Be a Borrower

Be a Borrower

I was that kind of child who watched about three films on repeat from the age of 4 to 7.  

If the film wasn't Matilda, Lady and the Tramp or The Borrowers, I didn't want to know. 

Rewatching these films as an adult had not only made me realise that I had impeccable taste for someone so young (!) but also that there are so many messages you skip over in these films when you're only a little one. 

Matilda was all about loving education, not about the hilarity of making Mrs Trunchbull afraid to live in her own home as it seemed haunted as I used to think. 

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Guest Blog- Put the cap on bottled water use

Guest Blog- Put the cap on bottled water use

Plastic bottles are bad news for us and the environment. In this blog post I'm going to tell you why, but first, a few facts about their usage.

Four hundred eighty billion were purchased worldwide in 2016, that’s right billion with a B. Another scary stat highlighting the prevalence of plastic water bottles is that 1 million are purchased globally every minute.

This is a crazy amount of single-use plastic, 91% of which will end up discarded, and a growing portion of these bottles will end up in the oceans.

But why is that so bad?

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Guest Blog- Solid wood

Guest Blog- Solid wood

This is our very first guest blog from the lovely Freya. If you are interested in submitting a guest blog for us to feature, please email azerowastelife@gmail.com

Zero Time to Waste is a eco-conscious lifestyle blog written by Freya, a sustainability enthusiast and marketing executive based in London. The blog is based on the philosophy that a zero waste lifestyle should be accessible and free of compromise.

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Box Schemes: The best solution for food waste?

Welcome to Farm House Austin! 

A team of 45 strong who deliver veg boxes to Austin's local community, who I recently had the pleasure of meeting.

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Austin Farm House offers a weekly delivery service that gives you the ingredients to make up to 4 meals a week, all the contents come from local sources and are therefore naturally healthy. 

Steve the head chief said, "Easy to cook meals help our customers gain in confidence in the kitchen not only with knife skills but also cooking healthy meals for the whole family."
This is what a typical week in recipes looks like

This is what a typical week in recipes looks like

What I loved most about farmhouse was their ethos of using local produce, helping to distribute food from local farmers to the community. They have a big no waste policy where any leftover food either gets made into broths, dehydrated to make something else or donated. Steve showed me how they turn food into broths and sauces when they have no use for it:

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Portion control is a must, recent studies show that in America:

"Obesity is common, serious and costly. More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity"

They weigh out each ingredient so that couples and families can serve the right portion sizes. Farm House have even started hosting cooking classes so that the local community can learn how to cook real, wholesome food. 

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Farm House try to reduce their waste as much as possible but sometimes it's inevitable, they need a way of transporting the food to local households. At the moment they currently use bags to divide food portions which are not ideal due to the plastic. However, they do use re-useable freezer bags which customers can give back once they've used them so they are in constant circulation. 

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I found their eat clean policies truly inspiring:

We love…

  • Long-term ecological sustainability and regenerative practices. We believe in treating the soil with just as much care and respect as the plants and animals that call it home.
  • Only using natural, homoeopathic, and biodynamic treatments for plants and animals.
  • When we order your fruits and vegetables, they’re still in the ground. Your produce has been harvested within days of getting to your front door, ensuring the freshest quality and highest nutritional value.
  • High animal welfare standards. We only believe in pasture-raising animals and humane processing practices. We support ranchers who treat their animals with kindness and respect and feed their animals using the same food standards we hold our own food to.
  • Paying farmers fairly and honouring our commitments. Eating clean isn’t just about the chemical makeup of the food we eat, it’s also about nurturing healthy and positive relationships with those who raise our food.

 

No Thanks

  • We don’t support the use of synthetic preservatives, chemical pesticides, growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, artificial additives, high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, or ingredients we can’t pronounce.
  • We don’t support undercutting the farmer. Clean, quality food takes a lot of time and resources to raise. We think that’s valuable, as are the people who make it happen.
  • We don’t support unkind treatment of animals, including enclosed feedlots, long-term caging of animals, cramped or unclean living conditions, long-distance travel to processing facilities, low-quality feed, or any unkind treatment of animals.
In the end, we ask ourselves one easy question. Do I feel good about feeding this to my family? And then we go with our hearts.
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Box schemes like Farm House Delivery in Austin, Texas can be massively beneficial to the local economy. They support farmers by paying up front for vegetables, they feed local people wholesome food and help the community eat a balanced diet. The only downside to some box schemes is that they have to separate the ingredients into different bags for their customers which produces waste.

So if this can be eradicated in the future then I LOVE a good box scheme! This could make a huge difference in my own community. If you feel the same the soil association recently bought out a tracker which helps you find your local veg scheme. 

Personally, I use Organic Lea who I recently visited to find more about- as they are close to where I live....

Our 10 day Zero Waste Challenge

Back in January we ran a 10 day Zero Waste Challenge, which was more successful than either of us imagined! Lots of people joined in and we had great fun seeing our Instagram and Facebook followers getting involved too.

If you want to take the challenge, take a look at the steps below. You can do it any time, at any speed or if you're feeling adventurous you could even do all ten steps at once.

Our friend Chloe took the challenge and had some surprising outcomes....

 

Day one: Bring a bag

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If you're like us, you probably have tonnes! Pop it in your bag or car so you don't forget it when you're on the go

 

Day two: Refuse a straw

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Straws are made of crappy non-recyclable plastic, which means they can contaminate the enviroment and hurt wildlife easily. Straws tend to have an average lifespan of about 20 minutes in a drink, while they can last up to 500 years on our planet, so refuse them the next time you buy a drink.

Day three: Reject those freebies

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Free pens, notepads, vouchers, stickers... do you NEED them? How will they improve your life? If the answer is that they won't or you already have one (like a pen) refuse a freebie, to show marketeers that we want sustainable alternatives when it comes to advertising.

Day four: Pack your lunch

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Om nom nom. Us two LOVE food! We're always on the go, so to avoid getting hangry, we ensure we pack our food before we head out for the day. Taking our own food eliminates the need for single use packaging.

This is easier, if like me you have food intolerance, so need to know what is in what you eat.

Day five: Bring a water bottle

Simples! 

Fill it with water, squash or even prosecco if you're having one of those days...

We find having a bottle on us makes us drink more. We've sacrificed the bag space for it, so we may as well make the most of it!

Day six: Take a coffee away (in your own mug!)

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Don't have a reusable coffee cup? Ask if you could purchase one in the cafe (most coffee chains now offer reusable cups with money off your hot drinks to encourage you to use them) or opt to sit down down and drink your coffee in a china mug.

Day seven: Have a single-use plastic free day

We put this one on day seven as you can combine everything you've done on the last six days to make this work.

Go on, you've got this!

Day eight: Make your own snack

Why not try protein snacks, a flapjack, nuts toasted in oils or homemade crisps?

Day nine: Buy or make a zero waste beauty product

We're not trying to say you don't already look incredible, because you sure do!

But the beauty industry fills our products with harmful chemicals, dyes and micro-plastics. Then they package them in non recyclable containers. Why not make your own or buy a bar of soap?

Day ten: Re-purpose something

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Let your imagination run wild with this one!

Odd sock = friendly sock puppet

Holey t-shirt = new kitchen surface wipes

Old pillow case = new produce bag

Brown bananas = banana cake

Or maybe you just need to get round to fixing that button, zip, or hole in your clothes!