Hi and welcome back.
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the start of Summer. To me, summer is all about picnics, BBQ and getting outside with friends and family. Earlier this year, the documentary by David Attenbrough aired highlighting the need for change to protect our environment. I have written other blog posts on this topic such as my No Meat May Challenge , my No Spend Challenge and How I am trying to be More Eco-Friendly this Spring so feel free to check them out if you are interested. The documentary really hit me hard and since then, I have been trying to reduce the impact I am having on the environment. I have listened to a lot of podcasts, watched a lot of YouTube videos and read lots of blogs on the subject. However, I feel that sometimes they are not always appropriate for the coeliac. So I thought I would shaare How I am Trying to Use Less Waste as a Coeliac to help you give inspiration. I hope you enjoy. C. x-
1. Baking my own gluten free cakes and treats
One thing I realised quite quickly when I started to try and improve my impact on the environment and use less waste, was a lot of pre-made gluten free cakes and sweet treats come in a LOT of packaging. It is there to protect us from the cross-contamination that will no doubt occur if our food was left with minimal packaging but for me, I am trying to create less waste so I felt a bit stuck. I can hold my hand up and admit that while I keep to a meal plan most of the time, I get suckered in by the Free From Aisle a lot so always end up buying cakes and treats. I know the simple answer is to simply not indulge in sweet treats, but I can never seem to stick to this. Instead, I have tried to create less waste by investing in silcone cake cases and baking from scratch. Recipes I love to cook that use less waste are my: Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf or my Vanilla Traybake. These recipes use less waste and with the banana loaf, I am also using fruit that otherwise could have ended up in landfill.
2. Bringing my own re-usable cutlery
I have found this is a big way I can reduce my waste as a coeliac. Since the weather is supposed to be getting warmer, as I write this it is currently pouring with rain outside and feeling more like mid-September than the beginning of June, I am hoping to find lots of gluten free ice cream to enjoy on my visits out. One thing I learnt quite quickly is that the chances of finding a gluten free ice cream cone is sadly not likely. Instead, we can often be served our ice cream in a tub. I struggle with this with the amount of waste it uses but not as much as the disposable cutlery – at least the tub can be recycled! I have started taking a set of re-usable cutlery with me when I am out and about. It is perfect for the mid-afternoon snack of an ice cream! I am hoping to purchase re-usable straws too to help reduce my waste too. The best part of bringing your own cutlery is you know it hasn’t been cross-contaminated- win in my book.
3. Bringing my own lunch
Now this one sort of follows on from point number 1; a lot of pre-made food comes in excess packaging. To save money, I have been bringing my own lunch to work for a while now (that and I would much rather spend my lunch break curled up with a book than try and hunt for gluten free food again). I am trying to also use less waste by replacing my well-worn and broken lunch box with a bamboo alternative as well as using re-usable cloth napkins to wrap my food in as opposed to plastic bags. I find my food stays fresh and I don’t have to worry about the plastic bag becoming too worn after a few uses and then having to discard it.
4. Only buying items when I run out of them
When I was at the height of my shopping addiction, I would often find myself buying items, such as shampoo, conditioner and even packets of tinned food, when I still had plenty at home. I would always try to justify it to myself by saying “at least I won’t need to buy this for a while” except I would always re-purchase it 2 weeks later again – long before I needed to. One big thing I realised when I moved into my parents house during our move to be closer to family (you can read the story here) was I have a lot of excess products and food. I have decided to set myself the challenge this month of not buying any new items unless I have completely finished the last product. Do you know what? I have so far finished 2 bottles of face cream (don’t ask why I even had 2 on the go at the same time), 2 boxes of gluten free biscuits and 3 disposable face masks and not felt the need to re-purchase them. The lesson I learnt; most of the time I won’t miss this item if I run out.
5. Shopping second-hand
This point isn’t related to food but very important in how I am trying to use less waste. You can read my blog post on how I am trying to be more eco-friendly if you would like further information but this is a big thing I am trying to introduce to my spending habits. I am now a recovering shopaholic but I want to consume less in general. I was watching Influencers such as Madeline Olivia and Sedona Christina last month who provide tips on how to shop in a more sustainable way. I became interested so soon found myself heading to my local charity stores. I found an amazing pair of jeans (which I had been hunting for about 2 years) in such good quality I couldn’t resist. If you are trying to have less of an impact on the environment and consume less, I would highly recommend shopping second hand. It gave me the thrill of shopping (looking around the store) without feeling the need to go overboard.
There you go! The top 5 ways I am trying to produce less waste as a coeliac. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Let me know if you have any other tips to reduce waste as a coeliac. Newsletter now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss any future blog posts.