Thursday, December 28, 2017

Zero Waste Coffee



I stopped drinking coffee a while ago. As a student, I used to work in coffee shops, study in coffee shops and hang out in coffee shops. Studying has some perks, mainly the availability of time that you can spend any way you want -guilt free! I would spent a lot of time sitting in my favourite place staring out of the window and just pondering about the world. When I started working after University, I would pick up a coffee on the way to work to perk me up and to give me that feeling of bliss (would rather be staring out of a window with a cup right now but this is second best feeling ). There was a lot of money spent on coffee, not to mention all of that packaging that came from it!

I realized that I was actually quite caffeine sensitive so I tried to cut down. My tea consumption in that time has however quadrupled so it was probably all psychological anyway :) What I realised in the process of curbing my habit is that a coffee shop visit was more of a time for myself where I could think, process my thoughts and just relax.  It wasn't about the coffee really. So now I try to recreate that moment for myself at home without spending literally hundreds of pounds every year. The solution is simple, cheap and completely zero waste-make your own. 

I now buy all of our coffee in bulk from a local shop in Sheffield called Pollards. They stock a huge amount of varieties. Who would have thought that there is so much to choose from? When you enter the shop, your taste buds are screaming as the smell of freshly ground coffee welcomes you in. You can ask to smell different varieties to see what you fancy each time. Our current favourite is Monsoon Malabar.  I bring my jar, get it filled with coffee beans and grind them at home using a coffee grinder. The coffee lasts fresh for longer when all of its flavour is locked in the bean. If you don't have a grinder, don't worry as they can grind it for you! 



There often is a misconception that good quality items costs a lot more. If you buy 2 x take away coffees  for 2.50 each, for the same price you will be able to get a really good quality fresh coffee which will last you for weeks! 

We use an insulated stainless steel coffee french press to brew the coffee at home and compost the coffee grounds. 

No more take aways in plastic coffee cups either!  If I want a drink whilst I am out I bring a reusable mug and ask the staff to fill it. As long as the mug has a lid I have never been refused. 

When on occasion I want a coffee (Craig is the main coffee hound these days) I make it at home, have a moment for myself and relax knowing that I am supporting local shop, drinking good quality coffee and there is no waste as a result. But I'm not going to lie, I I still like a good coffee shop every now and then ;)
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Furoshiki- Zero Waste Gift Wrap


I have been wanting to do this little DIY for a while. I am not quite sure why I have not got round to doing this sooner as this is one of the easiest and most satisfying projects that I have done. Introducing Furoshiki, also known as Japanese Gift Wrap. Furoshiki is a century old technique which originated in Japan. It is used for transporting gifts, lunches and other items. Think of it as origami, but for fabric, creating beautiful gift wraps or useful bags out of a single piece of cloth.
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Flying Zero Waste

  

I love slow journeys.  By bike is my favourite, closely followed by train travel, depending of course on the distance. But sometimes it is just a lot more practical to fly. I often get asked about it. Flying has a huge environmental impact, there is no question about that. I think when it comes to Zero Waste and environmental footprint, you should start changing things which are (relatively) easy to start with. Buying package free, swapping a plastic bag for a tote bag and bringing reusable mug instead of your usual paper cup is a good place to start. Tackle one thing at the time. Flying home to see your family doesn’t fall into the category of easy choices. 
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Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Enjoy Christmas Markets Zero Waste


Christmas markets hit every major city in Europe at the end of November. Some are authentic and some are not so much, depending which country you live in. We have been lucky this year to briefly visit the Christmas markets in Budapest. I am not interested in any other stalls apart from the food stalls as it is a good opportunity to sample some local produce. Think roast duck with red cabbage, potatoes with roast pork through it, smoked salmon and some mulled wine to wash it all down with. You really can’t go wrong there!
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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saying no to Christmas cards- give Christmas hugs instead


According to the Greeting Card Association, every year in Britain alone, we send 1 billion Christmas cards. If you think about it, the number is astronomical, compared to the 65 million people who live in the UK. I have taken the above photo on the 6th November by which point most shops were selling Christmas merchandise. There is a reason why you can buy Christmas stock so soon. I very much doubt that the shops are concerned with your time management and getting things ‘done’ before Christmas. Instead, the greeting card industry wants you to spend and spend. 
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

How to buy Cheese and other Deli items Zero Waste


When it comes to buying cheese and deli items, this is my favourite part of my shopping journey. I say a journey, because I don’t just go to one supermarket in order to buy my weekly food shop. Instead, I start at the butchers, followed by the fishmonger and the bakery. Just before I move on to veg and the rest of my shopping, I come to the deli shop.  You would think that this takes me a long time, but it doesn’t add that much time to my weekly shop. Even if it did, I welcome slower paced shopping. Why does buying food have to be so rushed and full of stress?
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

10 Reasons why you should go Cycle Touring in Iceland




 Cold, dark November days are really conducive to some hygge and if you are anything like me, planning your next adventure. If you are looking for inspiration about where to go next, look no further. Cycle touring in Iceland will not disappoint you! It has everything that you could want from a cycle trip- amazing out of this world landscapes, wild camping spots, good roads and natural springs to await you after a hard day in the saddle. It was one of the best adventures that I have ever been on.  I have listed my top 10 reasons why you too should put this on your adventure list! 

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Zero Waste Hair Care


The days when I had a basket full of half used hair care products are long gone. Conditioners, hair foams, gels, salt water sprays, heat protection sprays and millions of other things were sat in my bathroom, used once in a blue moon and collecting dust. Fast forward a few years and my hair care kit consists of only three items. I use these items daily and take them with me everywhere I go including hiking and cycling trips. There is nothing to collect dust anymore!
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

How to buy bread Zero Waste

                    The bread and the bread makers working hard behind the scenes 

Sometimes all you want is a nice crusty piece of toast. One of those which crunches in your mouth as you take the first bite. Spread a bit of nice butter on top and you are officially at peace. Sounds familiar? 
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wild Food Recipe -Dried Crab Apples with Cinnamon



Have you ever bought sour apple sweets? There is no need for all of the processed stuff if you like that sort of flavor, as you can literally make your own healthy version at home. Introducing crab apple- aka the real sour apple. 
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Sunday, November 5, 2017

How to reduce your plastic waste on a climbing trip to Kalymnos

  
If you are a climber, chances are that you have heard or been to Kalymnos. Words like paradise, incredible, world-class climbing, excellent food and friendly locals spring to mind. If you speak to your fellow climbers who have been fortunate enough to spend some time there, they will all have this all-knowing smile and misty look in their eyes. I have just recently got back from a 10-day trip and I can report that it really is that good. 
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wild Food Recipe- Sloe Gin


                      

I have been foraging for quite a few years but for some reason, I have never made Sloe Gin. The berries were not quite ready when I tried to pick them or all of the birds (and cool Sheffield folk) stripped the branches clean by the time I got my act together.  I went to visit a friend who is my foraging buddy. We had one objective this weekend- to make this delicious beverage. Gin is my favourite drink in general, but somehow when infused with Sloe berries it is even tastier. 
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Adventure- Cycle Touring with a Trad Rack

                        Cycling through Llanberis - Photo courtesy of Ellie Fuller 

We planned to finally walk the Pennine Way this summer as it has been on our adventure list for years. A few weeks before we were meant to set off, I have injured my foot whilst running. It was sore with every step so walking 280 miles was out of the question. If you are training for a particular event or you have been planning and training and putting a lot of effort into something, getting injured really sucks.  The solution to not getting disheartened is to become a Jack of all trades. In the world where everything is so specialised and results driven, there is something quite refreshing about giving yourself a permission to not strive to be the best at something but to enjoy many different things.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Buying Meat Zero Waste


When it comes to Zero Waste shopping, the biggest worry that I had was with meat.  Am I going to be able to bring my jars into the shop? Will the butchers trust my containers enough to eradicate any health and safety worries that they might have? I made the decision to eat less but more quality meat so I was looking for a butcher who would be happy to sell me produce zero waste. 
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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Zero Waste Lunch Essentials


I have a bit of a reputation when it comes to food. I always, always bring food with me everywhere I go. When we plan camping trips I am usually in charge of food, not because I am the best cook but because I make sure that we don’t go hungry at any point! :) 
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wild Swimming - Slippery Stones




Chances are that if you live in Sheffield you have heard of Slippery Stones. During long summer evenings or the hottest day of the year, it seems to come up in conversations quite a lot. I have only recently gone for the first time and was surprised as to just how lovely the place is. There is a small pool of water where the water is deep enough to jump into and have a little dip. This little pool represents Peak District really well- dark peaty coloured water surrounded by moorlands and hills. It really feels strangely magical out there.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

DIY Lululemon Strappy Back One Piece Swimming Costume


Climbing girl’s problem alert. One of the side effects of regular climbing and doing calisthenics is that your lats get bigger. I definitely welcome this as when it comes to climbing, the bigger the guns the better (up to a point of course ;) However, as a result, my old swimming costume got too small for me so I have decided to turn it into a DIY getting drawing inspiration from a Lululemon one piece.  I love the back straps on their design which you can fit to measure. I have used an old hand me down swimming costume so apart from a few supplies, I didn't have to buy anything new. 
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