June 5th of every year is World Environment Day. From year to year, this day is becoming increasingly important given the number of people who are beginning to become aware of the state of our planet. For many, the day now extends to the rest of the other 364 days of the year.
In fact, for about two years now, a zero-waste stream has been surfacing in Quebec and is becoming more and more popular, isn’t that great, even vital?
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TEND TO ZERO WASTE?
Did you know that we, Quebecers, produce 724 kilograms of waste per year (that being the weight of a Formula 1 car)? 5% of the greenhouse gases emitted in Quebec come directly from the burial of this waste!
Yes, this is worrying, but what is reassuring is that it is not too late to act and reduce our environmental footprint by turning to zero waste. Logically: less waste produced, less greenhouse gases, and therefore a healthier planet. We are all consumers, so we are all concerned, and we can act together!
WHAT IS ZERO WAS, CONCRETELY?
Zero waste is a way of living based on 4Rs: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and you can also add compost. We refuse what is not useful to us (for example plastic bags at the grocery store when we only have a few items). We reduce our consumption (disposable water bottles are an example). We reuse all that can be (eat carrot peels, turnips, parsnip, and squash), as for what cannot be avoided or reused, it is recycled. Finally, we compost.
The objective here is certainly not to eliminate 100% of the waste that is produced, but rather to strive towards zero waste by doing your best according to your reality and your own limits.
– We suggest you start slowly, choosing one of these strategies at once –
THE BENEFITS OF BULK GROCERY
It’s worth mentioning that bulk costs about 30% less than its packaged equivalent because there is no marketing and packaging expense. So, we buy only what we need (very useful when trying a new recipe and we need an unusual spice in small quantities!), So necessarily, we waste less.
Some bulk grocery store addresses:
- Espace Organique: 373 rue St-Jean, Longueuil
- Bulk Barn: 2243 Blvd. Roland-Therrien, Longueuil
- Au royaume du vrac: 1441-A Montarville, St-Bruno
- Ô Bokal: 53 Montée Robert, # 101, Saint-Basile-le-Grand
- Vrac & Bocaux: 6698 Ave Christophe-Colomb, Montreal
When it comes to buying fruits and vegetables, we have to look to more traditional grocery stores. In this case, bring your own fruit and vegetable bags, or simply put them all naked in the basket, but make sure to clean them at home! Other options are also available to us, especially the organization called Second Life that is a big part in the zero waste stream by ensuring that fruits and vegetables less beautiful than others are not discarded, but rather redistributed in mixed baskets at a lower price (biological and local options are available).
PLANT PROTEIN: TO BE ADDED IN YOUR PLATE
Finally, just a little reminder that the meat industry is the global industry that has the greatest impact on our beautiful planet by producing an astronomical amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs). It is therefore interesting, both for your health and the health of the planet, to turn to foods that are sources of vegetable proteins such as legumes, tofu and nuts.
In conclusion, we offer a tasty soup recipe that could be turned into a soup meal by adding legumes in the form of orange lentils.
CARROT, SQUASH AND GINGER SOUP (RECOVERING ALL VEGGIE PARTS FROM A TO Z)
15 mL (1 tablespoon) canola oil
½ diced onion
1 tip of ginger root (1×1 cm)
¼ Butternut squash cut into large pieces with peel
2 Diced parsnips with peel
2 carrots cut in slices
1 L (4 cups) of boiling water
5 ml (1 teaspoon) vegetable broth
- Heat the oil and fry the onion and ginger
- Add all vegetables and stir 5 to 10 minutes
- Cover with water and vegetable stock then bring to a boil
- Simmer for 1 hour over low heat and with the cover
- Mix everything in the blender and enjoy!
- To use the rest of the squash (seeds): put the seeds on a baking sheet, brush them with oil and add a pinch of salt. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes
This soup with peppery taste and velvety texture will be a quick way to add color to your meal! You can freeze individual portions of this soup if you have too much.