3 Things That Worry Me

As I drove home from work today, I started reflecting on a few things that people had been discussing and it made me think hard about some of the issues that really worry me about our world and the culture we have developed in the UK in particular.

Streets are safer when we inhabit them.

This post is meant to be an outlet for my thoughts but is also a talking point. I hope that those of you reading this will comment your own opinions below and be open about your own related worries.

Worry 1: Lack of Independence

When I was young, in the 1980s, there were certain things that were expected of us. we used to have to look after our own clothes and possessions, for instance, and walk or cycle ourselves to school. We also had to quickly learn some independent thinking skills and apply these to our everyday lives.

Even in getting to and from places such as the local shops, we had to learn to adapt and think on our feet. Most of my friends walked to school in little groups and we had to make those journeys every day without adult guidance. By habit, we looked out for each other and learned new routes together.

Some of the skills we gained from making our own way to school were really valuable. We got to negotiate crossing roads, get some much needed exercise and talk through our feelings with our friends. These days so many kids arrive in cars and have little awareness of the routes that they take to get from one place to another. Although there is generally more morning traffic, much of it is families ferrying kids to school.

More independence in getting around is very good for self confidence and health. Less cars on the road would mean safer journeys and less pollution. There are many other ways that I believe independence and coping mechanisms are less evident these days, especially during growing up. It worries me that we are becoming a really dependent society and people are anxious more about things because they haven’t gathered those valuable coping mechanisms.

Worry 2: Rubbish

Lately I have been noticing just how willing many people are to dispose of rubbish. Without a thought, people are chucking waste out and putting little thought into reducing it or recycling it.

Packaging is everywhere and often only used for a specific purpose before being thrown out. I myself reviewed a small item in the post and it came in a massive cardboard envelope which was a total waste of space.

I am trying to think more carefully about what I buy and not to use unnecessary wrapping or extra packaging when buying gifts. Do you really need a snazzy gift bag that is going to be emptied quickly and then disposed of?

Worry 3: Aeroplanes

The other week a football club flew its players across the UK to get to a match near me. Getting through security and boarding a plane, along with the journey and travelling time either end meant it wouldn’t have been that much quicker than simply coming on a train.

In my opinion people are too quick to choose flying over other more sustainable forms of transport. For instance, I took a leisurely train ride to Edinburgh which was four hours long but many would go by plane almost without thinking. I know people that fly back and forth to Scotland regularly.

Why? You may arrive slightly quicker but the damage done by aeroplanes is so much greater. They literally pump greenhouse gases into the higher part of the atmosphere where they can do the most damage. Trains are cleaner even though some of their electricity will come from fossil fuels. They are far more sustainable in the long term, especially as more of our electricity is now from solar, nuclear and wind farms.

Summary

Maybe I worry too much. I don’t get anxious about these things but it does upset me that some of the ways we live our lives are causing problems which we could easily avoid.

If we really do learn lessons from the past then hopefully we will begin to make changes that benefit us in the future. I am just concerned that often our culture focuses on speed and technology and we as human beings lose out in so many ways due to this haste.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post about worries. If you enjoyed my article please consider dropping a comment or following my blog for future similar content about entertainment, books and the environment.

5 Beautiful Train Stations in Europe

As someone who prefers to go on holiday by train, due to it being more ecofriendly than flying, this article is right up my street. These stations are historic, interesting and colourful. Check out the article for some inspiration.

Traveling by train is one of the easiest and most-convenient ways to visit places in Europe. From the SNCF in France to the PKP in Poland, there are …

5 Beautiful Train Stations in Europe

Creative ways to be more eco-friendly when baking

I am excited to host a guest post by the brilliant SimplyAlexJean, one of my fave bloggers. She has considered how to reduce the impact of everyday baking on the environment. I am all about being more ecofriendly so this article is perfect for my little blog. Check out Alex’s top tips.

Baking can be incredibly therapeutic and can be such a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon. What’s not as fun is the impact it can have environmentally if done without thought. For myself, I grew up baking and loving to experiment and make different treats. Now being more aware environmentally about my choices I realized a couple years ago there were some creative ways I could be more eco-friendly with my baking. Making these small switches honestly was so simple and, in many ways, it even made baking an easier task for me!

Do you enjoy baking? If so, read on to learn some easy ways to help make more eco-friendly choices while baking!

Buy Local Fruit & Veggies

If you like to bake with fruits and or vegetables, then check out how you can buy them locally. This can be at a farmers’ market, through local shops or simply buying direct from the farm. By buying locally you cut down on plastic, transportation impacts as well as the environmental impact of storing and placing the produce in a shop or grocery store.

Depending on where you live this can prevent seasonal challenges, however you can stock up during the months when it’s available fresh and cut and freeze it for those months where it’s tougher to find. I love to do this with berries myself!

Bulk Baking

One of my favourite ways to be more environmentally conscious with my baking is to do bulk baking. What is bulk baking? Well, it means you’re doing all your baking at once. So, this could be baking multiple goods at once, or baking them one after the other (if different temperatures). How is this an eco-friendly idea? Well, it cuts down on electricity use when you can make multiple dishes at once and doing them one after another saves the electricity/gas from warming up for each individual dish.

Personally, I gather up a couple of recipes I need for the upcoming weeks, gather all the supplies needed and then I make everything I’ll need for the next couple of weeks at once. This not only helps reduce energy usage, but also gives you some time back too!

Freeze Baked Goods

As I mentioned above, bulk baking is a great creative idea for the eco-conscious baker. However, once you’re done baking, you’re left with a lot of treats that you likely can’t eat all of before they begin to go stale or expire. A great tip is to put your baked goods into the freezer. Most baked goods freeze well and then you can take them out when you need them.

Freezing your baked goods also helps reduce waste and needing to toss food unnecessarily. This also helps with reducing environmental impacts as you can only have out what you can reasonably eat and are less likely to need to toss items.

Use Reusable Baking Supplies

This is personally one of my favourite switches I made. I did some quick research one day to investigate reusable items for baking and was shocked at the amount of gadgets and items that existed! There are so many items you can use when baking that are single use only.

Switching those to reusable items you can wash, and use again and again are so helpful! For myself I switched to using reusable muffin lines, silicone baking mats, beeswax wrap, and reusable jars for materials. These were simple swaps that I made once the previous items I owned were all used up. These items not only helped with reducing waste, but also save you money with not needing to purchase the same items all the time. Also, they are likely to save you space in your pantry too!

Bulk Refill Stores for Materials

Lastly, one of my favourite switches is buying my materials needed for baking at a bulk refill shop. I bought some wonderful glass jars and had labels made for them to help with organization. When one of those jars is getting low, or empty I include in my weekly shop a trip to the bulk refill store and simply refill that material. This is a fantastic eco-friendly idea as it cuts down on packaging, as well as cuts down on waste as you can take exactly the amount you need.

Some of my favourites from the bulk refill store are flours, salt, sugar, chocolate chips, nuts, baking powder/soda, honey, and sprinkles.

 

Do you already do any of these when you bake? Are there any that stick out to you as switches you would consider making with future baking? These ideas are all great ways to help with reducing the energy and environmental impact that baking can have and will also likely help save you some dollars as well!

Thank you to Jamie for having me onto his blog! If you’d like to check out more of my content it can be found on my blog at Simply Alex Jean. I blog about chronic illness, essential oils, lifestyle, organization and Pinterest strategies and ideas!

Thanks again for reading this useful post. I hope that Alex inspired you to think about baking practice. Check out her blog for so many brilliant articles.