weekend links

Ten Things

eco lifestyle blog

Hello there! How’s it going? I’ve had a quiet week, and I’m not going to lie, it has been good. We’ve been sorting things out in our house, fixing things up, stewing things in the slow cooker, reading books, and generally just keeping our heads down and getting through this last stretch of winter. You?

This week’s links:

1. No, the coronavirus is not good for the planet

Wishing for a disaster to make the large-scale changes that scientists say are necessary to prevent a planetary collapse is counterproductive. Remember, we’re doing this to *save* lives. Cheering on the coronavirus because of climate change isn’t progress, it’s eco-fascism. It’s the same logic that eugenicists use to argue for population control, or racists use to preach ethnic nationalism and anti-immigration policies in an era of climate emergency. Discrimination and death are not the way to reduce emissions.

2. In other coronavirus news, this is complete madness.

3. In my final coronavirus chat of the day, I found myself in agreement with this article on “why don’t we treat the climate crisis with the same urgency as coronavirus“.

While coronavirus is understandably treated as an imminent danger, the climate crisis is still presented as an abstraction whose consequences are decades away. Unlike an illness, it is harder to visualise how climate breakdown will affect us each as individuals. Perhaps when unprecedented wildfires engulfed parts of the Arctic last summer there could have been an urgent conversation about how the climate crisis was fuelling extreme weather, yet there wasn’t. 

4. How to talk to people who doubt climate change. I found this conversation with Katherine Hayhoe enlightening.

5. Climate change harms people, but policies to stabilise the climate can harm people too, with the poorest being most likely to suffer from lost jobs in dirty industries and higher energy bills. The transition to a cleaner, greener world needs to be fair to all.

6. When fast fashion brands run International Women’s Day campaigns.

7. How climate positivity could revolutionise the fashion industry

Céline Semaan, executive director of Slow Factory Foundation, believes the new term and thought-process is “next and necessary” to addressing fashion’s environmental footprint… “The way it is right now, sustainable fashion is becoming a buzzword but it doesn’t mean anything… Brands are claiming sustainability left and right. And unfortunately, it’s getting trapped at the surface in the marketing department, it’s not trickling down deep, deeper into the roots of the problem.”

8. Is your honey fraudulent? It’s an activity that is putting the entire agricultural system at risk.

9. Patagonia wants to teach you how to repair your clothes.

10. Finally, in a bit of good news, proof that activism works. The Norwegian energy company Equinor is pulling out of planned oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight after sustained pressure from environmental activists.


Food & Drink

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I’m working with Friends of Glass today to promote the benefits of glass. Friends of Glass is a community that supports everything about glass packaging and advocates a lifestyle that includes glass for three main reasons: health, taste, and sustainability.

When you first start off reducing your plastic usage, using glass in place of plastic can be daunting. So, I wanted to show you three ways in which I have switched from using plastic to using glass in my kitchen.

Storing Food In Glass In The Fridge

storing food in glass jars

Preventing food waste isn’t always easy. With the best of intentions sometimes you find something festering away in a tub at the back of the fridge.

I always feel that what lets Tupperware tubs down is that depending on the style of the tub or how tomato-stained your tub is, you can’t always see inside. And out of sight, out of mind – which is not a good thing when it comes to food waste.

Something I have had good success with is storing my food in glass jars. I can easily see the contents of the jars meaning I’m more than likely to use up my food. For added bonus points – glass doesn’t get tomato stained!

Storing Food In Glass In The Freezer

Did you know that you can store food in the freezer in glass jars? Oh yes! You made have heard horror stories about freezing glass, but I have found that if you stick to the four golden rules when it comes to freezing food in glass jars then you can eliminate breakages:

● Do not overfill your jar – always leave around two inches of headspace in your jar. As the contents freeze, they will expand a little, and this method offers room for expansion, helping to avoid breakage. Jars with a wide mouth, rather than bottles, make for a safer choice for freezing.
● Make sure your food is fully cooled before placing it in the freezer.
● When you first put your food in the freezer, sit the lid on your jar loosely.
Once your food is completely frozen, you can then tighten up the lid. If you forget to tighten up the lid (I often do!), then don’t worry, it won’t affect your food.
● Finally, watch how you stack your jars to prevent jars from falling out of the freezer. This won’t be much of a problem if your freezer has drawers.

I don’t buy specific jars for freezing food in – I re-use what I already have. Jars that I have found particularly useful are old peanut butter jars and vegan mayonnaise jars.

Food Storage On The Go

best way to transport soup to work

I could wax lyrical about the joys of soup all day long – it’s such a great way to use up any leftover vegetables looking a bit sad in the drawer of your fridge.

Whilst making soup is easy, transporting soup for an easy homemade lunch at work can be tricky. I’ve had many a Tupperware container or a flask leak my precious soupy cargo over the years.

Through trial and error, I can safely say that what I have had the most success with is transporting my soup in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (not a clip top style jar). Just make sure that the lid is tightly screwed before popping it in your bag, and try not to drop your bag! If you are accident-prone, wrapping a tea towel around your jar can help act as a buffer, and also help you mop up any soupy spills after lunch!

For an added eco bonus, if your work doesn’t have any composting facilities, you can bring any of your food scraps home in your empty jar at the end of the day.

What makes glass a good replacement for plastic Tupperware?

There are six main reasons as to why glass is a good eco-friendly replacement to Tupperware (remember – only once your Tupperware has come to the end of its lifespan):

  1. Unlike plastic, glass has an endless life. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality – it can take just 30 days for your bottle or jar to return as a new bottle or jar to the store shelf.
  2. Unlike other packaging materials, glass packaging is a healthy choice because it needs no chemical layer to protect what it contains, so there is no danger of toxic chemicals, such as BPA, leaching into food and drinks.
  3. Glass preserves the taste of food and drinks perfectly.
  4. Food and drink preserved in glass can help keep food and drink fresher for longer.
  5. Glass is made from three naturally occurring, abundant materials – soda ash, limestone, and sand.
  6. Modern glass bottles and jars are typically up to 40% lighter yet stronger thanks to new manufacturing processes.

Don’t Throw Out Your Old Tupperware Though!

Before you get carried away and start binning your old Tupperware, stop and take a breath. I am a huge proponent of using up what you have – I believe it’s simply not sustainable to throw out plastic items you already have in order to replace them with reusables made from more eco-friendly materials. So I am still using my old plastic Tupperware containers, which will be in active service until they are no longer usable.

When your tubs give up the ghost, I recommend only then replacing them with glass. I have bought two glass tubs, but in the main, I have been using old glass jars as the most sustainable and eco-friendly way to store food.

Are you a fan of glass too? Are you looking to make some of your own plastic-free kitchen swaps? Why not join the Friends of Glass community The Friends of Glass community believes that many families and retailers are unaware of these benefits of glass, and so want to spread the word. You can help by joining the ever-growing number of glass advocates on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter, to help add your voice!