Search

ravenousveggie

Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general

Category

Environment

Shop Local

I like to use my local shops.  I am lucky where I live as I have a small Co-Op, a Tesco Express and a One Stop all within a short walk of my house.  I like using these shops as you get to know the staff and members of my local community.

When I was married I would make the weekly trip to the local large supermarket. It was always stupidly busy and I would lose an hour of my life to doing the weekly shop.  People lost as the quarterly aisle reshuffle has taken place. Those more interested in their phones than watching where they are walking, or the food on the shelves. Those deep in conversation, seemingly unaware that they are blocking the aisles for those of us who just want to shop and go.

Moving out on my own gave me the chance to change this.  To explore my local shops more. To avoid taking the car out. Be kinder on the environment.

The problem with shipping local as a vegetarian is the lack of variety.  The supply of fruit and veg is fine, but some things I just don’t understand. All of the stores have a really good range of ‘free from’ gluten  free products. The variety of canned pulses is small, but then I wouldn’t expect it to be large. My biggest bug bear is gravy granules. None of my local shops stock vegetarian gravy granules.  Not even their own brand.

I once queried this with Tesco and Co-Op.  Tesco came back and said it was to do with waste – not enough people bought them.  The Co-Op gave me the impression it was a blip and would be sorted soon. Needless to say nothing has changed.  

I just find it hard to believe that with all this current trend towards cutting out meat, going veggie or vegan there is no demand for gravy granules locally.

I’m sure from the picture below you would agree that it wouldn’t take much effort to start with even one row of veggie friendly granules?

 

shop local
Apparently no room for vegetable gravy granules

Also if you don’t stock an item then there won’t be any demand for it.

You may well think I am bonkers at wondering at the lack of such an ingredient.  But for I don’t believe there is not a market for it. And the lack of it locally means I have to make a special trip to a larger supermarket on the otherside of town.  Not something that I find enjoyable or have the time for.

So this makes me wonder what other products are missing for vegetarians/vegans.  What do you wish these smaller stores would stock?

 

Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

As you may have seen from my Twitter feed I have recently enjoyed a few days break in Belfast.  Belfast? Yes Belfast. Not a place you often hear of on the top city break destinations. I too was a bit dubious when my other half suggested it.  

I was pleasantly surprised.

Belfast has so much going for it – architecture, shopping, history, great  vegan and vegetarian food (at almost every restaurant!), The Titanic Quarter and interesting walks taking you through the troubles from both view points.  And the people. They are lovely and friendly and really do give you a warm welcome.

Our hotel was brilliantly placed – close to transport links, the heart of the city and in easy reach of the sights.  We had pushed the boat out for this trip and booked a five star hotel. On entering it was plush, inviting and very organised.  Suitcases disappeared, maps handed out to help with our planned excursions, we were made to feel welcome and comfortable. It felt like luxury.  But to an extent that is where it stopped.

Attention to Detail

At breakfast each morning we were left searching for spoons to eat cereal with, or  jam for toast. The restaurant was designed with booths and larger tables.  The booths were lovely – giving you some privacy, however also putting you out of sight, making it easy for staff to forget you had asked for something, or were ready to order.

The designer rooms were great and very comfortable (decorated in the current fashion for dark colours) but some items left us wondering.  The light system was so confusing we usually had a short disco sequence trying to switch them on or off. A tea tray in a cupboard which was too heavy to pull out and manoeuvre from the small space it is stored in  And the only place to put it down is on the other side of the room. The bathroom was beautiful and spacious but in some cases impractical – only one flannel for two people, toilet roll holder in one of those positions that make you feel you should take up those yoga classes. A candle holder with matches in it, but no candle to light, until our last day. At the evening room turndown it was pot luck whether or not chocolates turned up.  OK some of these are first world problems and not the end of the world. But they are below expectations. And all of it down to a lack of attention to detail.

But the bit that really made me angry was the waste.  The compulsory leaflet saying please help us save the world by not wanting your towels washed every day was superseded by changing the small soap bar everyday.  A small bar, in a plastic wrapper, inside a cardboard box was replaced everyday even though we never got close to using it up. It would have quite easily lasted for the whole of our trip. And we would not have minded.  In addition we would come back most days to find the air conditioning on full, the windows open and all the lights on.

Honestly do they think that washing towels less is going to make the difference? 

On looking at the hotel website there is no published environmental policy, so I haven’t been able to check reality against their goals in this area.

I know the hotel star rating system is mainly judged on the amenities at the venue and the mix of rooms, however I think we all expect service to go with it.  A little more thought, joined up thinking and attention to detail at all levels could have really made our stay special.

Instead it was good.

But not special.

And I think special is what you aim for when you pay over the odds for any product or service.

Practice What You Preach

I am lucky to know a lot of people who are aware of and concerned about the environment and our impact on it.

Increasingly I am beginning to realise that for some this is all talk and there is little/no action.

I have a friend who is concerned about the environment and buys  environmentally friendly cleaning products,  her cleaner, however, uses the main brands, so defeating the main purpose of buying the eco friendly products.

I have recently met a lovely lady who lectures on climate change, and what we can do as individuals to lessen our impact on the Earth.  It turns out that she doesn’t source any of her electricity from renewables, her latest car is a diesel, and she is just in the process of looking at installing solar panels.  Looking around her house there are a few eco friendly/ethical brands appearing but not much.  However she wants us all to be kinder to the planet.

I see may parents worrying about their children’s future and the environment, but who find it difficult to do basics such as simple doorstep recycling, or picking goods with less packaging.

Its as though they want the best  but don’t want to have to put the effort in.  Why is it so difficult for people to take actions in accordance with their environmental beliefs.  Or is it that by making the right noises they can gloss over the fact that they don’t practice what they preach?

Practice what you preach to look after the planet
Crystal Planet In Green Forest With Sun

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: