Eating sustainably is not too complicated

_20170204_190323.JPG_20170204_190759.jpg_20170204_190503.JPG

Eating sustainably can be delicious, beautiful and simple. Last week me and my friend Malin cooked a modified version of this Baked Aubergine with beluga lentils recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. I’m not too fond of brussel sprouts so I left those out from the recipe and added pepper and field beans instead.

It’s a myth that it is difficult to know how to eat more sustainably. Yes, if you look at minor details like knowing whether a Spanish tomato or a Finnish greenhouse-grown tomato in February is better, then I understand it might feel a bit complicated. The thing is: that’s splitting hairs. If you have time, by all means, it’s good to do research, but these choices aren’t the most important ones. If you follow these simple rules, the impact you food has on our environment is already much better!

  1. Avoid all red meat
  2. Eat less dairy products
  3. Eat less rice & less imported quinoa
  4. Eat less avocado
  5. Eat mostly local and seasonal vegetables and grains

These are very simple rules, no one needs to study a lot to make a huge impact on the environment globally by choosing not to eat certain kinds of food. Also, remember that the option with less plastic packaging is always better! For vegetables and fruit, you can get a reusable bag like this one. In the end, it does not matter if people occasionally buy the “wrong kind of tomato” as long as we look at the big picture and at the foods that really have a big impact. I managed to follow the “Vegan January” challenge and ate (mostly) vegan for a full month and only slipped twice! It actually wasn’t too difficult. So if eating vegan isn’t very difficult, then avoiding those listed things at least 6 out of 7 days a week shouldn’t be impossible for anyone. Personally, now that my one month challenge is over, I do still eat small amounts of cheese as well as avocado and rice. But only on special occasions when I’m at a restaurant or someone else treats me to food ,which is rarely more than once or twice a month.

A short reminder to why everyone should avoid the listed things…The meat industry pollutes a lot. The Baltic sea, many lakes and rivers in several countries are in such bad condition because of the meat industry. Cows consume a lot of natural resources, so cut down on your consumption of cheese, yoghurt and milk. Get oat, coconut or soy alternatives instead. Cows also produce methane. Rice is extremely water intensive and fresh water is scarce in many places, additionally rice cultivation produces methane which is even worse for the climate than CO2. Save the sushi for special occasions! Avocado plantations often lead to deforestation and acute drought. The avocado requires a lot of water, and when that water is taken from lakes and rivers nearby, they dry out. Avocados also rot really easily. 54,000 tonnes of avocado and other stone fruits are thrown away every year in the UK!! The less we buy, the less will in the end be imported and thrown away. 54 000 tonnes!!

What to eat then? Green Kitchen stories really has amazing vegetarian recipes. Vegetables grown in your own country get amazing tastes with these recipes. Just stay away from the recipes containing too much cheese, avocado or rice or replace those ingredients with something else. There are environmentally “unfriendly” foods such as quinoa, that are grown organically in Europe too so you don’t need to stop eating it, just choose the right kind.

ps. between November and February/Mars, the Spanish tomato is actually more environmentally friendly, during the rest of the year, buy the locally grown version. In northern Europe: Canned tomatoes are the most sustainable during the winter! But don’t worry about that too much if it feels too complicated 🙂

Bon appetit!

xo, Felicia

Do you really believe climate change is bad? Hot weather is just nice

“Just look at how sketchy all the organisations are who insist climate change is not real and is not man-made…”, an awesome person said to me. What an excellent point! The people spreading word that man made climate change is made up are rarely established scientific communities like universities. They’re more likely some organisation founded two years ago and sponsored by Shell or BP…If you’re not really interested in learning about all the sciency stuff to convince you about climate change: just take a brief look at these sketchy organisations, that should tell you that man made climate change is probably real. And that unfortunately means that partly, you and I are responsible for it.

I’ve been living with the assumption that man-made climate change “might exist”, until I was about 15, “probably exists” until like 19 and “shiit, we´re quite fucked” since that until now that I’m 22. I mean we are so fucked already, oh my god. But it’s not too late. At least not if people would stop saying hot weather is just nice. Hot weather is awesome as long as it doesn’t kill plants and animals, make storms, rise sea levels, triggers famine, disrupt local weathers so that some places become even colder and kills coral reefs. I want to dive and snorkel, damn it! Hot weather and climate change are two quite different things.

share.jpg

I love hot weather. A hot climate is quite a different. That’s just a huge risk.

It wasn’t until that “shit, we´re fucked” notion kicked into my head that I decided to try to do something about it. So what did I do? My electricity at home is solar and wind only. I want the energy companies to build more solar and wind, so I increase demand for them. Building more waterpower in Finland would destroy beautiful nature and fish habitats. If I had a house, and not a flat, I’d probably produce my own energy with solar, wind and heat pumpswhich probably is the most efficient way of heating.

Man made climate change has been a known phenomenon since the 1970s but big (evil) fossil fuels companies who were among the first to discover the effect decided not to tell the public (I wonder why…).I’m waking up every  morning to the news of different Environmental News pages on Facebook and Twitter which all are written on the assumption that human made climate change is happening. That assumption can be backed up by 97% of scientists. The science hasn’t been this certain and widely known as it is now for a large part of many people’s lives, it’s a quite new thing for many. But even grandparents habits can be changed! My recently retired grandmother just told me that she has become a fantastic recycler! So proud!!

The things you need to change to already start making a difference are really easy and small. You don’t need to do much research or invest huge amounts of time in this if you start following these few tips.

5 things that you personally can do to make us less fucked:

1. Cut down on meat consumption. If you really love beef, just save it for birthdays and make it special. Check this out for yummy veggie recipes.

Grönsaker

2. LED LED LED lightbulbs! Never buy any other type of lightbulbs because compared to LED everything else is energy draining rubbish. This is so easy to do.

LED

3. Cycles, hybrid cars and trains. Cycling above all ♥︎. If you’re rich enough go for a hybrid car and skip the diesel SUV! There are so many cool hybrids! My personal flying vs train rule: as long as it takes less than 12h (a.k.a one night train) I’ll chose trains over flying. Would a similar rule work in your schedule perhaps? Give the idea a though at least.Cars etc

4. Wind and solar electricity! Most energy providers can sell you wind and solar electricity. In Helsinki: Helen, Fortum etc. My energy bill went from ca 12 euro per month to about 13 euro per month. I’m sure you have 1 euro to spare. Give your energy provider a call.

Windpower

5. Recycle metal, plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and bio waste. This saves quite much energy and the biowaste becomes biofuels. If you don’t have these bins close and you don’t own a car the glass and metal can mostly be easily transported on a bike or a bus. Try asking your housing company if they could provide recycling bins.

Recycle.jpg

Sounds pretty simple, right? So give it a go, and try convincing your parents and grandparents to give it a go too! This is a really good starting kit to do your bit to make us less fucked and you can change most of those things already today.

There is of course so many other things you can do, but I think, that if you do these few things you are already doing something about the problem.