Author: Anthea Cheng
Minimalism, zero waste and veganism are all hot topics these days. This coincides with our increased attention on all things climate change, sustainability and saving our planet. Anthea Cheng, from Rainbow Nourishments, who happens to share genuine mouth-watering Vegan recipes, shares some of her top tips on minimizing waste. She asserts that minimalism, zero waste and veganism are more than a fashionable trend, rather a necessary long-term lifestyle change that we, quite frankly, have little choice in making.
Tip 1. Adopt a plant-based diet lifestyle, here’s why:
Did you know that a study conducted at the University of Oxford reported that cutting meat and dairy products from one’s diet can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 73 percent? The animal farming industry as a whole creates more greenhouse gas emissions than those producing plant-based proteins, vegetables and fruits combined.
There have been many studies on the impact of a vegan lifestyle on the environment, which I encourage you to research for yourself. Plus, as a vegan, you can enjoy an abundance of delicious food and natural sweets.
Tip 2. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s also good for your health:
Processed and convenience foods often come in packaging which has gone through a long handling and factory process before it meets your eye. These can be simply replaced by eating more fruits and vegetables, that are free of plastic and excess packaging. Preparing snacks and treats at home enables us to tailor our meal to our taste buds as well as minimising avoidable single-use waste.
There are inevitable times where we need to grab a quick snack to-go when busy or hangry, but if we don’t prepare snacks in advance it’s easy to more processed foods than necessary. At home it is easy to incorporate more fresh foods into your lifestyle with the rise of the Buddha Bowl, you can throw in whatever you have in your fridge.
Tip 3. The key to minimizing waste is to compost your food waste, it’s easier than you may think:
When we throw food away in our bins, the waste is transported many miles to a designated disposal location. This transportation alone uses fossil fuels which have taken millions of years to produce. To avoid this additional carbon load instantaneously, you can create a compost in your backyard so the nutrients from your scraps can go back into the earth. It’s a simple way that every individual can contribute to the full circle of life.
If you live in an apartment and are still considering an indoor compost system, save your scraps in your freezer or in a lidded container until you have access to a friend or family’s compost to contribute to their life cycle. This way, instead of going straight to the bin, you are minimizing waste by turning those food scraps into a rich soil. When your food scraps have degraded, you can add the compost to pot plants or return it to the earth creating more abundant resources for the planet.
Tip 4. When you go to festivals, bring reusable crockery, straws and bowls with you. Thankfully, it’s now cool:
Zero-waste does not mean you should have a ‘zero life’, so keep going to the festivals and farmers markets that you love! Just be aware that the food is often served in plastic which is far from optimal for the environment. If you don’t recycle plastic, it will likely stay on the Earth for longer than the span of your life. That is, if it is recyclable at all. Unfortunately, we now know that it is just as likely to end up in our precious oceans.
To side-step from the avoidable single-use plastic, the only option is to be prepared by packing your reusable containers, a mug, your Coconut Bowls and Bamboo Straws so that you can go out with a clear conscience and be the change that you wish to see, enjoying life in a sustainable way.
We hope that this article inspires you to take on the challenge and care for our planet. After all, we only have one Earth. Minimizing waste might be an entirely new lifestyle for you but with small steps in the right direction, we can start to make positive changes so that we can all contribute to make our planet a better home; a healthier and more sustainable place for generations to come.
To learn more about Anthea: Rainbow Nourishments