5 Things I Miss as a Vegan

Aside from the obvious – and completely uninformed – questions concerning where I get my protein from, or how I could possibly live without cheese, one question always pops up when I tell someone I’m vegan; what do I miss the most? I find this a really odd thing to ask. It assumes that by cutting out animal products from my life I have in turn backed myself into a limited resource corner; in which I am deprived of what are clearly the most desirable things in life. Oh poor vegan me, people must think. No chocolate, ice cream, lamb chops, macaroni cheese, leather belts, “luxury” cosmetics etc etc. Surely I would miss all those things as they are so engrained in our culture, our history and more importantly, our habits. Continue reading 5 Things I Miss as a Vegan

Your Green Life: Zero Waste Chef

Ok, so first things first: a massive apology for how embarrassingly late this interview has come to you lovely people. About 3 months to be exact! But they say you leave the best to last, and I have to say this is a gem of a green life right here! 

Fellow blogger and my ultimate cooking inspiration, Zero Waste Chef, makes living waste free and cooking from scratch seem easier than finishing off a cool glass of white wine on a hot summers day! From buying fresh, local and seasonal; to using up every last morsel of food. Being the lazy old fool I am, I tend to watch with amazement but rarely give her recipes a go; though her ideas and food knowledge never cease to amaze me. 

Alongside her blog, Anne-Marie also hosts regular webinars and workshops to help others learn the skills of waste free cooking where she lives in California (dream home BTW!). In fact, as I will be finishing off my backpacking travels in San Francisco next year; I’m very much hoping I can catch one of these and learn a thing or two myself! 

Continue reading Your Green Life: Zero Waste Chef

Waste Free Dining With Doggy Bags!

Doggy bags are the best. That is, if you’re brave enough to ask for them! We are all guilty of having eyes bigger than our bellies from time to time, and ordering way more than we can possibly consume when eating out. But when it comes to sending plates of food back to the kitchen, the dreadful waste can be a little too much to stomach. But I for one am always a little shy just to ask for a doggy bag. If eating at a restaurant that also offers a takeaway service it can feel a little less cheeky asking for a tub to take any leftovers home. But even then the food often sits in our fridge for a few days before being thrown into our bins at home!

This weekend we were faced with this dilemma when we went out for Sunday Lunch at the Offshore Bar and Bisto in Cubert. A couple of sides of steamed seasonal veg were ordered, but with such generous main portions, they were barely touched. After forcing a carrot or a sprout into our mouths, we all admitted defeat. It felt like a complete waste to send it back to the kitchen, but we all seemed unsure if it was good etiquette to ask for a doggy bag. Luckily, one of the most braver, resourceful member of the group just asked and the staff were happy to oblige. Easy! Continue reading Waste Free Dining With Doggy Bags!

Day 5 of Local for Lent: The Natural Store

I’m now five days into my attempt to avoid supermarkets for lent, and so far so (almost) good. I had a little hick up late on Friday night when I needed to get a few bits and all the shops in my village were shut apart from a large supermarket chain. So I must admit I did cheat a little, but compromised and bought two things that couldn’t wait till the morning when the local shops opened again. Note to self: be better prepared next time!!

So yesterday, whilst enjoying a day out in Falmouth, I popped into my favorite Cornish chain, The Natural Store, to stock up on some bits and bobs (and indulge in a few non essential treats!) Alongside the Falmouth branch there is one in Helston and nearer to me in St Austell, but Falmouth is much bigger and is in fact slit into two stores; one for food stuff and one for home and body.

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Continue reading Day 5 of Local for Lent: The Natural Store

Plastic Bottle Fashion

Along with my purse, phone and keys, I carry my bobble water bottle wherever I go. It’s not necessarily that I’m a big water drinker (in fact, sometimes I can go all day without drinking any at all) but I never want to be caught short and forced to buy bottled water from the shop. Ever since I discovered more about the devastating effects of plastic pollution,  the idea of buying water bottled when its readily available in taps makes no sense to me.

That said, we all get caught out once in a while, and the fact is that billions of plastic bottles continue to be produced worldwide. But what if these bottles could be recycled, and re-appropriated into something useful? Well I recently came across a company who is trying to salvage our plastic bottles, and turn them into things we can wear and use; and a lot of big brands are in on it.

Continue reading Plastic Bottle Fashion

One Big Reason to Start Stamp Collecting

If, unlike me, you were inundated by Valentines cards last weekend, you might have a backlog of stamped envelopes at home. If not, there is no reason you shouldn’t start  the age old tradition of stamp collecting for one big reason: charities can make money from them.

Until not long ago, any old paper items went straight into the basket next to our log burner for bulking up our winter fires, or straight into the paper recycling box. And it never really occurred to me that peeling stamps off envelopes would be of any use to anyone. But, perhaps 10 years after everyone else, I discovered that charities like oxfam, PDSA and RNIB all raise funds through the collection of stamps. All you have to do is cut them off your envelope, save in a pot and post over to your chosen charity using the address’ below. What a great way to recycle, reuse and fundraise!

Charities who receive Stamps:

RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Send loose stamps to: RSPB Stamps, PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 9XT

PDSA: People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals
Send used stamps to: PDSA Stamp Appeal, PO Box 9191, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ML2 0YB

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
Send to: PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 9GW

Animal SOS Sri Lanka o Send to: Animal SOS Sri Lanka, 64 Fair Acres, Prestwood, Great Missenden, Buck, HP16 0LE RNIB: Royal

National Institute of Blind People
Sort into UK and foreign and send to: RNIB Stamp Recycling, PO Box 185, Benfleet, SS7 9BH

OXFAM
Donate to any shop, email jawhitaker@oxfam.org.uk for more info

MS Trust: Multiple Sclerosis Trust 
Send to: MS Trust, Bridge Road, Letchworth Garden City, Herts, SG6 4ET

You can see a comprehensive list, including local charities here .

Giving up supermarkets for Lent

Coffee, chocolate and wine…the many pleasures I have tried to give up for lent. Unsuccessfully of course. But why is it that giving something up always sounds like a depressing way to deprive yourself of something you like? What if we switched it, and gave up things we couldn’t give two hoots about?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m planning to do this time around. Instead of giving up something for lent that becomes a countdown to the moment it meets my lips again, I’m giving up something I have been trying to do for a while: Supermarkets. Not like I have anything against the big boys, they offer incredible vale on tinned tomatoes and sacks of rice; but when you live somewhere with such a thriving local foody culture, it seems mad not to tap in to some good old Cornish produce. There are markets and farm shops galore around here, and we happen to have one of the most delicious bakeries where I work at the Eden Project.

In fact, even our local independent healthfood shop sells everything I need for my vegan diet; from nuts, seeds and flour, to soy milk, tempeh and (most importantly) dairy-free ice cream!

My biggest worry though, will be reigning in my budget so I can keep on track with my recent realisation that my travelling savings has gone a little bottoms up. But buying in bulk, cooking smart and eating for my height (instead of my greed) will certainly help.

So what do you think? Fancy challenging yourself to live supermarket free for lent? I can guarantee it will be rewarding to switch those pesky trolleys and grumpy checkout ladies, for local producers doing their thing in your community. Plus, it’s much nicer proposition that giving up something you actually like, surely?!

Keep up with me, and some of my wonderful green blogging freinds, on Twitter to see how we get on:   

Book Review: Green Moxie’s Guide to Sustainable Living

This weekend, I’m a bit of a kid in a (vegan) candy shop. I’ve managed to get my hands on one of the most exciting green books of the year: Green Moxie’s Guide to Sustainable living, and I’ve been dying to share my thought with you all!

I’ve been a massive fan of Toronto based Nikki Fotheringham and her website Green Moxie ever since I began A Lazy Girl Goes Green last year, and have be fortunate enough to do a few blog swaps with the sustainability legend. What struck me from the outset was how honest, funny and down to earth Nikki was with her approach to sustainability. Though she specialises in environmentally-friendly building technologies and renewable energy, her cheeky and stylish approach to green living makes it a more accessible, and in fact desirable, way to live.  Continue reading Book Review: Green Moxie’s Guide to Sustainable Living