Saturday, February 21, 2015

Food waste facts

Yes, this post is going to start by sounding very cliché, but there are people starving out there, are you really going to throw away that plate of pasta?

That plate of pasta that you could pop in the fridge and have tomorrow for lunch.

That plate of pasta that took 185 litres of water and deforested land to make. Let’s not forget the 280g of CO2 released for its production and transporting. Of course, no, you cannot feed that plate of pasta to a malnourished person. But I would definitely call that waste. Waste of our resources. Resources that could be used to feed many others and in a much more responsible way.

So every time you throw away perfectly edible food, you’re wasting lots of energy, time, fuel and water that went into its production, transportation and even cooking.

Yep, that amount of fossil fuels used in bringing that pasta to your house- POUF. Gone, absolutely useless. But no worries, fossil fuels are an unlimited resource right?
(WRONG. That was me trying to be sarcastic, just in case, anyone took that seriously ;) )

Unfortunately food isn't just wasted in homes, it’s wasted everywhere. And by everywhere I mean on the fields, in the farms, factories, supermarkets, shops, schools, everywhere.

Here are some pretty shocking facts for you:

Did you know that the aesthetic criteria of supermarkets cause 20-30% of the fruit and vegetables from the UK to be thrown away even before it leaves the farm? Either because they are too small, too funny looking or too ‘ugly.’  Ugly fruit, really? I retain myself from thinking people are that picky as to only choose ‘perfect’ looking food. If you find yourself thinking that you might be one of these people then I must let you in a little secret – ugly vegetables are just as yummy as pretty ones! J

Did you know that if you took one quarter of the wasted food in the UK, Europe and the USA you could feed all malnourished people in the world, and keep them nourished? Say whaat?

Or that one third of the food produced in the whole wide world is wasted every year? Approximately 1.3 billion tons. That’s a lot of food.

Or did you know that the water used for irrigating all wasted food can supply domestic needs of 9 billion people?? That’s more people than there are on the earth right now!!! And there are people who don’t even have domestic water supply!!!

Well, I didn't know. Before taking on my journey I knew some of the consequences of wasting food, but I didn't realise their extent. And now I know. And to whoever reads this, now you know too! And we can stop wasting food together. For the environment, for us.

I will also be creating a post with some tips on how to reduce food waste at home. Small acts that can do so much! J

If you want to know more about food waste, I definitely recommend watching these two videos:

1.  FAO food waste footprint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoCVrkcaH6Q (only 3 minutes long!)

2.  Tristan Stuart (founder of Feedback) Ted talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/tristram_stuart_the_global_food_waste_scandal

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why go Eco-friendly?

Happy, healthy, fun.

These are three words I’ve come to associate with an environmentally friendly lifestyle since I’ve decided to take my journey, about three months ago. But firstly, what does being eco-friendly really mean?

A lot of the times it is put side by side with ‘sustainable’ and ‘green’. I personally think that the principle of all three is to live a life by taking actions that don’t damage the environment, or at least do less damage than other options. They mean living in harmony with the world, its environment but also its people. We live on a beautiful planet, with such a diverse nature: gorgeous forests, lakes, mountains, all in every shade of blue, green, brown, red, yellow, pretty much all the colours! And don’t get me started on the animals, so many unique, cute, bizarre, sometimes scary, wonderful creatures! Why are we trying to destroy it?

Have you ever found yourself just staring out into the ocean, or from the top of a cliff, or into a dense forest of trees and just stood there, out of breath, thinking wow, how is this even possible? I know I have! Quite a few times.

Unfortunately a lot of the times I’ve also found myself contributing by buying products and doing things which I didn’t think or know how harmful they were to the planet and to the people as well. When I decided to go more eco-friendly I started researching and was overwhelmed by the amount of things I owned in my room, kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe, that played part in destroying forests, harming animals and polluting oceans.

Since I’ve starting taking more care in what I buy and do (like buying local produce, walking everywhere, reducing plastic,) I’ve definitely noticed some positive changes that have affected me. I can say that these are three results of going eco-friendly:

Increases happiness

I genuinely leave the farmer’s market with a super mega smile on my face. Knowing that I supported a local farmer and seeing all that fresh produce, just lying there, all naturally pretty saying ‘look at me! No plastic wrapping!’ just puts me in a good mood.

After I bought my very first canvas bag I might have jumped around like a little excited puppy?

I have also started buying more fair trade products, and knowing that I'm trying to not contribute to someone’s 1$ a day wage, is sort of making me more proud of my choices.

It’s healthier

This comes without saying, ditching the car and bus and taking up biking and walking is definitely going to give you those leg muscles!

You also get to observe and admire the city or town you live in and notice things you hadn't before. While walking I love looking up at the buildings (while making sure I don’t bump into anything!) There are so many beautiful details that I would not have noticed if I was on a bus or in a car.

I currently do not buy organic produce, but that would be ideal! Organic vegetables are grown without the pesticides and fertilizers that can be harmful to us and to animals, so going organic would also be giving a healthy treat to our bodies.

It’s fun!

Buying food from the maker is a lot more fun than buying anonymous products at the supermarket. You can smile and get a smile back, have a chat, compliment that baker because his pain au chocolat is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Even work on your French skills when you do so! Merci beaucoup, ils sont tellement bons! Or improve on your Italian when thanking the market ladies for that delicious focaccia. You may even receive a compliment from the farmer’s boy for re-using those little brown paper bags (yes this actually happened!)

It’s also fun to go on quests: for that palm oil-free peanut butter, for those zucchinis without plastic wrapping, for those dried apricots in a recyclable bag (still searching for those!) It gets you out and about, where you discover shops and places in your town that you didn't even know were there. Whole Foods in Canterbury? Whaaat?

So here they are, three positive outcomes that I have noticed of my eco, sustainable journey so far. But I would say the best one would be the overall feeling of doing something good and something that I feel is right. :) 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Hello everyone!

Welcome to my blog,

I’m Eleonora, a university student studying Classics and Archaeology in Canterbury, UK. Through this blog I hope to show my passion for the environment and my journey to adopting a more eco-friendly life; the challenges I face along with my successes and anything that I learn on the way.

Everyone can take small steps to be more environmentally friendly, even students! It doesn't necessarily have to take more money or time, just a lot of determination and want to take action, and it can be fun too!

I’ll be posting and writing about things like palm oil, plastics and how to be more eco-friendly in food, clothing and life choices.

So if you would like to know more about what you can do to be more ‘green’, stick around! :)