Live Smart- Your Planet’s Worth it!

 

When I wrote Keep Calm and Waste Less, it was a logical conclusion that I would also write about creating a more sustainable home! Live Smart is something of a mantra at ours – it underscores grocery shopping, meal planning, equipment juggling, travel and recreation…in short, everything! 😛  A lot of my obsession with this subject comes from living in communities which often have more money than sense and I believe it’s tragic that it should seem prestigious to waste resources rather than think up reasonable alternatives for it!

With our Sky Box on the blink, I was recently looking on YouTube for some inspirational TEDTalks to get me past some banal around-the-house jobs when I came across Jamie Oliver (who I find indisputably fetching, by the way) talking about the importance of Teaching Children about Food !  It was about children growing up in homes that have lost the art of cooking..imagine a young teenager who has six years left to live because she’s killed her liver with junk food! She and others like her were the result of third generation women who could not cook and therefore were morbidly unhealthy. What scared me more was that this clip is four years old and we know that things on that front have only gotten worse…

We’re more at risk for death by food than by homicide, natural disaster or motor accidents! We fear break-ins and nuclear disasters and yet we turn a blind eye to the toxicity that we ingest via our food..

Maintaining a sustainable home is more than homecooking, it’s the skills that help equip and nurture the generation you raise and the attitude they develop toward health and resource management. I’m not an organized person and often putting it down in writing helps me focus on what needs doing. Today I share with you a few ways that we’ve minimised waste and learned to live a bit smarter over at ours, they’re small simple steps but when you start doing them, you realise just how much this little ripple effect accomplishes :) It changes the way you think!

-Unpack food (especially fruit and veg) when you get home! The condensation that’s caused as a result of leaving them in the packaging causes them to over-ripen quickly, therefore with more chances of being binned!
-Put newer food behind and older ones in front in the refrigerator so you use up those are are nearer their Use by date first. I’ve thrown way too many yogurt tubs and slabs of cheese before I did this :)

Live Smart, ecology, sensible existence, recycle, waste less, good life, seasonal, upcycling, resources
Organic fresh grapes!

-Try and buy seasonal food for these reasons : It’s unnatural to have the sort of variety we have in our supermarkets. Food travels a great distance to reach us and therefore has to be kept in cold storage right after harvesting. This begins to kill it’s nutrients, more so when it gets sprayed in order to make the long trek to ‘a supermarket near you’! We have a fabulously syndicated planet and every season has a bounty of food that you can get cheaper as you don’t have to transport it or increase it’s longevity. Plus, it’s far more natural to do so!

‘Buying Local’ has sadly become synonymous with a stereotype of a yummy-mummy, middle-class lifestyle that wears Birkenstocks and is never too far away from a Granola Bar! The reality of it is that it’s the cheaper, more economical approach to food budgeting!”

I find it marvellous that seasonal foods are geared to help us through those seasons! Consider this- butternut squash and apples are autumnal produce, they contain large doses of Vitamin C that boost our immunity to face the coming winter! Have you ever noticed that summer fruit have way more water content than any other seasonal produce? How clever is our environment?!:) Every seasonal product has something unique to offer you.

Here’s a list I refer to when in doubt about seasonal fruit and veg… give it a shot, you may surprise yourself with just how much there is on offer!
-Buy more jars and cans than squeezy bottles or tubes when you buy Ketchup and Mayo, you waste a little over 25% with them as it’s next to impossible to get all the contents out! Glass and cans are also more easily recycled.
-Use glass packaging to store food, retain good looking jars to reuse. They don’t stain, retain odour or impact the environment and they last longer than plastic bags, aluminium foil and clingfilm.
Bring your children into the kitchen, apart from the lifelong memories they make, it’s making sure they eat healthily in the future! My children have become a lot less picky about what they eat because they’re enthusiastic about helping with the process. We ate out a lot more when I didn’t do this as we all went through taste fatigue with homecooking..spending more and eating way less nutritious food! Don’t worry if involving them results in misshapen food that’s lacking in presentation… they don’t care and neither should you! It’s the plague of our generation that our children are less connected to healthy, natural food and the best way to counteract that is to take our curiousity-rich bundles into the heart of the home and give them an appetite and enthusiasm for healthy, natural tastes.

Live Smart, ecology, sensible existence, recycle, waste less, good life, seasonal, upcycling, resources
Upcycle your glass jars and reuse them!

Live the Good Life, by all means it’s the best gift to give yourself..but it’s the icing on the cake when you do it whilst keeping our ecology diverse and productive and thinking of the next generation; and in doing so, you raise the quality of life for you and those around you!  If there’s anything you do as a family that reflects respect for the environment, I would love to ‘borrow’ your ideas to use at home, so feel free to share them in the comments below! 😉 xxx

This post is also linked up with :
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

You might also like to read :

Keep Calm and Waste Less!!

Caramelised Onion&Goat’s Cheese Tartlets!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Lovely post. Fanned.

    I might sound paranoid but it’s a conspiracy by the giant marketing machine that has somehow managed to convince people that “real” food comes from a restaurant or frozen packaging and homemade is somehow inferior.

    My husband and I have a busy work life, but we dedicate every night to preparing dinner and I love how that’s become an activity for us. We always talk about our day and how we’re doing. More families should make a meal and just eat it together. It benefits everyone in every way.

    Of course, this also raises the issue that many of “our grandparents” lived in a world where families could get by on one income, and where women stayed home all day, cooking family meals from scratch much more feasible. But with so much change in the economic structure, talking about togetherness and nutrition, even if people are willing to listen to you, most can’t do much about it.

  2. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    I’m totally with you…food is our essence and we’ve turned into every sort of crutch, really! There’s something lovely about cooking together, whatever the outcome! :) There have been times it’s not turned out right and we’ve just resorted to sandwiches, but laughing along the way! We need to give what we eat some thought and definitely the way we live! We live with finite resources…Thanks for stopping by Priscilla, love that you too have your own blog, which I shall be checking out later today :) xx

  3. says

    Love this post and all the tips offered, I definitely try to do all those things because you’re absolutely right- it is so important to do these things for our planet and for future generations, thank you!

  4. says

    Amen sista! I’m afraid you’re preaching to the choir here though as I agree with everything you’ve said (except the Jamie Oliver bit 😛 )!

    I find it a lot cheaper to get a locally grown veg box (which is also organic), then getting veg at the supermarket, and it’s fun to see what I’ve got to play with this week…I’m starting to introduce ‘cooking’ with my son who’s coming up to 21 months and I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit stressful as he doesn’t quite get the process – we’re meant to stir this and then cook it. He wants it NOW! Or he wants to stir until there’s nothing left in the bowl – haha! But he is the fussiest eater so I’m hoping starting to cook with him now, will (with patience and time) help him to learn to eat the rich variety of food the rest of us enjoy!

    Great post xxx

  5. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks Phi, I’m going to pop by in a bit and see what you do…love meeting new writers! Hannah…been there with the fussy eating and belive you me, it gets a lot better once they get involved in food, the entire process! :) How dare you not like Jamie?!! ;P Pfft! xxx

  6. says

    I just wrote a huge long essay as a comment and the captcha code was incorrect and the whole message was lost! Oh how I hate technology. Anyway, I will now write a quick comment that the freezer is my best friend…cook large amounts of food and then freeze the leftovers for another day! I promise my last comment was a lot better than that but hey ho!

  7. says

    Another beautiful post and so very very true. I think cooking with children, young and old, is such a lovely thing to do; it keeps them entertained, teaches them about so many things and really encourages teamwork and co-operation. It’s so lovely when they are older and interested in the quality of the food they eat-good habits really do start young.
    Young people care a great deal about the planet, we should too.
    Gorgeous photographs x

  8. says

    Great post, and so true about seasonal food.

    Because we’re on a farm, N already knows a lot about where his food comes from and is interested in it. So I hope to continue that.

    One thing on packaging. You mention removing fruit and veg from packaging. Nowadays supermarket packaging has been optimised to help keep the produce fresh, so you should really try and keep items packaged as they recommend. e.g apples in the packaging – the shrink wrap type with holes in, in the fridge. Love food hate waste app and website give loads of tips on this type of thing.

  9. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks for that, Emma! :) I was recently informed about how keeping the wrapper actually over ripens food…ah well, experience is to be relied upon I suppose 😉 The app you mention will def be looked into! Looks like it’s something I’ll use a lot! Xx

  10. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks for sharing that…happy to look at info re food waste anytime! Hope your campaign’s coming along nicely :) x

  11. says

    Eating seasonally is what we do, our veg comes from a local farm delivered each week. Fruit, sadly,comes from the supermarket I wish there was some other way of buying it round here I hate the packaging. We grow some of our own veg too but not enough to be remotely self sufficient! I have recently started to order some dry ingredients in bulk through my local health food shop which makes in cheaper in the long run and less packaging although you need the space to store it……..
    I recently acquired a second hand yogurt maker and have started to make my own yogurt, we eat a lot, I use raw organic milk bought direct from a local farm. I have also dabbled in soft cheese making with the same milk.
    I have always cooked food from scratch, most processed food makes me very ill the preservatives are to blame, I got some very strange looks in my student houses but at least my food cupboard was never raided! My children are sporadic helpers in the kitchen but they are not fussy eaters so I am not that bothered as they see what I am doing even if they don’t want to be involved.

  12. says

    I’m fully with you on this…we try to do all of the above, especially eating seasonal and local produce. Luckily for me the south of France produces plenty of delicious stuff and France is better than many countries at providing only seasonal produce. You really can only find strawberries in the supermarkets from April to July for example. After that if you want a strawberry, either it has to be sourced from an expensive deli or it has to be frozen. Frozen fruit and veg are a good way to eat unseasonal things as they are frozen straight after harvest thereby retaining their nutrients. I really enjoy your writing Kanchan and glad I “met” you (and your blog) through #LAB. I’ll keep in touch for sure!

  13. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thank you Phoebe..I feel the same way and I’m sure we’ll cross paths, would love to continue reading about your adventures in the south of France! :) xx

    Sustainablemum- firstly, a big welcome ( I love seeing new names! :)) You seem to have the balance right, I’m getting there…in my earlier posts I’ve mentioned that cooking is an acquired skill for me, I’m not naturally talented, so from scratch in everything is a hallowed goal at the mo! I’m getting there, one change at a time! :) xx

  14. says

    Great post, some really good tips. I meal plan to minimise what I throw away and actually waste very little. Absolutely hate when a week goes pear shaped and I end up throwing some veg away! My kids aren’t too fussy when it comes to eating thankfully, which I am very grateful for, I think it would be good to get them more involved in the kitchen though :) #BrilliantBlogPosts

  15. says

    Vital post and one that all children (teachers and parents) should read. I’m lucky that culturally food is so important to Greeks and we follow eating seasonally and the rules to live by above. Cooking with and teaching my children about food is a joy and a real passing down of family archives too. Thanks for this truly wonderful post!

  16. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    I think in many ways people are giving this thought and I’m so glad that our British Schools put some thought into healthy lunch boxes! I can imagine how lovely it feels passing down family archives, I do that with my children too so I hope they turn out to be discerning eaters later!
    Jaime, I have pre-packaged food too, I wish I could say I’m totally organisied or a set-in healthy foodie, but I try to limit the rubbish eating to just one or two times a month. I did it a lot and I battle with my weight too…so this year I’m really concentrating on doing it right :) xx

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