Over the last few years there has been a growing backlash against the rise of a culture based on hyper consumption. The movement towards buying and having less has grown as people have begun to realise that a. more stuff doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness, and b. that our planet doesn’t have the resources to sustain our growing levels of consumption.
There is a level of affluence and technical innovation that greatly increases our happiness and ability to lead full, productive lives – from a warm, safe home, access to food, clean water, healthcare, through to education, and access to freedom of ideas and time to discuss them with others. Continue reading “What price happiness?”→
So in November, I wrote a post focusing on easy ways to start reducing everyday single-use plastic after seeing the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’. I was beyond excited when Plastic Oceans shared the link on their Facebook page (I still am to be honest)!
Now on to Part 2 – taking it past the easy wins and up to the next level, particularly in an area close to my heart, or rather to my stomach: food. Rather than my own recommendations, this post is going to be a guided tour round some of my favourite parts of the internet; the people, posts and pages that have inspired me.
Earlier this year, I went to see A Plastic Ocean as part of the Raindance Film Festival in London. Directed by Craig Leeson and starring world-record breaking freediver Tanya Streeter, it’s a film about how plastics get into the ocean, the devastating effects they have, and what can be done about it. I thought my trip to see it would end up being a one-person event, as whilst many of my friends politely humour me about my enthusiastic commitment to avoiding plastic, I appreciate that for many people it’s a bit of niche subject and perhaps not what you go to the cinema to see.
So I’m counting down the hours, because Friday, 14th October is the day that the Zero Waster’s Travel Companion goes on sale! A helpful guide to take you round the world whilst looking after it 🙂
This project was the idea of the lovely Inge, who blogs over at www.gruenish.com and is the brains behind the Zero Waste Bloggers Network. She has worked her socks off, and lots of us have been helping, each contributing a chapter on where you can eat, shop and live zero waste in a whole host of cities across the world!
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to find myself in one of the very nicest cities in the UK, Brighton. It has pretty much everything I could want in a city – the sea (with accompanying gorgeous views), market stalls, indie shops selling one-of-a-kind vintage items, enough vegetarian cafes to make it seem like a normal lifestyle, and a great approach to life (they elected the only Green Party MP in the UK, which makes them pretty awesome and progressive in my book).
There is a huge range of places to eat – the wonderful Terre à Terre makes some of the most exciting vegetarian food I’ve ever tried, or the excellently-named Wai Kika Moo Kau (say it out loud), but there was somewhere new that I have wanted to try ever since it opened…
Silo is a restaurant with a rather unique and exciting way of doing things – the zero waste way. It oozes out of the room itself, which is furnished with functional second-hand furniture and repurposed items. All food is delivered in refillable or reusable packaging, and any waste that created is compostable, although Silo’s website says they create so little of it that they also offer their composting services to local business and residential neighbours! Continue reading “Restaurant review: Silo”→
This week has been Zero Waste Week, with the focus being on food waste and the theme has been ‘use it up!’
Now I wouldn’t say we’re prolific food wasters, but the occasional stale end of bread, slushy cucumber or forgotten tub of hummus does emerge from the cupboard/fridge past the point of no return from time to time. More often than I’d like.
I learned something interesting about myself this year when we moved house. Earlier this year, we moved from an area where the council provided a food waste collection service to one without, meant for a short time before the arrival of the compost bins, our peelings, teabags and the occasional slip up were going in the regular bin. And I felt SO guilty! Which made me realise Continue reading “Zero Waste Week 2016”→
As someone who tries to avoid shopping in supermarkets, I love The People’s Supermarket. Mainly because it’s not really a supermarket in the regular supermarket sense (if there was an award for the most number of times you can use the word ‘supermarket’ in a post about a shop that isn’t really a supermarket, I’m pretty sure this would be a contender).
The People’s Supermarket (or TPS as we’ll call it from now on) is a lovely find in the centre of London, being independent, community minded, ethical, and all in all a jolly good egg.
It’s run as a co-op and mostly staffed by volunteers. For just four hours a month, volunteers get 20% off all their food shopping there, and a say in how it’s run.
So July is over, and that means Plastic Free July is over. Thank god I can go back to getting takeaway coffee, using two straws in every drink and spending my spare 5p pieces on a plastic bag every time I pop out for groceries! (Even writing that as a joke made me feel guilty about pretending to luxuriate in single-use plastic, is that normal?)
But July has come to an end, and the plastic that I actually did use has been dutifully saved up, photographed, agonised over and is presented here for judgement.
It can be broken down into the following categories:
Last July, I meant to write a post each week on my attempts to be single-use plastic free for the month. But one week in, there was an emergency in my extended family, and July became a rush of sleepless nights, worried phone calls, hospital visits and many other things that seemed immediately more important than the packaging my dinner came in.
It’s hard to care about plastic packaging when you’re worried about the people around you, if they’re coping OK, if they’re eating OK. And when someone asks for blueberries and grapes to be brought to the hospital, the correct response is not “sorry, I can’t get those because they come wrapped in plastic.” It’s “yes of course.”
There’s nothing like the telltale sound of a few-too-many wine and beer bottles clattering into the recycling bin to alert your street to the fact that you had a bit of a quiet gathering party the night before.
But it’s glass, and that’s very easy to recycle isn’t it? Well yes, glass is a good option for its recyclable credentials as unlike plastic, it can be made into the same quality of item again and again – a glass bottle can become another glass bottle, whereas a plastic bottle can usually only be downcycled (some more info on downcycling here). But although recycling glass uses less energy and resources compared to making brand new glass, it quite clearly uses much more than simply giving your bottle or jar a quick wash and refilling it.