Moving towards a plastic-free life

Thankfully more & more celebrities are bringing to light the frightening impact of single-use plastic on our planet – to animals, our waterways, & the chemicals leached from them into our bodies. Sadly, I don’t understand why so many people will only follow an action once a ‘celebrity’ spruiks a cause. Don’t get me wrong, I think they should do it more!

I do not claim to be perfect but as a family of 5, we are slowly moving towards decreased plastic consumption & hope that we can encourage you to make these simple changes too

1. Loo paper – we use Who Gives a Crap – they are made from 100% recycled materials & wrapped in paper (not plastic like the supermarket brands)

2. Paper towel – while you’re ordering your loo paper, add in some paper towel from Who Gives a Crap – again it’s made from sustainable materials (sugarcane & bamboo) & comes wrapped in paper.

3. Coffee cups – sorry to sound harsh but if you’re not using a recyclable coffee cup by now, slap a big “L” sign on your forehead. There’s literally no excuse not to have a reusable cup – we love Frank Green (although my bestie hasn’t loved hers), KeepCup & I love my glass one from The Source. Single use coffee cups are not recyclable. They contribute to landfill. If over 300 cups per year are yours then it’s time to take your head out of the sand & buy one. Now.

4. Pantry staples – I started buying from Naked Foods about 4 years ago. Take up your own glass jars, they’ll weigh them, then fill ’em up. I also love The Source. Check them both out to see if there’s one near where you live. Honest to Goodness are also great – we visit them at Orange Grove Market most Saturdays – if you forget your jars, they will give you produce in paper bags.

5. Water bottles – again, slap that big ‘L’ up on your forehead if you’re still buying single use plastic water bottles. They contribute to landfill, chemicals leach from the plastic into your water then into your body & they cost a lot when you think about it! Buy a reusable water bottle. Now. My sons have glass water bottles w detachable silicone bases for home, we have 5 stainless steel water bottles too which are shared around. We never leave home without at least 3 of them (joys of 3 children – someone is ALWAYS thirsty).

6. Soap – I really dislike those plasticky (is that a word?) soap packets. We are loving the Ecostore soaps – you can even buy them in Woolworths. Ecostore get bonus points IMO as they are a carbon zero factory. How awesome is that?! We also love their washing machine powder (comes in a cardboard box). Their laundry liquids are also great & come in renewable sugarcane plastic. Big ticks all round!

7. If you have little ones, buy some corn starch nappy bags – we love Wotnot brand, they come in cardboard packaging & are about $8 a packet for 50 bags.

8. Produce bags – I love ONYA bags to take to do my grocery shopping, they are great for putting fruit / veg in, rather than doing the juggle of apples, pears & bananas rolling off the scales at checkout (we’ve all been there!). I’ve had mine for about 2 years & they are in perfect condition. They are made from recycled plastic drink bottles, giving those single use products a 2nd life – why not, seeing as they will never degrade?! I also have Ever Eco bags which I’ve had for a year & are in perfect condition. These are also made from recycled plastic drink bottles (also called ‘rPet’).

9. Organic fruit & veg bags for the fridge – we LOVE the Harris Farm organic muslin bags. They keep our herbs, veggies & even lettuce super fresh in the fridge. I can genuinely say (no sponsorship) that they have prolonged the life of many a veggie in our fridge.

10. Toothbrushes – you guys think about how many plastic toothbrushes you’ve had in your life & that not one of them has ever degraded. YUK. No excuse not to switch to bamboo now – my faves are from Harris Farm Markets (Bondi Beach Store) which unfortunately don’t seem to be on their website & Nourished Life. My older children (aged 6 & 8) use the bamboo toothbrushes & the 1 year old has a bamboo but also a Jack & Jill which are made from 100% corn starch & are biodegradable. Plus they won’t break the bank at only $5.95 each. Plus the legends at Nourished Life deliver to your door & I can honestly say I have to hold in my excitement when one of their gorgeous pink boxes arrives on my doorstep!

11. When you’re buying sushi, ask them to hold the soy sauce plastic fish. Even better, ask (nicely) your local sushi joint not to pre-pack them into the boxes. It will save them money & have a positive impact on the environment.

12. The last tip would be one that you hear from me ALL. THE. TIME. As a consumer, every cent you spend is like a voice to the companies you buy from – buying their apples in a plastic container wrapped in plastic rather than the loose ones tells them to produce more plastic. Purchasing parsley not wrapped in plastic sleeves (like the legends at Harris Farm) says we are cool with that – we all wash our herbs when we get home anyway. Refusing to buy single use plastic water bottles tells the producers we don’t want this rubbish (literally) in our lives. Supporting companies who utilise biodegradable corn starch based packaging & produce encourages these companies to produce more of the awesome products & hopefully eventually bring down their prices as a result of increased demand.

I still have a lot of room for improvement & am shocked by how much soft plastic rubbish we create. Being conscious is not enough & I am striving to improve all the time.

I’d love to hear your tips on moving to a more plastic free life – leave me a comment on Facebook.

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vegan pesto | GF DF

There aren’t many things better than pesto….I used some lovely organic parsley (from Wholefoods House) & freshly picked basil from our garden for a fresh, sour, salty & rich versatile sauce / dressing / dip.

It’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups parsley & basil, total
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (I use an organic one from Naked Foods)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
juice of half a lemon (you may not need all of it)
zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
OPTIONAL – to taste – chilli flakes & salt

METHOD
1.
Throw all ingredients into the blender plus a pinch of salt BUT NOT the lemon juice & olive oil
2. Slowly pour the olive oil in
3. Slowly pour HALF the lemon juice in, then when well combined, taste to see if you want to add more sourness
4. Tip into a bowl – it will make about 1/3 of a cup – perfect to dip sweet potato wedges in, in my opinion

I love your feedback – leave a comment, a like, or come say hi on Facebook or Instagram.
I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend, filled with most of your primary food – relationships, physical activity & spirituality. Plenty of time for the fourth element (career) tomorrow 🙂

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Kids banana & carrots muffins

I am constantly on the look out for healthy recipes to fill the lunchboxes of my sons. Seeing as they have a combined 25 years (EEK!) of school remaining, it would surely be of benefit to find something easy that they enjoy, & can be popped in the lunchbox.

GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT-FREE, SUGAR-FREE

INGREDIENTS
2 carrots
2 bananas
1 cup brown rice flour (I bought mine from Naked foods in Bondi Junction)
3 organic eggs
2 tbspns coconut oil
1.5 teaspoons vanilla powder (I use Heilala brand)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you prefer)
1 tspn bicarb

METHOD
*Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
1. Throw carrots, bananas, vanilla & cinnamon in the blender until smooth
2. Pour carrot/banana mix into a mixing bowl.
3. In a separate small bowl, give the eggs a light whisk with a fork for about 10-20 seconds.
4. Pour eggs into carrot/banana mix, then add rice flour & bicarb.
5. Pour into muffin moulds & put in the oven for 25 minutes. They will not brown like muffins containing dairy/gluten, so just pop your finger on top & see if you get any bounce back. Leave a bit longer if required.

I kept them in the fridge & they were fine for Monday to Friday