It is a glorious day. The sun is shining, I bought myself a reusable cup for coffee and as yesterday, due to striking workers I was forced to go to work (partly) by bike. Which is great: I arrive at work and part of my workout for the day is already done. Excellent. (The good weather helps motivating me, I bet in darkness and rain it would be another story.) The countrywide strikes give complete strangers reason to talk to each other and I have the feeling that everyone is equally proud to go to work by bike. I am planning on taking the bike to work more often, even if there is no strike. As long as the sun is shining. (Well, good luck with that Selina… But yes, I will remember how good it felt and do it from time to time.) As mentioned before, my coffee-intake has risen enormously since I stopped eating sugar. I always felt bad when I got another cup I would throw away. With the reusable university-cup that is over. Feels great. It is astonishing, how much more I think about packaging nowadays. A friend of mine, who even writes a blog about her experience with reducing waste, especially fighting plastic (http://ingloriousplastics.wordpress.com/), undoubtedly has given me a lot of input and thought. But still. I mean my mum always told me off, e.g. for littering the street and made me pick the stuff up and put it into a nearby bin. This worked too well, I could never throw anything to the ground, unless I know it is disposable by itself, like leftovers from an apple, e.g. Now, I would rather carry trash around for hours, before I litter the ground. But not littering your surroundings is not the point of today’s movements. It is the sustainability of products and the avoidance of garbage.I would like to give you a few tips, how to avoid to use plastic (written in a list, of course)
a) follow my example and buy a reusable coffee container, that you take with you also into coffee bars. It is not a problem to let them fill the fresh coffee into your container
b) Always carry a cotton bag with you (there is very small bags you can pack into your purse), in order to avoid plastic bag purchases
c) check your groceries for plastic packaging and try to choose the one with cardboard over plastic (often cardboard-containers have a plastic bag inside nonetheless, so don’t be fooled)
d) Out of milk cartons you can build little lunchboxes to take with you and avoid alu foil or wrapping film, plus they are reusable
e) try to buy fresh fruit and veggies without plastic wrapping, (you should try to avoid packaged food also for health reasons, but that is another story)
f) a market is a great opportunity to shop fresh groceries without plastic packaging
d) collect recipes that do not require any plastic-wrapped products
To show you that it is possible, I will post eco-friendly recipes from time to time. Here is a German speciality, apparently especially made in the south. It is sweet as hell and great. Makes you really full, so don’t make too much.
The German word for it is “Scheiterhaufen”, translated: stake (the one to burn witches on) – The name comes from the layers that build this delicious dish. (We ate it for dinner – and lunch the next day – but you can easily eat it as dessert). Apart from being really tasty, Scheiterhaufen consists of some ingredients which can be leftovers, so it includes a bit of upcycling ;)
- 7 old / dried rolls, or pieces of white bread
- 1 litre of milk
- 7 eggs
- 160 g sugar (my recommendation: take xylit, or at least raw sugar)
- 160g powdered Hazelnuts
- 60g Hazelnuts (whole nut)
- 1 kg of apples (slightly sour)
- A little bit of real vanilla
- 70g of butter
- 1 lemon (juice)
Slice the bread (1 cm). Mix milk, sugar, vanilla and egg thoroughly in a bowl. Adjust powdered Hazelnuts. Peel the apples, take out the core, slice it. Sprinkle lemon juice on the slices and then powder them with sugar and cinnamon.
Dip the bread into the milk-mixture until they are soft, butter the casserole dish. Put a layer of soft bread into the casserole dish and then in turns adjust layers of bread and apples, ending with a layer of bread. Put some butter and the whole hazelnuts on top.
Preheat the oven, bake the whole thing for 45 minutes with a temperature of roughly 175° (Celsius). The top should be of a light brown colour. It is best when served fresh from the oven and you can eat it with vanilla sauce or ice-cream if you like. We ate it with walnut-ice cream and it was marvellous! J The recipe says that as a main dish this amount will feed 4, as a dessert 8 people. Guten Appetit!