Just V Show

It only seems natural to document somewhere I went over a month and a half ago now right?! Right?! That’s what I thought! On the 10th of July I headed down to Kensington Olimpia for Just V Show, a fair exhibiting vegetarian and vegan products (mainly food). Here are 3 brands I learned about that day:

Jollyum is a soya-based ice cream that comes in 4 flavours: strawberry, double chocolate, maple + pecan and passion fruit + chocolate. I may or may not have sampled all four for research purposes… As far as non-dairy ice cream goes, the texture and taste were up there with the best of them. I managed to pick up a tub from Holland and Barrett recently, but you can find a full list of stockists here.

Seeds of Change do pasta and pasta sauces mainly. They were handing out bowls of tomato and basil sauce on penne at the event, and I was expecting it to taste pretty standard, but you really do notice that they put quality ingredients in their sauces. They use organic produce, so you can put your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting products that don’t damage the environment, and the prices are quite competitive. You can find their products in most supermarkets.

Finally, I impulse bought a MARSHMALLOW LOLLY from Ananda Foods partly because I couldn’t resist how yummy they looked, and also cos I don’t think I’d yet come across marshmallows without gelatine in them- plus I’ve never had a marshmallow lolly in my life let alone now! I meant to document the whole event and totally forgot, but surprise surprise I have a picture of this lolly!

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I can’t remember what flavour the actual marshmallow was, but there was a layer of caramel on top of it, then a generous slathering of chocolate AND SPRINKLES! ūüôā Ananda is based in Derbyshire, see her website here.

5 Things this Monday…

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It’s about time I did another one of these! I’ve been saving interesting articles as usual, but for some reason sticking them in a post seemed like an impossible feat! Anyway, here’s some stuff I’ve read recently..

  1. Kristina has done it again with a brilliant recipe for fully raw sushi rolls. They look so yummy and more importantly easy. I’ve been meaning to learn more raw food meal ideas as it’s really really good for your health.
  2. Next up is a little story from The Beauty in Simple. This lady made a lacy pillowcase that was just lying in her closet into a dress to gift a friend’s 2-year-old on her birthday (pictured above). She even made sure to employ the straps to make a pouch for her hankies. Star!
  3. The BBC reported in May that a reality check is needed if we want to reduce our emissions in time to save the planet. According to this article, a third of greenhouse gas emissions are created by agriculture.
  4. Rob Greenfield shares his 12 undeniable ways to better health. What I like about them is that they’re not complicated, and the basic premise is being natural and giving your body what you know it needs.
  5. Lastly, I’ve been trying recently to save energy by washing my clothes less often. Some items have got me stuck though because what do you do when things start looking and smelling not quite dirty but not clean either? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO!

Zero waste in Kingsbridge and Totnes

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This is Dartmouth, but still ūüėõ (Credit to my sister, Naomi. Thanks!)

I got back from a family holiday to Kingsbridge in Devon last week. We stayed in some friends’ place which I’ve been to several summers in a row, but this time I have some things to say with my zero waste lenses to look from! Here are a few of my observations…

Charity shops here are on another level of awesome!¬†Kingsbridge is a small village with a small high street. And yet there were at least 6 charity shops to choose from. And Totnes (where we made a visit on one of the days of our trip) had an even longer high street choc-full of charity shops- like 15+! It’s my new favourite street on the planet. Not only was there frequency, but in general the quality and range of items that were stocked were extraordinary. I saw large sections of baby furniture and clothing, cookware and toys (and all the normal stuff) at amazing prices and in unbelievable condition. In this neck of the woods, charity shops can be relied upon to find consistent quality and range, unlike my usual London scavenges¬†which often end in disappointment, or having to really rummage for a gem amongst the rubbish. Although I didn’t buy anything I did marvel at all the opportunities. It seems that buying from and donating to charity shops is much more of a common practice.

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Nicholson’s Emporium– this little shop in the middle of Fore St. (the high street) specialises in eco products among its homeware and gifts. I stepped into the back room to find Ecover products in large kegs that you could refill, as well as glass jars of spices behind the counter for bulk buying.

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Green FibresРAt the top of Fore St. in Totnes (confusingly their high streets are named the same!) is this little shop that sells organic socks and underwear as well as a heap of staples for zero waste living. I personally picked up an aluminium tin to keep soap in, an organic cotton grocery bag, and two replacement heads for my Redecker washing up brush (I was about to give up hope of finding these in person and turn to the internet), but they had handkerchiefs, natural soaps, wooden toothbrushes and all sorts too!

If you’re ever in the area, check these out. Apologies for not taking pictures of these places, I’m terrible at remembering these things!

Teeth.

 

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Convention dental care is a disposable nightmare with plastic everywhere you look. What makes it even worse is that toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss need to be regularly replaced meaning tonnes of landfill. I used to think there was no way around this- we have to brush our teeth after all- but I have developed a pretty near zero waste routine that works for me and I thought I would share.

Firstly, there are many different approaches, enough to suit everyone’s needs and preferences. Alongside my solutions¬†I will list sources directing you to other alternatives¬†for dental hygeine that I don’t personally use, but that you might find helpful nonetheless. I know it’s a personal thing.

Toothbrush:

This bit is an easy swap-out. Instead of buying plastic toothbrushes, get your hands on a bamboo toothbrush. I started off with this one from the Environmental Toothbrush Co. which was really soft and was thick and sturdy and ergonomic to hold. It was nice for a first dabble into wooden toothbrushes but the bristles were non-biodegradable, so I switched to¬†Save Some Green. This toothbrush really is 100% biodegradable, and although it isn’t as luxurious, it uses less wood and does the job. I buy them online from their website in a pack of 12 which lasts around 3 years! I haven’t had to stick any of my past brushes in the compost yet because I save them to use for cleaning.

Toothpaste:

I’m nothing if not lazy haha so I picked the easiest toothpaste recipe I could find. 2¬†parts coconut oil to 1 part bicarbonate of soda (see here for recipe and demonstration video). I put a pea-sized amount on my toothbrush and brush as normal then rinse with water and spit. It does taste a little salty (due to the bicarb) and it doesn’t froth like traditional toothpaste, but I’m not a fan of mint anyway- if you are add peppermint oil- and within a week I was used to the taste and consistency.

When I saw my dentist in May, he asked if I used a fluoride tothpaste and I told him what I use. He said that my teeth were perfectly healthy and there was no decay in my mouth. He said that bicarbonate of soda was fine to use to brush my teeth but he did recommend fluoride toothpaste as it is good at protecting teeth from staining. Basically, the gist I got was that it’s down to what you eat and when which determines your liklihood to develop tooth decay or staining. As a healthy eater who only really drinks water, I’m dong half the job.

I also know that the act of brushing is the most important element of the process, regardless of what substance you use- if any at all! Sometimes if I run out of toothpaste or leave it somewhere I brush with a dry toothbrush, and whilst I wouldn’t do it everyday, my teeth are still clean and smooth. I also use natural soap such as Dr. Bronner’s or Living Naturally¬†occaisonally (wet the brush then rub it over the bar) which does the job too.

Floss:

I have to admit, I’ve never been a flosser. My teeth are on the gappy side so it’s not a massive problem, but in recent years I have been making an effort. Finding a plastic-free or vegan floss (some use silk) has been a bit of a challenge. I settled for now on a gum stimulator which I bought in a pharmacy (unfortunately came in plastic + cardboard). I run it in between my gums and teeth a few times a week at the moment, and when I feel it necessary.

This link will take you to an article by a vegan zero-waster analysing the options available to you if you do want a floss alternative.

Do YOU believe it’s possible?

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I recently heard someone talking about change. She said if you want to see something transformed, beit yourself or the world, you have to believe that it can be changed in the first place.

It just made me think, do I believe the world can be changed? I think that often- all too often, unfortunately- I forget to believe that. I start believing only what I can see in front of my eyes. I was cycling yesterday and I saw a woman open the door of the car she was about to get out of, and toss a load of tissues out onto the road before she stepped down. It made me really angry to see. It’s important to be passionate about injustice, sure, but I don’t seem to register the hopeful news in the same way sometimes. It’s about where you choose to look.

So, back to the question- do I believe the world can be changed? Wholeheartedly yes. If I didn’t think that, I don’t think I would try so hard on a personal level. I don’t think I would be here reaching out to more people. The sheer fact that I have come to this point in my life where I being kind to the planet is one of my top priorities is testament to the fact that change is happening! Little over a year ago I was consuming a great deal more, and I knew virtually nothing about the impact. If this can happen to me, it can happen to other unsuspecting people (haha!)

I came across this video this morning, which I suspect I will save somewhere so I can return to it when I’m low on hope and motivation. Narrated by Morgan Freeman (I’ve already hooked you in!), it describes the world we strive for and how we can get there. Big steps or small, the key is to keep moving. Enjoy.