I’ve been on a journey for the last month, learning how to live a zero-waste lifestyle. No disposables, no packaging and no waste for a month. It’s been quite a trip – marginally conflicting and sometimes quite difficult to navigate when the rest of the world isn’t on the same path as the one I’ve been following. I suppose it’s been an experiment of sorts. But more than that it’s also been a massive lesson in how much waste I produce daily and where the easy levers are to get around these habits.
Right now a really hot topic globally around climate change is the factory farming and livestock industry. The issues surrounding the destruction of indigenous forests to provide space and food for cattle are fast becoming common knowledge, and the beef and dairy industry is one of the leading producers of methane gas. So Meat Free Monday, and meat minimizing generally, is becoming commonplace in the majority of the more conscious communities and kickstarting all sorts of food sub-cultures. There is Flexitarianism – relaxed once-in-a-while meat eaters who only eat free-range and avoid anything that comes in polystyrene. There are meat-minimizers who strive to have as little meat as possible in their diets and will generally only eat meat on special occasions. Veggans – that’s right, with a double ‘g’ – are broad vegans who are happy to eat free-range eggs. Then there are wegans – those are the vegans out there that try not to take the whole thing too seriously. So if your auntie Sue makes us a butternut soup and she pops some cream in there because that’s what the recipe asked for, we’re going to smile, slurp the hell out of it and not start feeling guilty or giving her a hard time. I suppose everyone has their own journey on this. I started as a flexi, and have slowly made my way to being vegan/wegan. Healthy, alive and filled with beans, literally.
Speaking of beans, and getting back to the point, according to the Centre for Sustainability the second highest source of human-related methane emissions is actually landfill waste. On average we’re burying 2kg of waste per person every day. How does this relate you may ask? Well, as part of my journey to reduce my use of packaged products I decided to start making my own dips!
Everyone loves a good hummus and I’ve been dabbling in recipes containing the garbanzo family for some years now. With this month-long no packaging challenge on the go I thought ‘What better time than now to investigate what would happen if I blended the heck out of a couple of other pulses – instead of getting the regular highly packaged goodies from the store?’
Of the several I made in the last few weeks, my favourite would have to be the Lentil curry dip:
Lentil Curry Dip
- Cup of brown lentils boiled
- Half an onion fried or grilled
- Small clove of garlic
- Quarter cup olive oil
- Healthy dose of Cape Malay Curry spice
- Salt to taste
- Blend and serve!
It’s jam-packed with protein, spreads easily on toast or a cracker and it’s great with nachos!
If you are looking for more on going packaging-free and expanding your consciousness around your waste accumulation, have a look at my previous blog on this subject.
Misha Teasdale is a co-founder and the Tree-E-O of Greenpop – a multi-award-winning environmental social enterprise based in Cape Town. In 2010, Misha gathered like-minded individuals to plant 1000 trees in 1 month as a personal project to do something about his environmental footprint and it just didn’t stop! 5 years later, his organisation, Greenpop, has now planted 60 000 trees in South Africa and Zambia and continues to grow. When he is not planting trees, you can find him doing wheelies on his bicycle or sprinting up Table Mountain.