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I’m An ‘Eco’ Hoarder

I am a few days away from being finished with my degree and just under a week away from having to move (again). I am not someone who travels light, a constant source of stress for myself and those around me. But who am I without all my things?? No one. Anyway, as I am once more sifting through all my clothes and other things that I have accumulated, I realised something. Being environmentally aware has turned me into a hoarder. Some hereditary tendencies come into as well, I’m sure. But I keep things because I don’t really know what to do with them and feel guilty about just chucking them.

This is largely because:

  • I know what will happen to these items if I throw them away.
  • I know what will likely happen to them if I recycle them.
  • I know what will likely happen if I donate them.

They’ll end up in landfill. Or worse.


Take, for example, my old worn out gym trainers. I don’t need them any more, I have new ones that actually support my feet. I can’t donate them because they are worn out and who would want them. It would just mean they’d be thrown out next week and not today. Nike will apparently take any brand of athletic shoe to be recycled at participating stores, so I will have a look into that. Alternatively, you could donate to a charity, that shoes the needy abroad such as Sal’s Shoes or Shoe Aid.

boots

I also have a big bag full of old make up, that I kid myself I will use again. If I’m honest with myself I know I only use max like 5 products so the bag of 50 will go forever unused. I have, in the past, seen the above bins in Boots but I am not sure if they are still hosting them, the website says very little. There are also the TerraCycle schemes which are free to use and set up, if there isn’t a collection point already near you.


Essentially this post serves as a public name and shame for myself. Marie Kondo your life, gal. But also I am lamenting the consumerist society that we are trapped in, and the existential crisis it is forcing me to have as I sit in front of my overflowing wardrobe. Just stop buying clothes, I hear you say. I cannot, unfortunately. I will not.

If you have any thoughts or tips please, leave them below!

Jessica xx

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Bangin’ Beans

If you know me well, you probably know that I frickin love beans (and all other legumes). Like they really are my favourite thing. I will eat a tin of baked beans just on their own (not cold from the tin, I don’t quite go that far). So, yeah, my point is – beans are great!

Beans vs beef

Now, if you look at an image like this you’ll be blown away by just how amazing beans are! Excuse me, while I go eat nothing but beans for the rest of my life. I kid – but I could and would, if it didn’t mean that I’d miss out on all my other food-loves. So in order not to get too carried away by the bean-train, let’s break this down. Beans do have a lot more protein than meat and other animal sources BUT beans are an ‘incomplete’ source of protein. This means that they have fewer essential amino acids than animal sources. All of the proteins in our fragile human vessels are made from chemicals called amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Some amino acids we can produce ourselves (these are non-essential amino acids, because they’re non-essential) and some we can’t make so have to get them from other sources (these are the essential amino acids). Beans have a lower amount of these essential amino acids – see graph below. However, this isn’t a bad thing, as you (hopefully) aren’t trying to get all of your recommended daily intakes in one meal. It is more than possible to get enough of the right protein from plant sources!

Two web-diagrams to show the amino acid compostition of various different beans and meats, respectively. The web diagrams present similar shapes but the meat diagram has a larger scale and therefore contains a higher amount of amino acids than the beans.

Beans & meat proteins aren’t different in amino acid composition but they are in quantity.  (Healthy Habits Hub)

Beans are generally just an all-round better source of things – like fibre and iron! Which are very essential. Also, beans have the added benefit of being lower in saturated fat, cheaper, and much less calorific than a big ol’ hunk of meat. Not to mention the vast difference in environmental impact between beans and meat products – with beef just blazing a trail in levels of how terrible it is for the environment. So, my point is, beans are great and I love them.


My Fave Beans Recipe:

I learned this recipe from a girl I lived with in Australia and I haven’t stopped making it since. However, I normally just make it from memory (so it does change slightly every time) but I wrote it down for a friend that loved them when I made them for her. And now I’m sharing it with all of you! It’s a super simple, make-to-taste recipe. It only takes about 10 mins (20, if you include rice cooking time) and costs very little once you have the spices – a perfect student meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 400g/ oz tins of kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (you can use pre-chopped garlic if you want to)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stock cube (veg if you want this to stay veggie friendly, but if not go nuts)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder/hot sauce (to taste)
  • 1tsp (dried) coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • Veggie Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Method:

  1. Put the rice on to cook while you prepare the beans.
  2. Chop onion and finely chop garlic. Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add in the kidney beans and the chopped tomatoes. Stir.
  4. Add in the stock cube and all other spices. Stir well.
  5. Simmer. Taste and adjust if necessary.
  6. Serve with rice. Also sour cream, gaucamole, and cheese – if desired.
Homemade beans with brown rice and mashed avacado

I used a can of pinto beans as I had those in the cupboard.

This is easily one of my favourite meals and is so great on a budget. I normally skip all the trimmings if they aren’t in the fridge – but they are a nice once-in-a-while treat.


The pinterest pin for 'Bangin beans' - fetures some bean illustrations


If you have any other dope bean recipes to add, leave them in the comments!

Jessica xx

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