Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day, Every Day

The disastrous effect that we have had on our planet in the last century is too depressing to think about. There are so many issues: from the threat to animals, to cutting down forests, to that hole in the ozone layer, to chronic illnesses caused from processed foods, to landfills... It's going to take a long, long time before we can fix any damage done. It seems like so many people don't realize, or are slowly-gaining consciousness, that how we live – what we eat, where our food comes from and/or how a product is made, and what packaging its in – really does make a difference to the global ecological footprint. How much do you consume?

I'm pretty conscious about trying to cut down waste. For the longest time, I always bring reusable shopping bags everywhere, especially when food shopping. It was a great feeling when the day came that there were no plastic bags in the house! Nowadays, most supermarkets have a selection of branded reusable bags to purchase for a nominal price, and give a "go green" refund off your transaction for each bag you bring for your food shopping. Shops like IKEA are great, because there are no plastic bags! In Hong Kong, a plastic bag levy was introduced a few years ago. Major supermarkets and chain stores charge HK 50¢ (US 6¢) for each disposable plastic bag. (The levy is paid to the government to protect the environment). It's a success in that disposable plastic bag usage has dropped, and many people are carrying their own bags. Just make sure to wash them once in awhile.

• Cadbury's tin for baked goodies
• Double decker bus tin – formerly 
  a cookie tin, now stores bread
• Trusty packed-lunch essentials: 
  water bottle, insulated thermos 
  and snack container 
Those single-use bottles of water you buy, especially those kid-sized ones, also cause a massive amount of waste. We do our best to use reusable BPA-free water bottles all the time. But with leftovers, I found myself using a lot of cling film/ plastic wrap to keep everything fresh. Although we re-use those plastic take-out containers, they tend to disappear, so I thought it would be a good time to invest in some glass food containers to keep those little bits. I'm not a fan of plastic food containers, and these are great so you can reheat food without having transfer to bowl or plate. Very handy!

Porridge, stew, rice (for a fried rice!), cauliflower soup, fruit and veggies.

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