Three Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Impact. Hello everyone I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Louise Palmer-Masterton, the founder of multiple award-winning, plant-based restaurants Stem & Glory. Louise will be sharing three ways to reduce your carbon impact.
Three Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Impact
It’s not just David Attenborough who is worried about our stewardship of the planet and its resources. A recent YouGov poll found that 56% of people back the total decarbonisation of the UK economy by 2030. It seems we are all in the mood for urgent and radical change. And the good news is that as consumers we have the power to bring about change.
But where do we start? Here are three easy wins that make a big difference:
Reduce Consumption And Reduce Waste
Get yourself a lunch box and a reusable cup and take it everywhere with you instead of using single-use items. Use the lunchbox to take your own lunch, but also carry an empty lunchbox – restaurants and cafes are often very happy to fill your box rather than a take-away box, and it’s very handy to take restaurant leftovers. It’s surprising how quickly you can wean yourself off single-use, so it becomes a very occasional, rather than daily, habit.
The fastest way to bring about collective change is via our demands as a consumer. If we buy products in paper, card, glass and aluminium and shun products in plastic, this will drive the market.
When you are shopping, ask yourself these three questions every time you pick up something:
- Do I really need this?
- Where was this made?
- What happens to this when I no longer need/want it (in the case of food, what happens to the packaging)?
Base your purchasing decisions on your answers to these questions. It’s not about being 100% perfect, but in this way, you can train yourself into better buying habits, and it’s amazing how fast this process can change your mindset.
Move to a 100% Renewable Energy Tariff
The most significant step anyone can take, both in their home or business is to move your energy supply to a 100% renewable tariff. If you combine this move with energy-saving actions, such as LED lights, and energy-saving devices, the increased cost of these tariffs can be offset by behaviour change.
Don’t underestimate the power of many small actions combined to make a significant difference. For example, if the oven is on, utilise it to cook more food than just one meal on one shelf. You can retrain your mind to question if every single energy use is necessary.
Eat More Plants And Eat Seasonally
The sheer variety of produce we can get year-round is amazing, but as we are starting to realise, very unsustainable. Market forces have driven these unsustainable import and export practices. Whilst it is true that simply by being vegan you will lower your emissions, not all vegetables are equal. It’s important to understand the cycle of the seasons and eat veg in harmony with that. Imported food isn’t always bad, but the mode of transport is important. Slow is good, fast is bad. So, if something is not in season here, and it has a short shelf life, 100% it will have been flown here – so best to avoid it.
Plant-based, Low carbon, Recipe
Here is a delicious, plant-based, low carbon, recipe using UK grown produce, to get you started:
Yellow Pea Hummus
Hummus is one of the nation’s best-loved dips, but chickpeas do not grow very well in our climate, so they are nearly all imported. The good news is British yellow peas grow amazingly well here, they make fantastic hummus, and they are even more nutritious than chickpeas. They also blend a lot better, which is one of the main reasons I never made chickpea hummus at home – I just couldn’t get that whipped consistency with chickpeas. The yellow peas do it perfectly though. Making a pot of this every week instead of buying plastic and cardboard wrapped deli pots from the supermarket, will instantly improve your sustainable credentials.
- 250 grams cooked whole British yellow peas (buy from Hodmedods, soak for 5 hours, drain and cover with fresh water and boil for 45 mins, drain and retain the drained water)
- 60 ml lemon juice
- 60 ml tahini
- 1 small garlic clove
- 30 ml British oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Salt to taste (start with ½ tsp)
- 50 to 90 ml pea cooking water
Add the first 7 ingredients to a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Then with the blender still turning, add 50ml of the pea water slowly. Blend until very smooth.
There are of course big changes that need to happen on a global scale, and science is very much at the start of its journey towards cleantech and carbon capture. But as individuals, we exert huge influence as consumers and by questioning all our own personal habits. A green future has to be driven by individual responsibility, and commitment by all. It’s not going to win over everyone, but we can make it our personal mission.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning, plant-based restaurants Stem & Glory. With established sites in London and Cambridge, and a third site planned for London’s Broadgate in 2022, Stem & Glory offers eat-in, click-and-collect and local delivery, as well as a well-stocked vegan bar. Stem & Glory is also the first UK restaurant to pledge to be carbon negative by end of 2021 and was recently celebrated as one of the UK Government‘s Heroes of Net Zero’ at a COP26 awards ceremony. www.stemandglory.uk