what to do with your christmas leftovers

In collaboration with Bloom In Doom Magazine

Would it surprise you to hear that some of the most wasted Christmas foods are actually potatoes and vegetables? According to Good To Knows 2019 article ‘ The 10 most wasted Christmas foods and how to use them’, 9 million carrots, 11.3 million potatoes, 10.9 million parsnips, and 9.8 million cups of gravy are thrown away at Christmastime. In all, this adds up to approximately 4.2 million Christmas dinners. That’s roughly one Christmas dinner for every person in New Zealand. As covered in our Sustainability Series article on Food, food waste sent to landfill produces huge amounts of harmful gases, such as methane, which are all released into the Earth’s atmosphere. This, as a result, is a leading contributor to global warming.

So, what can we do to reduce our food waste over the holidays?

Today, I am sharing with you possibly the simplest way to use up your Christmas leftovers, and all you’re going to need is a roll of pastry. Over the years, I’ve played around a lot with different ways of using up my Christmas dinner leftovers, but this year we’re making a winter classic – pie. Pies are a winter staple in my house, and this Christmas Leftovers Pie is the easiest solution to reducing your food waste this holiday season.

In this pie, I’m using a mixture of my typical Christmas dinner leftovers: mashed turnips, steamed carrots and kale, roasted parsnips, roasted potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, and vegetable gravy. These foods are what we usually have going spare after Christmas dinner, excluding all of the non-vegan products that other members of my family consume. You can use whatever leftovers you may have when you make this pie, it really is as simple and versatile as you can make it.

The only ingredients that you’re definitely going to need are gravy and short crust or puff pastry. For this recipe, I simply purchased some short crust pastry from the supermarket, because I know that when those days straight after Christmas come around, I’m not going to have the time to make a fresh batch of pastry dough myself.

To make this pie, I grabbed myself a large pie dish and preheated my oven to 180°C. Into the bottom of the pie dish, I added the mashed turnips. I’ve tried this recipe a few times now, and I fully recommend adding a soft/spreadable base layer first – this could be mashed potatoes, mashed vegetables, even something like bread sauce, etc. You want something that’s going to coat the entire base of the dish, to hold in all of the gravy and create a nice thick sauce.

Next, you’re going to want to add some larger foods. I added my leftover veggies here (steamed carrots and kale) to add a splash of colour. It’s not essential, but the pie sure does look a lot prettier when you try to create different layers throughout the filling. After this, I piled on my leftover roasted parsnips and potatoes (not without sampling a couple of them first, of course…). I also recommend that you vary the different textures in your pie. Instead of adding, for example, all boiled or steamed vegetables, add in some roasted foods too. That way it really feels like you’re enjoying another Christmas dinner, even though its leftovers.

In olden times, pies contained something called forcemeat, used when meat was not available or not enough, and would be placed directly underneath the crust of the pie. In this recipe, instead of forcemeat, I’m using leftover sage and onion stuffing to create another layer to the pie, and another depth of flavour. Adding stuffing to your pie creates a richer flavour and I’ve found that its much more satiating. On top of the potatoes, I spooned on stuffing and leftover cranberry sauce to cut through all those heavy flavours.

The final step to making the filling is the gravy. In this recipe, we’re not really making a sauce, as such, but rather using leftover gravy to create a sauce on its own. Pour over your gravy (I used vegetable gravy) into the pie dish until its just level with the top of your filling. You don’t want the gravy to cover the filling too much, otherwise you’ll end up with a really soggy bottom to your pastry.

The last thing you need to do now is grab your pastry and (if not already rolled) roll it out until its 1/2 cm thick. Wet the edges of the pie dish and lay the pastry over the top before trimming the excess pastry off of the edges and crimping it so that it sticks to the dish. As photographed, you can see that I also added some decorative pastry holly leaves and berries. You could do something similar if you wanted, and I find it really adds an extra level of detail to the pie. Brush your pastry with a little plant milk before baking in the oven for 50 minutes.

You should end up with a lovely golden brown pastry on the top, and all of the flavours of Christmas in the filling. I’ve made this pie a few times now, and it really is a hit. It’s such a quick and easy way to use up the majority of your Christmas leftovers too. Serve this up on Boxing Day or the days leading up to the New Year for a festive and simple dinner for the whole family.

Well, there you have it folks! The simplest way to reduce your holiday food waste – Christmas Leftovers Pie. I hope this recipe gives you the inspiration to try and reduce as much food waste as possible this holiday season and I can’t wait to see all of your Christmas leftover pies too! If you make this recipe, make sure you leave a like and a comment down below! I absolutely love hearing from you guys and you can be sure that I will try my best to get back to you soon! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @amongsttheflour I love seeing the photos of recipes you’ve all made! Have a joyous and merry winter and a very happy holidays! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Katherine x

Shop Our Latest Ebook

A Simple Christmas is a collection of vegan recipes for the holiday season. This e-book is full of rich, warming, and simple foods to help you enjoy Christmas in a kind and stress-free way.

In 70+ pages, Katherine shares with you her favourite recipes to celebrate the yule tide and all of its flavours. This e-book takes your average recipe book and gives it a vegan twist, with a multitude of recipes ranging from traditional Christmas favourites to new seasonal dishes. You can look forward to simple and delicious recipes such as: Cosy Gingerbread Waffles, Frozen Berry Cinnamon Rolls, Winter Vegetable Wellington, Stollen for Snowy Days, and so much more!

Christmas Leftovers Pie

You will need:

  • Your choice of christmas leftovers
  • Gravy
  • Short crust or puff pastry

For this recipe, there really isn’t a specific set of ingredients. All you’re going to need are some Christmas leftovers, gravy, and some short crust or puff pastry (I even suggest buying some pastry from the supermarket just to make this dish as simple as possible). In this recipe, I’m using:

  • mashed turnips
  • steamed carrots
  • steamed kale
  • roast parsnips
  • roast potatoes
  • sage and onion stuffing
  • cranberry sauce
  • vegetable gravy
  • short crust pastry


  1. Gather together your christmas leftovers and grab yourself a large ceramic pie dish. If you’re using store bought pastry, make sure you leave it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so before using it. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Into the bottom of your pie dish, add your first choice of leftovers. I suggest using a mashed vegetable or thick sauce e.g. bread sauce for the bottom layer, to hold all of the gravy in the middle of the pie and prevent it all from sinking to the bottom.
  3. Add in your next layer of leftovers on top of this. I added carrots and kale next in order to vary the colour of the layers in the pie. Keep adding your leftovers until you’ve reached the top of the pie dish. After the carrots, I added the roasted vegetables – parsnips and potatoes.
  4. Onto the top of the pie, spoon on leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce (or similar) and then pour the gravy into all the cracks and crevices in order to create a sauce. Pat down the fillings until they lie smoothly on the top.
  5. Roll out your pastry until it is ½ cm thick. Run some water around the rim of the pie dish to help the pastry to stick. Place the pastry over the top of the pie dish. Trim the edges of the pastry to fit to the edge of the pie dish. Seal the edges of the pie to the dish using a fork and pierce the middle of the pastry to prevent it from ballooning.
  6. Brush the pastry with some plant milk before placing in the oven and baking for 50 minutes until hot through and golden brown on the top. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and leave to stand for 5 minutes before slicing into portions of 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are). Enjoy!

Become A Part Of The Family

Get the latest recipes right here, right now, when you subscribe.

Happening On Instagram


sustainability series: gardening

How to develop more environmentally friendly gardening methods.

It is the beginning of gardening season now and so we decided to round off our Sustainability Series by talking all about sustainable gardening. The importance of growing your own food has really come to a lot of people’s attention over this past year, and whilst it is better to grow your own food, many people don’t realise the impacts that their gardening habits might have on the environment.

I’m extremely lucky to have a garden to plant a lot of my own foods, along with a family knowledgeable about gardening and doing so sustainably. Passing down what we know from generation to generation, and it’s truly magical. My mum has taught me everything I know about gardening, just as her dad taught her. And now I feel as though it’s my turn. In this case, I will be passing down my knowledge of sustainable gardening, rather than the skills of gardening themselves.

Sustainably gardening practices are just as important as all the other topics we have covered in our Sustainability Series, particularly since more and more people are beginning to grow their own food. Today, we are going to be covering some basics, things that I do everyday and don’t even think about, to ensure my fingers, footprint, and garden are as green as they can be.

In this blog post I’m going to give you some basic tips and hopefully raise your awareness of the importance of these simple swaps, and hopefully what to watch out for. The areas I’m going to be covering today should be applicable to everyone, no matter where you may live. I live in the English countryside, where the winters tend to linger even after the flowers have bloomed. The resources and method available to me here might not be the same for you, but I’m hoping that this article will help the majority of you!

Let’s start by talking about compost.

Did you know that approximately half of the food waste that ends up in landfill can actually be composted? You can do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by composting your food scraps. It’s as simple as that! If you don’t have a compost bin, I recommend getting one (they’re very easy to get ahold of). Composting saves you money, resources, improves your garden soil, and reduces your impact on the environment. Reducing the amount of food waste that gets sent to landfill even a little bit will help to reduce the amount of emissions.

Learn more about food waste and how it damages the environment by reading our Sustainability Series: Food article.

This leads nicely onto the topic of growing organically.

By this I mean not using chemical fertilisers or pesticides on the crops you grow in your garden (as well as the compost and soil you may need to buy). Manmade chemical fertilisers and pesticides are harmful not only to the food you’re growing, but also to the soil and insects that cause and help your food to grow. On top of all that, the production of these substances releases a lot of harmful emissions into the atmosphere, contributing on a major scale to air pollution.

Organic gardening and farming practises enhance the life of the soil, its natural fertility, and its water quality. By growing organically, you’re helping your garden’s soil to stay healthy and nutrient rich (meaning you’ll reap better crops), you’re helping the bees and insects (vital pollinators) to thrive and continue pollinating our food. On top of all that, you’re also reducing the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Seriously, it’s such an easy step to take!

Another easy step to take is conserving your water.

We take water for granted. Water is essential for life, but only 1% of the Earth’s water is usable for us. Out of this 1%, only half of it is freshwater. Already, water supplies are being outweighed by demand, and if this continues, we could be suffering from water deficiency by 2050.

To conserve your water consumption, you can:

  • Hand water your garden instead of using a sprinkler or automatic watering system.
  • Use a water butt to collect rain water to use in the garden.
  • Grow crops in compatible soil, so you don’t need to water them as often.
  • Don’t water your garden with drinking water (grey water will do fine).
  • Grow native plants (see below for more).
  • Don’t water your lawn… there’s literally no need (environment over aesthetics).

Speaking of lawns…

I have more than one tip when it comes to your lawn. First of all, keep your weeds! Weeds (or just non-grass plants) shield the soil, insects, and microorganisms from the sun. Weed roots also stabilise the soil and provide sustenance for insects. Weeds that flower are really good for bees e.g., clover and dandelions. All of this and so many other reasons! A lawn of wildflowers, moss, and so-called weeds can be far more valuable to your garden than a pristine grass one.

Another pet-hate of mine is the obsession with freshly mown lawns. You do NOT need to cut your grass as much as you are. Cutting your grass too often leaves nothing for bees and insects to feed on. Weeds and wildflowers grow in your lawn, as I’ve explained, and the critters responsible for keeping your garden healthy need these! Not only this, but lawn mowers also release harmful emissions, or need fuel to power them, which also releases harmful gases and contributes to air pollution.

Another way to reduce emissions is to buy peat-free!

Peat is a natural substance made of partially composted mosses and plants in waterlogged, acidic bogs. Peat takes a really long time to form (thousands of years). Peat bogs (in the UK) can be seen as the equivalent of rainforests. They absorb and store so much carbon (THIS IS GOOD) and provide important habitats for plants, insects, and wildlife. Using peated soil, peated compost, or peat plant pots, drains these bogs and releases the stored carbon into the atmosphere. This contributes to global warming. You’re also destroying the home of vital insects and plants. The simple solution? Go peat-free. Fiercely avoid any and every peated products.

But which plant pots can I use instead of peat ones?

Biodegradable ones of course! Biodegradable plant pots produce no waste, and the pots themselves are made using renewable and sustainable raw materials. You can also use things such as empty egg boxes (this is what I’m currently growing my tomatoes in). Roots are distributed naturally and you don’t have to remove delicate plants from their pots before planting out.

If you’ve already got plant pots, made of plastic for example, simply reuse them! We’ve got plant pots in the greenhouse that’ve seen many springs and summers. They last for a long time, and as long as they’re not damaged, they’re good enough to use (I wouldn’t make a habit of buying them over biodegradable ones though, as the production and usage of plastic is still bad for the environment).

Now let’s talk about the plants themselves.

Something that has come to my attention recently is the importance of native plants in my garden. For ages I wanted to grow flowers that weren’t native to my country, but what I didn’t know is that butterflies, moths, and bees are dependent on native plants. They provide nectar for pollinators and the native nuts, seeds, and fruits produced by native plants offer essential foods. Other benefits of native plants include water conservation, reduced emissions via transportation (as they are locally sourced), and reduced risk of disease. Choosing native plants in a variety of shapes and colours encourages bees and diversity.

As well as native plants, grow bee-friendly ones!

Without bees we will have no food, no plants, no air. One of the easiest ways to help bees in your garden is to plant the flowers that they love. Bees favour a wide range of plants including foxgloves, lavender, heather, clover, and many more (these flowers are UK specific, mind). Planting native wildflowers (in the UK this includes poppies, cornflowers, and bluebells to name a few) will also provide the bees with food.

And that concludes today’s article, and our Sustainability Series!

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn more about sustainable gardening and how you can change your methods to create a healthier garden. I hope that this article was useful for you and provided you with valuable information to consider.

Before we end, let’s remind ourselves of how we can garden more sustainably:

  • Compost your food scraps
  • Grow organically
  • Conserve your water
  • Keep your weeds
  • Cut your grass less
  • Go peat free
  • Use biodegradable plant pots
  • Reuse your plastic pots
  • Buy native plants
  • Buy bee-friendly plants

I hope that you take these simple tips into consideration the next time you venture out into the garden. Thank you for joining us on our final Sustainability Series article and we look forward to seeing you again soon! Let us know whether you would want another series like this (how about one on seasonal eating/living?) Don’t hesitate to contact us!

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, leave a like, comment, and share with a friend! To keep up with us and see more of what we’re up to, follow us on Instagram for the latest content, tips, and more! Until next time,

Katherine x


Sustainability Series: Food

Sustainability Series: Shopping Habits

Sustainability Series: Green Energy

Sustainability Series: Laundry

Happening On Instagram

Amongst The Flour

Welcome to Amongst The Flour, a platform for fellow foodies to explore the world of seasonal eating and plant based recipes. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of dishes inspired by the people and places we love – and some good old favourites! We’re all about simplicity, flexibility, and sustainability. Whatever you’re craving, we’ve got a recipe for you!

Invested in creating and developing our recipes sustainably, we only ever use organic and in season produce (meaning that all of our recipes are seasonal too). Look forward to plenty of abundacnce in the summer, preserving in the autumn, soulful and warming dishes in the winter, and everything else in between. We love all things whole, organic, and plant based.

Balance, with a little (a lot) sweet on the side. Whatever you’re hungry for today, check out our recipes now – we’re certain your tummy will be rumbling. We hope you love our recipes as much as we do! If recipes aren’t what you’re looking for right now, and you’re wanting to learn more about sustainability, the importance of organic, or seasonal eating, we’ve got you covered with our articles.

If there’s anything specific that you want us to make or write about, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll see what we can do! The same goes for any questions you may have! We’re always ready to give you an answer, open to suggestions, you name it! Don’t want to ask us a question but want to see more of what we’re up to? Give us a follow on Instagram where we share loads of photos and stories – recipe related or not! Join the family, you’re more than welcome to stick around!

And of course, alongside all of these recipes, articles, and photographs, we’ve also got ebooks for you too! Hop on down to our shop and have a browse. Our latest ebook ‘A Simple Christmas’ is the current favourite, and we’re sure you’ll love it too! Don’t worry, it’s got recipes for autumn and the whole of winter in it too – all plant based, all seasonal, all delicious! Not your thing? Don’t worry, we’re currently working on another ebook! Watch this space!

Thank you so much for joining us here today at Amongst The Flour. We hope you find every yummy thing you’re looking for, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. Until next time,

Katherine x

Learn more about Amongst The Flour and what we do here by visiting our about page – meet Katherine and get to know what we’re all about. We hope you join our community! Get the very latest recipes and articles right here, right now, when you subscribe! Enter your email down below and become one of the family. We’re so glad you’re here.

Happening On Instagram

sustainability series: laundry

The dirty side of cleaning your clothes and how to develop a sustainable laundry rhythm.

For this week’s Sustainability Series article we are going to be discussing laundry.

Laundry is something that everyone does and has to do, which makes it all the more important to talk about. Did you know that the average household uses 13,500 gallons of water a year just by doing laundry? That’s a lot of water and to be honest, most of it is going to waste. The majority of households do laundry too much and wash clothes unnecessarily. For example, that sweater you wore once this week doesn’t need to go in the wash basket.

I am writing this article today to raise your awareness on what bad habits you might have gotten into when it comes to your laundry routine, their impact on the environment, and what you can do to change them. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

The dirty side of cleaning your clothes.

Doing your laundry can have several different negative impacts on the environment, and today we are going to be discussing the biggest contributors.

Firstly, let’s talk about the appliances that do all the work. The washing machine. Using a washing machine and a dryer contribute significantly to your carbon footprint. Did you know that washing and drying a 5kg load of laundry even just once a week releases approximately 130kg of carbon dioxide per year?! You can reduce this amount significantly just by not using your dryer – for a typical 40˚C wash, 75% of that carbon dioxide comes from the drying phase of your wash cycle.

And it’s not just the machine, the water contributes too. Washing in hot water or too much water has significant effects on your carbon footprint and your bills. 90% of the energy consumed per load is used to heat up the water for your wash. This energy usage will only increase over time, as your washing machine needs more energy to work properly the older it gets. Keeping your washing machine clean and swapping to a front-loading machine can save up to 7,000 gallons of water a year (your wallet will thank you for this too).

Now let’s think about what we are washing. The majority of the clothes that you’re washing are made from synthetic fibres such as nylon and acrylic. These synthetic substances, along with other microfibres, are being found on shorelines across the globe. Synthetic fibres from your laundry make up approximately 85% of all man-made substances found on these shorelines. When these fibres break down, they release toxic chemicals into the sea water, harming not only the water but everything that lives in it.

These harmful chemicals come from your detergent too. What you use to wash your clothes is doing more harm than good. Laundry soaps and fabric softeners are just not environmentally friendly. Substances such as enzymes, bleaches, perfumes, and colourants are released into the water supply with each use. These substances get washed into the sewage system and sometimes even the groundwater, damaging surrounding plant life and sometimes even the water we use for drinking.

So now you may be thinking ‘what can I do to change this?’. Let’s take a look at the following tips to find out.

Developing a sustainable laundry rhythm.

There are multiple ways in which you can improve your laundry habits to help the environment. Today, we are going to take a look at the simplest and most affordable changes (most of these will even SAVE you money).

The simplest change to make is to simply do laundry less. A lot of the clothes you wear each week don’t need to be washed as often as you think. The only clothes you really need to wash after a single use are your intimates and your socks, maybe your workout gear if it really stinks. Other clothes such as sweaters, jeans, shirts, pajamas, even bras, don’t need to be washed after every single use. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I washed the jumper I’m currently wearing (and no, it doesn’t smell and it’s not at all dirty).

The same thing goes for your bedding and bath towels. I wash my sheets once every two weeks in the cold months and only a little more often in the summer (it depends on how sweaty you get). As for bath towels, man you do NOT need to wash them after every use. Depending on how often you shower depends on how often you should wash your towel. If you wash every day or every two days then you probably only need to wash your towel once a week. If you shower less than that e.g. one to two times week, then you can wash your towel even less than that.

When you do need to do laundry, wash on cold. You can save so much energy and money just by switching to a cold wash (of course, you’ll need to change your detergent to one with enzymes that don’t denature at colder temperatures, but we’ll discuss detergents in a minute). As we’ve already discussed, 90% of the energy consumed in each load of laundry is used to heat up the water. By washing on cold, or even coldER than usual, you can save so much energy, money, and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.

Speaking of carbon footprints, ditch the dryer! Drying your clothes naturally (in the air) saves SO MUCH energy and reduces your carbon footprint significantly. In the summer, you can dry multiple loads of laundry on the line in a single day, due to warmer temperatures and dry air. For colder months or if you don’t have a garden, get yourself a drying wrack. In a well ventilated room you only have to be a little more patient when it comes to having dry clothes.

Now let’s talk about your detergent. As we talked about above, laundry detergents are responsible for the release of so many harmful chemicals into water systems, so I think it’s about time we made some changes. Mainstream laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and all those other totally unnecessary products e.g. dryer sheets (which you won’t need if you hang your clothes to dry) are having major impacts on the environment. By switching to a natural or eco-friendly or handmade form of detergent, you’re reducing the likelihood of these harmful substances being released. Eco-friendly brands of detergent are now becoming more common e.g. ECOVER

There are plenty of resources our there for you to make your own laundry detergents too, out of everyday household ingredients. The following article contains a great recipe for homemade detergent as well as some more information about the dangers of mainstream laundry products:

How to make your own laundry detergent – and help save the planet | Environment | The Guardian

Finally, just decrease the amount of clothing you own! You can greatly decrease the amount of laundry you have to do by simply owning less clothing. Honestly, my weekly outfit rotation probably consists of about five different pieces of clothing maximum (not including socks and undies) – I wear the same jumpers and tops and leggings all week, every week, and most of these items don’t get washed until they need to be e.g. they start smelling or I spill something on them. By owning less, wearing less, you can save yourself so much time, money, energy, water, you name it! Simplicity is the way to go.

And that concludes today’s article.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn more about the nasty side of laundry and what you can do to change your habits. I hope that this article was useful for you and provided you with valuable information to consider the next time you think you need to do your laundry. Before we go, let’s go over what we can do to establish a more sustainable laundry rhythm:

  • Do your laundry less often.
  • Go for a cold wash.
  • Dry your clothes in the air.
  • Ditch the harmful detergent.
  • Just own less.

I hope that you take these changes into account the next time you wash your clothes, change your bedsheets, or mindlessly chuck your towel in the washing machine. Thank you for joining us on our fourth Sustainability Series article and we look forward to seeing you next week with out next one! To read the other articles in this series, click HERE. If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, leave a like and a comment and we’ll get back to you! To keep up with us here at Amongst The Flour follow us on Instagram @amongsttheflour

Katherine x

Articles I read to gather my information and statistics:

The Environmental Impact Of Your Laundry – And What You Can Do (cleanhomeguide.co.uk)

The Damage I Cause When I Wash My Clothes (the-sustainable-fashion-collective.com)

Happening On Instagram

sustainability series: green energy

The importance of switching to renewable energy and other sustainable energy changes

For the third article in our Sustainability Series we are going to be talking all about green energy.

New houses, new commercial buildings, are being built all the time. All of these houses and buildings need electricity, gas, and water. Have you ever thought about where all of this comes from? Where the energy provided to your own home comes from? Have you taken into consideration the expense at which our environment has to pay for it all? And I’m not talking about money here.

In 2018, approximately 90% of global CO2 emissions came from something called ‘fossil fuels’. Fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) are the resources used to power your homes and are major contributors to climate change and the degradation of our environment. These fossil fuels release carbon dioxide (CO2, the gas most responsible for global warming) when they are burned and will run out by 2060 if we continue with the same rates of consumption as we are today. We will live to see this.

Today, we are going to be discussing the importance of renewable energy sources, as well as raising your awareness of the importance of switching to green energy. First things first:

What is ‘green energy’?

Green energy, or renewable energy, is energy from a source that is not depleted when used. This includes solar, wind, and tidal power. This means that no matter how much energy we take away and ‘use’, it will never ‘run out’. Methods of ‘collecting’ renewable energy include solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower dams, and tidal barrages. (You can learn more about different types of renewable energy sources by visiting the websites linked at the end of this article.)

Did you know that the average household uses 8-10 kWh* of energy per day? This is equivalent to about 3-4kg of carbon per day (and as we know, carbon emissions are what’s causing our current climate catastrophe). To put this in perspective, your average bag of sugar weighs 1kg. So, you’re carrying 4 bags of sugar around with you all day, every day, adding more bags with each passing day.

*The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of energy, commonly used by energy providers as a billing unit for energy consumption. You’ve probably seen this on your bills.

And that’s just from electricity! The average household uses 33-38 kWh of gas per day, which is about 14-16kg of carbon per day. Using our sugar analogy, that’s like carrying 14-16 bags of sugar around with you all day, every day. Add this to all the bags of sugar you’re already carrying from your electricity usage and that’s 20 bags of sugar – 20kg of carbon PER DAY! And that carbon usage doesn’t go back to zero at the end of the day. That’s a lot of emissions.

To learn more about carbon emissions, where they come from, and what your daily habits do to contribute to these emissions, visit Climate Concepts UK by clicking on this link: Concept 3 – Climate Concepts (climateconceptsuk.org)

So what can we do to change?

There are several different approaches to developing more sustainable energy habits, and we are going to be going over a few today.

First of all, switch to a green energy provider. A green energy provider is an energy providing service that utilises renewable sources of energy to power your home. A green tariff will mean that most or all of the energy you buy will be ‘matched’ by purchases of renewable energy that your energy provider makes on your behalf. When you choose a renewable energy tariff, your supplier ensures that the same amount of electricity used in your home is put into the grid from renewable sources. The more people buy green energy, the greater the demand, so the more renewable energy projects will be started in order to meet this demand.

Benefits of switching to a green energy provider include:

  • Reducing your carbon emissions
  • A variety of renewable energy sources to choose from
  • Better customer service (as companies are smaller)
  • Cheaper tariffs than fossil fuels

That’s right, green energy providers can save you money. Not only is green energy usually cheaper than fossil fuels, but depending on where you live, your country might also offer financial incentives for switching to green energy (aka making it more affordable). Your wallet will thank you as well as the planet.

Alternatively, you can install your own renewable energy providers. You can ‘generate’ your own renewable energy from the comforts of your own home. There are many options you can choose from when it comes to providing your own renewable energy to your home, and we’ll go over a couple with you now. The most common option is solar panels.

Solar panels harness the sun’s rays and use that solar energy to power your house. You can also choose to have excess energy stored in a battery, meaning that your house can still be powered when there’s no sun. Some systems will also allow you to sell your extra energy to the grid, allowing you to earn from your solar panels.

Another, slightly less common method, is the installation of an air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps absorb the heat from the outside air via a fluid. When this fluid is compressed, it gets warmer, and transfers that thermal energy to the heating and hot water circuits in your house. Unlike gas boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at low temperatures over longer periods of time, aiming to keep the house at a constant temperature (this is both more energy and money efficient).

Additionally, make an effort to reduce your energy consumption. Reducing your energy consumption is really simple and quick to do, and it will help you to save on your energy bills. I’m sure you’re already aware of some of these changes, but let’s go over a few of them.

  • Shut down your devices. Instead of leaving your TV or computer on ‘standby’, shut them off completely. Computers are some of the biggest ‘energy-suckers’ in homes and offices, ‘using up’ loads of electricity even whilst they’re not in use. It takes only a couple of seconds to shut a device down completely, and it will save you a lot of money on your bills.
  • Swap to LED bulbs – there are so many benefits to switching to LED bulbs. They have a longer product-life, they make more efficient use of energy, they’re brighter, they radiate less heat than regular bulbs, they’re more reliable, and they don’t take a long time to ‘warm up’.
  • Turn off your lights. The lights don’t need to be on in a room that you’re not using, and extra lights don’t need to be switched on when you don’t need them. Making a habit of turning off any and all lights when you leave a room is a great way to reduce your energy consumption. The same goes for turning off any devices e.g. microwaves, computers, printers, anything on ‘standby’.
  • Install your energy meter somewhere visible. By simply being able to see how much energy your house is utilising, you can reduce your energy consumption. Studies show that houses that have their electricity and gas meters somewhere really obvious in the house use less electricity and gas than households who have their meters in the garage or basement, for example.

Last but not least, educate yourself and those around you. Learning as much as you can about renewable energy and green energy providers will help you to make the best decision possible for you, but you’ll also be able to raise awareness to those around you in a correct and concise way. Let others know just how simple and beneficial (for the planet and for them) it is to switch to green and renewable energy. Word-of-mouth can be the most powerful form of raising awareness. Remember, the more demand, the most renewable energy sources will be utilised.

No change is too small to make a difference.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn more about green energy providers and the importance of switching to renewable energy. I hope that this article was useful for you and provided you with valuable information to consider. Before we go, let’s go over the changes we can make to more sustainable energy habits:

  • Switch to a green energy provider
  • Install renewable energy systems yourself
  • Reduce your energy consumption

I hope that you take these changes into account the next time you’re thinking of switching energy providers, see a house with solar panels, or are about to run yourself a bath. Thank you for joining us on our third Sustainability Series article, and we look forward to seeing you again next week, with our next one! To read the other articles in our Sustainability Series, click HERE.

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, leave a like and a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you soon. To keep up with us here at Amongst The Flour, give us a follow on Instagram @amongsttheflour to see what we’ve been up to lately and for the very latest of our content.

Katherine x

Articles I read to gather my information and statistics:

Fossil fuels and climate change: the facts | ClientEarth

Renewable Energy | Types, Forms & Sources | EDF (edfenergy.com)

Renewable Energy Definition and Types of Renewable Energy Sources | NRDC

Switching your energy supplier – Energy Saving Trust

Green switching: the benefits of changing energy supplier for your pocket and for climate change (onehome.org.uk)

Switching to a Green Energy Supplier | The Eco Experts

Guide to air source heat pumps – Energy Saving Trust

Happening On Instagram

sustainability series: shopping habits

How your shopping habits are damaging the environment and how to change them.

For the second article in our ‘Sustainability Series’ we are going to be talking about shopping habits.

We live in a world where people make new purchases every single day. For a long time, we have been buying new things when we don’t need them and throwing them away a month later. This is not sustainable. It’s time to make a change. From the food we eat to the fashion industry, we are consuming too much and wasting even more. At what cost? Our planet is suffering because of our poor decision making, our everyday choices, and that includes our shopping habits.

Today’s society is one of consumerism. Adverts on TV tell us to buy a new perfume when our current bottle is full. These luxury sofas are ‘half price for this week only’ and yet our current ones are far more comfortable. Perhaps we should order takeout tonight, even though there’s food in the fridge (food that will undoubtedly go to waste). Consume. Consume. Consume. Where does it end?

Consumerism is everywhere, being forced down out throats. It’s convenient. Companies make it easier and easier for us to consume whatever they might sell. Supermarkets are full of premade meals, individually wrapped snacks, and ‘saver brand’ clothing. We can buy anything we want without having to leave the house, without even having to get up from our seats. That thing that you probably don’t need or in fact want is just a tap of a button away. This increase in stuff isn’t making us happier, and it certainly isn’t good for the environment.

Did you know that approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide now belong to the ‘consumer class’? That includes you, me, and probably everyone else you know. The ‘consumer class’ is defined – the group of people characterised by diets of highly processed foods, desire for bigger houses, more and bigger cars, higher levels of debt, and lifestyles devoted to the accumulation of non-essential goods. This is creating a devastating toll on the Earth’s water supplies, natural resources, and ecosystems.

Increased reliance on automobiles means more pollution, more traffic, more use of fossil fuels. Did you know that cars and other forms of transportation account for nearly 30% of world energy use and 95% of global oil consumption? Did you know that, in order to provide enough beef, chicken, and pork to meet demands, the livestock industry is responsible for mass deforestation and factory farming? It takes 25,000 litres of water to produce 8oz of beef (think about that next time you buy a steak, coincidentally vacuum packed in plastic).

In our self-made chaos and unnecessarily busy lives, its almost understandable why we reach for convenient products and online delivery services. The problem is that this addiction to convenience is costing us far more than the price of delivery. How long will it take us to realise that bigger is not better and more is never more? How can we change these habits engrained into us? What can we do to become more sustainable in something as everyday as our shopping habits?

Here are a few things to consider.

Firstly, think twice before you buy. Do you need it? Do you really need that thing that you’re about to buy? This is a mindset that I have been using when it comes to everything that I buy. Whenever you fall into the trap of window shopping online, before you click ‘add to basket’, ask yourself if you really need this. This pause, this question, this time for reflection, cuts down on my consumption by about 75% annually. Instead of buying something new every month, I end up buying only what I need (most of the time; no one is perfect). Do we really need all that we think we do? Go and check, next time you’re about to buy a new shirt or some new leggings, go and check how many pairs you already have. What condition are they in? Will my wallet thank me for NOT making this purchase? Do I need it?

If you do need it, buy it secondhand. Does everything you buy really have to be brand new? Not only does secondhand buying save you money, but you’re also lengthening the life of a product, keeping it out of landfill, and putting it to good use. Buying secondhand reduces the demand of fast fashion, a leading contributor to climate change. Fast fashion produces 10% of all of our carbon emissions, and more than half the clothing produced ends up in landfill by the end of the year. Did you know that 10,000 litres of water go into making a single pair of jeans? You’re saving that much water just by buying a secondhand pair.

Unsubscribe. Do you get emails from major pizza chains every day too? Adverts are everywhere. If you have a membership card to a ‘fast’ brand, or even just purchased from one once, chances are you’re getting email after email and adverts all the time on your social media, telling you about the latest sales and discounts, telling you to consume more. You won’t realise it, but this does actually cause you to spend more. Who doesn’t want to be offered 50% off their next pair of shoes, right? Wrong. By unsubscribing from these brands and emails, by blocking these ads, you’re helping yourself to reduce your consumption, reducing demands on ‘fast’ brands, and therefore helping the environment. Avoid ‘fast’ and unethical brands at all costs.

Shop small and shop local. This past year has opened our eyes to the importance of supporting your local businesses. The local economy is powered by small businesses – everyday people with big dreams. When you shop at your local bakers, your local farm shop, your local charity shop, you’re putting money towards a good cause and supporting someone in doing something they love. Most local shops are within walking distance, and factory-to-door/farm-to-table journeys will be shorter. Locally sourced goods won’t have travelled great distances to get to you, reducing the amount of air pollution and your carbon footprint. Buying local fights waste too. Large retailers throw away insane amounts of food, clothing, and other products that just haven’t sold. Small brands = small stock = small waste. Overall, shopping local is better for the environment.

Learn more about the importance of supporting your local food suppliers by reading the first article in our Sustainability Series: Food

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn more about the dangers of convenient consumerism and how to change to more sustainable shopping habits. I hope that this article was useful for you and provided you with valuable information to consider. 

Before we end, let’s go over those sustainable shopping habits:

  • Think twice before you buy (do I need it?)
  • If you need it, buy it secondhand
  • Unsubscribe from pro-consumer brands e.g. fast fashion, fast food
  • Shop small and shop local

I hope that you take these changes into account the next time you think you need to buy something. Thank you for joining us on our second Sustainability Series article, and we look forward to seeing you again next week, with our next one! If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, leave a like and a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you soon. To keep up with us here at Amongst The Flour, give us a follow on Instagram @amongsttheflour to see what we’ve been up to lately and for the very latest of our content.

Katherine x

Articles I read to gather my information and statistics:

Earth Suffers as Consumerism Spreads (nationalgeographic.com)

The Negative Effects of Consumerism | Greentumble

Consumerism plays a huge role in climate change (grist.org)

The cons of convenience culture and 5 steps to break away – Connected to Port Phillip

How fast fashion hurts the planet through pollution and waste – Business Insider

Happening On Instagram

sustainability series: food

How to be food sustainable in a world of extreme agriculture.

To kick off our ‘Sustainability Series’ we are going to be talking to you today about food.

We live in a world that revolves around food. From farming to supermarkets to restaurants, the human race is food focused. Not only has food become an everyday essential, it’s now an event, a way to pass the time, but at what cost? It may surprise you to hear that a large proportion of the new generation believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and that chickens come from the shelves in the supermarket. Do we know how things grow anymore? That carrots aren’t all one shape and that they come from the ground with soil all over them and long green leaves?

This may seem obvious to some people, but to others it is not. We have lost our connection to the food we are eating; where it comes from, how it is grown, where it goes, and its impact on the environment.

Did you know that approximately 7 billion trees are cut down each year? More often than not, these trees are cut down to make room for livestock (usually cattle) or food to feed those livestock. It’s true! Here’s another fact for you: 70%  of the world’s soy is fed directly to livestock! Read that again. Only 6% of all soy grown globally goes towards products for human consumption.

Food sustainability is something that I have become so much more conscious of over the past couple of years. From making changes to a plant based diet, trying my hand at zero-waste recipes, and buying only organic and local fresh produce, I have learnt the importance of what I’m buying, where it comes from, and where it goes.

Today, we are going to be talking about some simple steps that you can take TODAY to help you become more food sustainable. Firstly, though, what is food sustainability? Well, it’s not just about food, to be honest. It’s a combination of how the food is produced, how its distributed, how its packaged, and how its consumed.

Some of the main questions to ask yourself are:

  • Where does my food come from?
  • How is my food grown?
  • Where does my food go?
  • How does the food I buy impact the environment?

We’re going to be providing you with some solutions to these questions today, helping you to understand the importance of food sustainability, and making that transition to more sustainable buying habits. Let’s start with supporting our local farmers.

Buying local.

In today’s world, almost all of us do our shopping at the supermarkets. But did you know that most fruits and veggies at these stores have been picked before they’re ripe and transported from half way across the world? Even if what your buying has been grown in the country you live in, how can you be sure it hasn’t been grown out of season?

Buying from your local farm shops, farmer’s markets, and pick-your-owns is the best and easiest way to buy locally grown produce. Buying from local farmers means that the produce you are buying will have only travelled a short distance, if at all. Food transportation is one of the largest contributors to emissions that lead to global warming. Getting your food from local farms reduces these emissions, because the food hasn’t had to travel as far to get to you. Locally grown produce doesn’t need to be shipped long distances or kept cold for extended periods of time (both of these processes are huge contributors to global emissions). Buying locally grown produce isn’t just better for the environment either, but also for your local economy. Not only are you doing good for the planet, but you’re also supporting your local farmers too.

Buying locally is something that I admit I only started doing earlier last year. For years, I had been going to the supermarket and getting all of my fruits and veggies from superstores, knowing only which country my food was coming from (and sometimes not even that)! But last year, I made a change. In a neighbouring village to me, there’s a small farm shop which sells locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables, flour, eggs, and honey. I go there once a week now to get everything I may need – I do have to go to the supermarket for the rest, but I’m doing my best with what’s available. Everything on the shelves in this farm shop is local, organic, plastic-free, and in season!

How great is that?!

One thing I haven’t yet mentioned here is meat and dairy products. Most local farm shops and markets will also sell local milk, dairy products, and meat. However, there are some questions you should be asking before you buy! What have these animals been fed? Is it organic? How have these animals been raised? It’s equally important to know how sustainably these animals have been raised as well as how local they are. For example, when I buy eggs, I make sure they are not only locally sourced, but also corn-fed and free-range. Sustainably raised, happy hens are just as important and the local-ness of the eggs.

Now of course, if you don’t have access to any local farm shops or it’s not within your budget, then it is possible to buy fruits and vegetables that have at least been grown in the same country you live in. Here, we reach a dilemma, however, and that my friends is packaging. It’s not common that you find loose produce at the supermarkets in the first place, but it’s even less common that unpackaged goods will be labelled with its country of origin.

Buying local in the supermarkets is hard, because even if something has been grown in the same country you live in, you can’t guarantee how sustainably it has been grown (and it’s almost impossible to find out too). For example, tomatoes grown in the UK in February have probably been grown in a heated greenhouse, which is just as bad for the environment as tomatoes that have been imported from another country. The thing is that we just don’t know! That’s a big problem and really signifies to me the importance of our next topic. Buying local is really important, but so is buying what’s in season.

Eating seasonally.

In today’s society, seasonal eating is practically unheard of. We have access to whatever produce we want, all year round, not really thinking about where it comes from, and the impact it has on the environment. Eating seasonally means taking as much from the current season as possible and consuming what’s on offer at that time of year.

Seasonal eating is about buying and consuming fresh produce that is currently growing. Everything has its own season, and each month has its own fruits. Seasonal produce is local produce (most of the time), and that means that what you’re eating hasn’t been shipped a long distance (like we discussed above). To put it simply, buying seasonal food reduces your carbon footprint, as you’re buying from and supporting a more sustainable food economy.

Strawberries are not meant for December, and pumpkins are not harvested in the spring. Noticing when certain foods are in season really makes each time of the year more exciting, as it makes times when certain produce are in season a lot more special. It is good to wait. By making the switch to seasonal eating, no longer are you buying what’s out of season, but rather making the most of these fruits and vegetables when they are growing naturally and preserving them to enjoy later.

This simple change has made a huge difference to how I shop and how I eat.

Produce available out of season has either been transported from another country, grown in a heated greenhouse, or artificially ripened. As we discussed above, food transportation is one of the leading contributors to global warming, as it releases an insane amount of harmful gases into the atmosphere. By only eating what’s in season, you’re eating what’s been grown locally, reducing the amount of emissions released in food transportation, and reducing your carbon footprint.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that greenhouse gases have been given their name for a reason. They come from greenhouses. Heated commercial greenhouses are used to grow fruits and vegetables out of season, so that they are available to us all year round. This sounds like a good thing at first glance, but the amount of carbon dioxide released (as well as other harmful gases) from these processes is staggering. Not only that, but we must also take into consideration the fuels used to power these heated greenhouses (all of which will release carbon dioxide either through generation or when they burn).

As well as eating seasonally, it’s equally important that what you’re eating has been grown organically, and not for the reasons you think!

Buying organic.

Organic is better for the planet. It’s as simple as that.

Intensive, inorganic agricultural methods make use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. These products are not only harmful to the foods that we are eating, but also to the soil and the insects that cause and help our food to grow. Did you know that these pesticides can get into your water? If you don’t wash your inorganic food before eating it, you’re consuming these synthetic fertilisers and pesticides as well. Not only that, but these harmful products also decrease the general biodiversity of the soil they’re used on. Soil is a non-renewable resource. Organic farming practices enhance the life of the soil, its natural fertility, and its water quality.

Not only do these pesticides affect the soil, but they also harm the bees and insects that pollinate the crops, decreasing crop production and overall health as well as the already declining bee and insect population. Without these creatures, we will have no food, no plants, and no air to breathe. Food security, sustainable farming, biodiversity, and environmental protection are all essential in helping these species to thrive.

On top of all of that, the production and manufacture of these fertilisers and pesticides release a lot of harmful emissions, proving to be major contributors to air pollution. The large scale process of creating these products involves a series of chemical reactions. As each of these reactions occur, toxic emissions, gases, and solid waste, are produced. Improper storage of these pesticides lead to even more emissions, contributing even more to air pollution and global warming.

Organic farming methods don’t use manufactured chemical fertilisers or pesticides. By buying only organic produce, you’re helping the soil to stay healthy and nutrient rich, you’re helping bees and insects to thrive and continue to pollinate our food, and you’re reducing the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Buying organic is a great way of lowering the risk of environmental pollution.

As well as buying organic, buying local, and eating seasonally, we need to make sure that we are making the most of our food. One of the major contributors to landfill and therefore greenhouse gas emissions is… food waste.

Reducing your food waste.

Wasting food is hurting the environment. Your food waste goes to landfill, producing huge amounts of harmful gases such as methane, and releasing it into the atmosphere. Rotting food releases even more harmful gases. As well as this, food production uses a whole load of water. Did you know that 70% of all water used worldwide is used for farming and agriculture?

So what can we do to reduce our food waste?

An obvious way to reduce your food waste is to only buy what you need! If you’re not in the habit of doing so already, write yourself a shopping list before doing your weekly grocery shop. Check your fridge and your cupboards before going out to the shop to check what you already have. Even better, write yourself a dinner menu for the week! Not only does this save you time and energy by pre-deciding what you’re having for dinner each night, it also reduces the chance that you’ll forget something or buy too much of a product.

Okay, something to ask yourself now: how full is your freezer? One thing that you can do to reduce your food waste is to make optimal use of your freezer. It’s as simple as that. Most food can be frozen, and freezing your food helps it to last longer. And before you ask, no, freezing does not reduce the amount of nutrients in your food. In fact, frozen food tends to actually have been picked at full ripeness, meaning there are probably more nutrients in it that what’s on the fresh produce shelves (#justsaying).

As well as all of this, find recipes that use food scraps (yes, they exist). You can eat more of your produce than you think. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with trying to make the absolute most of everything that I buy, and this goes down to food scraps. I’ve stopped peeling my carrots and potatoes (just give them a good scrub), and even use my broccoli and cauliflower stalks to make pesto! I got a lot of my inspiration from zero-waste food chef Max La Manna. He has a lot of really inventive and delicious zero-waste vegan recipes:

Max La Manna

Max La Manna (@maxlamanna) • Instagram photos and videos

And lastly, COMPOST! Approximately half of the food waste that ends up in landfill can actually be composted. You can do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by composting your food scraps (and if you don’t have a compost bin or a garden, give your scraps to someone who does – they will thank you for the extra natural fertiliser). Composting saves you money, resources, improves your garden soil, and reduces your impact on the environment. Reducing the amount of food waste that gets sent to landfill even a little bit will help to reduce the amount of emissions. This leads me on quite nicely to our next topic.

Growing your own food.

Now, of course this option won’t be available to everyone, but if you do have a garden, why not make the most of it? Whether you have your own garden, an allotment plot, or a good windowsill, learning to grow your own food is a valuable skill to have. Growing your own food is the best way to ensure that your fruits and vegetables are local (you can’t get more local than your garden), organic, and in season. As well as all of this, growing your own food also saves you money, you get a much wider variety of crops, you can control exactly what you’re growing, and it’s better for the environment.

Let’s recap the benefits of growing your own food:

  • It’s as local as you can get, so emissions from transportation are practically zero (unless your seeds have been imported)
  • It’s organic (if you choose not to use synthetic fertilisers and pesticides)
  • It’s in season and you know exactly how your food has been grown
  • It can save you so much money off of your grocery bill (the price of seeds is worth it)
  • You can grow all kinds of quirky varieties of each crop
  • You can grow anything you want (according to your climate, of course)
  • Overall, it’s a whole lot better for the environment

I am insanely lucky to have a garden, and although we don’t grow all of our own food, we do grow a lot of it. Honestly, there’s no better way to reconnect with the Earth and with nature than getting outside, getting a little dirty, and growing something. All of our seeds arrived earlier today, and we’ve been doing so much prep-work in the garden lately to get ready for spring. I’ve currently got some garlic’s sleeping in their vegetable bed, and some cauliflower babies on the windowsill in the kitchen, ready for planting out in a month or so.

You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to grow your own food either. If you’re interested in starting a garden of your own, why not start by growing some herbs on the windowsill? Growing something like microgreens is also really simple and provides you with quick and delicious greens. If you don’t have a garden of your own, but know that one of your friends does, why not ask if you can help? This is something that I’m eager to start doing with my friends, because it builds that sense of community and we get to spend time together growing our own food and cooking it (once regulation allows of course). And now we move onto our last point, probably the most influential one.

Switching to a plant based diet.

As you may know, the production of meat and animal products has a huge impact on the planet, from the crops and water needed to raise the animals, to the transport and packaging processes involved in getting your food from the farm to your dinner plate. Animal agriculture places a heavy burden on the environment.

The world NEEDS to go plant based. A lot of people are going vegan nowadays, and whilst this is great to see and a NECESSARY change, it can still be overwhelming for a lot of people. That’s okay. You don’t need to go vegan overnight; in fact, I advise against it (from a health point of view). As we’ve already discussed, so many of the world’s resources go towards agriculture and livestock. Going vegan, or changing to a plant based diet, has so many benefits on the environment, and I’m here to talk to you about a few of them.

Firstly, adopting a vegan diet is the most efficient way of saving water. This is simply because plants need way less water than animals to grow. As stated above, agriculture makes up for 70% of the worlds water consumption, with the meat and dairy industry being the main consumers. Going vegan can save up to 200,000 gallons of water a year (that’s almost 1 million litres of water)!

Another environmental benefit to going vegan is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock alone contributes to over 14% of global emissions – add in the fact that these animal products are then transported across the world and you’ve got nearly 40% of global greenhouse emissions. To put it simply, extreme agriculture and farming of livestock is the main contributor to global warming and climate change.

If you’re still not convinced that you should be decreasing your consumption of animal products, then try thinking about this: The Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old. If you scale that down to 46 years, the human race has been here for 4 hours and our industrial revolution began 1 minute ago. In that time, we have destroyed more than 50% of the world’s forests. The leading cause of deforestation? Livestock.

“As the global demands for meat rise, so does the number of cattle needed to produce beef. Those animals require space and nourishment, so millions of acres of untouched land are cleared every year to make room for crops and grazing pastures. But [IN ADDITION TO THIS] forests are cleared to produce feed for other animals, too, like pigs and chickens. Animals always require more calories to raise than calories they produce for humans to eat. Therefore, animal agriculture is always more destructive than agriculture producing plant-based food directly for humans.”

Effects of Deforestation: How Does Agriculture Cause Deforestation? (sentientmedia.org)

I recommend reading the rest of this article for more information ^^^

And that’s a wrap.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn more about food sustainability and how you can become more food sustainable. I hope that this article was useful for you and provided you with valuable information to consider.

Before we end, let’s remind ourselves of those questions we asked at the beginning:

  • Where does my food come from?
  • How is my food grown?
  • Where does my food go?
  • How does the food I buy impact the environment?

I hope that you take these questions into account when you’re next doing your food shop. Before then, research whether there are any local farm shops nearby, write that dinner menu and shopping list, and consider what plant based recipes you could make instead this week.

Thank you for joining us on our first Sustainability Series article, and we look forward to seeing you again next week, with our next one! If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, leave a like and a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you soon. To keep up with us here at rhythm & green, give us a follow on Instagram @amongsttheflour to see what we’ve been up to lately and for the very latest of our content.

Until next time,

Katherine x

Articles I read to gather my information and statistics:

Explain Like I’m 5: Why Tofu Consumption Is Not Responsible for Soy-Related Deforestation – One Green Planet

It’s time to power down our greenhouses | Gardens | The Guardian

Food Waste: why it’s bad – Greener Kirkcaldy

17 Environmental Benefits Of Veganism (As Proven By Science) (futurekind.com)

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data | Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions | US EPA

Effects of Deforestation: How Does Agriculture Cause Deforestation? (sentientmedia.org)

5 Big Causes of Deforestation and How You Can Stop It – One Green Planet

Happening On Instagram