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Sustainability

Friends of Loving Earth: Cat from Simple(ish) Living

We're three months into 2019 (how did that happen?). The year that's been dubbed, the year of Green Action. We're making a few changes here at Loving Earth and taking the plunge into the "zero-waste" movement, making a positive impact on our environment and our climate. 

We caught up with "zero-waste" advocate, Cat of Simple(ish) Living to chat all about the topic and how she incorporates it into her daily life - including a bit of meal planning! 

Some people might consider “zero waste” a little extreme and that it’s not something an individual can strive for. The label itself assumes you need to be perfect and produce “zero” waste. But of course, like most things, this isn’t always the most feasible or even achievable definition.

It’s easy to get wrapped up and think the only right way to be environmentally conscious is to not travel, to eat only rice and beans, and to have all of your trash fit inside a tiny jar. Are you even allowed to produce trash or even recycle? While I can tell you this lifestyle is not always easy, it is a lot simpler than you think.

You don’t need to sit on one extreme to the next. Simply, this lifestyle is about reducing your waste, where ever possible. Most importantly, it’s about doing so within your own circumstances and means.

Don’t be fooled by the glamour of the Instagram, it’s not all stainless-steel tins and bamboo cutlery. It can be a little dirty (hello composting!) and a little time consuming (so much washing up), but I tell you it’s worth it.

If you’re new to this journey, you might wonder where do you start first. Do you completely overhaul your life? Throw out every single deposable item you have in favor for steel and glass?

Of course, everyone is different. I’m more of a change in your life by increments type of human. And I feel this is the most sustainable way to adopt new habits.

The first couple of steps I took was using reusable coffee cups and giving the menstrual cup a go. Firstly, I love using the menstrual cup and can’t go back. Secondly, you don’t need a reusable coffee cup, you can use a mug from home or opt for a dine-in option. But it was through these two simple little steps that really got me motivated in reducing my waste.

The biggest area of waste in my life was around food. I bagged everything in plastic (even bananas) and would bring home way too many plastic bags. Shopping for your groceries and opting for “loose” produce can definitely help reduce waste. And particularly, if you live in a warmer climate, it should be a little easier to get your produce plastic-free.

Don’t expect to be perfect the first time around. While this isn’t an episode of The Bachelor, it really is a journey. And it does take a while for new habits to form – so it’s important to remember this! Don’t beat yourself up if you produce waste here or there. The first step is trying.

So, here’s a little meal plan for the groceries above. I’ll also give you some tips on how you can also preserve your produce for a little longer so that you can save money in the long run!

Breakfast:
Overnight oats (I normally have about ¾ of a cup) + 1 cup of cashew milk * + 1 cup of water + dash of cinnamon + 1 tbsp of shredded coconut** + 1bsp of flax seed meal +1 tbsp of hemp seeds + 1 tsp of acai powder + 1 tbsp of nut butter + fruit of your choice

Morning Snack:
Coconut bacon (1 cup of coconut shredded flakes, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke*(optional), 1 pinch of salt, some pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 5 tablespoons of tamari, 1/2 tablespoon of agave syrup). Coconut bacon is also great on avocado!

Choc-mint ball

Lunch:
Vegan curry with chickpeas, potato and brown rice
Side salad

Afternoon tea:
Green smoothie (in my green smoothies I normally have 1 celery stick including leaves, ½ zucchini, 2 kale leaves, 1 tsp of coconut oil, 1 banana and water and ice)

Dinner:
Vegan chili con veggie with brown rice

Dessert:
Loving Earth Chocolate!!!!!!!

 

Tips:

- You can make your own cashew milk by soaking 1 cup of raw cashews overnight and then blending with 5 to 6 cups water (no straining needed). Add a little vanilla powder, maple syrup and also a pinch of salt!

- The Loving Earth shredded, or desiccated coconut comes in a plastic bag with a zip lock on top. You can actually reuse it as a ziplock bag if you’re feeling a little thrifty (alternatively, you can recycle the soft plastic at RedCycle in Australia)

- These choc-mint balls taste as good as the blue dinosaur bars but without the cost! All you need are 6 dates, ¼ cup of activated buckinis, ½ a block of melted Loving Earth mint chocolate, 3 tbsp of coconut oil and ¼ cup of desiccated coconut. Pulse mixture all together. If the mixture is a little wet, add some almond meal before rolling into a ball and dusting it in desiccated coconut

- You can find the vegan curry recipe here!

- Did you know that with the scraps of your veggies you can make veggie stock? Simply freeze any veggie scraps (like ends of carrots or potato skin, celery leaves etc) and wait you have enough for a pot. Submerge veggies in water until covered and add 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper & 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 mins

Bonus tips:

- Keep carrots in water (this will keep the carrots crisp for longer).

- Keep celery stems in water (same as above, seriously, the celery stays crisp for weeks).

- Wash loose spinach and place into an airtight container, lining the bottom with a dry cloth (washing the spinach will keep it crisp and the cloth at the bottom of the container will help prevent the spinach from turning slimy).

- If you eat half of an avocado, eat the side without the seed. The seed in the avocado will slow down the browning process

Cat writes the blog Simple-ish Living. Follow her on Instagram at @simpleishliving.

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