I just wanted to share a couple of little eco-goodies that have been happening at our house for the last little while. Having seen so much success, I thought I might toss these ideas into blogland...though I am sure they are already happening in so many of your houses already.
1. Soapy Nuts!
A while back, while researching which diapers were going to cover the bum of the Littlest Vegan, I came across this new/ancient method of washing clothes (and just about everything else). The Green Parent recommended the product via a Reader's test drive type article, and I would give them a try - as I had seen them about in a few of the Brussels' health food shops.
K was skeptical - of course, being staunch about things like laundry and what makes a 'meal' (aka not cereal at dinner time). But, this Mamma Vegan was not about to be duped by the him and his doubting-ways, and saw to it that I loaded our eco-washer properly and popped in enough nuts. Sure enough, the clothes came out smelling like roses and Kevin was impressed - he currently raves about them at every opportunity.
Taking the sustainability one step further - I get to reuse the hell out of these nuts. I do three loads with about 4 full nuts in their little cloth sack and then dump them into a little bowl that when full with about 10 nuts I pour boiling water into and use the soap froth as the water to wash my floors, sinks and tub!!! Love it. You can also make soap nut shampoo and bathing soap...but since I heart my Body Shop products so much, this hasn't quite happened yet.
Coolest thing - two moms who I shared my nut-success with went out and bought a bag o'nuts themselves and have been washing up with nut juice ever since. If you are interested in this magical nut power (derived from the ancient wisdom of Indian and Chinese folks and their soap nut trees) read this SoapNuts Canada website - loads of info - haha, 'loads'of info!
2. Apartment Composting!
My last house in Toronto would have been perfect for the uber-huge composter of Kevin and mine's dreams. Kevin, who is an A1 gardener and loves nothing more than coming home and going right outside to hang out with his Rosemary, Chives and lettuce, would love to make our own soil. But alas, this isn't Toronto, and there is nothing uber-huge about our back garden...so we had accepted the sad reality of probably not being able to compost. Being vegan (and mostly vegan K) I felt that not composting was INSANE - as most of our garbage is raw/fresh veg and grain foodstuff anyway....so we found a solution - and it has worked really well for about 3 months now. The place where we both work has a HUGE compost pile, where they toss all cafeteria scraps (mega-cool, I think) and it is really conveniently located by the parking lot. So....during the week, K and I collect, in a plastic bucket, all the bits and pieces of our foodstuff that needs a' tossin' and every Friday we lug it to the communal compost heap and throw it in! How wicked is that? I love love love that we do it. Granted - we don't get the soil, but we do feel good knowing that our rubish is making soil for the school and not rotting away on some already overpacked landfill.(I thought a picture of the exterior of the bucket might be better...since this IS a food blog and I don't want to make you LOSE your lunch)
Enough eco-pats on the back.
Here is what I got up to today -
Hearty Vegetable and Dill Soup
1 red pepper
10 spring onions
6 cups of water
1 tin of beans (your choice)
1 bunch of dill
I wanted to clear the fridge, so I thought I would whip up a protein rich soup and have something to show for my efforts. This soup is what I got! Here's hoping that Kevin is in a soupy mood when he gets home from work....but to quote my mom "this isn't a damn restaurant" so if he doesn't like it...he knows where the falafel hut is down the street!