Five days of environmental awareness

DAY ONE

Starting out easy. I’ve joined the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Swedish: Naturskyddsföreningen). Membership is v. v. cheap, should have joined ages ago.

Copy-paste from their website:

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is a charitable environmental organisation with the power to bring about change. We spread knowledge, chart environmental threats, propose solutions and influence politicians and authorities, both nationally and internationally.

Basically, I am counting on them to keep me up to date on a variety of environment related topics.

 

DAY TWO

Lately, I’ve been thinking about bananas. I eat a lot of them. Bananas have no business being in Sweden. Not really.

And that was when I realized I don’t really know where most of my food comes from. Bananas aside, not even vaguely aware.

Let’s find out where some of the things I usually buy comes from!

Fairly regular weekly food shop:

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Shame the beets I bought are completely obscured, because I have never seen prettier beets in my life. You have no idea how genuinely excited I am to cook them. (To be specific, they’re heading for the oven, will roast with olive oil, and probably rosemary. Or maybe. Wasabi sesame..?)

This is what we have:

Beets; Swedish, because it’s harvest season, lots of cheap roots in the shops. These were 4 SEK. (Why didn’t I get more!??!! Could just stick in the freezer.)
Chickpeas; organic, from Italy. Here is something I frequently wonder and should Google: is it better to buy locally produced or organic?
Carrots; organic, from Sweden. The one thing I make sure to always buy organic because the organic ones taste way better in my opinion.
Ginger; ehm. Not sure where it’s from? I feel confident saying it’s not from Sweden. According to Wikipedia, probably Asia.
Kale patties; made in Sweden. Not clear if the ingredients are from Sweden or if the patties themselves are made in Sweden. And can I just mention this: yes this is processed food, but it’s all natural ingredients and no sugar. Main ingredient is cabbage. It’s a recent find and I’m in love.
Brussel sprouts; French.
Soygurt; they don’t want to say where it’s from. Also, you don’t want to read the list of ingredients.
Raisins; Australia. At least they’re organic…
Dijon mustard; France obvs.
Apricots; from Turkey.
Spelt; organic, from Sweden.
Apples; Swedish! The Swedish apple season is on the short side. Which is a shame because theeeessseee…they’re what you want apples to be. You can smell them from miles away.
Bananas; well they are fair trade and organic. But they are from Ecuador. And they’re also sold in plastic bags. ?? Doesn’t that cancel out the organic part ??
Soy drink; So this is a fun one, it’s either from Austria, France or Italy. Says on the package. At least it’s organic.

I need to read more labels. Really.

 

DAY THREE

I do extremely little for the environment. For the most part, I am happily ignorant.

Let’s change that! Let’s calculate my environmental footprint. (It is meant for UK residents, but I’m sure it can be used for indication.)

It does not look good. Although, this is not quite what I expected.

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home 59%? But why? And what do you expect me to do?? I live in an apartment, I have no say! ..is this because I am one person in a 2 bed apartment? And because someone likes to keep our building warm? I resent that. PS. My new apartment is a. smaller, b. has a heating system that is so up to date we don’t even have radiators. Slightly concerned that I’m going to freeze? Understatement—I am terrified. I can’t even begin to comprehend how that even works.

But yes, I do agree, I should by more seasonal food, and my new apartment was carefully selected so that I can walk to work. Second hand. That. Is going. To take. Some practice. Furniture is fine, but clothes. Not quite there on account of lack of patience. I’ll take into consideration.

 

DAY FOUR

Let’s talk about soy!

Don’t worry, this is going to be short and sweet.

Sometimes I meet non-vegans who are concerned about the amount of soy vegans consume.

Sure, us vegans, we do love the soy, there is no denying that. And yes, it is a problem that we are cutting down forests we so badly need to grow soy.

But you know who we do that for? Let me tell you, it’s not for vegans. First of all, vegans consume 6 percent of all soy produced. SIX. OK? Not all of that soy comes from destroyed rainforest. Not nearly.

You know who we grow all this soy for? The meat eaters. The majority of soy (80%) is fed to livestock so that you can have meat on your plate and milk in your glass.

So if you’re concerned about that, well then you gotta cut out meat and dairy.

Remaining 14%? Oh you know how we like to stick soy in all sorts of processed food. Which isn’t good for us anyway soooo…

I do a lot of shitty things from an environmental point of view, but consuming various soy products is not one of them.

For more exhaustive info about soy, go read this article, trust me, well worth your while and such an easy read.

I just wish everyone knew already.

 

DAY FIVE

Here’s something I’ve been thinking. For me, as a person, the environment is to large and abstract for me to grasp. Makes it not enough motivation for me in itself to make me do things. I need smaller goals, more tangible.

For example, I can get on board with making greater effort to buy local, because not only good for the environment, but also good in the sense you retain knowledge locally, gives people work, and just the fewer trucks on the roads the happier we all are, to be sure.

I’ve also been thinking about this: maybe it is a good thing to stop chasing the good deal. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that some things are a bit more pricy. If for no other reason than it means you are forced to consume less. Consuming less strikes me as more important than the choices we make. Not that they are mutually exclusive, but if we had to order them according to importance.

But what the hell do I know really. (Not as much as I’d like to.)

 

Which is why I’ve gathered me some sources, started my research and I’m all set to implement some changes. Not that I particularly think it’s my responsibility, I’m still with Klein on that, we need legislation and regulation, companies shouldn’t be allowed to do anything and everything for profit, because the crisis is not going to be solved by individuals recycling.

But you know. For my own peace of mind.

The cutting down on consumption is going to be so hard.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

This week’s favorites

Influencer

Need to mention thataylaa again because I’m obsessed (did I get the spelling right this time??). She’s quickly become the -only- person I trust when it comes to makeup. Clearly I need this Too Faced foundation:

Product of the week

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Budget friendly and cruelty free cream deodorant! I am super happy about it, because I had given up on finding one. You know that law of attraction thing? Don’t apply in my life, the law ruling my life is called the law of given up. The sooner I give up the better the outcome. Found this in a local shop; didn’t even have to order!

Release

I need to mention two:

The new Xcerts release was instant love for me:

It’s like…Amy MacDonald circa This Is the Life

The new Fink album, Resurgam.

Even if there were too many good releases this week too, just like last week. Getting impossible to keep up.

Cat

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Met a new cat and I’m excited! ..maybe shouldn’t tell people..?

Food

I don’t want to be samey. BUT. Just like the Mustards I’ve been having cold porridge. Unlike the Mustards, I’ve been having cold porridge for a bit over a year now. However, my reason for listing #cooloats as my food of the week is I just made up two new versions that I’m just mad about: carrot cake and apple pie.

The carrot cake one, all packed up in a glassjar with lots of cinnamon and walnuts for work:

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I’ll expand on this another time. Not because you particularly want me to I’m sure, but because I need to. I’m in love, OK?

Wearable

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Holzfällerhemd! Und shorts! All I want + need.

YouTube find

An Evening with Noel Fielding

Sometimes YouTube just knows.

I think we’ll leave it at that.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Woman crush Wednesday

So this is good. I’ve created a challenge that I find challenging. Why did I do that?

I tend to have a lot of woman crushes. And I tend to harp on about them. Unless you’re new, you probably know that I’m madly in love with Nina Hemmingsson, Roxane Gay, Helen Zahavi, Johanne Hildebrandt, Liv Strömqvist…to mention a few. Feminist. Writers.

What can I say. I have a type?

I can’t be going on about any of them any more. Can I…?

Nina Hemmingsson is releasing a new book next week; the title alone would make her a candidate for this post (På A svarar jag hej då//English: My answer to A is goodbye), and don’t get me started on her Twitter. The woman is pure genius.

But I think you know that already. And if you don’t, there’s really nothing I can do about it.

The purpose of this prompt, as I understand it, is to introduce you to someone new. Hopefully anyway.

So this is the challenge for me: who have I thus far failed to mention?

…for the record, I just want to state that my (current) actual crush is fannyarisone. Hands down! You know how I like to link to her Instagram. Recent post of hers that made me laugh:

English: Stop being so hysterical?! No you know what, the uterus has made it all the way up to the brain, and that’s where it’s staying!! 

But you already know I love her.

So let’s go with a different illustrator (fannyarisone isn’t an illustrator exactly, but you know what I mean, she does drawing), namely:

Holly Exley

She is an actual illustrator, a vegan, and her dogs, seem so sweet it makes me consider getting a dog. And I’m a cat person. FFS.

Basis of her appeal: I am so impressed with people who freelance. Partly because it seems complicated, and partly because you have to be so brave. She sometimes explains part of her work and does it so well. And she’s just really pleasant to listen to, v. v. important in my world.

And she just seems so sweet. You know 💕

That her latest vlog takes us to Scotland is just a bonus:

Aaand. I just realized I’ve probably mentioned her too. I’m out! There is literally no woman crush that I fail to mention, ever! Clearly don’t need prompts for that. (And I’m upset about this because why…?)

Could maybe use just a bit of restraint tho. Tiny bit. Wee.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

I have a lot of questions #6

Why would you put eggs in black bean brownies? WHY???

Do NYX think we’re stupid? I’m obviously talking about the #Nofilter powder. I mean I have it, because pressed powder to carry about in your bag, it is a necessity, and apparently I like NYX. But it’s a powder! Couldn’t replace a filter in a million years.

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Not that I don’t like it, I just feel like they take us for fools. And yes, I do need to get me a new NYX blush in Taupe. One of these days I will become a minimalist, and this will be my one blush.

Am I too old for Manic Panic’s Enchanted Forest?

Is “the humidity messes up my hair” a valid excuse for not going out? Not that it really matters. Because I’m not going out. It messes up my hair. (Looking for any and every excuse to not be outside? Maybe.)

Why have I bought an apartment with a balcony? I have a balcony. This year, I’ve been on it for about 5 minutes total. And only because I felt forced. Because I have it, not because I particularly wanted to. My new balcony is bigger than what I currently have. That’s. Great?

Do I have to go back to work? Also, why do I have this extreme aversion to my job? It’s not difficult, my closest coworkers are nice people, and, for what it is, it is very flexible. What more do I want??

Does the singer in Casey know that Twitter is not a dating app? Or maybe a more appropriate question is, could someone please inform the singer in Casey that Twitter is not a dating app? Yes I know I could unfollow! That is not issue here. I’m concerned. That he will come to regret what he’s doing. When he’s not 20 anymore. Also tired of seeing tweets liked clearly because some girl has posted a pic of herself being pretty. I’m going to have to unfollw, aren’t I? Boo.

How do I decrease my tea consumption? Currently worse than it’s ever been. Could that be why I’m not sleeping or is it just, me being me? Tossing and turning + nightmares for weeks on end now. I’m starting to feel bit lacking in the rested department.

What is with this obsession with stating the size of the clothes you buy when doing hauls? Are you actively trying to trigger people with EDs?

Why is my knee acting up already? I’m going to two workout classes a week. TWO! That’s like nothing. Piece of crap body. Am I going to have to resort to low-impact only? And in which case, how do you see that happening??

What the hell is going on with YouTube on my Mac?? Seriously! I’m googling it and I don’t know why the hell it’s looking like this or how to make it go back to regular layout. Doesn’t matter which browser I use either. GAH!

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Are people ever going to learn that they have to plan? I’m not just sitting around waiting for texts to review with ridiculously short deadlines. I consider it an insult to be asked to do anything within a matter of hours unless I knew of it ahead of time. So that I could plan for it. (The answer is obvs NO.)

The Endless Blog Challenge

Sunday! Time for another few topics you may use at will the week to come.

The theme for this week’s topics is inspired by others. Yea, I’m more or less stealing topics I’ve recently come across.

First one may just be my favorite:

WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAY. Mentioned in passing by Rhian Hy in one of her recent uploads. The idea is to write about a woman you love for some reason. (..but it can’t be just because she’s attractive. Because I say so. Because it’s boring.)

There is clearly something wrong with my feed because I’ve never seen any posts on this topic, but the idea appeals to me IMMENSELY.

THIS WEEK’S FAVORITES. Weekly feature at The Mustards. Who doesn’t like listing favorites? If you want to make it extra challenging, have a theme.

FIVE DAYS OF ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS. I’ve been thinking of ThaTaylaa‘s 15 days of foundation, which is such a fun idea, but, as mentioned, I’m in the middle of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, and I’m not in a encourage-consumption type of mood.

Instead, let’s take five days and reflect on our consumption.

Could be anything, finding out where your food comes from, challenging yourself to only buy food that’s locally produced for a week, investigating if you can switch to a more environmentally friendly option, cut something out that isn’t strictly necessary, maybe use and review an environmentally friendly product each day, a list of things you do that you feel guilty about, spend a day reflecting on things you already do for the environment—it’s simply an exercise in awareness.

Optional: split it into several posts and/post over a longer period of time.

I also want to suggest starting to prep for a classic empties post. Not necessarily the usual makeup/beauty empties, anything that came in a package will do. Gum? Tea? Lentil crisps? To make keeping garbage bearable, find yourself a nice looking container, or you know, make one?

Currently reading

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I’m reading two books: the fourth book in the Jessica Darling series, Fourth Comings, and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

Jessica Darling, I am reading primarily to not think. But if I was going to say something about it, it’s less problematic from a feminist point of view than the first three books. However. The narration choice is a weird one. Sometimes confusing. And this is my third read, mind you.

And yeah. Third read because I love it, as I think was previously established. So not complaining about it, it’s just an observation.

Naomi Klein’s book gives me so many thoughts it’s distracting. 

It took the book no more than an hour of listening to have me in a state of panic.

I can’t go on like this! I need to get my shit together! I have to stop driving to work, recycle more, buy second hand only, if at all, only buy local produce, never travel, stop dyeing my hair, chewing gum, buying fruit that cannot possibly come from anywhere but really fucking far away….I CAN’T HAVE TEA!?! oO

At the same time.

I don’t think the environmental crisis can be solved on an individual level. It’s a structural problem. We need policies, regulation, corporations to take responsibility. I think that is what Klein’s book says too. Can’t be too sure, my thoughts drift.

Also. The book makes me absolutely furious. It explains how corporations are free to roam and wreck havoc in whatever way they please, and we, as individuals, have to take responsibility, and try to do research which we probably haven’t got the time or energy to anyway, just because governments are too weak to lay down the law.

This conflicts with my general attitude that What the hell do I care? I don’t have kids. I don’t even have kids in any sort of close proximity in my daily life and so, if the world ends…what’s it to me?

I’ve thought about it. And what makes me care isn’t what happens or doesn’t happen to the Earth, but rather that I don’t approve of a small group of people being able to avoid any sort of responsibility, and instead dumps it on the rest of us. Taking responsibility for my own goddamn actions is hard enough! What is this?!

And when I don’t take on this responsibility dumped on me—I am vaguely aware that I frequently make poor choices in terms of environment—I feel guilty about it. Even if I’m not at all sure there is anything I can do, i.e. that there are choices I can make as an individual that make any sort of difference. Until proven otherwise, I believe in legislation and regulation. Whether or not my carrots are organic? The fuck difference does it make? (Well…organic carrots are much tastier, but that’s beside the point…)

I’m upset.

I’m also concerned that Klein’s book, the way it’s written, makes in inaccessible to the majority of people. It’s a brick. And it’s wordy. And even for me, who’s a semi-decent reader, it is a daunting read. We’re talking 20 + hours if you choose the audio version. That’s half a working week. The message of the book is too important to exclude most people. As I was saying, I’m concerned.

Those are some of the thoughts I have listening to this book. And I’m only a few hours in.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Can I take your drink order?

ONE. Sauvignon blanc.

I’m mad about Sauvignon blanc. If I go out to eat, I will order a glass of Sauvignon blanc every time. Unless there is no Sauvignon blanc. Then I won’t even order a glass of white wine.

TWO. Rosé

A glass of rosé is my second choice. As mentioned before, I am a wino. Not as particular with grapes when it comes to rosé. Any grape/s will do. Long as it doesn’t taste like strawberry.

THREE. Dark and stormy

This marvelous drink I encountered as recently as last fall, at Glasgow’s Stereo. So many reasons to love Stereo. Such a simple drink this, just rum + ginger beer bit of lime. Delicious!

FOUR. Gin & tonic

I used to be a big fan of vodka based drinks. Until I tried a rhubarb vodka. Scarred for life. So I switched vodka for gin.

FIVE. Pimm’s

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In Sweden, this tends to be real tricky. Good thing I’m generally only at places where drinks can be ordered when I’m in the UK, where a glass of Pimm’s confuses no one. Best glass of Pimm’s ever: Mosquito in Glasgow. They know what a pitcher of Pimm’s should look like: stock full of strawberries and peppermint.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Five songs for the gym

The gym. It is turning into an endless source of disappointment.

The schedule. The schedule is not getting better. Instructors: also not getting better. And music. It has never been worse.

There was a time when the music they played made sense; while it wasn’t music I would necessarily choose to listen to myself, it worked in the context.

Apparently, my gym has scrapped the works in gym context idea and instructors are just picking songs they like. Not sure if it’s because they don’t understand that they don’t work, or because they think we don’t need music to drive us on, to make it easier to find our way through the class, or that classes are too easy and we need music with unclear beat to distract us.

If the latter. Well played! But the strategy is flawed. Because chances are I might just give it up altogether.

I’m not asking for music according to my taste! I get that not everyone wants to work out to Bring Me the Horizon. Or Withing Temptation. (Even if I think that it’s just because they haven’t tried it…)

That being said. Chvrches—not only brilliant but how well wouldn’t Keep You on My Side work as second track of either of the cardio sets?

One of my absolute favorite songs to work out to ever is this track by Jessy; it was on a body pump class playlist in 2007. Back set. I need it to make a comeback. Or maybe I just need to make a comeback at a gym that has body pump classes?

See now? This works. The beat, it’s clear, it’s a good pace. That’s all we need. We don’t need it to fit regular taste in music.

Is picking songs from actual workouts cheating..? Might feel that way. A bit. At the same time, I know for a fact, that this Dead by April track is excellent for abs:

I used to dream about songs that just may make it into the workout playlists by the start of each new semester. My brain has finally realized that is not happening and stopped dreaming.

Until I walked through the reception on my way to class the other day.

They were playing Deaf Havana at the gym.

!!??

There are other people where I live who not only know of Deaf Havana but also like Deaf Havana and who are in charge of music at my gym!!??

I’ve decided that it’s the instructor of the Wednesday workouts. She has impeccable taste. Has to be her. Enter dreams about Deaf Havana on my Wednesday workout.

Not that I can figure out which Deaf Havana it could possibly be. None of the tracks on the latest release would be obvious choices.

See? This is what I’m talking about; while I love Deaf Havana it’s just not music meant for working out. And seriously, I have to stop typing Deaf Havana right now.

I still think fondly of the workout this same instructor did a few seasons back that ended with Fall Out Boy’s cover of Beat It. It was one brilliant workout throughout, and this is perfect for the final push of the very last cardio set.

Next semester, I fully expect P!nk’s What about Us to make it onto at least one workout playlist. More specifically, I’ll expect it on my Monday workouts. Just because the instructor on Mondays always seem to make sure to fill her playlists with women. Keep wondering if she does this on purpose, or if that just happens to be her taste. She does a brilliant job either way.

 

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.