Being Green Whilst Travelling…. Eating seasonably in Australia

A while ago Trudi wrote a piece about eating seasonably and all the benefits of it.  When I was in England, I tried my best to eat seasonably, as being a lazy girl it was an easy way to be green with fairly minimal effort and you get the food at its best. Everyone’s a winner.

This is something I have tried to continue whilst in Australia.  However it’s been slightly more challenging this side of the world for a few different reasons.  One of those being that the seasons are reversed here, meaning I have to switch June around in my brain from Summer to Winter, and all the foods I associate with winter which to me is pumpkins, root vegetables, yummy soups and Christmas dinner (Veggie style).   Continue reading Being Green Whilst Travelling…. Eating seasonably in Australia

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Methods Limited Edition Sunset Beach range

I’m not usually one for raving about cleaning products. In fact, I’m not usually one for cleaning much at all!! One of the benefits of living alone is I can wait until I have used all of my dishes before I have to clean them up, and my bathroom stays relatively dirt free with just one person using it. It’s for this reason, that I’ve never posted product reviews or tips on cleaning…as I’m still using up the many of the products I had before I went green!

However, after recently being sent some Method goodies in the post, to test out their new limited edition Sunset Beach range, I’ve become a little hooked on cleanliness! Though a little dust never hurt anyone (That’s my moto anyway) I finally have the motive to do a proper spring/summer clean. My kitchen counters have never looked so clear! Does this mean I’m not longer lazy? Doubt it. Continue reading Methods Limited Edition Sunset Beach range

Is Cornwall a new hub for ethical fashion?

I think we’ve all experienced that feeling of excitement, which quickly turns to anxiety, when a special invitation leaves us freaking out about what to wear. It’s one of the oldest and most unavoidable situations, no matter how comfortable and confident you feel within yourself. Whether it’s a party, wedding, conference, or simply meeting someone new for the first time, we all want to make a good impression and visually represent who we think we are inside.

So, when I was recently invited to attend the Observer Ethical Awards, with the scary sounding dress code of “Sustainable style”, I experienced this vain but natural freak out. If I could even claim to have some form of style in the first place, I would feel a little less nervous. But unfortunately, my outfits usually consist of charity shop hauls and friends hand-me downs. Naturally due to my “make do and mend” approach not simply  that I’m a complete fashion-phobe!

However , determined to at least attempt some kind of eco sophistication, I did some digging to see if I could find my own unique sustainable style, without spending more money on one outfit than I would normally spend in a year at the Cats Protection charity shop!

The good news is, my search was easier and closer to home than I thought. It turns out Cornwall is already a bit of a hub for eco fashion, so I don’t have to roam too far to kit myself all green and shiny!

cornwallmap

Like many counties across the UK, Cornwall has always been extremely proud of its own home-grown produce; not least because down here we see ourselves as a county within itself! From clotted cream and pasties, to tin mining and the iconic surf culture; Cornwall naturally and seamlessly balances both its historic and modern identities. So it shouldn’t really be any surprise that 5 of the best ethical fashion brands happen to be Cornish… Continue reading Is Cornwall a new hub for ethical fashion?

Summer Solstice 2015

I’m getting very excited as tomorrow is one of my favourite days of the whole year; Summer Solstice! Now is the time that summer has well and truly begun, and it’s the one time of year I have an excuse to get up early and watch a beautiful sunrise.

Summer Solstice – which marks the longest day of the year and enjoys the most hours of sunlight – has been a special day for thousands of years to Pagans and non-pagans alike. Though it’s celebrated in a variety of ways, it’s usually enjoyed with feasting, dancing and basking in the sunrise of the morning of the solstice.

wheelofyear

In keeping with its name – which comes from the Latin solstitium meaning ‘sun stands still’ – the solstice is a great time to stop for a moment and thank the life giving sun for keeping our beautiful planet flourishing. It’s no coincidence that the Solstice celebrations are symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest.

In the past, I’ve celebrated on beaches, in my garden and at the Iconic, but somewhat overrated, ceremony at Stone Henge.  Last year I enjoyed a simple camping adventure with my bestie and watched the sun rise over a sleepy Cornish village.

Solstice 2013
Solstice 2013

This year, I plan to wake up early and venture out the stunning North Cornwall coastal cliffs of St Agnes and break some breakfast bread with my loved ones, and say a massive thank you for my blessings so far this year. If its warm I may even go for a quick dip in the sea!

People celebrate the midsummer sun as it rises over the megalithic monument of Stonehenge on June 21, 2005 on Salisbury Plain, England. Crowds gathered at the ancient stone circle to witness the sun rise on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Even if you’re not much of an early bird, get yourself up and out of bed before 4:43am tomorrow and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunrises of the year!

Being Green Whilst Travelling… Iphone addition

IMG_8584In February, I embarked on a yearlong, working holiday to Australia.  Having been here 4 months now, it has been in a lot of ways harder to live a sustainable life than I thought it would be.

When embarking on my travels I knew that there were going to be a few home comforts I’d miss – my own bed in my own room being top of the list with my cats – the easiness of green living was not one of the things I expected to miss.

Having spent a few months travelling around the states in 2012, this time around I thought I’d have the travelling thing down to fine art, making it much easier to carry on my green ways whilst on the move.  Sadly I slightly over estimated things.  In my mind when I left the UK I would be moving to a warmer climate living by the beach, whilst doing my morning yoga practice on the beach as the sun came up. Surely as it’s warmer you use less energy and it’s easier to wake in the morning?

The reality hasn’t quite lived up to that as it does get cold here – June equals winter – plus, my ability to wake up early and function in the mornings has not miraculously changed by switching hemispheres.  I still love my sleep and dislike waking up in the morning even if it sunny.  Also for the first few months of my time here, I was moving around and staying in different hostels all the time, this is when it becomes particularly tricky to try and live a life that’s green. Continue reading Being Green Whilst Travelling… Iphone addition

10 Common Vegan Myths Busted

1. You Lose Weight

Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. I lost half a stone in my first vegan month. And then I put it back on again…

My weight loss was less about being vegan and more about making healthier choices when my world was opened up to a 100% plant based diet. The fact is, whilst the vegan diet is generally lower in fat, cholesterol, sugars, calories etc. its not an instant weight loss program. You still need to exercise and eat well.

Jammie Dodgers are vegan. Enough said…

2. You miss out on treats

I’ve lost count of the amount of times cake or chocolate has been passed around the office to tempt me. It’s true that by going vegan at first you might notice more what you’re losing, than what you’re gaining in terms of treats and choices. But you soon learn to get prepared and plan ahead. And once you do a bit of digging, you’ll be surprised how much is accidently vegan (see above!)

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3. All vegans are activists

So you’ve made the switch and feeling inspired. Does that mean that you now have to become an activist and recruit more vegans? The answer is not if you don’t want to. Veganism is a personal choice and there are many ways you can inspire people without shoving horrific images of animal cruelty or deforestation in their faces. In fact, if you want, you don’t even have to label yourself as vegan, and just make discreet choices.

4. It’s expensive

It’s true that fancy imitation products like vegan cheeses, meats and treats are a little more than your average grocery shop, but these are not essential for a vegan diet. Vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils, tofu, pasta, rice, spices….well just about anything else you can eat is just the same price and you’re saving money (and lives) by avoiding meat! Plus, as demand rises, so the prices get lower.

local grocery shopping

5. You have to go to special shops

As above, your vegan staples aren’t dissimilar to what you normally buy, and even supermarkets and local stores are now getting wiser and stocking more “specialist” items. Asian markets, or even  world food sections of supermarkets, are full to the brim with vegan delights. Explore if you want, or stick to your fav shop and do some digging!

6. You’ll need to change friends

Yes, it can be hard when your friend chomps into a bacon sandwich, but you need to live and let live; and friends and family are no exception! In fact, you will find that without even trying you might just inspire some vegan friendly changes in your friends anyway!InstagramCapture_c8cc8b34-1dc9-4fa7-8ce1-00e6d7398abd_jpg

7. All Vegan products are soy

It does seem like the world is being taken over by soy these days, doesn’t it?! But there’s no need to worry, as there are plenty of alternatives. Sunflower spreads, nut milks and cheeses, and banana “nice cream” are all delicious options if you don’t want to turn into a soy bean! Plus, you really really don’t need soy for protein, there are a million other plant-based options!

dal and chapatti recipe

8. You’ll need to reply on supplements

Hmm I think I summed this up quite well here .

9. You’ll have to throw everything out

Because I hate waste, I didn’t go out and buy a brand new wardrobe as soon as I turned vegan. In fact, I still wear my old leather belts and shoes, and will continue to do so until I have 100% used them up. Switching lifestyles doesn’t have to result in further landfill!

10. You’ll feel happier, healthier and better about life

Can’t argues with this one, its complete FACT!

 

 

 

Ben and Jerry’s go Vegan!

Today is an exciting day. I woke up to learn that Ben and Jerry’s have given in to millions of signed petitions and will be releasing a dairy free range next year. Vegan Ben and Jerry’s on a Friday night sounds like my idea of a lazy night in!

But my excitement isn’t just because I want to stuff my face with buckets of ice-cream (though that is certainly a contributor to my happiness right now…) I am also happy that the company, who pride themselves on caring about such issues as equal marriage, world peace, fairtrade and climate change, are finally putting their money where their mouth is.

Interestingly, Ben and Jerry’s claim they are passionate about climate change issues and have even joined forces with Avaaz to encourage people to sign a petition or action. In their own words they are “…calling on leaders of the developed nations and the United Nations to tackle climate change at the upcoming summit in Paris. Our goal is for international leaders to work towards 100% Clean Energy by 2050.” A heartfelt plea from a company whose very industry of mass exploitation and rearing of dairy cows is at the very core of our climates woes.

The WWF estimates that there are approximately 270 million dairy cows worldwide, all churning out babies they will never raise, simply to meet our growing dairy demands. Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which are greatly contributing to climate change. Poor handling of manure, which occurs in a large number of industrialised dairy farms, and their fertilizers degrade local water resources. Unsustainable dairy farming (in which standards are lowers and more land is needed) along with feed production can lead to the loss of ecologically important areas, such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.

vegan ben and jerry

But still, Ben and Jerrys have always maintained their passion for the planet. So their acknowledgement that dairy is not needed to make a successful and profitable business is very exciting indeed. Not just for vegans but literally for the whole planet!

Lazy Vegan Party Recipe: Trudi’s Thai Tartlets

This weekend, for the 7th year running, millions of people all across the UK, got together and enjoyed with their neighbors in the name of The Big Lunch! The awesome campaign (in which I am lucky enough to actually be the Communications Manager for…yes shameful plug!) simply encourages people to sit down on the first Sunday each June and get to know people who live nearby. Some do it to help create more sustainable communities and make new friends, others simply to have a good laugh over some good food.

Yesterday, I popped down to an awesome plant-based Big Lunch nearby which was a 100% vegan friendly party, and full of a lovely mix of like-minded people from all across Cornwall. The event, which was organised by the lovely Sam Grady – a member of the Cornwall Vegans group –  enjoyed a great turnout of vegans and non vegans alike all enjoying the sun.

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The beautiful layout ready for lunchers

 

It was especially important to me, as (up until recently) I’ve been the only vegan in my group of friends, and actually don’t know many people in Cornwall. It was a pleasure to chat to others who enjoyed the same lifestyle, and be at a party where I could enjoy everything on the table without asking what was in it!

Everyone brought a dish to share, with everything from veggie Tagine, homemade dips, pulled vegan pork (jackfruit) sandwiches and raw salads, to vegan lemon cheesecakes and chocolate brownies. Heaven!  Continue reading Lazy Vegan Party Recipe: Trudi’s Thai Tartlets