Category Archives: Sustainability

A Lazy Guide to Buying Vegan Friendly Shoes

Being completely oblivious to the latest trends and fashions has its benefits. I spend very little money on clothes, happily avoid horrifying changing room mirrors (or at least my reflection in them) and I rarely have to upgrade my clothes and shoes unless they are literally falling apart. Win win!

I usually take the zero waste approach to clothing and either do swapsies with my friends or buy in charity and second hand stores, but every now and then I have to venture out and kit myself out with some new garments. This has been true over the last couple of months as I’ve had to transition from flip flop tie dye wearing traveller hippy, to semi professional city dweller as I settle into my new life in Sydney. 

Shoes in particular have been on my mind of late and – as anyone who has ever tried to navigate the world of ethical clothing will know – there is usually the choice between stereotypical ugly clunky vegan footwear or highly bespoke, beautiful but deadly expensive clogs. 

So what is the deal with footwear and vegans anyway? Whats ethical and whats not? and more importantly, where on Earth can you get some decent vegan footwear at a reasonable cost?!! Fear not my lovelies, I may have a couple of answers…

Continue reading A Lazy Guide to Buying Vegan Friendly Shoes

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Tackling Food Waste: Can the Aussies Catch up with France?

Greetings from Sydney! I have been living as a fully fledged Aussie for over a month now and I’m completely in love with my new summery, outdoorsy life. The weather is sweet, the city is full of gorgeous wildlife, and the vegan options are to die for! But one thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been back in Western Civilization is the insane amount of consumerism in the city, especially when it comes to excess grocery shopping.

We are all vaguely aware that food wastage is a big problem (as much as 50% of all food produced – or two billion tonnes – each year), and that much of that is wasted in the supermarket before it even reaches our homes. Here in Australia alone, as much as 44 million tonnes of food is wasted annually! Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world over one billion people experience fatal hunger and malnutrition. Something clearly needs to change, and fast!

Continue reading Tackling Food Waste: Can the Aussies Catch up with France?

10 Things Travelling Teaches You About Green Living

oh how times flies! It’s been over a month since my last post, and in that time I have passed through 6 countries, climbed 4 mountains, and eaten more varieties of tofu and tempe than one vegan can dream of in a lifetime.

But what have I learnt on my travels so far? And more importantly, how has it helped me on my path to sustainable living?

To give you the quickest snapshot of my round the world trip so far, and ease myself back into writing (my typing skills are rusty after months lying on the beach…) here are the 10 top things travelling teaches you about green living: Continue reading 10 Things Travelling Teaches You About Green Living

Hikkaduwa: hippy heaven or polluted beach hell? 

Luscious valleys, breathtaking mountains and more stunning waterfalls than you can shake a stick at; Sri Lanka certainly has it’s fair share of natural beauty. Outside of the hustle and bustle of big cities, like Colombo, this small island just south of India is the closest you’ll find to a living showcase of how beautiful and diverse planet Earth truly is.

But it’s Sri Lankas beaches – with their clear blue waters and sweeping white sands – which draw thousands of people to the island every year for surf, sun and copious amounts of rice and curry!  Continue reading Hikkaduwa: hippy heaven or polluted beach hell? 

Refill mania: Indias zero waste approach to plastic pollution 

Namaste my lovely lazies! It’s been almost two months since I left the rainy, wintery UK to the warm and humid Indian subcontinent, and what adventures I’ve had so far! 

It’s been relatively easy to continue my lazy green lifestyle on the road, and me and my little backpack have been living the minimal lifestyle in wedded bliss. That said, it’s not been without it’s challenges. 

The biggest issue (which I hasten to add is simply due to my disorganisation) is the amount of plastic water bottles I’ve found myself using in lieu of clean drinking water supplies. I discovered fairly early on that my Brita filter water bottle wouldn’t cut it with Indian tap water and at 20p a pop, I soon found myself succumbing to the convienance of bottled water.  

Continue reading Refill mania: Indias zero waste approach to plastic pollution 

Ethical dining in Varanasai: The Brown Bread Bakery 

 
Nestled within a matrix of narrow, winding streets – jammed with street stalls, motorbikes and roaming cows – The Brown Bread Bakery of Varanasai is a jewl within an already sparkling crown. Ascending up countless flights of stairs – which dangerously lead to floors within a colourful cotton shop jammed with delights – the German style resturant and live music venue enjoys a cool rooftop view over the River Ganges. 

But the views and welcome breeze isn’t the only perk which has made the venue a popular hang out and Loney Planet favourite. Aside from the extensive bakery choices, global cheese selection (no vegan cheese on there quite yet though!) and homemade apple cider, the charm is in the ingredients used in the majority of the menu.  

Continue reading Ethical dining in Varanasai: The Brown Bread Bakery 

Rubbish India: tackling waste management

Before I arrived in India there were several things I expected to see on its dusty, crowded streets: cows, tuk tuks and a lot of stinky waste. From plastic water bottles, discarded food and shredded clothes, to human excrement of all varieties; India’s public spaces are a breeding ground for illness, yet a source of shelter and food for the many stray dogs, goats, cows and humans who rely on them.

In large built up areas such as Delhi, or even small deprived towns like Pathankot, you can almost become accustomed to the sheer scale of rubbish; envisioning the infrastructure needed to keep on top of such an overwhelming demand. But what’s surprised me the most is the street side trash in the stunningly serene pine tree foothills of Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh areas in the North. Here, you’re surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful mountains, cheeky wild monkeys swinging from the trees and acres of discarded crisp packets!
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Infographic – the Growing Global Water Footprint

I’ve always thought it’s a little odd that despite 71% of the Earth’s surface being covered in water, reports of global water shortages are steadily increasing. Especially when I happen to live in a county that seems to be in a sate of perpetual rain!

But the fact is there’s a huge difference between sea water and fresh water, and the demand for the latter is causing millions to suffer across the globe. The assumption that this is simply an issue for those in underdeveloped countries is a myth. In fact, the United Nations reported earlier this year that predictions suggest within 15 years, the world water supply will fall short by at least 40%, and continue to rise. It will soon affect every single one of us.

An infographic I came across recently shows that those small things our mums always told us off for doing when we were young – like leaving the tap running for too long – aren’t helping the situation either. Luckily, it also reveals that there are quite a few things we can actively do to help reduce our “water footprint”, and make the most of this life giving liquid. Not surprisingly, reducing our meat and dairy intake – which, along with chocolate is one of the biggest drain on fresh water supply – can have significant benefits.

Custom Made, the lovely makers on the below infographic, say:

“Fresh water consumption has doubled since World War II and is expected to rise 25% by 2030. All of this water use takes a toll on the planet and can create water scarcity which effects up to 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of the year. Explore ways you can reduce your water footprint in your home.

Dual flush toilets, turning off the tap while scrubbing dishes, and using a rain barrel to collect outdoor water are all great ways to reduce your water footprint. There are many simple changes you can make in your day to day life that can positively impact your water use and lessen the effects of water scarcity.”

Continue reading Infographic – the Growing Global Water Footprint