Search

SustainableBelieving

Category

Uncategorized

School has started (soon)

Long time no see

A lot has happened since I last wrote a post. I have quit my job at the 4H farm and started studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. I have started a five (omg like eternity long) year program which will make me an engineer in biotechnology.
I am currently in my first week, out of two, of the program initiation.
So I am getting to know a lot of new people at the same time and trying to get a perspective of where everything is at campus.
I am enjoying myself a lot and we will see how everything feels when school starts for real, after the initiation.
This is a hard subject with a long way to struggle through, a very nice and fancy school packed with super smart people.
All these factors make me doubt myself a bit.
It also gives me fire, fire to start school and learn, to get more knowledge and maybe be able to make an impact on the world in the end.
Biotechnology is a broad subject, where you can start focusing on almost anything and trying to make it more sufficient.
There are two paths, one which leans more to the environment and the other is more about health and medicine.
I was at a lecture two days ago, where this professor told us about his work with finding a cure to breast cancer. After his research he actually found a new way of diagnostics for breast cancer, which they actually use at hospitals.
Another professor told us about her profession in polymers and her work with plastic and trying to reduce it.
She and her partners have started a seaweed plantation where they use the cellulose in the seaweed and modify it in to plastic resembling materials, which are just as to compost as which ever plant.
How cool isn’t this subject!
And there are millions of other ways in this field to start researching and finding solutions for making more sustainable.
Only your lack of curiosity and your imagination can stop you.

The perfect Reuse

This summer, there have been a few dinners out on the balcony. We have quite a small balcony and no room for a table (I have to many plants too). In a stroke of genius I realized that the balcony jar thing we got for my birthday is a perfect plate holder! Look at that – it’s like it was made for it!

I love it when things can be reused and repurposed, whether is simply though usage or a small DIY-process.

 

 

Our hike to the nature reserve

 

We started our day around 8.30 when we hopped on the bus that went all the way from our station Tanjung Tokong to the National park, which took about 45 min. The public transport in Penang is really cheap and nice, a bus ticket cost you about 2 ringgit which is like 4 kr. All of the buses have air con, and are pretty clean. The traffic is very typical for this region, lots of cars, traffic almost everywhere and pretty crazy driving. Still I didn’t see a smashed car anywhere along the roads or anything.
After the bus ride we ordered a taxi boat to the parks furthest beach called Kampi. We wrote ourselves in to the National parks register book (probably so they know who to look for if we didn’t return).
The parks opening hours were between 9am-5pm.
We started walking on the path through the rainforest towards our first stop, the turtle sanctuary and meromictic lake.
On the way we met a monkey, a goanna and a couple of other hikers. The walk consisted of pretty steep hills both upward and downward. The air was extremely humid so we were sweating lots by just standing. Luckily the thick leaf works gave us shade so we didn’t have to deal with the burning sun.
When we reached the turtle sanctuary and got under the roof it started raining for a short while.
I was pretty disappointed at the sanctuary itself, we got to know that it was a public holiday which meant that there were no guides there to inform us about their conservation work. So we just had to draw conclusions by ourselves, which was not in their favour. There were approximately 5 tanks in the sanctuary. One with lots of baby turtles which I, and some of the other hikers we met inside, assume are going to be let free in the ocean when they have grown a bit bigger and won’t be as easy take-away lunch targets for the big fish.
The tank beside the one with the babies was a turtle that was a bit bigger in size, yet not full grown. I hope with all of my heart that this one will be let free soon.
Then there were the tree last tanks, the most depressing ones. All of the had a big adult turtle inside them, one had a broken shell, the other two I didn’t notice any outer injuries on, but what do I know. The thing is, these big magnificent creatures where put in small (maybe around 1,5×1,5 m) tanks. They swam around in a circle for a bit. They had nothing in the tanks but water. No seaweed, no rocks, not a single thing to enrich the enclosure they lived in. It made me angry. Especially when there was nobody to defend the work the centre is doing.
They hade nice informational posters about how an embryo becomes a turtle and pictures of the different sea turtle species that can be found around the beach. But there was not much about their conservation work.
I innerly hope that what I saw, has a good explanation because of those turtles are just kept like that for fun, this conservation project is a mere scam.
After watching the poor turtles we continued our walking trough pretty rough terrain with more hills. After about an hour or so we reached the beach Kampi, which was pure beauty. We were accompanied the last 20 minutes by a local who normally walks around the reserve on his spare time. But other than that, we were alone at the beach. After a couple of hour of chill we got picked up by our ride and got to see reserve from the outside and the rainforest was magnificent. I can’t believe how you wouldn’t want to conserve the nature, trees may not radiate wifi or grow donuts on them, they make the air around us breathable. They are the reason we live. They are important, much more important than our petty little needs. Much more important than us.

Sustainable Penang

The past 9 days in Malaysia have been really great.
One of the greatest things with the city of Penang is that they have pretty recently become more and more environmentally friendly.
They have this campaign running with the slogan “Cleaner greener Penang” which means they have started to governmentally fund proper waste disposal. They also have stopped giving out free plastic bags in shops and have them behind the counter so people have to ask to buy a plastic bag if they want one, even in grocery stores. I think it is good that they have the bags on the other side of the counter because if you could just pick one for yourself it would probably be something that people did more without notion and just out of habit.
Most of all public toilets had signs where they recommended a minimal use of water and toilet paper, as they stated it
“Don’t flush the forest. Save paper. Save trees. Save the world.”IMG_0392
These things are baby steps, but all of them are in the right direction which makes me happy.

Malaysia

While Erika has been out climbing in France (omg looks so fun!!!). I have hopped on an airplane, or actually three to be precise, to visit my mother in Malaysia.
If we start right there, I flew for almost 20 hours across the globe. I know that flying has a huge impact on the world, and I guess a more sustainable way of travelling would have been taking the train through Russia and China. But hey, I only have two weeks of holiday and I want to spend the most of it with my mom.

We have roamed around the city/island of Penang, where she is house/cat-sitting for her friends while they are away.
We’ve been to markets, a festival called Walk the Talk, visited a rehabilitation/conservation centre for orangoutangs called Orang Utan Island and lots more.

Lacking sustainability in my week of climbing

Speaking sustainability, I loved my week of climbing but for being such an outdoorsy activites centre, the whole sustainable idea was missing in several areas (great in some, but thats for an other entry). And there was little I could do to change or even oppose it in a tiny way. I was already that annoying swede who asked if there was someting without meat.

Every day we had our lunch out by the wall. It was packaged in bulk – yhey. Buy we had plastic utensils, paper plates and the desets we’re in plastic wrappers. Every day. And for an orgainsation who feeds 20 people a day for the entire summer, that’s a lot of plastic where other options could be favored. I do however realise the issue, as we had to carry our things and platics is really light. But sustainable utensils such as bamboo is a valid and lightweight option. Simply, there where things to improve.

This might not be that awful, since nothing was thrown into nature but taken back to the centre. However, there was ONE waste bin. No sorting whatsoever. Plastic, paper, food waste and beer cans all went in to the same trash can. That hurt my heart a little. I almost wanted to take all the aluminium cans with me to throw in a recyclable bin. Despite us being in a bit of a remote village, I honestly don’t see how proper recycling would be an issue.

I think these were my two main issues that pretty much forced me to compile with them. I wanted to do differently and do good, but there was no such option. That hurt a little.

And also, it hurt my sustainable minimal-waste heart that we got single yogurt packages at breakfast. I had two each day cuz I love yoghurt and you need lots of food for climbing, but it makes me feel guilty.  I actively contributed to more waste.

In a way, that’s one of the worst kinds of waste because as a “user” I had no other option than to refuse to eat and be the crankiest bitch ever. So now I’m the bad guy too.

The trouble is, I don’t think they identify this as an issue. They don’t see the impact they have on the environment and that more sustainable solutions could be used, like bamboo utensils and a proper recycling system. Being in a remote village don’t stop that. So there is room for improvement.  And I’m considering writing them an email to ask about considering sustainable solutions, since they do have other alternatives in areas such as sleeping quarters, water use and cooking.

So I guess it’s my responsibility to act, I just wish it wasn’t that hard and that daunting.

Chocolate chip cookies

I bought an egg replacement powder a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday I baked chocolate chip/nut cookies and they turned out great!
So I wanted to share the recipe with you guys:

IMG_0038

Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients
170 g dairy-free butter
2 dl brown sugar
1,5 dl cane sugar (or normal sugar if you like)
1 egg + one egg yolk = 2 teaspoon egg replacement powder +2,5 tablespoon water
5 dl flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
200 g of chocolate chips
Nuts of your preference

1. Set the oven on 170 degrees
2. Melt the butter and whip it together with the brown and the cane sugar.
3. Mix the egg replacement and the water in a small cup so that it blends, then add it to the butter and sugar mix.
4. Mix all the remaining dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then combine the two bowls and make a firm dough. Mix in the chocolate.
5. Let the dough rest for approx 20 min in the refrigerator.
6. Make 25 small balls and spread them out on at least 2 baking sheets. Pro tip: if you want thick cookies don’t press out the balls too much, I let mine stay almost as balls.
7. Put them in the oven for approx 10-12 min.
8. Embrace your inner Cookie Monster (I’ve had 7 of them in less than 24 hours<333)

IMG_0037

Thoughts on a week of sustainability

As said, living zero-waste was not my thing. Mostly because of food limitations. I will post my week of waste in another post, but this is some thought on the week and waste-free living.

Here is why its not my thing:

– diy toothpaste feels wierd, and I’m not convinced of it’s effectiveness.  Buying better toothpaste is something I will absolutely do though.

– it’s super heavy to buy more metal and glass. Like beans which I eat a ton of. But, in some cases I will continue to prioritise it.

– buying bulk and package free is quite a hassle since it’s not available everywhere and more expensive. I wish it was easy and would love to lobby for stores to make it more available, but right now its not.

– it limits your options and you have to think a lot more of what you eat. It’s hard. And with all the other issues, it becomes too hard.

There are however some things I take with me:

– when buying fruit and veggies you don’t need plastic bags for them

– pretty much anyting can be properly recycled. I think I will remove my “normal” waste bin for only recyclable stuff.

– glass and metal is best, cardboard is ok, ditch the plastic. When possible.

– fresh bread is tasty and easy to buy

– you don’t need soy or other replacement products,  beans are awesome. Variations is gold though .

– frozen banana and lots of lemon makes awesome ice cream

– home made deodorant is easy and usable. Worth it.

 

I think my major issue with zero-waste is that is complicated. As my partner said after all that hassle: it doesn’t make much difference is we do this. I needs a lot of people. So the responsibility  should be on the stores to make it more available. They should be the ones who help reduce waste.

And I agree.

Me and my partner talked a bit about it this week and decided that for us it’s more important what is in the product than how its packaged.  We would rather eat healthy, near produced, ecological, chemical-free and socialy sustainable. That is more important than the packaging.

Especially socialy sustainable is important to me. I rather take the time this took and put it into researching how some foods are made so I can make an informed choice to buy what is in and behind the product.

And that was my thoughs on this waste free week.

 

Day 6 of zero waste

Hi peeps! Today I have had a pretty chill day (: Started it by working out at the gym with the bf. We trained legs, so lots of both front and back squats some deadlifts etc. Tomorrow we are going to do a teamwod at the crossfit box near us, so I am very excited. We have just hanged around all day and enjoyed the lovely weather, had a big melon for lunch because it was all I had at his place. But I compensated it by having a big big dinner (: We barbecued lots of veggies such as carrot, paprika, corn and I also had beans, avocado and sweet potato. Delicious and filling ❤ Now we are actually on our way to get some ice cream in town. I’ll “cheat” a bit by also buying, but I mean, if I have a cone with ice cream and don’t take any napkins or plastic spoon, it’s kind of waste free. I promise not to through away any of it (;

IMG_8463

Sliding in to the ice cream vendor like…

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: