Does anyone else find they’re either full-on enthusiastic about something or just don’t care?
There’s no middle ground, no getting on with it for the sake of getting on with it (whatever it is). I am full-on enthusiastic about #zerowaste right now, which is overall a good thing but also comes with its own challenges, the main one being that I can’t buy anything that comes in throwaway packaging, for me this means the majority of chocolate bars. I only have one vice and that is sugar… chocolate, cakes, ice cream, I could just eat treat foods all day, every day. But now I’m thinking more carefully about buying these.
The benefits are many – it’s good for the planet, it’s good for health, it’s good for weight loss, it reduces grocery spend – all very positive and virtuous but I miss the junk food. Luckily home baked cakes are generally ok as flour, sugar etc are packaged in paper which can be composted or recycled.
With my enthusiasm for #zerowaste comes a reborn enthusiasm for gardening and growing my own veg. I’ve been a lukewarm gardener for a few years and have had variable results when trying to grow veg.
- courgettes and strawberries have always been a total fail
- tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb, peas and beans usually produce a good amount
- carrots I’ve only tried once but wasn’t very successful
- beetroot one year I got nothing, another year I got loads
- raspberries do much better in the ground than in pots
Last month, I decided to get my veg growing underway and sowed swiss chard, beetroot and sugar snap pea seeds, bought two tomato plants and some french beans. I also found a blog post which discusses growing veg from scraps… how much more sustainable could veg growing be? After reading this I had to try it for myself so this morning have planted out the rooted ends of some spring onions.
Alongside my gardening endeavours, I’ve signed up to two organic veg box schemes: Riverford which is UK wide, and Bridge Community Farms which is local to the Chester area. Both have a range of boxes available to order and freedom to change or cancel your order each week. This is our third week of getting a box and so far we’re very impressed with the selection, the quantity and the quality.
- Week 1: medium veg box (no potatoes) from Riverford
- Week 2: salad box and organic eggs from Bridge Farms and fruit box from Riverford
- Week 3: bumper fruit box from Bridge Farms
Each box costs around £15 and generally has no packaging (salad leaves are in plastic bags but these are returned with the box the following week to be reused).
Another strategy to aid a #zerowaste life is to buy loose produce and refill pots and jars. We are now regular customers of Just Footprints in Chester, where you can do exactly this with a comprehensive selection of herbs, spices, nuts, pulses and grains, as well as shampoo, shower gels, washing liquids etc. They also stock a large range of environmentally friendly products such as bamboo toothbrushes, wax wraps, recycled toilet paper and reusable sandwich bags. All at good prices.
All of these strategies help in the fight against plastic and adding to landfill, but they won’t work unless you can and want to cook. So alongside these changes we’ve had to become enthusiastic chefs once more. If there’s any one part of our #zerowaste lifestyle that will fail it’ll be the cooking!
Have a great week 🙂