In Green's Shop

    In Green’s: my online plastic free shop

    I have been busy working away at my online platform In Green’s, hence why my last blog post was quite some time ago. In Green’s is a place where we can buy everyday essentials in their reusable form and nothing (bar the lids of the essential oil) is made from plastic. My motto it:

    be plastic free. be green. be happy.

    It would be difficult to pin point exactly when I conceived the idea for a plastic free shop. I started toying with the idea with the formation of this blog in 2011. At the time it was a hazy plan for the future.

    Urika moment!

    When I fell pregnant in 2015 with my son (he’s now a very bossy 2-year old!) while I was working as a digital marketing coordinator for an e-Commerce site, a role in which I got to be very creative and also gained a lot insight into the world of managing an online shop I decided the time could be nigh…? Being pregnant with an idea in hand that could potentially mean a better work-life balance (more autonomy at least, perhaps not a huge amount of extra time given what I have already found), and all the while I would be doing something I am fiercely passionate about- raising awareness of a less wasteful and as plastic-free as possible, lifestyle- all seemed to make a lot of good green sense to me.

    As time went on, and as I would breastfeed for hours at a time, horizontal and only my phone for company, I set about ‘sourcing’ ideas for the items I would off you. Fortuitously, the time I spent breastfeeding afforded me a LOT of research hours, that might otherwise have felt cumbersome or neglectful if I were doing it while my baby was busy being awake. In time my idea grew firmer and I my curation for my future shop grew more vivid and real, and I began to set out a strong criteria for the products I would sell.   They needed to replace a mainstream equivalent, in a positive way. They also need to be one or all of the following:

    • robust
    • reusable
    • compostable
    • repurposable
    • recyclable
    • made locally or made in UK or made ethically
    • organic
    • and never ever made from plastic

    Curating my shop:

    I went about ‘sourcing’ the products. This process felt really natural and a lot came about accidentally. I was already living as #zerowaste as I possibly could in Bristol, and had already been living without plastic 95% of the time for a long while. Therefore,  I looked around at all the purchases I had made to adapt my own life to a life with less plastic and waste and this was the beginning.

    Instagram has played a huge role planning for this  project of mine, as there are so many determined and inspiring zerowaste accounts that inspire us as they share how  they live their daily life by treading very lightly on our planet. There are so many accounts that have been invaluable in sourcing the products I have.

    Selecting essentials:

    I knew that water bottles, cutlery and cotton and reusable produce bags needed to be core product on my site if it was going to try to serve the purpose I intend it to: to replace the most wasteful, unnecessary and pollutant forms of plastic, those that are commonly found in beach clean-ups. I also knew that solid soaps, shampoos and other ‘essentials’ needed to be there in a natural form to eliminate yet more ubiquitous plastic we have grown accustomed to and see are normal. Therefore these products needed to be:

    • natural
    • chemical free
    • SLS free
    • Cruelty Free
    • Palm oil free

    My objective is also to help customer reduce their exposure to hidden nasties, and unwittingly become victim to pseudo science- products that generally contain, albeit small amounts of harmful chemicals! Like What? Like deodorants with aluminum or home cleaners with chemicals that have side-effects that have been connected with carcinogens and some found in the breast tissue of women suffering breast-cancer…the list is endless and it’s not intended to scare-monger, but to highlight the dangers the modern world poses to our personal health, as well as the health of our planet, including her eco-systems.

    Snail slow, no money:

    Because I haven’t taken out a loan or borrowed any money, this has obviously effected what I was able to buy, and also how quickly it could get off the ground. I started buying products way back in Feb of this year, ones that could not perish, like my bamboo straws, and from here gradually my stock grew, as did work on my website.

    I decided after much actual confusion to go with WooCommerce as I am really familiar with WordPress CMS and didn’t know much about the other options such as Shopify.

    I also have a shop on Etsy and Ebay!

    If you are interested in taking a peak, please visit my website: www.ingreens.co.uk

    If you have any thoughts about my project please do get in touch, it’s always great to hear your feedback no matter how you feel, it’s all good!

     

     

     

    Green Eats/Health

    Broadway Vegan Market

    What could be more appropriate than visiting a much-talked about food market on a sunny Saturday in London…? There’s been much hype about this new addition to the foodie scene and no doubt it’ll only get more visitors as the news keeps spreading. I’m talking about London’s first weekly celebration of vegan foods: the Broadway Vegan Market.

    Every Saturday between 10AM and 4PM in the grounds of London fields primary school is a little #vegan market. The weekly vegan market offers a really impressive variety of plant-based food ranging from junk food, to Thai and Indian curries, to jack-fruit stuffed burritos, to Vietnamese inspired salads, to handmade cashew cheeses, plant-based chocolates, donuts-about 20-varieties! scones, cream cakes and more…

    I opted for the Korean BBQ Banh Mi baguette from Eat Chay Club, see picture below that I got from Instagram. Filled with BBQ mock chicken with loads of salads, coriander and sauce.  It was heavenly and I am so cuffed I chose this option.

    My comrades opted for:

    • a BIG V LONDON burger which had a really good taste and included extras such as pickles, burger cheese and sauce
    • a curry from  The Spice Box which included three different curries and a slice of seaweed!
    • a Mexican inspired jack-fruit burrito which I didn’t try but was assured was delicious and was described as “sweet and salty!”

    I really wanted to try  Dough Society London  donuts, but they’d sold out by 1.30PM!! (I was informed more were on their way, but by then we’d made our way to Edgar’s and were enjoying a cocktail. Edgar’s on Broadway incidentally offer a vegan menu too. Veganism and vegan options are certainly on the rise.

    Next time I visit, I will probably try the buckwheat pancakes as they also looked really tasty and healthy. And I will make sure I manage to bag at least one Dough society London before everyone else.

     

     

    Green Eats/Health IN THE GREEN NEWS

    Bulk Market, London

    Lots of naked fruit, veg, bread and cake ready for customer’s to take home without the need for plastic or unnecessary packaging

    Bulk Market is a pop-up set up by Ingrid Caldironi,  in Dalston, London. In her own words, Ingrid says she’s:

    Not a hippie, or treehugger, I’ve never been a hardcore green. Like many others, I used to believe that stuff gets recycled, and there was no other way of living without creating a lot of waste. After reading about a 20-something girl from NY with years of rubbish fitting in a jar, she decided to go zero waste. But companies don’t make it easy for people to avoid waste. Bulk Market® was born to fix this. – Source: bulkmarket.co.uk

    The shop is small and looks a bit like a bakery from the outside. Inside however, it’s got a contemporary industrial feel with exposed bolts and pipes. There are shelves housing minimalist household products, dispensers for oil and jars full of loose teas and spices. You could probably do all your shopping here, with their healthy legumes and nuts and treats like loose white and dark chocolate buttons- although be warned, gravity takes hold when using the upright dispensers and I left with a £5 bag of chocolate buttons  (worse things could happen, right!!)

    Bulk Market was introduced to the vibrant Kingsland Road in the summer and has been a real buzz with mindful Londoner’s and zerowaster’s all over the country, as well as served as a wake-up call for those who’d yet to reflec on our wasteful habits that causes so much plastic pollution and other waste.

    The shop has been written about in numerous publications and newspapers. I guess it’s novel: imagine a supermarket without any packaging? The mind boggles! But in reality this should be the future: lots of small local shops providing nutritious locally sourced items that are #naked, ie, package free.

    A lot of people come back to me and say “what a faff, I haven’t got time to shop like that,” when I relay my own dreams of opening a package free shop. I see where people with this mindset are coming from. I’m busy too and there are some weeks I don’t manage to buy as many naked food items as I would like, yet it is really quite simple, it just involves a period of adapting and crucially an abundance of bulk shops like Bulk Market in every city, town and village in the UK. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s happening already! If they are numerous it will be convenient, at the moment I know that making a special journey to your local bulk shop can be time-consuming for busy people, which is why they need to be akin to all the ‘locals’ and ‘express’s’ we see on every street corner!

    Zerowaste: Refuse, reuse, repair, recycle, rot

    The shop is literally a mecca for those leading or aspiring to lead a zerowaste lifestyle. And while many will furrow their brow if you mention ‘zerowaste’ in conversation, the movement is building up a loyal and committed following in the UK. Around the world, unpackaged shops have been growing for a while, our German cousins have Unpackaged and there are numerous other examples of bulk and package-free shopping across Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada. Sometimes it feels we were a bit late to join the party, but at least we’re getting on board now. Because, there is clearly an enlightened bunch of people, all from different walks of life, uniting together gloabally to tackle our human consumption and wast problem, because we all recognise the rate at which we are producing waste is not sustainable nor kind to our planet.

    Unpackaged shopping: back to basic (or a return to the pre-plastic era)

    Shopping in npackaged shops basically involves being prepared with your produce bags and jars in toe. It is akin to taking your bags for life, you just need a few extra things to put what is normally in plastic in your own REUSABLE bags and containers.

    A beautiful display. Just take your reusable bottle for refilling and pots for the spices.

    If you live in London I cannot recommend a visit to Bulk Market enough. It is a refreshing look at what is hopefully the future of food shopping in the UK 🙂

     

     

    Green Beauty Green Earth Green Homes and Interiors

    Save the planet one safety razor at a time

    The other day someon asked me about my razor. They assumed that safety razors where more dangerous than the plastic disposable kind we have grown accustomed to, the PLASTIC kind. I said it wasn’t, that they’re simple to assemble and showed her. Then I decided that perhaps others were on the fence, unsure whether to #DITCHTHEIRDISPOSABLES and reach for the reusable. This video above demonstrates just how SIMPLE it is. Plus don’t you think they’re just so gorgeous?

    Five reasons you need to switch to a reusable razor: 

    1. They’re reusable-it’s a no brainer #reuserevolution
    2. A safety razor will save you money in the long run
    3. They’re completely recyclable
    4. They’re very stylish
    5. It is estimated that in the US alone, 2Billion disposable razors are thrown away every year- which is a lot of plastic in landfill or our waterway

     

     

     

    Green Eats/Health

    Fed by Water, food review

    Today I visited Fed by Water after happening upon it on my way back from my first visit to the pop-up Bulk Market on the Kingsland Road.

    As part of their healthy outlook all customers are offered complimentary purified water

    The idea of healthy, mindful plant-based Italian cuisine struck me as innovative. I’m accustomed to the concept of vegan curries: Thai, Indian and Vietnamese, as well as vegan junk food, such as American style burgers and have tried plant-based hot-dogs. But, this was the first time I discovered vegan Italian food. It sounded comforting and when I looked at their Instagram account, the dishes pictured looked so tempting we went there for lunch today.

    Italian food has long been a staple in the UK and often referenced as the UK’s ‘favourite’ cuisine-and I get why, it’s very homely and moorish. Giving up dairy, one can sometimes feel a bit cut-off from this form of cooking: creamy and rich dishes such as risotto or tagliatelle (NB: I’m a terrible cook so cannot stretch to creamy vegan pasta sauces, yet). The buttery richness makes it the ideal comfort food. That’s why, when I noticed Fed by Water I thought, “will it fill this longing for creamy comfort food I have been craving…?”

    Well, we were not disappointed!Read on to find out more…

    The menu was quite extensive, a double sided A3, with more specials on the boards. Initially, I felt a little overwhelmed by the repetition of tofu on seemingly all their dishes. I’m not a massive fan of tofu unless it’s be deep fried (#nomnom), then I like it. The starters were largely bread based, which I felt would be too heavy to start as we were planning try one pizza and one risotto or pizza main, so opted just for two mains.

    I wonder what method of purification they use ?

    The Pizza: PC Sempre Verde (rocket, capers,  black olives, cashew mozzarella and tomatoe base on activated charcoal dough).

    The pizza base was BLACK  as it was made with activated charcoal which is known for its detoxifying properties. It looked and tasted just stunning- I am not exaggerating when I say it is possibly the best pizza I have ever had, this includes the time before I cut out dairy. The combination of flavours was awesome and apart from a hefty scattering of smoked tofu (I would have preferred more olives and capers) the pizza was truly delicious. The cashew based mozzarella was unlike any vegan cheese I’ve had before in the BEST way possible and the tomatoe base was rich with lots and lots and flavour. I reserve all the praise for this amazing black pizza.

    I am not exaggerating when I say it is possibly the best pizza I have ever had

    The Risotto: Risotto di mare (super garluc charged rissotto with sampire and pistachios)

    Again, the risotto was black and came with a samphire  garnish. The rice was al dente and the overall flavour was intensly garlicy, so if you’re no lover of garlic, then perhaps avoid ordering the rissotto. Luckily we love garlic. Again this dish was everything I anticipated: it was creamy, comforting and just really tasty.

    The portions are really generous, which meant we actually ended up bringing the left overs home. And luckily Fed with Water use compostable packaging ✌.

    Desert: Raw Tiramisu

    We finished off the meal with the classic Italian desert,  tiramisu.  Unfortunately it just lacked depth of flavour  and had the cream had a peculiar texture.  It’s a pity as the rest of the meal was EPIC.

    Drinks: Freshly pressed juice

    To drink we had freshly pressed  orange juice as we have been feeling the Autumn vibes around here at the moment. It was delicious and came with an air-dried slice of orange!

    Free H20: Fed offer all their patrons complimentary & purified still or SPARKLING (woop woop) water, which is a bonus!

    Would I return? Yup in a FLASH! Next time I think I’ll try their cabonara or lasagna or… so many tempting options…

    One thing I will say though is, it is a bit on the pricey side, at last for me and for a Monday lunch! It is not a cheap lunch destination, so perhaps save it for special occasion. For example, a main is £12+ and there’s a service charge of £4.75 which I thought was quite high- luckily it’s optional, so you can choose to leave your own tip. ? That said, sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for amazing plant-based food such as this.

    Final word: I would happily take a vegan food cynic to Fed by Water as the food is as delicious as any Italian restaurant around.

     

    Green Earth

    Holiday Cottages

    Life can go on standstill when we go on holiday. You might be inclined to switch off the wifi, disconnect yourself from everyday life and retreat into the simple things life has to offer for the duration, especially if you’re immersed in the countryside. And this much I get and wholeheartedly encourage as surely holidays are all about switching off…but: that doesn’t mean we should forget about the environment in the process!

    This year I have stayed in three rural cottages and NONE have provided the facilities to recycle our packaging or food waste- the latter I found  especially shocking as all three holiday cottages had large gardens, which would have made composting food waste really simple.

    I am currently in another such cottage where there is only a general waste bin. We live in an age that has surely taught us that there isn’t anything such as general waste anymore. Waste is categorized and disposed of responsibly these days, and while I am not trying to shift the burden of responsibility to the rural folk, I would have expected those living in the rural areas would have EVEN more inclination to protect our beautiful green spaces that those of us who might be more inclined to live in denial in the concrete jungles.

    Either way, the principles of recycling cannot be denied by or to holidaymakers and therefore, the facilities need to be extended to holidaymakers so they can practically dispose of waste.

    We are holidaymakers relaxing, disconnecting etc etc, but we aren’t disconnecting from our determination to keep our planet in good nick, and do our level best. As a result, we’ve had to find local recycle bins a short walk down the road, and this is great that it’s there, but I do wonder:

    1. how many other holidaymakers staying in this cottage would do this?
    2. Why the holiday cottage industry cannot create a mandate to follow that requires all holiday makers to holiday responsibly?

    Just because w’re on holiday doesn’t mean we enter a state of denial- we are relaxing while recycling! IN fact, recycling makes me feel better- not being able to would really interrupt my holiday!!

     

    I wrote to Organic Cottages UK to see what their stance was on this matter, here’s what they replied:

    Linda Moss response:-