October campaign – celebrating the harvest
We are so blessed with all the good food and provision that God has made for us. Let’s eat and enjoy his goodness mindfully in a way that protects his creation.
Ways to do this include:
- Meat free Mondays – pick up some tips from the Vegetarian Harvest Lunch and share recipes. Vegetarian and vegan cooking is so much better for the environment, it is more efficient, it uses less waste, it is really good for your gut and overall health to drop meat at least once a week.
- Plastic free shopping – particularly vegetables are easy to get plastic free, try https://theverygreengrocer.co.uk delivers local plastic free veg, meat, bread
- Shop at greengrocers or the butchers for low packaging impact food. The butchers at the Royal Standard is plastic free.
- Buy in bulk where ever you can and avoid individually packaged materials. Well Bean health food at the Standard deliver in bulk any order which comes to over £15, and you can get rice, flour, dried goods, oils, teas, all plastic free. They also do refills – bring in any container and they’ll fill it – I’m going to bring my washing up bottle.
- Eat meat mindfully – make stock, buy a whole bird not just the breast, use less popular cuts, it’s more respectful to the animal. We are fans of black pudding in our household – I know it’s not for everyone!
- Sometimes its hard to think of ideas for veggie foods that you can cook at the drop of a hat and particularly ones that are kid friendly. It takes a bit of thought. But isn’t that what this time of year is all about? So go out, sniff the air, look at the beautiful squashes in the market, smell the autumn coming in and thank God that someone out there did ‘plough the fields and scatter’ that we can eat. And if that means to you trying out a cheesy fried tortilla sandwich with hot black bean sauce and avocado, tomato and sweetcorn – or anything else that takes your fancy – it’s as easy as raiding God’s larder.
Please do post your comments below, particularly if you have any links to favourite veggie or vegan recipes that you’d like to share.
Back to School
It’s an exciting time of year for new starts. This autumn make a resolution to start afresh with your stationary and the eco impact of the tools you use at school, work and play.
Biros are a miracle of modern engineering – the pop up ones are amazing. Their history is that they were invented to stop bank fraud – Bic originally advertised itself as ‘bank approved’. Over 100 billion of them have been sold. But how many of us write cheques now? If you don’t need to use a waterproof ink – DON’T.
Here are some alternatives:
Pencils – particularly paper ones.
Refillable bamboo fountain pens – surprisingly cheap.
If you have to use a biro, use a original Bic pen. They are much more responsible in their use of plastic than cheap imitations and have less eco impact than push up biros with springs in them.
Use recycled notebooks. If you need a hard cover to the notepad choose bamboo or cork. Or a recycled/repurposed material.
https://remarkable.co.uk – repurposed materials to make stationary
Get your bamboo fountain pen here
Get your cork notepad here.
Please put your comments below and share the amazing eco changes you are making in your stationary cupboard.
Reducing plastic and the impact of your holiday
You might have an amazing trip planned, you might be staycationing, you might be hanging out in town… but the holidays tend to increase our impact on the planet. Here’s how to keep your impact low this summer.
Offset your flight with this handy link http://www.climatecare.org/home.aspx
Plastic single use items
Your essential BYO kit to cut down on single use items:
- A reusable water bottle
- A bamboo ‘spork’ – spoon/fork
- A sealable lunch box
- A reusable coffee cup or thermos – great for cold drinks as well as hot.
- Straws and stirrers – you don’t need them.
- Clingfilm. Selco in Blackheath sells beeswax wraps for sandwiches and lunches
Tough but necessary changes to research
- Biros – a whole issue to themselves. Buy a refillable pen
- Mooncups – an eco alternative to sanitary products and easy to use
- Razors – buy a permanent razor with replaceable blades
- Hotel minatures. Only use/take if you are going to reuse the bottles when you get home. Use the minimum number of bottles.
- Shampoo and soap – don’t use your fluids allowance on these when you can get solid bars.
Wherever you are going, enjoy the sun and the beautiful creation that God has gifted us with, and leave only your footprints behind!
Please comment below for a chance to win some fab solid bar shampoo this month to take with you on your travels!
Action on single use items
Favour reusable. Coffee cups, water bottles and carrier bags all come in reusable forms, so you don’t have to keep buying new disposable ones.
Avoid excessive packaging. Try buying loose food like fruits and vegetables from green grocers and farmer markets, rather than supermarkets where they’re often packaged in plastic.
Dine in. Take time to make food at home or dine in at restaurants, rather than getting meals in disposable takeout boxes.
Use ‘naked’ toiletries. Buy items like body wash, hand soap and shampoo in solid form rather than bottled in plastic.
Get refills. Use the Zero Home Waste app to find shops where you can refill your washing up liquid bottles and buy loose food items like rice, pulses and even peanut butter.
Local shops that do refills and use paper rather than plastic packaging include:
Apples and Oranges, greengrocers, Blackheath Royal Standard. Use paper bags to buy your veg!
Sparks Butchers, butchers, Blackheath Royal Standard. Sparks have gone no plastic in their packaging and food preparation and they do amazing produce.
Well Bean, health food shop, Blackheath Royal Standard. You can bring your own paper bags and fill up by weight with oats, beans, rice and other dried produce. They are also going to make reusable cotton bags which you can buy for pence and reuse.
Actions for June:
Visit this website: for single use swap ideas
Make a promise: choose three of your most frequently used single use items that you are going to cut out of your life this month.
Join this Facebook group: to share ideas on plastic reduction and local services
Add your comments below to share ideas and more local shops that use eco friendly packaging.
3 easy steps to being an eco warrior on plastic in supermarkets
- Check the facts: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/19/hundreds-of-mps-call-on-supermarkets-to-scrap-plastic-packaging
- Sign this campaign: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-stop-supermarkets-from-selling-raw-fruit-and-veg-in-plastic-packaging
- Be inspired – plastic reducing tips: https://hannahoutside.com/2018/01/27/switch-plastic-simple-swaps/
Eco tips for reducing food use plastic
A good tip for reducing excess plastic is to buy local, greengrocers and butchers use less plastic than supermarkets. Even just one trip to the local shops per week will make a difference. Write to your supermarket! And check to see if the milk man delivers in your area. It’s convenient and makes you feel good – sign up if you can with Milk and More.
When you’re choosing things to go in your packed lunch, how about using less plastic? You could have a box that you put yoghurt in from a big carton rather than individual pots, for example.
Spread the word:
Swap tips – join this local facebook group to swap plastic reducing tips: https://www.facebook.com/groups/738271086366387/
Make sure to share on Twitter and Facebook using the icons below. A suggested tweet/FB status – “I’m joining St Michael’s (www.se3.org.uk) in cutting out plastic. #ecochurch #green #environment Check out this month’s tips at http://www.se3.org.uk/eco-church/eco-church-may-campaign/”
What is the one thing you will do this month? Comment below!