waste not, want not!!

Well I think we most definitely made the correct decision to haul ourselves down to the bottom of Portugal just before Christmas arrived and for us to be settled over the Christmas period here, as there’s been some pretty unusual weather activity in the South of Spain, I know it’s winter but people come here at this time of year for winter sun… not snow… and it’s currently snowing or on alert for snow in 30 Spanish provinces including in the South of Spain… presently Malaga has snow… of all places, we got our timings just right for crossing the mountains too… as there’s definitely been a lot of snow across the mountain areas since we passed through, right now at the top of Spain and bottom SE of France there’s currently 7 metres of snow in some areas, there’s a lot of people trapped amongst all of that snowfall in cars etc including a whole town currently without electric, now this is great for skiing and those on holidays for that very reason, but not for the sun seekers, the roads leading over the mountains and into Spain are treacherous and have been pretty impassable at times, so for all those stuck or thinking of trying to get through just hold off and stay safe… at least till it improves…

The weather here has been a mixed bag couple of heavy rainy and windy thunderstorm days and nights, followed by some sunny days, we managed to do a hand wash and get a load of washing dried yesterday before a heavy rain period began, so happy days… we had planned on moving back into Spain around the 9th but luckily we are waiting on mail… once that’s arrived we will decide whether or not to move into Spain yet, as some travellers are currently rushing towards us here in Portugal to get away from the weather conditions, but we will watch the weather and local forecasts and decide when ready, as we really don’t wish to be caught out by heavy snow or hail storms. The most accurate weather forecasting app we have found so far is an app called AccuWeather, it’s been pretty spot on for us throughout this trip…

 

 

Living as we are at present we have seriously noticed just how much food we used to waste and throw out at the end of the week, that is when we were living in a house… and I hate to waste food, I really have become a little obsessed with limiting our waste, food waste now to us turns into money wasted… I also hate plastic packaging (but we’ll come to that later)…

In the motorhome we have a large fridge and a smaller top freezer, the freezer has become such a useful part of our food storage… I seriously wish it was larger, when we do our food shopping I get home and portion up what doesn’t need to stored fresh and kept in the fridge ie. meat portions, frozen veg etc.

We have sometimes managed to live for weeks on our travels without going food shopping and other times not so long, depending really on where we’ve shopped and what we have had left in the cupboards and fridge-freezer,  I thought way ahead before we left and we actually brought multiple tins of baked beans (about 20 cans… Pete likes baked beans!!!) these were purchased when on special offer in the supermarkets back in the UK ie 6 tins for 4 etc, I also brought along things like sauce mixes and of course Bisto gravy granules of which I bought two tubs with us (I love Bisto gravy!), then there’s T-bags I can’t live without Tea, so I bought loads of big boxes along with us (Tesco’s own brand red label T-bags are pretty good as far as t-bags go and are a pretty fairly priced for quantity compared to others!!) I also brought along ample supplies of things like soaps, shampoos and medicines (antihistamines, painkillers etc), plus a couple of large sacks of the dogs food, but sadly many of these supplies have become depleted or even totally gone now (I’m wondering if I could talk Tesco into doing a home delivery for us!!!)

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Anyway I have managed to get Pete over his fear of frozen foods, at home he would despise it and argue that it doesn’t taste as good as fresh foods, I begged to differ and now he realises it’s actually not bad, he also has a thing about reheated food ie. stews, curries to name just a couple, but I am working with him on this too, he has managed a couple of reheated meals so far, after all things like stews and currie’s are often left till the next day to allow flavour to absorb… I will try harder on him with this one….

Maybe you might think I am going slightly too far here… but has anyone heard of veg peel soup?… No… ok, so it’s all the washed veg peelings from your fresh veg ie carrots, potatoes, cauliflower etc that would normally be thrown away in the bin instead it gets stored in a freezer bag until you have enough to make a big pot of soup with, and therefore you have very little waste and you’re left with a lovely tasty veg soup… I am still kicking myself at leaving my slow cooker at home as this would have been ideal for cooking some of the above mentioned meals…

Also long life milk… now I was never really a big fan of UHT milk myself until this trip but now it tastes fine to me, ok I will admit it took maybe a week to get used to it, but now really… its fine, I don’t mind it at all, it’s also handy over here to buy a pack of 6-8 cartons of milk and just put one in the fridge as and when you need it…

I wanted us to eat a little healthier and therefore to have at least two vegetarian meals a week this year, we have managed to do this for the last 2 weeks so far with some nice pasta dishes, spinach and ricotta ravioli is lovely, we will see what ingredients we can throw together for veg meals in the next few weeks if you can think of anything we should try please let us know!!!

I mentioned my hate of Plastic earlier, now I shall mention it some more…. its been in my newsfeed a lot lately and urghhh… yeah I have to be really honest and say I’m not a fan or lover of plastic products or items, and especially one use plastic… for instance when I buy veg, I don’t bother bagging it unless I have to (after all it didn’t come out of the ground or off a tree wrapped in plastic), I just chuck it… I mean place it… as it is, into the trolley or basket… which is probably much to the annoyance of the shops till assistants dealing with all the fruit and veg rolling around on their belts (sorry shop assistants)…

Another thing I hate is seeing sweets or confectionary items in a plastic wrap or dare I say it… even in plastic bottles… some of my work colleagues will be horrified at me saying such a thing… but why? So many confectionery manufacturers are using plastic now and no, it’s not ok, I don’t care if it is recycled it’s just a bad idea altogether, it’s much more environmentally friendly to have these items wrapped in paper or wax sealed paper, and then what child wouldn’t want to go to the corner shop and buy a 10p mix in a paper bag?? simple pleasures in life… (ok realistically you’re not going to get much for 10p nowadays, but you get the drift)

Surely we are just making the world far worse for the future with all this plastic waste laying around and for what?? it just seems every item we buy nowadays has plastic wrapped around it or in it… You see pictures of animals ingesting this horrid stuff or getting tangled in it and then perishing because of it, bottles and bits of plastic polluting our oceans, the fish in our oceans again innocently ingesting the stuff (which by the way, via the food chain we humans then ingest also), litter all over our cities and why?… because we have all become so irresponsible… or maybe because the manufacturers tell us it is for a slightly fresher longer lasting, better tasting product, products whose pleasure lasts maybe a few seconds or even a minute or two… or just for manufacturing to give better presentation of said products.. storage.. preservation.. shelf life.. now I am not knocking the manufacturers reasons after all they want their products to reach the customer in as good a shape as possible but… perhaps we should all take responsibility for the products and the packaging of these products instead of allowing ourselves to be “greenwashed” over responsibilities… I don’t mind a dent or a bit of damage on a packet, I don’t mind misshapen veg etc I do however only want plastic to be used when it absolutely has to be used, maybe it’s our own lack of understanding, respect or acceptance and that we feel everything should be pristine and perfectly wrapped… I mean why do I need a cucumber to be wrapped in plastic?

Here’s just a standard example of plastic waste I myself was guilty of this week I picked up a plastic bag full of pears when I last went shopping (they didn’t have loose pears available next time I just simply won’t buy pears if they are not loose!) but they were sweating and had became pretty nasty and half were rotten by the time they were taken out of that plastic bag which was just a matter of 2 hours after purchase, I would have much rather have purchased loose (non sweaty) pears, and I will now certainly try not to buy products like chocolate, sweets or confectionery goods that are wrapped in plastic, I just don’t like it, no matter the excuse of freshness etc it doesn’t have to be in plastic, please find an alternative wrap or I don’t buy… I shall try to limit my purchases of many things wrapped in plastics from now on…

I don’t care for everything I buy or purchase to be wrapped in plastic constantly or come in a plastic bottle because it makes the product perfect or makes it look good or even that it will enable that product to have a shelf life months longer, it’s just too much plastic waste for my liking and far too much plastic for me to wrap my small brain around, why do I have so much plastic waste to get rid off after every food shop/shop visit?…

I mean we are all guilty of using plastics and wasting stuff, but watching and being aware of our wastefulness is everyone’s responsibility isn’t it? and surely people can work out for themselves that if the products they buy are wrapped/contained in all this plastic stuff then not only has this product a higher environmental cost, but it will also have a financial cost attached, be that negative or positive, but the question I find myself asking is… is a manufacturers improved shelf life/presentation, or ease of use etc worth wrecking our environment for?

All those meme’s I see bounded about regarding when you visit the beach to pick up 5 pieces of plastic litter and dispose of responsibly, yes, of course do so, but remember you don’t need to just do it at the beach, do it at every place you visit… always try to leave a place in a better condition than how you found it… in our case it would mean us leaving footprints or tire tracks…

On a brighter note after all my eco warrior ramblings, I feel I must now go fill out an application and apply to Greenpeace for a job immediately… on of course environmental issues… after all… my motorhome engineering experience will probably get me a litter picking job…

On a much funnier note Toffi’s doggy friend “Gumbo” came around to see her and promptly ran off with her rawhide chewy bone… so that went well… the next day I found a bag hung on my washing line with a new replacement bone inside for her, apparently Gumbo’s owner was totally horrified at his dog’s behaviour and thieving ways he promptly went out to get her a replacement after Gumbo refused to give up the original bone!!!.. poor bloke, I had told him not to worry about it when it happened… it must cost him a fortune replacing things his pup takes a liking too…!!!

Stay warm folks till next time

Donna x

 

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “waste not, want not!!”

  1. Glad to see you’re training Pete well lol.Keep going,you’re doing a great job haha.
    Completely agree with you about the plastic issue – you say it so much better than I ever could!
    Keep warm and keep up the freezing and reheating:)xx

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