Day 13 Plastic Free July – Shopping day

 

Plastic free packaging

Plastic free packaging

I was dreading today – grocery shopping day, and more than usual ;). Now in a way I was lucky, I’ve already stocked up on the dry goods at the bulk food store, and my vegies are being delivered tomorrow, so the list is minimal. I just wasn’t sure how I would go.

It needs to be noted that we are a one income family with 3 kids under 9 living in Sydney. Cost is always a factor. I would normally shop at Aldi, but I know their products well and most items come in plastic. So I popped into my local grocery store with my list in hand to see what we could manage.

Milk, Bread, Butter, toilet paper, rice, honey, sugar,chocolate, olive oil.

Now I could have purchased the Olive oil and rice at the bulk store, but I don’t like the flavour of their olive oil and the organic rice was just a smiggin ($8/kg) too expensive for my budget.

I was bitterly disappointed and pleasantly surprised in my shopping experience.

Milk, I was so sure that I would be able to purchase full cream milk in cartons, nope nup not a carton in sight! how very disappointing.

Bread, now I knew that bread was going to be a difficult one, and if I’m going to get it from the supermarket then its going to come in plastic… and yep only plastic wrapped bread is available. Luckily Hubby has taken to baking a loaf every night and the kids just love it. So I only had to buy 1 loaf to store in the freezer as backup.

Butter, well butter met my expectation, after all I buy this stuff every week and well it comes wrapped in paper, just the way I like it 🙂

Toilet paper. Well wasn’t I pleasantly surprised, my local supermarket had 2, yes 2 brands that came packaged in paper, well I bought both, just so I could decide which is the brand we prefer, how nice to have choice!

Rice, well what another disappointment. I could have bought it at the bulk food store earlier in the week, but I couldn’t justify the organic cost, and well sometimes something just has to give. On the supermarket shelf there were so many sizes and varieties to choose from, but every single one was packaged in plastic. Even the huge 10kg packets! fortunately for me the Basmati rice I was after was the only one in a lovely cloth bag that I could easily reuse.

Honey, well again not as easy as I had thought, many of the jars of honey are now plastic, and its a little tricky to tell the difference, make sure to give them a squeeze. I did manage to find one brand in glass.

Sugar, since I buy raw sugar, I wasn’t so sure that i would find this in paper, but there it was it all it’s glory just waiting for me to buy it 🙂

Chocolate… now I never touch the stuff, 😉  I’m not sure how it even got on the list?? 😉  Most of the organic up market brands come cardboard and foil. All the other major brands come in plastic and cost becomes an issue again. If I remember not to long ago all the major brands were in paper, I wonder why the big change?. 😞

Olive oil, well again I knew that this would be an easy win, my bulk store sells olive oil, but I do prefer the taste of the one in the supermarket, so I have opted for that one, in glass in the largest bottle I could get, maybe next time I’ll see if they sell my brand and flavour in the large 4l tins.

So out of the 9 items on my list, 3 items were packaged in plastic, pity it is the items that we consume the most of. But over all I felt pretty happy leaving the store with only a few purchases in plastic.

Next week we are back to school, I don’t think that my shopping list will be quite so small.

Plastic Free July | Day 3

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So the coffee break didn’t quite go as planned. I remembered to ask for no lid and straw, but got a straw anyway. 😞 I’ll keep it and reuse it. I didn’t even think to ask for it in the original cup.

However today’s grocery purchases went as planned. Yay! A trip to my local naked foods on the first Monday of the month not only means do I get to shop with out consuming any plastic but I get to save 20% as well! Win win!

Plastic Free July | Day 2

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I’m loving how Plastic Free July is making the whole family conscious of how we use plastics and what alternatives there might be. Sam (Mr 6) has a fundraiser at school where he is collecting 5c pieces. He went to grab a plastic bag to take them to school,😵 a quick reminder that’s it’s plastic free July and Sam grabbed a glass jar instead. 🙌 So easy once you change your thinking. 😁

Plastic Free July | Day 1

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Plastic free July didn’t get started exactly how I anticipated. Along with our ongoing renovations, I took to tidying up the kids toy box. So a whole lot of plastic got thrown out. 😞. Along with a few items sold, and a lot given away. Interestingly it was the wooden toys that stood the test of time and the most sort after on the 2nd hand market.

After the toy box tidy up, I took a look at our bin situation and as mentioned in earlier posts we have a 4 bin system; recycling, compost, chicken scraps, and rubbish. This system had been working well, but could do with a bit of tweaking. For starters the rubbish bin is far too large and accessable. Which meant eager little hand sometimes put the wrong things in the rubbish because it was the easiest bin to get to.

So the two large bins in the rubbish drawer have BOTH become recycling bins, (not ideal but will do for now), I still have the compost and chicken scrap bins, which are old ice cream containers. And now i have added a small waste bin that was in the bathroom and placed it under the sink, that will be our rubbish bin. A little less accessable making us all think for a second before throwing things into landfill.

Finally to make the new process stick, a quick family meeting. Describing the what when where and why we are making these changes. It’s only day one, but it’s been working well so far. 👊

Easy Home Made Almond Milk

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More and more people are looking for alternatives to cows milk. Almond milk it a great alternative, it’s both high in calcium and protein and low in fat. However the Almond milk found in the stores are full of crap, flavors, preservatives vegetable gums, and salt, (and this is the “better one”) stuff that just does not need to be in it, nor do we need to be consuming it.  But I have some good news Almond milk is so easy to make. Recently I have added it to my daily flow, without missing a beat.

Recipe

Makes 1 litre

Soak 1 cup of almonds in filtered water overnight

In the morning, throw out old  water and rinse well

Place the nuts in a blender and add 500ml of filtered water, process well

Strain through a very fine mesh, muslin, nut bag or clean chux

Add enough water to make 1 litre

The contents will separate just shake well before using

 

Note: for a sweeter flavor add 1-2 medjool dates and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to the blender

Watermelon and Feta salad

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The sun popped out for just a moment today in Sydney town, and I was not going to miss a moment. So I whipped up this super quick watermelon salad, but I had an issue with it, being mainly watermelon and feta I didn’t think that the kids would be very keen. Well I was wrong and I had to share! 🙁

Check out Stirring Change for the recipe.

New Years Resolutions

I don’t do them, I never have, they are just too damn hard, they are difficult and they are set in stone, they have no flow, no wiggle room. A year is a long time to be fixed to some thing you probably dreamed up half tanked on New Years Eve!

New Years Resolutions are destined to fail, no one wants to start the new year feeling bad about themselves.

I do goals, I always have(I don’t like failing) , every New Years Eve I take a moment to take stock, to rejoice and congratulate myself, over what I have achieved, planned on achieving and anything else has popped up along the way in the last year. (If I don’t celebrate my achievements then who will?)

I then around this time make my new list of goals, I make sure they are achievable after all I don’t want to set my self up for failure, but if they don’t happen thats OK too, life gets in the way. I wouldn’t want to miss any new opportunities, because I promised my self that I would complete these goals (that may or may not be important to me any more).

Now a days I jot down my new goals into my phone so I can refer to them from time to time throughout the year ( I might even cheat and add a new one that may have popped up along the way :)) , and at New Years Eve I take stock again and celebrate my achievements and look forward to the amazing year to come.

My goals for 2016

* Take the family on a road trip to Uluru
* Get my webpage/Blog up and running (this may or may not have been on last years list of goals! :))
* Complete 10 subjects of Adv. Dip of Nut

What are your goals for 2016?? What amazing things are you going to achieve?

Sesame Seed Bar

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So I came across this today, and since I had all the ingredients I thought I’d give it a go, a whole 3.5 seconds later, these were made.

The downside is that I was looking for something to take camping with us and these need to stay in the freezer, so not a great mix. The upside, did I mention took precisely 3.5 seconds to make!

Its been a while since I’ve had a White Christmas, but that’s what they taste like to me!

TIP: long ago when I bought my slice pan, I bought 2 fill one, stack the other on top and stand in it, its a great and easy way to ensure that all your ingredients are pressed down firmly!

OK here we go!

★ 2 cups sesame seeds

★ 1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)

★ 1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut

★ 1/2 cup flaxseed meal

★ 1/2 cup tahini (or another nut butter)

★ 1/4 cup coconut oil

★ 1/3 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey

★ 1 tsp vanilla extract

★ 3/4 tsp sea salt

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients together.
Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
Press mixture firmly into an 8×8 or 9×9 pan, cover, and freeze one hour.
Remove from freezer and cut into bars.
Bars should be kept in the freezer and eaten well chilled.

Enjoy

 

 

Original Recipie : www.therawtarian.com/raw-sesame-seed-bar-recipe

Nuts! and how to store them

nuts and seeds

How to store your nuts

Nuts can go rancid easily the best way to store nuts is to buy them in the shell, and store them in glass in a cool dark dry place.

I admit buying them in the shell can be a bit of a PITA so I tend to buy shelled nuts, and keep them in a glass jar in the freezer, much more convenient.
Light, heat and metal speed up the oxidation process and we don’t want to eat rancid nuts, they will be providing just the opposite to the good oils we were hoping for!