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.”
So I am now a homeowner! For the very first time, we live in a house that is ours to paint, furnish and generally mess about with to our hearts’ content. You’d think we’d feel more like grown-ups, but so far I feel pretty much the same, just a lot more broke! But it’s very exciting – I’ve been frustrated so many times in our rental flats with the draughty windows, poor insulation, fume-ridden paint jobs and flimsy furniture. And now we have our own little hobbit house of a cottage and the draughty windows, mould, broken bits and everything else are ours to deal with. Suddenly it seems a whole lot harder…
The house is pretty old (1880) and whilst it has been decorated and restored very nicely, it has an energy efficiency rating that could make a dodgy diesel car look like a battery-powered Tesla car! And being the eco-fiend I am, that ain’t going to do. Long term, the plan is to get the roof and floors insulated, see what we can do with the old pre-cavity insulation walls, install a grey water system, get some veggies growing in the garden…the list goes on and on. Continue reading “New home, new challenges!”→
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.
Sometimes, as you’re correctly separating out the non-recyclable waste from your neighbour’s recycling bin (after dark, so they won’t see you), trying not to overreact as your request to have your coffee in your travel mug instead of a paper cup is met with blank stares or stifled laughter, or attempting to justify to your nearest and dearest that a third jumper, hat and extra slippers are preferable to having the heating on, you can find yourself thinking that being ‘green’ can be a bit of a lonely place.
When this happens I reassure myself that I am not really alone in this – there are surely many people as curious as I – but sometimes the sheer tide of disposable packaging, litter, waste and over-consumption, can leave me feeling a bit downhearted about it all. Why isn’t everyone else angry about this as well!?
Happy new year and welcome to 2016, lovely readers!
What with this being the usual time of year for making resolutions, I thought it might be nice to put together some tips for people who are thinking about embarking on a greener, less waste creating, more eco-friendly 2016 but aren’t sure where to start (and If you aren’t, then why not?).
Like anything new, it can be a bit daunting to start with, and so I’d recommend starting light green before heading down the slippery slope to full on dark green eco enthusiast (although by all means come join us on the journey to darkest green! We are very nice.)
Everything I’m recommending below is done so with the aim that anyone, anywhere in the UK will be able to access, rather than local places. If you have a lovely local eco-friendly shop/co-op/group, please do consider supporting them! Continue reading “Going green and clean for 2016?”→