Store Cupboard Baking

By Livvy Drake

To encourage saving, I have set myself a weekly budget for buying food, eating out and weekly treats. So when compiling my shopping list,  staring at the jars of flours and powders in the cupboard, I realised I had an abundance of delights in front of me and it was time for some store cupboard baking and freezing.

These were the recipes, I came across to replace bread and cakes which were so easy and tasty; I just had to share them:

BREAD

Ryebread 

I had a random bag of ryeflour so attempted to make really easy Rye Bread but alas our oven is not good for this and it never cooked in the centre. Instead I turned it in to breadcrumbs and have been making burgers, stuffed mushrooms and pakoras with it ever since- waste not want not! But give this recipe a try and let me know if it works!
Simple Ryebread

Seed and nut bread

This bread is a winner, it doesn’t need to be kneaded, or to rise in the oven, it is packed full of protein. I2015-06-21 11.09.38 chucked in whatever nuts, seeds and herbs that I had in the cupboard, it truly is a Life-changing loaf of bread (name of the recipe!).

RIPE BANANAS

These are always lurking in our house, so I either chuck them in the freezer and make into smoothies or make some kind of banana sweet treat.

Banana and Gramflour muffins2015-06-21 11.08.58
Amazing vegan muffins that are so satisfying and easy to make. I didn’t have any corn flour which didn’t seem to matter and I put raisins in instead of chocolate.
Chunky Monkey muffins

Rye, Banana & Peanut Butter Bread
Finding a vegan recipe is always fun, so I am pleased to say that this one worked fine by replacing the chia seeds with egg replacer (already in the 2015-06-21 11.10.33cupboard).  I put raisins in instead of cacao and used some wholewheat flour as I wasted all the rye on the unsuccessful bread.

Rye Peanut Butter Banana Bread 

Banana Flapjack
Mostly this month I have been eating oats and bananas!
The 4 Ingredient Energy Bar

How to be less stuffy in the bedroom

Well, that got your attention! 20150530_172857 Sorry, this post is not about getting jiggy, it’s about looking at the stuff we accumulate,  and  considering the best way to manage  it, rather than chucking in the bin or dumping on a local charity shop.

 

Many people who have travelled will always say that it is so liberating to be free of all the clutter and excess; then return to the daily routine and re-accumulate it all again. Is this because the new shiny things give meaning to justify the 9-5? Do these things really make us happy?

The trouble with stuffIMG-20150501-WA0000
After moving three times in the last 12 months, I have given stuff a bit of thought as I packed and unpacked it, and found these limitations.

  • Stuff requires more stuff – lyrcra & shoes for a bike, shelving for books
  • Stuff costs money – to maintain, shelve, move, insure
  • Stuff takes up time – from sorting out piles of paper to dusting ornaments
  • Stuff creates worry – the more precious the stuff or things the more concern and pre-occupation are attached to them.
  • Stuff takes up space – the more stuff the bigger the room, house and cupboards that are required

How to get rid of stuff ethicallycluttered house

Coming from a family of hoarders it is easy to want to save things, as they could be ‘useful one day’, but if items just live under the bed or cant be found when they are required- how useful are they?

I thought the most ethical option was to donate to a local charity shop, until I read reports suggesting that up to 41% of charity clothes are being sold off in Africa and destroying traditional industries. So on my last move, I looked at other ways to manage my unwanted stuff.

Distribute Locally 

  • Give directly to local homeless shelters – ensure you check what they actually need first though
  • Find a local scrapstore – great for scrap fabrics or old bedding
  • Offer to friends and family – save them buying more new things too
  • Sell online –  As well as ebay and Gumtree,  I recently discovered Facebay! On Facebook there are numerous local groups as well as genre specific e.g. baby things, vintage things and my favourite for Bristol, Ghetto Booty!

Fix up Look Sharp 

I had a whole collection of broken things including rucksacks, waterproof coats, handbags and shoes. Rather than chucking away I looked locally for repair options, which saved me money.

  • A seamstress/ clothes repair place -fixed zips on dresses, ripped lining on a coat
  • The shoe repair shop – fixed loose soles and holes in the leather. They also repaired zips on a rucksack, and replaced a strap on a handbag.

     

Reuse rather than recycle
While I am trying to hoard much less these days, it is worth noting that there are plenty of places and organisations that will gladly take:

  • Egg boxes– local farm shops, vegetable or health food shops sometimes take these back
  • Stamps– charities can make money from these
  • Plastic bags and tote bags – these I donate to independent shops so they can reuse them.

How to reduce

My pet hate is spending time sorting through paper and piles of fltake picturesyers, so I decided to minimise the amount in my life.

Take pictures of business cards, flyers and posters on a phone

 

Refuse plastic bags and cotton tote bags- how many cotton tote bags do we really need, especially if as a lifecycle analysis suggests they need to be used 130 times to have a similar footprint to a plastic bag

Embrace Zero Waste living –  I have found inspiration from Bea Johnson in her Zero Waste book which demonstrates how you can mimise the clutter and consumerism without feeling deprived.

Focus on experiences rather than stuff – James Walman captures what many of us questioning consumerism are feeling- Stuffication. He suggests focusing on enjoying experiences rather than buying new things.

Less Waste More Living

Modern life is all about being ‘busy’ and ‘stressed’ and it is easy to getless-waste-more-living-profile-fb caught up on the treadmill, spending money on quick fixes to make us feel temporarily better. At Green Livvy, we are as much guilty of it too, so we decided to start the Less Waste More Living project.

Our challenge is to find simple, easy ways to take time out of consumerism and discover the pleasure and satisfaction of the simple things.

This will be a pictorial inspiration blog that you can follow on Instagram or join the Less Waste More Living community on Facebook

Instagram

Made up They are Plastic Free

During the Lent Plastic Challenge, there were items that were really hard to source from local shops and online eco stores, particularly make-up and toothpaste.

So we really were made up to discover the independent producers making small batches of products, with natural ingredients on Etsy.

Mascara

Hello Twink Beauty‘s original, vintage style “cake mascara” which mascaracomes pressed in a rectangular metal tin.

Just add a drop of water and rub the applicator in it. You need to apply a couple of coats but it is amazingly waterproof (tested at a wedding where there were lots of tears), whilst coming off really easily at the end of the day. Of course the applicator is still plastic but this can at least be reused.  The mascara is available in a great range of colours including black.

Toothpaste

Even natural toothpastes come in those non-recyclable tubes. So, we have got quite into making our own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking organic toothpastesoda But we are aware that for some people this could be a step too far. Hoorah for Georganics who are making organic toothpaste in London and selling in glass jars.   The benefit of the glass tub is that you just dip the toothbrush in which uses much less than squeezing out of a tube that is not even recyclable.

Georganics list all of their organic ingredients and their origin- and unlike mainstream toothpaste these are actually pronounceable!

Animal & Vegan Friendly

The fact that these products are made with simple ingredients also means these products are vegan-friendly, as they are not tested on animals.

Want more inspiration like this sent to your inbox?

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Keep me updated on low waste living tips
This post contains affiliate links which helps to fund the free programmes and support we offer for a low waste lifestyle.

Getting the RAW facts on plastics

During the Lent Plastic Challenge, we got asked some great questions by followers, which we posed  to Melinda Watson, of RAW foundation  who fervently believes in realising another world without toxic plastics.

Follow the blog as we disclose her answers, which will provide you with inspiration to make educated decisions about the materials you use and take action in your local town (we are now involved in a local project in Bristol with Melinda).

“How can we reduce using plastics- at source? “

Melinda: Yes at source! And what is the source? Our capitalist economies and throwaway cultures,  in which products and objects are  constantly modified, made to break (planned obsolescence) and where cost and convenience is of primary concern.

“So as a consumer how could I address this?”

  1. Get informed and stay informed about the serious issues to do with plastics.just-say-no-to-plastic-bags-2
  2. Be the change on a personal level e.g. refuse single-use plastic bottled water and plastic bags and opt for toxic-free, long lasting sustainable alternatives.
  3. Buy local, unpackaged goods or plastic-free products and support plastic-free stores.
  4. Spread the word – talk about what you are doing and why!
  5.  Lobby local, national and international stores or companies to adopt principles such as ‘recyclability by design, cradle to cradle.  Surfers Against Sewage have a great ‘Return to Offender‘ campaign for marine litter.
  6.  Before you chuck something away, see if it can be fixed. Look out for your own local repair cafe.
  7. Instead of buying new items – look at second-hand, borrowing or sharing items.plastic-bottle
  8. Start your own plastic-free campaign in your school, college, university or office- ban plastic water bottles, takeaway boxes and coffee cups.
  9.  Sign a petition: Raw Foundation petition against toxic plastics
    OR
    Write to your MP, MEP etc – it is an election year so now is a good time.
  10. Undertake your own 30 day plastic challenge- we have created a FREE support programme to guide and motivate you.

 Challenge Yourself

With the 30 Day Challenge Programme we provide you with all the materials and inspiration you need to give up as many single-use plastics as possible.

Download the all the free materials

Click Here to Subscribe

Going Wild for Pesto

By Livvy Drake

A couple of years I discovered wild garlic pesto and I am hooked!  As soon as I see the shoots coming up in late March,  I make a weekly batch exploring different combinations of nuts and seeds to compliment the fresh, pungent flavour.

20150423_085251

Where I currently live, we have it in the garden so it is easy to collect a bunch, but that kind of does take part of the fun of preparing this dish. One of the added pleasures of making wild garlic pesto is escaping to a wood for a walk, or finding it on a river bank and picking it in it’s natural habitat. Perhaps it is linked to our natural hunter gatherer spirit!

If you have not  discovered wild garlic or made the pesto yet then this post is for you. This recipe makes a delicious pesto, that is dairy free,  cost-effective and full of health and well-being properties… read on to find out more:

 The Recipe for the most Nurturing Wild Garlic Pesto of all

  1. Find a friend, partner or family member to join you for an hour or so
  2. Get on some wellies, walking boots and pack a reusable tote bag in your pocket
  3. Head to a woodland, river or a hedgerow
  4. Sniff the air for a light garlic smell and look out for the green leaves and later in the season white flowers
  5. Pick a bag full of leaves- make sure you leave some for other people and the plant to recover
  6. Enjoy your walk
  7. On your way home grab some optional extras: If you are dairy free include capers, and maybe lemon
  8. When you return home, give the leaves a good wash
  9. Pull out the food processor or blender
  10. Find some nuts or seeds- we recommend, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews.  Why not trial some different batches with each- the fun is in putting your own spin on it.
  11. Make sure you have a good quality light oil – rapeseed is my current favourite as olive oil can often be bitter and overpowering
  12. If you are using a blender chop the leaves in advance
  13. Put in the nuts to blitz up then add in the leaves gradually and drizzle in the oil as it is spinning to mix to a smooth paste. Also add in the extras- I just include capers and occasionally lemon, other people put in Parmesan
  14. Turn blender up high to get everything into a smooth paste
  15. Put into a reused jam jar and store for up to a week
  16. Prepare a fresh salad, with fresh bread or raw vegetable pasta and serve. It works well as a replacement to basil pesto with pasta etc
  17. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your hunting and gathering!

 Quantities

1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed
1/2 cup of seeds or nuts
2 tbsp of capers and a drop of brine
150mls  light oil (rapeseed is good)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)

Interested in more inspiration like this?

less-waste-more-living-profile-fbIs this the kind of thing you want to do more and make more of? Then join the Less Waste More Living Facebook Community

Subscribe to our Less Waste More Living mailing list

* indicates required

7 Easy Ways to Improve the Chew of a Lunchtime Salad

Now the weather is improving, salad is certainly back on the lunchtime menu (if it ever went away)  but this doesn’t need to be something that comes in a packet from the supermarket.  We will highlight ways to make a delicious taste, sensation at work that will save you money.

At Green Livvy we are not fans of the packaged salads from supermarkets for a couple of reasons

  1. The chemically/synthetic taste – is it chlorine, is it preservatives either way to keep them fresh, pre-packed salads have a nasty after-taste.
  2. The packaging- as you may have guessed, we detest all that plastic packaging!
  3. The cost- of course the convenience of someone making, packaging and transporting a salad costs money, but over a week these costs add up.

The trick to making a a plate of vegetables a tastes sensation, rather than a chewing chore is creating different textures and flavours, so here are 5 suggestions to re-imagine the simple salad:

  1. Choose a base that is peppery- rocket, chinese leaf, kale all fit the bill
  2. Pick different coloured vegetables so it is a visual feast for your eyes
  3. Use a potato peeler to make ribbons- this works well with courgette, carrot, butternut squash. (You could also invest in a spirilizer to do this)
  4. Make julianne stripes of vegetables with this nifty grater– this is the ideal small handy implement to take to work to transform, your lunch time meal
  5. Put root vegetables, beetroot, parsnip, carrot, cauliflower into a food processor to make a rice like texture
  6. Sprout pulses and seeds, n advance – these have a fresh burst of new life with every bite.
  7. Garnish with soft, salty antipasti such as olives, capers, pickled peppers or sundried tomatoes.

This blog entry includes affiliate links to Amazon. We recommend trying to buy things second-hand first and foremost.

Want more inspiration?

At Green Livvy we always finding quick and easy ways to prepare fresh food and avoid packaging so sign up to the Green Livvy newsletter and we will keep you inspired.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Keep me updated on low waste living tips

Plastic-free Cooking

by Livvy Drake

Every time I undertake the Lent Plastic Challenge, I find that the new recipes and products I discover, far outweigh the the things I go without. Often being ‘busy’ (our favourite word in this modern world), means I forget about the joy found being creativity in the kitchen. But, as the ‘busy’ doesn’t show signs of abating the creativity needs to be quick, easy and …. low packaging.  So here are just some of the alternatives I have discovered over the last few weeks:

  1. Home-made flatbread pizza – choosing a  yeast- free dough took minutes to make and I froze half the dough for mid-week meals.
  2. Roasted carrot curry sauce- A great friend gave me this recipe. Simply roast carrots with spices and blend to a puree
  3. Sweet potato or aubergine chips – Hemp flour, ground almonds, or leftover breadcrumbs are great for a crispy coating
  4. Mint avocado ice-cream – a creamy dream
  5. Coffee grind exfoliating scrub – mixing ‘used’ coffee grinds with coconut oil is a great wake-up experience.

These are just some of the recipes we have been sharing with those who joined the Lent Plastic Challenge, and due to their popularity we are bringing it all together in one place a ‘Low Waste More Living‘cook book.

The book will include:

  • How  to shop to avoid & minimise packaging
  • How to transform fruit & veg (they easiest non-packaged items) into delicious naughty treats.
  • How to prepare fresh food quickly & easily so you can enjoy healthy, convenient food and have time to enjoy living!

 

Why plastic ‘aint fantastic for Mother Nature

As we get ready for the Lent Plastic Challenge,today’s blog is all about the environmental impacts of plastics throughout it’s lifecycle.

Where does plastic come from?
Plastic is made from crude oil, which is mined/drilled around the world. Oil is a fossil fuel, meaning it was created thousands of years ago from fossil refinement and it is a finite resource that is running out.

IMPACT: This means the search for new oil reserves is heading into protected, virgin, delicate eco systems. Drilling for oil for plastics is directly implicated with Rainforest destruction in the Amazon.

How is plastic made?

Crude oil is mixed with chemicals to stabilise it. The process requires large quantities of energy and water.

IMPACT: Co2 emissions from production and transportation. Use of finite materials such as water and fossil fuels in it’s production.

Does plastic biodegrade or compost?
NO! Every piece of plastic that has been ever made still exists. It takes over 500 years for plastics to break down. Plastics in the oceans don’t biodegrade either they just break down into smaller particles.

IMPACT: Beaches and oceans littered with a fine glitter like layer of plastics.

But cant plastic be recycled?

The real meaning of recycling is to return a material to a similar state within a cyclical process (think paper and cans).
Plastic ‘recycling’ is confusing because:
a) There are so many types of plastics
b) Plastics get turned into other products in a downcycling process e.g broom handles, fleece jumpers.
c) In the UK, there is no consistent process, some could get recycled, downcycled, shipped abroad for incineration or buried in landfill.

What about all the plastic in the sea?
The 5 Gyres latest research suggests there are 268,000 tonnes of plastic in the oceans.
IMPACT: Plastic killing mammals and entering the food chain through fish and into humans.

impact-on-wildlife

How can you do your bit?
Whilst the prevalence of plastics shows no sign of abating (it is a cheap material), it is important that consumers and lobbying groups form to stand up against the plastics industry. Choosing to refuse and avoid single-use plastic items such as plastic bags, bottles, food containers and skin wash with microbeads in are a great start.

lent-plastic-challenge-960w

How does the Lent plastic challenge work?

If you think you could avoid plastic water bottles and microwaving meals in plastic tubs for 40 days you should join us on the Lent Plastic Challenge.

The Lent Plastic Challenge is not about throwing out every plastic item in your house.

Instead it’s about challenging your habits and shopping behaviours to see what single-use plastics you could ‘give-up’.

You could pick a couple of items and focus on those OR every week try and cut out another item, with the programme and support of the Green Livvy team.

What support is included in the Lent Plastic Challenge?

We will provide you with:

  • Weekly webinars containing advice, facts and motivation
  • Daily inspiration including videos and recipes
  • An online community to share your achievements, discoveries and challenges

How do I join?

Join the Lent Plastic Challenge Facebook Group or sign-up for email updates.

Want to find out more about plastics and health?

Further reading:

5 Gyres website
Plastic Coalition website

Hmm it doesn’t say plastic residue in the ingredients!

At Green Livvy we are getting ready for the Lent Plastic Challenge. Lent starts on 18th February, so not long now! We have received lots of questions and queries from our followers on why they should do it and what it entails. So in these blogs we will outline a number of issues with plastics and what is involved in giving up.

This blog is all about some of the health issues.

health-impact

What is the problem with plastics for our health?

Plastics are made from oil and a cocktail of chemicals which give them their consistency- hard, squidy, soft, colourful etc. These chemical compounds such as BPA’s and phosphates have been linked with various health conditions including fertility & hormonal issues, cancer and birth defects.

You may have heard that you shouldn’t drink water from plastic water bottles that have heated up in the car. This is because the chemicals leach out into the water. It naturally follows that microwaving plastics also can have the same impact.

Understanding all the different types of plastics and their safety is a minefield and  whilst the advise and levels of toxicity between different plastics is constantly being scrutinised, would you want to risk it?

Current articles

F678HWMV7KEZ439AKV.LARGE

How do I address the health implications of plastics heating up?

  • Avoid reusing plastic bottles and invest in a metal reusable bottle
  • Avoid food in plastic tubs
  • Do not microwave anything in a plastic tub

What are the side-effects of giving up single-use plastics?

It does take a little thought first of all to remember a water bottle, but like most habits if you do them enough they soon become second nature.

Some of the benefits include:

  • We save a fortune not buying plastic bottled drinks, and getting our reusable water bottle filled
  • We certainly feel healthier choosing to avoid foods in plastic pots especially microwave meals and vegetables. Have you ever noticed the chemical tastes on salads, chopped fruit and microwave vegetable sides- those are to keep the vegetables and fruit stable after they have been chopped up. Yuk!

lent-plastic-challenge-960w

How does the Lent plastic challenge work?

If you think you could avoid plastic water bottles and microwaving meals in plastic tubs for 40 days you should join us on the Lent Plastic Challenge.

The Lent Plastic Challenge is not about throwing out every plastic item in your house.

Instead it’s about challenging your habits and shopping behaviours to see what single-use plastics you could ‘give-up’.

You could pick a couple of items and focus on those OR every week try and cut out another item, with the programme and support of the Green Livvy team.

What support is included in the Lent Plastic Challenge?

We will provide you with:

  • Weekly webinars containing advice, facts and motivation
  • Daily inspiration including videos and recipes
  • An online community to share your achievements, discoveries and challenges

How do I join?

Join the Lent Plastic Challenge Facebook Group or sign-up for email updates.

Want to find out more about plastics and health?

Further reading: