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Who Gives A Crap?

When you are invested in leading as low to zero waste life as is possible, it’s impossible for everyday waste to go unnoticed anymore, and this goes for essentials* like toilet roll. Up until fairly recently, I was buying Ecoleaf toilet paper who use a biodegradable wrap. In recent weeks though I have been presented with so much negative press and doubt cast over bio-plastic’s true sustainability, I am unsure if we should have so much faith in it. With this in mind,  I decided to invest in the only loo roll company I know to deliver to your door and without any plastic! They also have a moral center, I am talking about, Who Gives  Crap.

Who Gives a Crap produce forest friendly loo roll because it’s all recycled, unlike most toilet paper sold, which comes from trees grown for the very purpose of becoming loo roll- bonkers!

Who Gives a Crap started life in Australia in 2012 by friends Simon, Jehan and Danny who recongnised that in addition to all the toilet jokes and banter that would inevitably ensue, they felt that their idea could make a real positive impact to the  2.3 billion people, (that’s 40% of the global population) who do not have access to a toilet. This also means around 289,000 children under 5 die every year from diarrheaol disease caused by poor water and sanitation.

That’s almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes.

When you put it like that, jokes about owning a toilet paper company don’t sounds quite as funny. It was shocking to read such stats in 2017. We really are so insanely privileged in this country to have clean water and public toilets, toilets on trains, in parks and in bus and train stations, in a generally acceptable condition and often free. It’s a convenience we absolutely expect and have probably found ourselves aghast when such isn’t to be found, although this is definitely a rare thing.

To live in world that has such disparity is really unfair and to find a company actively challenging this means that you can buy plastic free loo roll whole actively supporting a great cause.

That’s because Who Gives  a Crap donate 50% of their profits to Wateraid.

WE’RE DETERMINED TO PROVE THAT TOILET PAPER IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST WIPING BUMS. WE MAKE ALL OF OUR PRODUCTS WITH ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MATERIALS, AND WE DONATE 50% OF OUR PROFITS TO HELP BUILD TOILETS FOR THOSE IN NEED.

Their impact to date:

$1,175,000

Total amount we’ve donated to date to help fund hygiene and sanitation projects.

50,586 TREES

We’ve saved a load of trees by making our products from bamboo and recycled paper.

98 MILLION LITRES

That’s the water we’ve saved by making our products with eco friendly materials.

5,922 TONNES

These are the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by making our products with more sustainable materials

It’s shit that children in this day and age are still dying from a lack of basic hygiene. But it’s good that Who Gives a Crap are addressing this. I received a bit a criticisms that it;s shipped from China and not a British company. I hear you. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be a loo roll company that does such immensely good work addressing a very pressing issue. Eco Leaf are fine, and possibly cheaper (although WGAC rolls are HUGE!) but Who Gives a Crap support a great cause, WaterAid, uses recycled paper and packaging and it’s looks so pretty to. And there’s not a whiff of plastic in sight.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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 🙂

 

 

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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.

 

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Kitchen compost

Vegetable peelings and food waste

I have been mulling the different purposes of the food waste caddy supplied by our locals councils, in my case Bristol City Council and home composting bins. I have heard people say they add paper and other non food items to their caddy but this just sounded wrong. It’s fascinating to think our food waste goes on a journey once the rubbish people collect it.

According to Bristol city council’s website you can put:

  • bread, pasta, cereal and rice
  • cooked and uncooked food
  • dairy products and egg shells
  • fruit and vegetables
  • leftover food
  • meat, fish and bones
  • tea bags and coffee grounds

You cannot put:

  • any other household waste
  • corn starch liners without the compostable logo

You can learn more about what the council do with your food by visiting your local council’s website. Spoiler alert: it’s fascinating! The addition of the caddy food waste bin demonstrates that our local authorities have recognised the need for, and are participating in positive action to redirect our waste away from landfill so that it can become something a lot more useful such as biogas and fertiliser. The green fingered home composter is also playing their part, particularly when the food caddy option isn’t yet available in their area. By choosing to not add your vegetable and fruit peelings to the ‘general waste bin’ we avoid contributing to the greenhouse gas methane that builds up in landfill


HOME COMPOST

On the spur of the moment I gathered my vegetable peelings and put them in a really big jar with the hope of it becoming compost. Since discovering that many chocolate companies are now using compostable foil to wrap the chocolate in, I was encouraged to see whether it really does work. This along with wanting to start my own indoor herb garden is the impetus behind the impulse.

Since adding my very muddy peelings which were from vegetables from the veggie box I have conducted a bit of research into home composting to make sure I’m on the right track. Although before I begin, I want to list the things that my instincts told me would fair well in a composting situ:

 

vegetable and fruit peelings

 

tea leaves

coffee grounds

paper shreds

What foods will I avoid when home composting for the first time?

I will avoid bread, garlic and any food items overly moist for now as I want to (cautiously) observe what happens to the above before getting adventurous, especially with food that might take longer than I expect veggies and tea and coffee grounds to break down. 

What do you need to ensure your home compost will work?

Just layer organic materials — garden clippings, dry leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps, shredded paper — and a dash of soil to create a concoction that turns into humus, the best soil builder around. Before you start piling on, recognize that there are two types of composting: cold and hot. – Better Homes and Garden

I am cold composting, piling up vegetable and even garden waste in my pot and according to Better Homes and Gardens waiting for about a year for my ‘materials to decompose’ (!).  I guess gardening is a slow and patient art form. I will not be sealing the lid as air needs to enter the jar. 

Therefore, this morning I am going to take a wander to my local park, Redland Green, and collect a handful of leaves and twigs and scrape a little bit of soil, bring it home and add it to my ‘compost’ to create the right environment for the materials to hopefully one day become ‘humus’.

I will need to buy an organic soil for my herbs anyhow. I am determined to keep my homegrown herbs as organic as possible, eliminating the doubt that often accompanies the food we buy these day. Does anyone else question foods that have been labelled organic?

 

Source: 
recyclenow.com

bristolcitycouncil.gov.uk

betterhomesandgardens.com

 

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WastED comes to London

I love this⬇it’s an inspiring and important read and particularly topical right now.

Top chefs including Gordon Ramsay will demonstrate that food need not be wasted at London’s WasteED food festival under the guidance of renowned anti-food waste chef: Dan Barber.

Barber- who is based in New York- is a pioneer of cooking creations made from food that would otherwise be thrown away.

Think Real Junk Food project managed by a michelin starred chef or two! Click link ⬆ to read more and source tickets.