*** This is a sponsored post, but it’s a hell of a cool thing to do so I recommend it***
It’s easy to just go about your life and not be particularly mindful of the effect we have on the environment. Often when we look at the big picture of what is wrong with the planet it feels like we can’t make the little changes for big results that need to happen in order for our kids to have a good Earth to live on.
I thought I lived pretty mindfully. I recycle, I compost and I use mostly fresh unprocessed foods, however when I did the WWF ecological footprint test I discovered if everyone lived like me we’d need 3.3 planets to sustain us.
I’m destroying the earth…the only good one for miles.
This past week the kids and I have participated in the Bupa Family Challenge, supporting Healthy Harold. The challenge is designed to instigate healthy habits in families that provide long-term changes in our health and attitudes towards the environment…and you can win awesome prizes like a family holiday.
93% of families that participated said it benefited their family in a positive way so when I was asked to participate I jumped at the chance.
This week was about trying to make it up to the world, but the thing is I can’t really just do it for a week. These are the changes I’m going to implement WEEKLY now that I know what a shocker I am.
What did I do?
Reduced consumption of animal products
Got my green on in the garden
How did I reduce waste?
Firstly, and I’m a shocker for this – reusable bags for my shopping. I forgot 50% of the time this week, which is 50% better than usual when I forget 100% of the time.
I’m not going to buy prepackaged vegetables. ALDI are a shocker for the plastic wrap on veggies, but I am going to buy from my greengrocer or farmers markets as much as possible.
My veggie store packaged up the parsnips in plastic so I had a dialogue with myself about whether I should buy them. I was totally the crazy lady chatting to the vegetables, but in the end I didn’t buy them. I thought I’d wait until I saw them elsewhere unwrapped.
Another simple thing is Glad Wrap in lunchboxes. You don’t need it. Or yoghurt pouches, or packets of stuff. All of that packaging has an effect on the environment so we need to be reducing where we can.
Also, prepackaged stuff is more expensive because you pay for that pretty packaging. Homemade muesli bars are cheap and have less sugar, so the benefits are really a no brainer.
How did I get my green on?
I have had a herb garden since I decided vegetable gardens were not really for my brown thumb. I’ve always enjoyed teaching my kids about where food comes from but my beetroots were like little testicles and my leeks were like spring onions so herbs became the thing and we spend time tending them together (read: I tend, they fight over the trowel.)
We also bought some yellow tomatoes and some green stripy tomatoes and planted them together with some perennial basil. Pesto is my kids’ favorite thing to eat, so knowing that basil comes from a plant is important. Getting them to pick it themselves while I drink tea on the couch is genius parenting.
Composting is a great way to use vegetable scraps. Or a worm farm. I killed my first worm family sadly. It’s like the simplest pet in the world to take care of alas I didn’t get it quite right. I murdered 400 worms. I’m great on the compost, though. You can’t kill that.
There are a few ways to do it, but I have a large spinning compost bin, so whenever I throw my scraps in I spin it a few times and mix it all together.
The garden loves it, and I’m reducing my waste. Win: Win
How did I reduce animal consumption?
The amount of meat we consume is a biggie for the environment, so I’m doing a couple of vegetarian lunches a week and one vegetarian dinner.
This week I made green vegetable pesto with not spaghetti (gluten-free) and cannellini beans.
I’m going to use dried pulses as much as possible from now on, instead of tinned. The tin cans are terrible for the environment, and the processing is kind of a big deal. Dried are cheap, and easy, and they’re not mushy like tinned.
This meal was awesome. Kids loved it. And the adults agreed that it was delicious and that it didn’t even need bacon 😉
Green Veg Pesto with Zoodles and Beans
What you will need:
- ¾ cup green veggie pesto (I added kale to this batch)
- 2 zucchini, spiralised or julienned
- 1 bunch soba noodles
- 1 cup dried cannellini beans, boiled in unsalted water until tender
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- Freshly shaved parmesan to serve
What you will need to do:
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Toss in your soba noodles and cook for 1.5 minutes, then add your zoodles (zucchini noodles) for a further 1.5 minutes.
Drain, and toss together with your other ingredients.
Yum, and easy on the environment!