifted
Weck jars, secondhand
Steel spoon, similar here
Steel spatula, here
Paper lanterns, LeBonCoin
Wire shelves, Nkuku

Paris to Go

Zero Waste Shopping Guide to Paris UPDATED 2018



Atelier Souris Verte: DIY makeup, hair, and body product workshops, bring your own containers (online classes available). 
Bio'c'Bon: Unpackaged savon de marseille, best price on baking soda.
Biocoop: Carries the Mooncup in size B and unpackaged savon de marseille.
Beauté au Naturel: Bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cup, reusable beauty products.
Buly 1803 or Grand Cafe Tortoni: Vegetable oils- apricot kernel, sweet almond, aloe vera macerate, açai, andiroba, tamanu, brazil nut, camellia, daisy, evening primrose, pracaxi, raspberry seed, grapeseed, rosehip, castor, tucum, tea tree, coconut pulp, prickly pear, pomegranate, and gettou. Loose poudres- rose petal, lavender, olive pit, iris root, azuki, walnut shell, rice bran, amla, and yunohana. Clays-green desert, pascalite, white, yellow, blue, pink, rhassoul, red, and illite green. Unpackaged Mount Athos and Palosanto incense sticks, silk Greek and honeycomb sponges, volcanic pumice, wool pumice, alum stone, bukkake powder, siwak (miswak) root, mimi senketsu, and emu oil. Note: Stock subject to availability.
Day by Day: Zao makeup in refillable bamboo compacts, soaps, brushes, scrubs, washcloths, tooth tabs, toothbrushes, menstrual cups (Maison Zero Dechet also has toothbrushes)

Le Comptoir des Savonniers: Unpackaged handmade soaps including apricot, aloe, almond, amaranth, amber, argan, bamboo, salted butter / honey, wood, dead sea mud, calendula, cedar, hemp, honeysuckle, coconut, coral, eucalyptus, orange blossom, gardenia, geranium/rosewood, ginger, olive oil, jojoba / shea, jasmine, fig, iris, lavender, ivy, mentholated marjoram, mango, melon, mint, bee hive honey, musk, black hammam, patchouli, pine, peony, rosemary, petal of provence, sandalwood, anti-acne sulphur, tobacco, tea tree oil, green tea, verbena, vetiver / bergamot, royal jelly, violet.
Le Labo: Cruelty free, vegan; refills perfume and fragrance.
La Maison du Savon de Marseille: Bulk soap.
Grande Mosquée de Paris: Bulk kohl, I read this could contain lead though and get mine at the organic market.
Herboristeries: Pigault-Aublanc for bulk siwak, Hippocrate, Pharmacie des Deux Lions
Le Retour à la Terre: Mooncup, reusable menstrual pads.
Mon Charbon: Activated carbon.
Naturalia: Mooncup size A.
Oh My Cream: Plastic-free makeup by RMS Beauty packaged in metal and glass.
VeganMania: Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cup, unpackaged soap.



Au bout du Champ: Fresh produce and eggs.
Auchan: Bulk selection including biscuits, pastas, grains, cereals, candies.
Bio'c'Bon: Bulk gluten-free cookies, grated coconut, olives, chia seeds, pastas, grains, sables, red lentils, sugar, etc.
Biocoop: Biscuits, sunflower seeds, pasta, muesli, rice, quinoa, green lentils, granola, courgette seeds, flax seeds, oatmeal, sugar.
Bio Shop: Organic produce and bulk.
Bien: Beautiful organic epicerie in the Marais.
Canal Bio: Organic products.
Carrefour: Limited bulk grains at Gare de Lyon location.
Causses: Olives, olive oil, herbs de provence, orange juice, and various spices and cheeses in bulk.
Cinemas Gaumont Pathé: Bulk candy, including M&Ms in every color.
Day by Day Batignolles: Paris' first true dedicated zero waste shop (now there are locations in the 15eme, 7eme, and at Charenton!!!)
Epicerie Fine Rive Gauche: Unpackaged spices, salts, herbs, and teas.
Epicerie Generale: Take-away juice bar, gluten-free foods, and organic produce.
L'Epicerie Végétale: Wildflower florist and organic epicerie, such a beautiful spot!
Épicerie Kilogramme: Dedicated zéro waste grocery / health and beauty shop in the 19eme
En Vrac: Wine, vinegar, spirits (rum, cognac, whiskey, etc.), mustard, and olive oil. Offers make-your-own-wine workshops in French and English.
Heratchian Frères: Spices, dry goods, feta, halloumi.
Holy Planet: Organic produce, salad bar.

Famille Mary: Three types of honey in bulk.
La Louve: Co-op.
La Pistacherie: Bulk açai, Goji berries, dried fruits, sesame, nuts, wasabi peas, tea.
La Récolte: Fresh, organic food straight from the producer.
La Recyclerie: Bulk wine.
La Tête dans les olives: Bulk pasta, olive oil, almonds, citrus fruits, cinnamon, herbs, takeaway lemonade, Italian specialty items.
Le Baron Rouge: Bulk wine.
Le Garde-Manger des Dames: Lovely cantine and epicerie specializing in local producers (within Ile-de-France).
Le Retour à la Terre: Wide bulk selection, including chocolate chips.
Maille: Mustard flavors on tap include vin blanc, chablis, ancienne chardonnay, and truffle.
Marché President Wilson: Olives, bulk prepared foods, cheese, milk in returnable glass bottles, nuts, aperitif snacks.
Marché Raspail Bio: Milk in returnable glass bottles, bulk chocolate, nuts, olives, fresh pasta, lentils, quinoa, grains.
Mille et Zim: Whiskey.
Naturalia: Limited bulk selection in select stores, generally quinoa, rice, and one or two other grains.
Puerto Cacao: Bulk fair-trade chocolates and Nutella-type hazelnut paste in parfait jars.
Quatre Saisons Cler: Limited bulk legumes and grains.
Sur les Quais: Salt, herbs, spices and spice blends.
Tortilleria Mil Amores: Fresh gluten-free tortillas made every Saturday
Outside Paris: Jean BouteilleDay by Day.
Bulk tea is available from many places in Paris, the best of which is Mariage Frères. Mariage Frères is to tea what Dreiser was to race relations or Mahler to romantic Austro-German symphonic works. Remember when Eleanor Waldorf brought Blair the most amazing Lapsang Souchong from Mariage Frères? 



Graine de Coton: Consignment shop dedicated to wedding attire.
Guerrisol: Secondhand chain with shops all over Paris.
La Compagnie des hommes: Men's luxury secondhand.
Le Depot Bobo: Designer and gently used baby and children's clothing, accessories, furnishings and toys.
Les Recuperables: Upcycled fashion brand.
Madre & Figlia: Well-priced, edited depot-vente with friendly owners.
Boutique Comete: Charming owner stocking pristine designer items; prices negotiable but they're already good.
Violette & Leonie: No receipts, no price tags. Secondhand and designer labels at reasonable prices.
Vintage Bar: No receipts or price tags. Prices negotiable. Designer and runway items.
To borrow clothes: L'Habibliothèque (clothes library) and C'est Ma Robe (vintage / designer dress rental)


Au Grand Magasin: Vintage papers, pens, notebooks, folders, and art supplies.
Carton Plein: Moving materials.
Emmaus: The Rue Riquet outpost is the best.
Famille Mary: Unpackaged blocks of beeswax.
Hamon: Mercerie for unpackaged sewing materials.
La Droguerie: Ribbons, buttons, sewing notions, yarn, zippers, trims, fabric, leather elbow patches, embellishments, knitting needles, and more.
La Petite Rockette: Upcycled household items and clothing.
La Trésorerie: Utensils, cookware, bakeware, sheets, napkins, reusable shopping bags, utility items.
Marché Saint-Pierre: Fabrics and sewing notions.

I'm sorry to say I've seen nails, screws, pet toys and treats, even fishing hooks and wire unpackaged at lots of places in Paris, without noting names or streets. I'll update this post as I find things. Most markets and fromageries let you put produce, cheese, meat, and fish in your own containers (I like a stainless tiffin for meat and fish, cloth bags for bulk grains/nuts/etc., swing-top glass for juice, wine, and zero-waste sparkling water). Just hand them reusable bags and say, "J'ai un objectif zéro déchet."  As Allegra says, you kind of can't take no for an answer! Am I missing any of your favorite sources?

Paris to Go

Jardin Catherine-Labouré, Paris 7ème

Today I'd like to share one of my favorite spots in Paris: Jardin Catherine-Labouré, home of the only compost site (at least that I know of) in the 7ème. It's on Rue de Babylone across from Hotel Matignon, surrounded by a medieval-looking stone wall.


The garden is tended by CPN Val-de-Seine, an environmental association promoting urban agriculture and community education. Each week, they hold classes and activities for children. It's a popular spot for locals looking for a sunny place to eat lunch, away from the cigarette smoke and ambient elitism of Square Boucicaut.


You can drop off old books and bottle caps here for recycling, and free wi-fi is available throughout the park- fortuitous, considering every corner is a nugget of Instagram gold.


Paris to Go