Billow

I haven’t written here in a long time.

But this does not mean that I haven’t had anything to write about; on the contrary, I have discovered and thought of more and more posts that I would like to write and share. They have been swimming in my head for a long time.

 

It has been a combination of being busy, getting busier, writer’s mental block and wanting to change the blog before starting to write again that has prevented me to so.

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100 Ways to be More Sustainable – 100th Post

Hello everyone, this is my 100th post! 🙂

I started this blog on 5th February 2012, over 2 years ago, and have finally got to the 100 mark.

As I started off with the idea of writing a blog that would show that acting more sustainably can be easy and have benefits such as saving energy, money and pollute less, I thought it would be a good idea to write about 100 ways to be more sustainable for the 100th post 🙂

 

First, though, I would like to thank you.

Thank you if you are reading this, thank you if you have been following me since the start, since last year or if you are a new follower.

Thank you for every “like”, comment and share. Thank you for supporting me in my little mission.

 

Now, to the more practical side of things.

Everything we do has an impact on the environment, this impact can be more or less sustainable, if we think of it as “capable of being maintained as a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage”.

So, here we go, just over 100 tips on how to be more sustainable! Click on the links to discover more about these eco-tactics 🙂

 

Less energy-hungry food (16)

  • Eat less energy-demanding meat. It only takes a few seconds to look at this World Food Clock and realise how we produce, consume and waste every single second. (Thank you for sharing, Janina). Here are some ideas to get your newly recommended 7 (or even more) a day! 10 Ways to 10 a Day from KHGS.
  • Eat more lentils! They are an excellent sustainable source of protein and easy to grow too.

 

Lenticchie di Norcia - Italian Lentils

Lenticchie di Norcia – Italian Lentils

 

  • Store food properly. By doing so, it will last longer and you will waste less. Did you know spring onions last longer in a glass of water in the fridge? 🙂
  • Plan meals ahead and let frozen meals thaw in the fridge. This will save you energy because the fridge will need less electricity to keep the temperature low, plus you won’t need to defrost the meal in the microwave either. Guide: How to defrost safely.
  • Buy locally, go to farmers’ markets or local farms – you will be supporting smaller producers and you can save money too.
  • Have a look at supermarkets’ reduced to clear sections.
    You can find amazing bargains, especially towards the end of the day (loaves of bread for 20p), and purchase food that would otherwise go to waste. You can then consume it as soon as possible or freeze it for future use and save a lot of money.

 

Reduced Food

Amazingly cheap but still perfectly fine reduced food

 

  • Understand the difference between “best before” dates and “use by” dates. Look at the Ultimate Shelf Life Guide to avoid wasting food unnecessarily.
  • When you go out, try local produce and products. From craft beers to wine, from pies to vegetables and fruit: give your local producers a try!

 

Less Pollution (22)

  • Try natural alternative to laundry detergents, such as affordable soap nuts.

Green People Mascara

  • Give car sharing a try. Try sharing rides with colleagues, share a taxi or simply use public transport or start cycling.
  • Learn to drive consuming less fuel: Cut your speed and petrol bill.
    As a pedestrian, if you see a single car coming along, and you’re not in too much of a rush of course, let it drive past so they don’t need to break and re-depart after, which would use more fuel.
  • Walk more. Ramblers is a website that shows many walking routes, or you could simply walk more and use your car less.
  • If you need to pack a parcel, reuse bubble wrap or – even better – use strips of waste paper and ask the receiver to reuse or recycle them after.
  • Try purchasing less plastic and buying reusable items made of less toxic materials. You can start by taking a reusable bag when you go shopping. Life Without Plastic.
  • When you are eating out, ask for tap water rather than bottled water (in areas where it is safe, of course). Why Tap Water is Better.
  • To freshen your home, use essential oils rather than chemical-filled air fresheners. You only need a few drops in a burner or in a spray bottle.
  • Instead of sponges which are not recyclable and harbour bacteria, use cloths which can be washed and reused.

 

Reusable Material Cloth and Ecover

Reusable Material Cloth and Ecover

 

  • Switch to online billing rather than paper billing, some companies offer discounts for the switch too.
  • To get rid of oil stains, rub chalk on the affected area before washing rather than using harsh chemicals.
  • Take your own lunch to work, you will cut down on a lot of packaging and also save around £1,000 per year!

 

Take a packed lunch to work :)

Take a packed lunch to work 🙂

 

  • When changing the oil for your car, make sure you dispose of it properly as it can pollute waterways and kill wildlife. Find your nearest UK oil bank.
  • Try to purchase products that don’t rely on batteries, and if they must, use rechargeable ones. Look for solar power chargers for an extra sustainable option.

 

Make, repair&fix (12)

 

Make Do and Mend

 

 

  • Turn used trousers into shorts or skirts.
  • Get to know your neighbours, they may need something you can offer and they may be able to offer something you need.
    My flatmate designed the website for the restaurant next door to us.
  • Make your own body scrub, for example by mixing olive oil with a bit of ground salt and sugar. Simple!
  • Make your mirrors, windows and glass objects sparkle by using white vinegar. Add some in a spray bottle (you can dilute it with 1:10 vinegar to water up to 50/50) and apply with scrunched newspaper to leave no traces or marks.
  • Make a wood cleaner by mixing two parts of vegetable oil with one part lemon juice, use with a cloth.
  • If you prefer purchasing cleaning products, choose eco-friendly ones such as Ecover.
  • To freshen up smelly shoes, try filling them up with scrunched newspaper overnight or sprinkle the insides with bicarbonate of soda or talcum powder and shake them out the day after.

 

Buy less, use less and buy better quality (9)

 

  • Do a little research about brands you may want to purchase: do they pay sustainable wages to their workers? Labour Behind the Label.
  • Use less plastic and more natural or oil-free materials, have a look at alternatives from Life Without Plastic.
  • Reuse things: for example, jars can be used as containers for more food or other objects.
    Here are 40 ways to reuse newspaper. Take a reusable coffee cup, like a Keep Cup, to the coffee shop instead of using disposable ones. Some places give you a discount if you bring your own cup too!
  • Buy second-hand books, they can be so much cheaper! Or borrow reading material from your local library.
  • Have your shoes resoled once they need to and keep on using them. I have had my boots for 7 years and they’re great!
  • Dye clothes that have faded and give them a new life.

 

Bank Better

 

  • Triodos Bank is “a global pioneer of sustainable banking.” Their mission is “to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

 

Lend

 

  • Give someone the opportunity to create a sustainable business and alleviate poverty with the Kiva project, you can lend as little as $25 to someone who needs it and who will give it back to you when possible.

 

Save Energy (15)

 

  • Invest in an energy-saving product such as Energenie in order to save energy and money.
  • When charging devices, unplug them once they are fully charged, avoid leaving them plugged in unnecessarily or overnight.
  • Look for energy-efficient domestic appliances.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries and replace your batteries rather than replacing your whole phone.
  • Turn off the oven a few minutes before the time is up, the heat remains in the oven for a long time after you switch it off.
  • Try to use the oven as its full capacity when you use it, you can add meals to eat later in the week or use it to make croutons out of stale bread, for example.
  • Switch to a green energy supplier.
  • Wear warmer clothing and adjust your central heating to avoid wasting energy and money.
  • When you dry your clothes indoors, avoid putting them on radiators as this will stop the heat from reaching the room, create damp and good conditions for mold to grow.
  • Cook in bulk and therefore save energy. You can freeze additional portions.
  • Cook food in a steamer, you can cook different things on each level at the same time.

 

Recycle and Reuse (11)

 

  • Save paint from going to waste, Community Repaint collect reusable paint and distribute it to those who need it, helping them and avoiding waste.
  • Recycle your shoes at a collection bank.
  • Clear your cupboards of old electronic equipment, sell it or recycle in appropriate centres.
  • Consider going to charity shops first to find what you need. It could be a frame, and even if you don’t like a picture you may love the frame. Give things a new life.
  • You can recycle all sorts of things, even ink cartridges. Check before you throw.
  • Donate, don’t throw. If you have unwanted furniture, give it to a friend or donate it to a charity.
  • Borrow instead of buying, Freecycle.org can help you find what you need with no need to buy it.
  • Share more. You will save money, use fewer resources, meet new people… 10 reasons to share.
  • Use carpets in many ways to avoid them ending up in landfill. Use them to line cupboards, cars as mats, pet beds,  as doormats and even under plant pots.

 

Waste Less (9)

 

  • Compost food and tea bags to fertilise the soil which you will be able to use to grow your own herbs, vegetables, food or plants.
  • Reuse timber material from skips.
  • Take your own suit bags to the dry cleaner’s rather than having them give you flimsy plastic ones and take back the hangers for them to reuse.
  • Reuse tea bags – when you make tea in a cup, you can often reuse it for another cup as their strength is usually enough for a few cups. Or use loose tea leaves and then compost them if possible.

CHai Tea

  • Buy in bulk or buy refills.
  • When you go to a restaurant, if you cannot finish your meal, ask to take it away in a doggy box. It’s a compliment to those who took care to source and prepare the food, and you have paid for the whole portion, don’t be shy! Too Good To Waste Campaign.

 

Save Water (5)

 

  • Choose a dual flush system or put a water-saving device in your loo tank to use less water with every flush.
  • When you are waiting for cold water to turn hot, collect it rather than letting it go down the drain and use it to water flower and plants, wash fruit and vegetables, fill the kettle…don’t waste it!
  • Use a tank to collect rain water. It’s ideal to water plants or wash the car.
  • Wash your vegetables in a bowl rather than under running water and use that water for plants and flowers.

 

What do you like to do to be more sustainable?

Do you have any additional tips?

 

*Special thanks to my amazing flatmate G for continuously contributing to ideas for this post*

Back to the Future

After we got back from our trip to Normandy, we went to our local supermarket to stock up on fresh food, but that’s not the only fresh things we got.

Maybe we unconsciously wanted to keep being surrounded by plants like we were on holiday…

We bought fresh basil and parsley pots and a new flower plant that was reduced to clear to 29p as it was looking past its prime, (the previous week I had bought another orchid for 39p!) and a cyclamen.

Fresh Basil and Parsley Plants

Fresh Basil and Parsley Plants

Out window sill is now fuller than ever with pretty flowers!

Flowers!

Flowers 🙂

During the journey back I also caught up reading a Stylist magazine issue from the end of July called “The Good Life?“. It was full of information on how to take steps to lead a healthier, more sustainable life.

Stylist is a free magazine distributed in London on Tuesday evenings/Wednesday mornings that is always full of well-written, interesting articles and I found this one particularly inspiring. It was about Stylist staff slowing down and staying in Launceston Farm in Dorset for a few days and I felt I could partly relate to their experiences, having just left our nature-filled break.

These Stylist editors, the junior writer and the photography director had some rules while staying at this farm:

  • No mobile phones, smartphones or any other electronic equipment
  • No internet or e-mail access
  • No sat navs or GPS equipment
  • No credit or debit cards, just simple cash
  • Only eat food they could pick or kill themselves or source from an independent retailer within a 15-mile radius
  • No contact whatsoever with their office
Stylist "The Good Life?" Issue from 24th July 2013

Stylist “The Good Life?” Issue from 24th July 2013

I think it sounded like a great challenge / experiment, especially for people who rely on constant updates and news via social media platforms, internet and e-mails as part of their jobs and lives.

I did something similar:  -I didn’t use my phone on holiday except to briefly check my e-mails a few times to let my mum know we had got there safely and what we were up to, -we didn’t have a sat nav and ended up driving around maize crops in the pitch black a bit longer than planned; -I only used cash; -most of the vegan food I had was local, including organic vegetables from the neighbour and I didn’t have any contact with my office.

The “I’m a journalist…get me out of here!” article tells about how everyone got on with “no phones, laptop, TV or radio”.

It’s actually quite funny, as the author describes the panic they all felt when prompted to hand over their phones, knowing they wouldn’t be able to whizz them out at any moment to Tweet, post on Instagram, or check the news.

It goes on to describe how they sourced their food. They were all brought up to eat meat but none of them had ever shot a living creature. In the evening they had rabbit pie, as for the farmer rabbits are crop-ruining vermin.

Being away from all sorts of devices helped them sleep really well, they picked their own vegetables from a nearby farm, foraged for elderflower and told each other ghost stories after their made-from-scratch, locally sourced dinner.

One thing I notice a lot at my office is that people are always tired…no matter who it is, even after the weekend or a holiday people are generally tired! Could it really be linked to our super-stimulated world where we just can’t relax properly?

By the end of it all some realised they normally find it hard to relax in our tech-filled world, or that they spend their free time on the phone. Some enjoyed it but would have loved to document some of their experiences by posting photos and messages about them and others noticed they didn’t get their daily headaches.

 

The next article I enjoyed reading in this issue was “Where does your garden grow?

"Where does your garden grow?"

“Where does your garden grow?”

It starts off by saying that after they spent a little while in the countryside it was really easy to feel like start growing their own vegetables, making lovely meals from scratch (I do too, even more after going to Normandy)…then it snaps to the reality that makes up many of the readers’ lives: we work long hours and things like these take a lot longer than grabbing convenient pre-packed food.

Convenience shop numbers in the UK confirm this, we’re never too far from somewhere that offers packaged, ready-to-eat products that take a few minutes to be ready in the microwave.

However, after issues such as the horsemeat scandal  and news of processed meat being linked with early death earlier on this year, fortunately people are starting to be more careful with what they purchase and consume.

According to the article, more and more people are “flexitarians”, that is, people who mainly have a vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat and fish.

The meat available for us to buy comes in glamorous, clean packaging making it easy for us to forget where it comes from. I agree with the author when she says that “if we are prepared to eat something, we should know how the animal has been killed to get it”.

She writes about going to an abattoir, describing something similar to what the French farmer explained to me last week as animals are checked, inspected and treated with respect, but adding that unfortunately other abattoirs operate cruelly, with a member of the team telling her we should get meat from a local butcher to know animals have been treated with such respect.

Another interesting point: what’s the cost of our demand to have fruit and vegetables all year-round, out of season? Have you noticed that asparagus, one of the most sensitive vegetables, are imported from Peru and only come from the U.K. in May-June?

Our quest for cheap food also means that we often bring down the economy of our own country (and not just for the U.K.). One of the well-known examples are of New Zealand lamb being a fraction of the price of British lamb, despite travelling so far to reach us.

If we bought higher welfare meat and dairy, we would support British farmers. Have a look at the Red Tractor Logo website to know more about the benefits that come with choosing products that bear it. It’s actually Red Tractor Week from 16th to 22nd September.

Finally, the article ends showing what we can do to directly make “a big difference to the environment, your health and your friendly local farmer”.

  • Buy British lamb (better if from a local butcher or the farmers’ market)
  • Cut down on your meat intake maybe start by not having meat a couple of days a week
  • Buy fruit and vegetables in season 
  • Avoid chicken that just says “fresh” if it’s not organic of free-range it was factory farmed 😦
  • Check the label carefully such as the Freedom Food label
  • Buy British (or your own country’s) dairy
  • Choose free-range eggs (or organic)free-range eggs are actually healthier and less likely to harbour salmonella”
Red Tractor Logo

Red Tractor Logo

Freedom Food Logo

Freedom Food Logo

Useful links:

How do you think you’d feel with no electronic equipment for a few days?

What can we learn from the past to improve our future?

Which steps would you consider taking to lead a healthier and more sustainable life?

Vegan Food on Holiday in Normandy

Hello Everyone!

I’m back from another trip, this time to Normandy, and it was lovely!

I’m still trying to be more sustainable, ethical and  healthier by having vegan food and it was the first time I attempted to do this in France, land of butter… and steak.

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Meet Sam from Fair Marquit Value – Eco Tourism

Just hours before hopping on an enormous metal bird to the land where orange juice is the official national beverage (how cool is that? And by the way I hope I will be offsetting my trip’s carbon footprint by eating vegan, as a start!) I would like to post another article.

It is written by Sam Marquit, an independent green contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value from New York who focuses on sustainable building by using ecological materials and new eco-friendly technology.

If I had the chance to have a new home built as I wished or if I could purchase a property I know I would love it to be as sustainable and as energy-efficient as possible.

Go to Sam’s Fair Marquit Value page to learn more about him and what he does. I found the articles about the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification and creating energy while having a shower particularly interesting.

~

Silver Linings: Greening Our Way to Prosperity

The economic downturn hit the construction and contracting industries pretty hard. As a contractor, I’ll be the first to say that it can be hard to find a lot of positives in the situation. I’ll also say that if there is a silver lining, it is in the recent upswing of eco-friendly projects that have started to see the light of day.

Across the globe, a number of public and private initiatives have begun to incentivize companies and organizations to make positive environmental choices. Designed to connect the advances being made in research with the market, Eco-Innovation-Europe is one of these programs. Through Eco-Innovation, “green” ideas ranging from production to products, services, and processes are given the opportunity to be commercially viable. The five-strand initiative includes various aspects of recycling, sustainable building products, water treatment and distribution, and a focus on the food and drink sector. In addition, the greening of pre-existing businesses is a major part of Eco-Innovation, and one that may help the EU meet its environmental objectives while boosting economic growth.

One of the largest hotel chains in the world, The Marriott is an example of a major established business taking the lead on the green-front. Taking advantage of a new corn-by-product made room key, The Marriott purchased 24 million “green” keys to replace the more common plastic cards. Biodegradable and recyclable, these new key cards are expected to prevent as much as 66 tons of plastic from being dumped into landfills every year.

For the most part, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Luckily for the rest of us, one of the most popular hotels on the Strip isn’t trying to keep its green practices a secret. Recently named the “Most Eco Friendly Hotel in America,” the Palazzo Hotel and Resort is pioneering multiple green initiatives ranging from the ability to reuse its own waste to solar paneled heating and a state-of-the-art water recycling system. With the amount of travel the city sees each year, it’s encouraging to see new green Las Vegas hotels going up each year.

The green initiatives and building projects that have accompanied the slow economic recovery have proven a definite boon. Yet the embrace and support of green initiatives by organizations are just as important. Perhaps eco-friendly building and sustainability practices are not just the secret to saving the planet, but the key to reinvigorating the economy as well.

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How eco is your holiday?

How eco is your holiday?

What do you think about eco-friendly hotels?

Do you focus on sustainability when travelling or going on holiday?

 

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I was also in contact with Rob from destiny USA regarding the benefits of the LEED certification for larger businesses.

Have a look at their link: is LEED Certification Effective: a Case study of Destiny USA in order to find out more about Destiny USA and the rating system which focuses on sustainable builds.

Sustainable locations, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovations in design…these features are all considered in order to obtain a high rating.

And look at the advantages:

Destiny USA

Destiny USA

I think rating systems like these are very helpful to ensure that new buildings are sustainable and consider the effects that their construction and energy requirements have on the environment.

This way water, energy and materials can be used unwastefully, reducing a negative effect on the building’s surroundings.

 

What do you think of using certifications such as LEED to set a high sustainability standard for constructions and businesses?

Do you think they should be promoted to raise people’s awareness on objective sustainability levels?

Insects, food and insects as food

As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of bee-related coverage lately.

I wrote about bees twice last year, once about the Bee Cause and the other about saving the bees with useful petitions on the subject, and there was a FOE stall at last year’s London Green Fair to spread the word about them too.

This continuous “bee talk” is due to the fact that further evidence has been found on the sharp decline in bee numbers.

According to an extract from Friends of the Earth’s report on the UK’s bee decline “Professor Simon Potts, said:

“The way we farm and use land across the UK has pushed many rare bees into serious decline. I’m calling on the Government to act swiftly to save these iconic creatures which are essential to a thriving environment and our food supply”.

How could let this happen? If bees are essential, how can we use farming methods that put them in danger?

Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth, said:

“These bee species are in real trouble. But people across the UK can help change all that with simple practical actions and by urging their MPs to play their part. We need a Bee Action Plan now.””

Another article on the Guardian, US honeybees threatened as 31% of colonies died out in 2012 really highlights the direct effects that bees’ numbers decline is having on farmers right now:

“The heavy losses of pollinators also threatens the country’s food supply, researchers said. The US Department of Agriculture has estimated that honeybees contribute some $20bn to the economy every year.

$20bn is a huge amount of money, so surely someone is doing something to stop bees’ decline…right?

“In a report last week, the federal government blamed a combination of factors for the rapid decline of honeybees, including a parasitic mite, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and genetics, as well as the effects of pesticides. But scientists and campaign groups have singled out the use of a widely used class of pesticides, which scramble the honeybees’ sense of navigation.”

Great, let’s ban these bee-killing pesticides then!

“The European Union has imposed a two-year ban on such pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, to study their effects on bee populations. However, the US authorities say there is no clear evidence pointing to pesticides as the main culprit for honeybees’ decline.”

So what can we do?

Fortunately we can get straight to the point: there are many petitions to help bees, such as ones that focus on banning these above mentioned harmful pesticides that contribute to the bees’ decline, neonicotinoids. Simply go on Change.org to do your bit with a quick online signature to help.

Otherwise, on the FOE (friends of the Earth) website you can donate to have your bee kit with seeds to grow flowers loved by bees, a bee guide, a garden planner or just sign a petition to ask David Cameron to make 2013 the year of the bee.

There are some upcoming Bee-friendly events and you can check them on this Friends of the Earth link.

Have you noticed the decline in bees lately? I hardly see any at all 😦

Bee saver Kit

Bee saver Kit – foe.co.uk

Talking about insects… I read another interesting article: “UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger

According to this UN report, eating insects would increase nutrition thanks to insects’ high protein, fat and mineral content (caterpillars have more protein than minced beef).

In addition to that, they are more sustainable: “Insects are also “extremely efficient” in converting feed into edible meat. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report.”

The only time I tried eating insects of any kind was in Beijing in Wángfǔjǐng, famous for having just about anything on a stick.

Wangfujing's Delicacies

Wangfujing’s Delicacies – Chubby bugs and scorpions – Jul ’07

Insects are a common ingredient in many countries, so if you aren’t used to eating them, would you consider trying them? And if you already eat them, what do you think of people who find it odd or even repulsive to eat insects?

Wangfujing's Delicacies

Wangfujing’s Delicacies – Feb ’09

Eating scorpions in Wangfujing - July '07

Eating scorpions in Wangfujing – July ’07

I tried scorpions, deep-fried, and they’re actually pleasant and tasty!

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On another meat-free note, tomorrow is the start of National Vegetarian Week! A great opportunity to try new, more sustainable meat-free meals.

Most of my posts are about vegetarian or vegan recipes but there are many other great websites I can recommend:

Vegetarian = Sustainably Tasty

Vegetarian = Sustainably Tasty

Are you planning to try some meat-free dishes during National Vegetarian Week?

Where do you get your food inspiration from?

Rosie Y: Experimenting

“Anyone who’s ever told you that you couldn’t make a difference was wrong.”

This is a very important concept from J-F and B L’s blog 222 Million Tons, which is a constant help and inspiration to me.

Since starting this blog in February 2012 I know I have positively influenced some people to think more of what we do, buy, use and waste and these actions’ effects on our surroundings. From showing my mum how easy and better it is to finely chop and eat broccoli stalks rather than throwing them away – which is a small change, an easy-to-get-used-to habit – to bigger issues such as climate change.

After starting a new job in December 2012, I got to know a very interesting, stylish and overall amazing young lady, Rosie Y.

We went to a great exhibition at London’s Kensington Olympia, ART 13, and I asked her a few questions about her little experiment…

Rosie Y - @ ART 13

Meet Rosie Y

For the whole month of February you didn’t eat meat, fish or eggs. Why did you decide to do this?

Because I love eating and in China there is a saying: “民以食为天”, which is an idiom that means “Food is the God of the people”.

When I was in China I decided I would not eat meat in order to lose weight but then I gave up, I didn’t even insist for one day! This time I was determined to give it a go as I hadn’t tried a diet that limited this kind of food before: it was like an experiment to see if I could do it, it was my goal to do it.

The trigger was when my friend, Su Fei, had a vegan month in January and I was very inspired by this and wanted to do something similar. I had previously failed my attempts but Su Fei succeeded so it was time for me to try it.

How did it go?

I was very surprised not to feel any different at first. It turns out that not eating meat, fish or eggs for a month is not as difficult as I expected, but I also didn’t feel lighter or healthier as I expected. I made more of my own food for diversity.

Vegetarian and vegan choices in normal restaurants are few, even normal sandwich shops offer very few meat-free options – I have to admit that I got very tired of eating falafels! Oh, the only difference might be that I felt hungrier, or I got hungry easily; however my stomach always felt good, unlike when it sometimes feels uncomfortable, too full and I feel guilty after eating meat.

Are there any positive aspects you noticed during your meat-free experiment?

I expected it to be very hard but now I feel like I can do so much more, I am not afraid of trying new things. Su Fei suggested to upload some pictures of the food I was eating on Instagram and many people from all over the world liked them, that was very surprising and encouraging.  Before my experiment I thought that meat-free vegetarian food wouldn’t be as tasty as meat dishes but after seeing their pictures I realised that it also look and taste just as delicious.

Before this experiment I didn’t like salad. Now I really appreciate salad’s natural taste, and the same happened with Brussels sprouts and other vegetables I tried. Also, I often used to go for food that had many added condiments and sauces, now I really like simple food as well, less processed and less ready-made.

When you eat, do you think about food’s sustainability?

No, but I don’t know why I believe eating vegetarian is a good thing. At the end of the experiment on 1st March I bought fried chicken, not because I wanted it but because it was an easy and practical option. After eating it I felt unwell, my stomach felt heavy, too full, and I felt like a garbage bin for junk food. I did think that maybe I should carry on eating vegetarian.

After trying a vegetarian month, do you feel like trying and eating more vegetables and fruit?

Yes, I have a plan. I must have a whole vegetarian day before having meat or fish the next, as I feel like a vegetarian diet is good for me and also good for the planet.

Rosie Y @ ART 13

Rosie Y @ ART 13

 

Would you consider giving up meat/fish/eggs/dairy for a while to be healthier/more sustainable/ try something new?