Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Seatallan » May 21st, 2019, 11:38 am

I'm trying to do my bit towards being as green (in the kitchen and elsewhere) as possible but something is bothering me and I wondered if you wise Wildies could offer some advice? I'm puzzling over cause and effect and how you offset one against the other. Here's an example. I absolutely get the thing about purchasing seasonal fruit & veg but I do enjoy a banana every day and therefore buy a bunch of the supermarket 'fair trade' ones every week. I suppose that to save on air miles I should stop buying bananas but if I (and presumably lots of other people) do, what's the knock-on effect on the local economy of the areas that grow/supply the bananas? Would that outweigh the apparent 'green-ness' (for want of a better word) of ceasing to buy the bananas?

I realise this all sounds a bit middle-class dilemma but it's getting to me and I'd welcome your opinions.
Food, Felines and Fells (in no particular order)
User avatar
Seatallan
Registered
 
Posts: 9857
Joined: April 1st, 2010, 3:28 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Ratatouille » May 21st, 2019, 11:59 am

Cooking for those you care about is the most profound expression of love - Anne-Sophie Pic
Ratatouille
Registered
 
Posts: 9076
Joined: August 23rd, 2013, 11:48 am

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 21st, 2019, 11:59 am

I am trying to do my bit too …I have milk delivered from the dairy in the village, only buy British Apples, don't like oranges much but do like blueberries. I too have a couple of bananas a week, usually as a filling snack, but hadn't considered your thought process Seatallan :aww:

I haven't yet gone as far as removing the packaging and leaving it at the check-out but refuse to put loose stuff in plastic bags. I have also sourced a local farm shop that has bought in bulk supplies of liquid cleaners (household and personal) for which you take your own containers. I have started using soap bars in the shower rather than buying stuff in yet more plastic.
No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
User avatar
PatsyMFagan
Registered
 
Posts: 8356
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:27 am
Location: Harefield, Uxbridge

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Seatallan » May 21st, 2019, 12:08 pm

Thanks for the link Rats- that does indeed help on the banana question! I think I can continue to eat my daily banana without worrying I'm destroying the planet in the process.

Patsy, the farm shop sounds brilliant. I must see if there's anything like that around here.
Food, Felines and Fells (in no particular order)
User avatar
Seatallan
Registered
 
Posts: 9857
Joined: April 1st, 2010, 3:28 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Zosherooney » May 21st, 2019, 9:44 pm

On the soap front... Mr. Z. refuses point blank to use anything but bars of soap. I am finding it increasingly difficult to find a decent selection of bars of soap in supermarkets/chemists. I do like moisturising cremes in the shower or bath - hate that feeling of parched skin. He does have an oily skin but I don't so much these days.
User avatar
Zosherooney
Registered
 
Posts: 11689
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 3:04 pm

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby StokeySue » May 21st, 2019, 10:01 pm

It’s not simple
It can use less fuel I believe to import some produce than to produce it locally using heat

And we can’t grow all the food we need on this island, so if bananas are your import of choice, you might as well eat them I think.

Things like soap are a nuisance. Actual soap tends to upset my skin which is dry and grossly over sensitive. At the moment I am using Aveeno baby wash, I use as little as possible and the bottle is recyclable, but not ideal
Sue
User avatar
StokeySue
Registered
 
Posts: 21527
Joined: April 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
Location: Stoke Newington (London)

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby earthmaiden » May 22nd, 2019, 1:04 am

If you look at the foods from overseas that used to be readily available they were all transportable by sea and grown outdoors in warmer climates. Now we (many people really do) expect exotic treats all year round we fall into the realms of air freight and poly greenhouses. I admit I love to be able to have tomatoes all year round. I had a local veg box for a while. They sold mostly things they grew but supplemented it with things like oranges in mid winter. It was a stark reminder of how things used to be.

I am still not happy about things like green beans coming by air from countries with limited water supplies. If we could invest in different industries for those communities they could grow crops for their own use.

Re bottles - I have been using up bars of soap given as gifts. I really hate them having got used to shower gel.

You may have seen a project where large cola bottles are filled with unwanted plastic film wrappings and used as a building material like bricks. You pack your film into the bottles really, really tightly using a piece of dowling or similar, several people I know have started doing it and apparently it takes quite a while to pack a bottle. You then hand them in. I am told that there is somewhere locally which will take them and somewhere in Devizes so there are probably points in most areas.
User avatar
earthmaiden
Registered
 
Posts: 12132
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Wiltshire. UK

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Suelle » May 22nd, 2019, 6:10 am

I think earthmaiden's point about importing vegetables from countries with limited water supplies is a big issue.

Another point is when you look at long term sustainability in farming, to support the growing global population, it may be that organic farming is not a viable option for much longer. Experts in this area are looking at more intensive farming, possibly with genetically modified crops which best suit local conditions.

Cutting down on meat is inevitable for most people, as more food crops need to be grown, but there are large areas of land which are only suited to animal husbandry of one sort or another, so it might be that meat becomes something only the rich can eat.

What annoys me, living in the fens, is the vast amount of good farming land which has been given over to solar 'farms' over the last few years. Yes, we need renewable energy, but does it have to be at the expense of land which should have been growing crops? I think the government subsidies should have been more discriminating on where these systems could be built.

I read somewhere quite recently that up to 25% of land (here in the UK, or globally?) needs to be re-wilded to save bio-diversity. I don't know how this fits in with our food needs.
User avatar
Suelle
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 5627
Joined: March 30th, 2010, 6:19 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby earthmaiden » May 22nd, 2019, 7:44 am

Suelle (and everyone else), I highly recommend reading 'Wilding' by Isabella Tree. I think her project has been well publicised but she and her OOH decided to give up intensive farming and allow the land to look after itself (as far as Sussex neighbours would allow). She explains so well the plight of modern farmers and the history of how they got to the point they are at today.

From a personal viewpoint I do believe we can feed the planet for a good while. Meat has to go back to being a treat, food waste must drop from the current third of all food produced and we should seriously look at things like insects as possible additions to diets. There's so much politics mixed up with it all it won't happen overnight if at all.
User avatar
earthmaiden
Registered
 
Posts: 12132
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Wiltshire. UK

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Seatallan » May 22nd, 2019, 8:38 am

EM I shall look out for that. It sounds like it would be well worth a read. On the insect thing, there was an interesting and well-balanced article about the pros and cons on the BBC News website the other day:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48259397

Suelle, interesting point about organic farming.
Food, Felines and Fells (in no particular order)
User avatar
Seatallan
Registered
 
Posts: 9857
Joined: April 1st, 2010, 3:28 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby cyprusmoira » May 22nd, 2019, 8:52 am

We are lucky we can get locally grown fruit and vegetables throughout the year, including bananas but supplies get a little scarce in July and August. Cypriot potatoes have always been exported,
Interestingly the local agronomists have realised that they can grow and export a much larger variety of fruit and veg, new pomegranate orchards are being planted, unlikely things such as dragon fruit are being grown, it is a cactus fruit.
These days people are encouraged to follow a Mediterranean diet, some of the local population consider that a sign of poverty and eat large quantities of meat. Although they descend on the coast on Sundays to eat fish, most of which is imported.

The thing that really worries me is dried beans, I recently bought some dried haricot type beans, they were grown in Argentina. We are given to understand that South American rain forest is being destroyed to grow soya, both for human and cattle consumption. The Cypriot favourite, dried broad beans come from Egypt, fresh are usually local.
Where does the wheat for bread come from ? Not from this island although they do grow barley for animal feed

There solar power farms, mostly on scrub land, there should be more but the wind farm lobby had more political support.
When life gives you lemons, make sorbet
cyprusmoira
Registered
 
Posts: 11968
Joined: January 1st, 2010, 7:34 am
Location: Souni, Cyprus

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby StokeySue » May 22nd, 2019, 9:16 am

Some people actually call those white beans Argentine beans

The wonderfully named Hodmedods supply UK grown pulses and recipes

https://hodmedods.co.uk/
Sue
User avatar
StokeySue
Registered
 
Posts: 21527
Joined: April 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
Location: Stoke Newington (London)

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby StokeySue » May 22nd, 2019, 9:16 am

Some people actually call those white beans Argentine beans

The wonderfully named Hodmedods supply UK grown pulses and recipes

https://hodmedods.co.uk/
Sue
User avatar
StokeySue
Registered
 
Posts: 21527
Joined: April 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
Location: Stoke Newington (London)

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Herbidacious » June 4th, 2019, 9:11 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48498346

Well this should bring Waitrose prices down inline with other shops' :)
User avatar
Herbidacious
Registered
 
Posts: 6625
Joined: August 11th, 2012, 2:48 pm
Location: South East London, and occasionally Normandy

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby suffolk » June 4th, 2019, 9:25 am

Now that’s a move I’d really welcome :tu:

The refillable bottles etc as well as the lower prices ... although tbh their Essentials range pricing is pretty good ... it’s just that there’s lots of tempting goodies that aren’t ‘essentials’ :oops:
“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
User avatar
suffolk
Registered
 
Posts: 40068
Joined: August 11th, 2010, 6:47 am
Location: East Anglia, surprisingly!

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby earthmaiden » June 4th, 2019, 11:20 am

Great they're trialling it. Lots of supermarkets in the USA do it (but possibly not with 'own' receptacles) and Whole Foods here did so hopefully they can get round possible turnover and theft issues. I shop carefully in Waitrose quite a lot now, there are always so many rtc items there is no need to buy full price ever if you are prepared to take pot luck. Mind you, you still need to consider the reduced price sometimes! I can't help thinking that their ordering is rather poorly done but it suits me!
User avatar
earthmaiden
Registered
 
Posts: 12132
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Wiltshire. UK

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Herbidacious » June 4th, 2019, 11:40 am

That is true, Suffs.

I was going to say that some everyday (not own brand) things are more expensive, but comparing with Sainsbury's, actually, maybe not. Apart from cat food. That is more expensive.

I am very fed up with my local Sainsbury's. Empty shelves. Magazines that are two months out of date if they have them etc. But Waitrose doesn't quite have the range I want (and the (other) customers are rude and horrible ;) )

sorry crossed posts EM.
User avatar
Herbidacious
Registered
 
Posts: 6625
Joined: August 11th, 2012, 2:48 pm
Location: South East London, and occasionally Normandy

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby Ratatouille » June 4th, 2019, 12:18 pm

We have a section like that in our local Leclerc - with reusuable paper bags where appropriate.
Cooking for those you care about is the most profound expression of love - Anne-Sophie Pic
Ratatouille
Registered
 
Posts: 9076
Joined: August 23rd, 2013, 11:48 am

Re: Sustainability, carbon footprint etc- advice

Postby KC2 » June 4th, 2019, 3:03 pm

StokeySue wrote:Some people actually call those white beans Argentine beans

The wonderfully named Hodmedods supply UK grown pulses and recipes

https://hodmedods.co.uk/


What an interesting link, Sue, some great recipes too. Thx! :tu:
KC2
Registered
 
Posts: 1123
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:38 pm
Location: West London


Return to The Coffee Shop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 50 guests