This time of year is for celebrating and unfortunately also seems to be about generating waste. An article by Pre-Waste on 6 April 2012 indicates:
Since their development in early 19th century France and Germany, chocolate Easter eggs have quickly become seasonal bestsellers. In Italy, 40 million eggs equalling 6.848 tons of chocolate were consumed in 2010. As the chocolate egg has since its first appearance developed from the simple type wrapped in paper to the beribboned variety wrapped in brightest foil and packed in a box or basket, it leads to vast amounts of packaging waste. Approximately 4.370 tonnes of card and 160 tonnes of foil waste are generated in the UK during the holiday every year. Most of the plastic packaging used is not recyclable yet, which means it ends up in landfills.
That’s a lot of waste and whilst there have been improvements in the recyclability of packaging since the article was written, it is fair to say that just because packaging can be recycled does not mean that it is being recycled.
With a little creativity, you can turn this Easter in a low or no waste event!
Eco Easter Gift Idea Guide
How about a refillable reusable Easter egg?
Hollow wooden eggs such as the ones offered at Wasteless Pantry are a blank canvas waiting to be decorated! Fill with lollies, chocolates, flavoured almonds, sweet Easter wishes or money if that’s your preference. Blank Goods have a great inspiration page to get your creativity flowing.
Make your own felt egg shaped gift bag or what about a fabric bunny basket?
Make your own chocolate Easter treats!
We have Easter molds and chocolate buttons (white, milk or dark depending on your preference) ready to be melted into your own handmade Easter treats. And if you want to try your hand at making your own chocolates from scratch, we have those ingredients on hand too.
Step 2: Mix melted butter with sifted cacao powder and icing sugar, incorporating other fillings if used. Place in mold and allow to set in the fridge. Done! Plus it is dairy free (making it vegan) and gluten free chocolate!
If you want to go a bit fancier you could always give a complete Chocolate Making Kit
Perfect for making Easter and other treats all year round.
So while all the rest are cleaning up the commercialised rubbish, you can sit back and indulge in a heart felt and personal Easter celebration befitting the spirit of this time of year.
How do you make others change their ways to less wasteful living?
The simple answer is: You can’t.
You can’t make others change their ways. You can encourage, guide, support, educate but you can’t force sustainable change on others.
We all come to these ideas with our own baggage of previous experiences, beliefs, levels and sources of knowledge, priorities and capabilities. We all have our ways of doing things and habits that are more or less difficult to change. Some of us are just thinking about things, some are preparing themselves for change, others are making changes slow and steady or all at once, and yet others are maintaining their momentum. You must always be respectful of where people are.
There are things that you can do to motivate others to get on board with a life with less waste.
5 Easy Tips to Motivate Change:
Be a good role model – seeing you make waste less living look as enjoyable and satisfying as it is will intrigue others to find out more!
Don’t give detailed explanations of why you do what you do, but feel free to give a quick statement if someone is curious. “I’m trying to reduce my waste” is enough for now, you will be asked for more if the person is contemplating the issue.
Make it as easy as possible for others to make the change – have the shopping bags readily available, send them to the shops with one container to be refilled by a retailer you know will guide them through, or have containers for leftovers ready to go (hide the cling wrap!).
Just try addressing one source of waste at a time so that the change doesn’t feel onerous. Maybe it is taking a reusable drink bottle rather than buying bottled drinks. Maybe it is making packed lunches using containers rather than cling wrap. Maybe it is remembering the shopping bags when you are out and about. One change at a time until it becomes a habit.
Always be supportive of any attempts in the right direction. We all want to feel good about ourselves. Berating someone when they make mistakes will likely demotivate them so stick with the positive reinforcement and be grateful for whatever change they are trying to make for the better.
With Christmas fast approaching we are readying ourselves for the gift giving season.
We know that you have so much love to share, so many great intentions to show just how grateful you are for all the wonderful people in your lives. We also know that giving a thing doesn’t always match up with your eco values but maybe you don’t necessarily want to turn up empty handed.
And so the Gift Jar was born!
We have a range of jars available for order at the store but since we are more about sharing the zero waste love than we are about profiting from the commercialism and consumerism of Christmas, below is your own printable version of the gift jar labels that we are using in store this Christmas.
So, if you want to make them on your own you now have what you need!
And if you don’t have the time or just like the idea of us making them up for you, give us a call, an email or visit us to order at least 3 days in advance (up to 7 days as we get closer to Christmas).
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), sunflower or sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a slice tray (mine is 31 cm x 22cm) with baking paper. Combine honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over the hot syrup and stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan and press firmly to make sure the mixture will stick together. I wet my fingers with a bit of cold water and press the top to get a smooth finish. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool and then refrigerate until well chilled and cut into 24 slices (about 2cm x 6cm).
I love this time of year! I get to feel great about doing something for the planet and challenge myself to learn new things.
Have you joined Plastic Free July yet?
It really is very simple. Just pledge to give up disposable plastic bags, water bottles, straws and take away coffee cups. You can do it for a day, a week or the whole month. If your a bit more along the plastic free journey you might consider giving up disposable plastic packaging too.
You probably don’t need to go out and buy anything as most of us have all the tools we need right now. Just say no to straws when you order out, remember to take your reusable shopping and produce bags with you, and keep your BYO coffee cup nearby if you like a take away cuppa.
I’ve been doing Plastic Free July since 2013 and every year I stretch myself to reduce one more thing. My family aren’t as wasteless as me but that doesn’t mean I can’t still give it a go. I can make decisions that are good for me and encourage them to make changes but I never want them to feel pressured into something. Plastic Free July isn’t just about waste, it’s also about enjoying life. I love that because of this challenge I now know how to make my own yoghurt, bread, soft cheese, pasta, granola and a bunch of other things. I love that I have found a community of others who are doing good things for the environment (rather than just talking about how bad things are getting). I love that I can shop quickly and easily, just buy what I need and spend more time enjoying life rather than dealing with stuff. I love all that I have gained by getting rid of the rubbish in my life.
Over the month of July we will be giving you lots of suggestions via Instagram and Facebook on simple changes that you can make, but we would love to hear from you. What are your disposable plastic dilemmas? What are your disposable plastic solutions?
To make it just a bit easier and give you a little incentive to try reducing your plastic packaging – how about a 5% discount on any items bought during July where you have refilled your own container! As always you can drop off your containers and we will do your shopping for you if you prefer. It doesn’t get much easier to do the right thing!!
I dream of a day when no one’s green bin is full to the brim on rubbish collection day!
Soups and stew season is my favourite and also the easiest time of year to minimise food waste!
Pretty much any combination of
Dried peas, beans or lentils
Mixed spices and seasonings
Plus tid bits of bones, leftover meat and dried grains
will make the most delicious soup for tonight and enough for lunches through the week.
And since you are able to take your own lunches to work in either a reusable container or food flask like the ones we sell at the store then your health will surely be at its best to ward off cold and flu season too!
A couple of recipes that we love right now from Allrecipes.com.au ….
Greek Rosemary and Lentil Soup
Recipe by: Diana Moutsopoulos
Ready in 1 hour 20 minutes
Picture by:Diana Moutsopoulos
This is a healthy Greek soup called ‘fakes’ which is normally served drizzled with olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar, which lifts the lentils a bit.
1 1/4 cups brown lentils
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 brown onion, chopped finely
1 large carrot, chopped
1 litre water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
red wine vinegar, to taste
Prep: 20 minutes |Cook: 1 hour
Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes and then drain.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the lentils, water, oregano, rosemary and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and s simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils have softened, stirring occasionally. Add additional water if the soup becomes too thick. Ladle into soup bowls, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to serve.
Provided by: Allrecipes
Vegetable and Split Pea Soup
Recipe by: DOGLOVER
Ready in 2 hours 50 minutes
A great winter soup. Carrot, onion and celery is combined with two types of split peas, yellow and green, in this easy to make recipe.
1- 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (3 – 4 medium onions), diced
2 cups (6 – 8 medium carrots), diced
2 cups (2 large stalks celery), diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup (185g) yellow split peas
1 cup (185g) green split peas
8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prep: 20 minutes |Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic until onion is translucent. Stir in yellow and green split peas, stock and bay leaf. Season to taste, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.
Purée warm soup with a blender or food processor. Return to pot, heat through and serve.