Day 220-222 - The eco bit...

Yes, I know, I should tell you what an amazing week we've had this week  here in Edinburgh- and we have - we've taken in Holyrood, Parliament, Dynamic Earth, The Sound of Music, and I can't remember what else.

Instead, I wanted to deal with some of our Eco credentials.
Our worms are being looked after by a neighbour this year

In many ways, it was much easier in Gennevilliers - we are members of a veggie box scheme, we have 2 organic supermarkets within walking distance (one of which is an ethical co-operative, and the other stocks milk chocolate buttons "en vrac") and there's another similar style shop in the offing.  We have a wormery for our food waste, and it's easy for us to recyle everything except thin plastic.

Here in the UK we have been struggling. Anyone we consulted said 'farm shops are the best option'.  So we looked for a map of farm shops. Problem is, they didn't distinguish between the ones that only sold one product (often meat) and ones where you could buy a variety of produce, including organic food. For a reason I don't really understand, the UK isn't really geared up for organic food. And also, have you tried driving a large motorhome into a farmyard?!

So we have by default been shopping in the dreaded supermarkets. I think my current 'ethical/eco' hierarchy is
1) co-op
2) Waitrose
3) Tesco
4) Sainsburys
5) Morrissons
6) Asda (only went once, never again, I hope)

Would love to know if you see it any differently.

A somewhat annoying trait of mine is to try and continually strive to become more ethical, and therefore I get influenced by people I talk to/things I read. (the scientist in James struggles with the emotionally charged drivel I sometimes end up spouting at him ;-) ).

So I've been dabbling in both veganism and less plastic over the past 6 months.

Less plastic is the new one, and so far we've been thinking about how to reduce our single use plastic. We've switched from bin bags to re-using the plastic bags from the bread we buy (no, making our own bread is NOT an option) and as we shop, we're trying to find alternatives to the plastic packaging used 90% of the time (and ALWAYS on the organic food, presumably so that consumers don't try to pass it of as the cheaper, non-organic food.) 

In this campsite, it's very easy to recycle, so that's a bonus. However, I've not been on any campsite yet where we can compost our food waste, which seems silly to me - it would be so easy in a large green space to have a composting facility. Maybe I should lobby the camping and caravanning club for this.

Veganism - so I've tried and now rejected 'not cheese' as Myriam calls it. We've found a very tasty one, made by vio-life, but basically it's made from coconut oil, and I don't see the point of switching from cheese to a total fat, no protein product. Instead, I'm more likely to reach for hummus, and have occasional cheese.

For milk, I have made the switch, based on my reading about the dairy industry. Having tried a few, I'm currently settled on an organic soy milk. (Oatly barista is lovely for coffee, but we don't have enough space in the fridge for 2 types of 'non-milk'. And someone has just pointed me to Arla organic for our dairy for everyone else - a smallish co-operative.

Definitely the area where James is better than me is with clothes - he's great at shopping online for ethical clothing brands. I'm much happier sticking to Marks and Spencer!

Anyone got a new eco challenge for us to consider?


  1. Well they say thegreatest source of proteins for a vegan are the cockroaches in the food...just saying...many indigenous cultures all seem to combine a beans/lentils (proteins) with corn (tortillas) or rice ...sorry i dont get it...much concern over dairy, meat...but wear leather shoes and belts...actually find treatment of poultry most Dont know the answer...but hey man was always a hunter/ gatherer...i mean we dont have to actually kill our protein with a bow and arrow or gun now days

    1. Yes, our kids love beans and rice..Totally agree with you about chicken. .

  2. I've just lost all my text. I was going to say. Try going non- refined flours and sugars as your next challenge? This is not so easy if you're buying in breads and cakes though! We haven't managed this. Simon and the kids still love Harry's and I'm mit brave enough to make my own! So i've still to find an affordable sliced bread in France... I wanted to ask why yoy get emotional over éco-questions? Is it to do with using resources in a responsible way? Or by eating cow's milk we're encouraging multi-million industry and pouring methane into the atmosphere? We just couldn't afford eating the soya varieties and I'm wary of the hormonal effects. We really like theLactel organic milk. Compared to the Carrefour brand it actually tasted like milk not water! I would love to get wholegrain cereals for breakfast bit apart ftom making Swiss muesli most of it is too coarse to serve up like that. Anyway I was going to add that we are getting chickens. That is definitely something which we are keen on because commercial eggs 8 times out of 10 just taste awful! It's a shame about composting.,, have you space to introduce a small one next to your van? I'm wondering if local lottissements/local vegetable or flower farms would take it?amount


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