My food waste problem

My Food Waste Problem

Did you know that the average UK household wastesΒ Β£470 worth of food each year? I am definitely guilty of being part of this issue.

Unless you’re composting your food waste, you’re likely putting it all in your regular bin. In my local area we have three bins, the grey bin for general waste, the brown for recycling, and the green for garden waste. We can also request a food waste bin, which I only found out about THIS WEEK! I’m not sure why everyone isn’t automatically given one of these, but you can find out about yours by googling: food waste collection service (name of your council e.g. Sefton, Liverpool).

I have always put my food waste in to the grey bin, and have recently discovered it all ends up in landfill where it can not biodegrade. The compostable straws I sometimes use also won’t biodegrade in landfill either. Nor will anything else that would otherwise naturally biodegrade. It all just stays there, forever…

Admittedly, I have been of the opinion that being vegan was enough. I’ve done my bit and it’s up to everyone else to catch up. Once people realised that animal agriculture and their overconsumption of meat and dairy was destroying our planet, then things would start to get better. And to be fair this is true, you can’t claim to be an environmentalist if you eat beef burgers. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve done all I can and that I should just sit back and let everyone else catch up. I still have a lot of work to do.

My current goal is to reduce my food waste. It’s taken a lot of energy for that bag of spinach, or my favourite sweet potatoes, or those delicious Spanish oranges to reach my kitchen table. If I don’t eat them or use them in some way then all that energy has been wasted. From the seed being planet, the orange tree to grow and the individual orange to form, to the orange be harvested, transported and distributed, sold and eventually bought by me. What a lot of effort if I leave them to go off and throw it away for it to end up in landfil and stay there forever for my children or grandchildren to deal with (or maybe our current generation if things keep declining as fast as they are doing). And if you do eat meat and you throw out that pork, just remember that not only did all that energy get wasted (included the added stages of the food made for the pig to eat!) but also a life ended for NO REASON.

This isn’t supposed to be a depressing post, but one to get you to think about what food items you throw away this week. Live simply: cook simple yet delicious meals, don’t be overambitious with what you can achieve in the kitchen this week. And be mindful of the energy taken for each item of food to reach your hungry belly.

My current goal: to keep track of what and how much food I’m throwing away! For the next week I’m going to keep score of what food items end up in my bin!

Ellie

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My food waste problem

How to eat consciously and practice non-judgment

How to eat consciously and practice non-judgment

In January of this year, I made the decision to reignite my love affair with yoga. I met two wonderful new yogis, and found a third yogi in a lifelong friend of my mothers (she’s now my friend – sorry mum!) One thing that made me love yoga so much is that every time I walked in to class I was reminded the environment I had stepped in to was judgment free.

These amazing women allowed me to talk about myself, my worries, my insecurities, my mental and physical health issues and my values without judgment.

That is a big deal…

How many people can you honestly say judge you for nothing. Even my family and best friends judge certain decisions I make.

Let’s be clear, positive judgement is fine. Supporting another through their struggles or in pursuit of their greatest desires (so long as they’re legal) is good, and I’m totally for this. But negative judgment is mentally destructive, especially when repeated time and time again. Even if you didn’t meal to judge another, it still hurts.

But here’s the thing, how can I run a vegan cafe and remain judgment free. The main goal of my cafe is to spread plant based eating, to encourage more people to eat more plants (and therefore less meat and dairy). I want more individuals to be conscious of their eating, to be aware of the true the consequences of eating that beef burger, to the animals, on our planet, and on their bodies. How can I be judgment free whilst ultimately being morally against another’s lifestyle and decision to eat meat and dairy?

I’ve come to realise that my role in life is not to judge others for who they are and what they eat, I’m there for all. To share what I love with those who are are around me, this being plant based food and living a conscious lifestyle. All are welcome in my cafe, it is truly a place for everyone. In fact it is the only place in my little town that can truly be a place for meat eaters, vegetarians AND vegans because vegan food is the most all inclusive food there is! You can come to my cafe simply because you enjoy the food, you can come to my cafe because you are vegan and it feels life a rare safe space, you can come to my cafe because you just need a good cup of coffee, you can come to my cafe because you want some healthy food, you can come to my cafe because the cafe a few units along is already full and I have a few seats left. Whatever reason is cool with me, and I promise not to judge your reasoning, your diet, your lifestyle or anything else about you!

Veganism is about compassion, and inflicting negative judgment on to someone else for being different from you is not compassionate. Non-judgment is the future!

Ellie
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How to eat consciously and practice non-judgment

The aspiring minimalist and the KonMari methodΒ 

The KonMari Method

In an effort to reduce my impact on our planet, live a simpler and more happy life and overall have a better living space I have been watching, reading and listening to everything I can get my hands on about minimalism. I am officially hooked to The Minimalists, Be More With Less and, most significant to this blog post, Marie Kondo‘s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I actually have this book on audible as well as the hard copy. I started reading it about a year ago but it didn’t sink in, but currently I am listening to the audible version which I find much easier to conceptualise, probably because I’m dyslexic, possibly because I’m too lazy to read a book cover to cover unless it has lightning bolt scared heros and clueless muggles dominating the story.

Marie Kondo’s book has got me clearing through my crap. I’ve been thinking about starting Poject 333 from Be More With Less next month, and so reading this book right now is perfect timing.

Project 333 is basically reducing down your wardrobe to 33 items which you wear exclusively for 3 months. This includes all your regular clothes, shoes, jewlery and accessories such as scarfs and sunglasses as well as coats and jackets. It excludes underwear, PJ’s and workout clothes. The clothes you don’t choose are sealed away for 3 months, at which point you open the box and decide what you want to keep and what no longer has a place in your life.

The KonMari method encourages you to be surrounded by only the things you LOVE. You discard all other things from your life. You pick up each item and ask yourself: “does this bring me joy?” If yes, you keep it. If not you discard it. You start with your wardrobe as apparently this is the easiest.

Today I got rid of 4 bin bags filled with clothes I have no need for in my life. Clothes that have served their purpose for me and are off to find new homes, to fulfil a new purpose for someone else.


Yes, I still have clothes left. More than enough, in fact! The remaining items could see me through an entire month without me needing to do a load of washing. A feat I’ve managed regularly in my adult life…

I don’t even consider myself a frequent shopper, but years worth of occasional clothes shopping and hauding of clothes builds up quite a collection.

I’m left feeling freeer than before, less burdened and more appreciative of the clothes I do have in my wardrobe. Items that bring my joy, clothes that I love. I’m genuinely excited to pick out my 33 items for project 333 next month!

The aspiring minimalist and the KonMari methodΒ 

Lets get started…

HAPPILY CONSCIOUS

It’s the end of the week and my brain is just about ready to switch off. I work 6 days a week in my cute little vegan cafe that I opened around three months ago. Saturday nights are the start of my ‘chill time’ – to think about something other than coffee, cake and roasted sweet potatoes. Opening my own vegan cafe gave me the opportunity to meet new people who widened my view of the world. I’ve learnt life is about friendships, experiences and interactions, and not physical items and earning lots of money. 

I was reintroduced to yoga which allowed me to create space in my mind. And now I’m trying to create space in my physical life. My husband, Andy, and I are working towards moving out of my parents house and in to a tiny little flat. A small space where we want to live a positive life, free of clutter, with as low an impact on our planet as possible. We are clearing out our stuff and plan on buying anything we need second hand as much as possible to keep our impact low. We are aiming to live more minimalist lifestyles, including having a go at creating capsule wadrobes. 

This blog is a place for me to share my minimalist journey, my favourite foods and my experiences running a vegan cafe. I’m writing without expectation of an audience, for the joy of writing and sharing my thoughts to help ease the clutter in my mind. 

I can’t wait to see where this blog takes me! 

Ellie x 

Lets get started…