Join Plastic Free July 2020

Whether or not we are ready for it to be July (where has the year gone?!?!?). We welcome Plastic Free July with open arms! Having been in lockdown at home for the last few months it has given us a chance to really look at how we live and which direction we want the world to move in.

According to plasticoceans.org 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes. We are all familiar with single-use plastic around the home, at work, in local businesses and on the go. July gives us an opportunity to see how we can cut down on our use of single-plastic and make an impact on the amount produced for consumers like us.

More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Although many plastics are now widely recycled, it is not enough at this time to turn the tide (pun intended) on the devastating effect it has on our oceans and sea life.

UAE organisations to reduce single-use plastics - DUBAI FORUM

A plastic bag has on average 15 minutes ‘working life’, so we need to really look at how we use plastic, and for how long we use it. If we forget our re-usable bag can we carry our items? Should we wait until we have a bag before we buy? Why did we forget to bring a bag – were we careless/could we be bothered? Or did we not expect to buy something?

Plastic Free July is here to give you the opportunity to analyse your plastic life. Using this resource you can decide which parts of your life you wish to rid single-use plastic – at work, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, on the go or helping your local business.

Plastic Free July participants have:

  • reduce their household waste and recycling by 23kg per person per year (almost 5%) 
  • contribute to a total saving of 825 million kg of plastic waste each year
  • 9 out of 10 people made changes that have become habits/ a way of life

Take the challenge and see if you can sign up for a day, a week, a month or try to cut out for the rest of time! If you wish you share any resources from PlasticFreeJuly.org we recommend this link to print, email or tweet information.

We will be sharing lots of tips and advice throughout July to help you on your way to a single-plastic free life. But for now check out our resources from last year:

Good luck, and let us know how you get on with the challenge!

Grace has quit the 9-5 lifestyle in London to study marine conservation in Thailand. She will subsequently work as a scuba diving instructor with emphasis on teaching students about marine conservation and anthropogenic impacts to our oceans. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.

Looking after your mental health while self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic

Wherever you are in the world right now, like many others you might be starting the feel the effects of isolation on your mental health. Humans are sociable animals by nature so staying in your house 24/7 is bound to feel strange and at times quite isolating. There are ways, however to combat these feelings and keep your mental health on the right path.

Caring for your mental health will mean different things to different people, and now is as good a time as any to find your own way to keep yourself calm and happy. Here are some things that we like to do to relax when feeling stressed:

Facetime friends and family
Staying connected during this time is key because it can soon get lonely if you live alone or don’t get to spend much time with other people. Organise catch ups with different friends and family throughout the week as this will help give you something to look forward to.

Take a bath
Nothing shouts self care better than a hot soak with some bubbles. Take some time to relax and read a book or listen to your favourite album while you’re there (we wouldn’t frown if you had a glass of something too).

Looking after your mental health

Re-read your favourite book
Reading is one of the best forms of escapism so why not read a book you you already know and love? Rekindle your love for that book and enter a safe space where you can relax. If you fancy reading something new then ask a friend or family member for a recommendation.

Meditate
You don’t have to be spiritual to meditate, contrary to popular belief, and it’s a great way to quickly calm yourself. It might take a little practice at first but once you learn the breathing techniques it’s really easy. A great app which we use is Headspace and they have free courses.

Listen to a podcast
This is another great form of escapism and podcasts come in all genres so there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. To save time check reviews online to find one that will suit your tastes best.

Add a finishing touch to your home
Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary but spending so much time inside it can start to feel a little claustrophobic. Try to add a little touch to your home that you will look at during the day to make you smile and it can be as simple as changing a photo in a photo frame.

Planting for mental health
Using a plant pot that I’ve been using as a pen pot for the last year I planted something for my bedside table

Paint, draw, colour or write
Dig out your adult colouring book and get creative. Don’t pressure yourself to write or draw anything perfect just use it as a form of self expression. Look for inspiration from your window, photos from your favourite trips or photos online.

Be wary of reading the news
It’s good to keep up to date on the latest developments, however watching or reading too much news can be a little anxiety inducing at the moment. Try to limit the amount of news you watch and make sure you don’t watch it too close to bedtime.

Take time to appreciate nature
The evenings have begun to get lighter and nature has started to rear its head since spring began last week. Following government guidelines take your one form of exercise a day in the open air and take in your surroundings as you walk, cycle or run.

We hope that this article has given you some inspiration to start taking time out of your day for you and practicing self care. Keep yourself safe and we look forward to sharing more self-isolation tips in the coming weeks.


Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Weekly Environmental news update March 2020

Weekly E.C.O. roundup
Your weekly roundup of the top eco stories from the last 7 days

As always, we give you the top eco stories from this week on Sundays. We hope you enjoy!

McDonald’s to remove plastic toys from happy meals

Earlier this week McDonald’s announced that they are to remove plastic toys from their happy meals in an attempt to help protect the environment. The act will result in the removal of 3,000 metric tonnes of plastic from the company’s outgoings.

The company have said that from 2021 that all UK happy meals in the UK will include a soft toy or paper-based book. In May the company will run a five week programme asking customers to return their single use unwanted plastic toys to restaurants so they can be recycled to build equipment.

Coronavirus will drastically cut CO2 emissions this year

Coronavirus has seen devastating effects with 290,388 confirmed cases and 11,963 deaths worldwide. As a result of the outbreak people are being told to work from home and self isolate. Flights have been grounded and fewer people are using the roads. Research from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air have said that China’s emissions dropped by a quarter in February compared to 2019. Last month in China passenger car sales dropped by a staggering 80%.

While this initially sounds like good news there may be repercussions later as governments and businesses attempt to bounce back from coronavirus.

Nature returns to cities in Italy amid coronavirus isolation

While the past few weeks and months have been uncertain for many amid the coronavirus outbreaks there has been a glimmer of hope. As a result of the lack of human activity the canals in Venice have become clearer than they have been in years. Due to the clarity of the water it seems to be attracting more creatures than usual including swans and fish.

During these tough times it’s good to take some time to acknowledge Mother Nature’s presence and beauty.

Coronavirus should be a wake up call to our treatment of wildlife

Although it hasn’t yet been confirmed it is believed that coronavirus may have originated from pangolins on a live ‘wet market’ in Wahun. The small scale-covered creatures are kept in cages in Asia in appalling conditions, often in a state of dehydration and hunger, until bought for food. Undoubtedly people will continue to eat animals worldwide but the question is why treat them inhumanely and leave them in squalor until they are killed.

While China has enforced a temporary ban on these ‘wet markets’ it is a temporary measure which means that if the virus was a result of the markets incidents like this could well happen again in the future.


Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Easy Vegan blackberry and apple crumble recipe

E .C.O. Recipe
Our tried and tested favourites

With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment we’ve managed to find some solace in baking with ingredients we already have at home, like this quick and easy crumble recipe.

It’s great for a Sunday dessert, especially as it’s mother’s day this Sunday and someone will have to cook! We love this recipe accompanied with dairy free ice cream, cream or custard.

Vegan blackberry and apple crumble

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium cooking apples (Bramley)
  • 200g blackberries, blueberries or other soft fruit
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g dairy-free margarine 
  • 1/2 tbsp rolled oats
  • Serve with vegan ice cream, cream or custard

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan
  2. Prepare the apples by peeling and removing the core. Cut into 1cm thick slices
  3. Arrange the apple slices in a round baking dish so they lay flat (ideally in one layer)
  4. Mix the caster sugar and 1tbsp of the soft brown sugar together and sprinkle over the apples
  5. Add the blackberries on top of the apple
  6. For the crumble sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Add the margarine and rub together with the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Ensure that all of the mixture is combined and no flour is left at the bottom
  7. Add the crumble topping to the fruit then sprinkle with the oats and remaining brown sugar
  8. Put the crumble in the oven for 40 minutes or until the crumble is slightly browning and the apples feel soft
  9. Serve with your vegan ice cream, cream, custard or simply on its own!

We hope you enjoy this recipe! Got a recommendation to add to our recipe book? Let us know.


Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Lauren Morgan

Seven easy eco friendly ways to stay fit and healthy

For our Health and Beauty month we delve into the eco ways of fitness gurus and health in an increasingly unhealthy world. With the warmer months slowly drawing closer we look at how we can get off the couch from under that blanket and increase our fitness. Below are a few ways we enjoy staying fit and healthy and some we have heard about which we would like to add to our exercise repertoire.

The National Health Service (NHS) have said the following. It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

So have a scan and see if you could reduce your environmental impact while you keep those nasty risks and diseases at bay.

Plogging

Plogging is a new one for us, but we love the sound of it. Plogging is where you jog around your local area and pick up any rubbish you see on your way. It doesn’t require too much equipment if you have bins along your jogging path, but could get cumbersome if you’re taking a bin bag with you through a forest for instance. Then I guess you could try pl-ower walking?!?.

Either way, we love this idea. We regularly litter pick in our local area and whenever we have a chance to volunteer, so combining this with healthy exercise sounds like a great idea. This hobby is completely free too!

gerontakos: Από αύριο ξεκινάμε Plogging , ακόμα και ...

Running and power walking

Following nicely on from the previous suggestion, if picking up trash while you exercise is not your bag (excuse the pun). An eco friendly way to exercise is to simply use just your body – no electricity, no emissions, just you and the open road.

Take a look at some of the benefits from being outdoors and ask yourself why you’re not strapping your trainers on as you read this article!

mental health outdoors

Youtube home workouts

This is a firm favourite of mine, especially for yoga. Sometimes you really cant be bothered to leave the house, but know you should do something to get that blood pumping. The advantages of a home work out is you can do it in your pjs, at your own pace, pause it to eat some chocolate and then sit back and watch TV as soon as you finish. You can opt for Zumba, HIIT, weight training (using body weight or hand held weights), yoga/pilates, boxercise and more.

You may need a few accessories; yoga mat, hand weights, resistance bands and there are lots of environmentally friendly fitness products. Gyms use a lot of energy and usually do not turn off all of the equipment over night, this work out option is cheaper than a monthly gym membership and can use less energy.

8 reasons to work out at home | Cairo Gyms

Bicycles

If you need a bit more action or want a bit more pace think about buying or renting a bicycle. They are great for low impact exercise if you have had an injury or are worried about affects of running on knees or ankles. Electric bikes can be a great option for those who are not as fit or live in hillier areas. Lots of areas are increasingly providing bikes for rent around cities which are a great way to travel and get fit at the same time.

Be mindful of where you are cycling, we suggest you will at least need helmets, lights and high visibility clothing. If you’re cycling in cities it might be worth looking to pollution masks if you will spent a lot of time in areas with traffic.

Healthy Diverse Family Bike Riding Together In Park Stock ...

Local watering holes

Most areas will have access to water, whether it be a swimming pool, lido or beach. Swimming is a cheap way to exercise and a very peaceful way to maintain fitness. Like cycling it has very low impact so is great for those with sore backs, necks and shoulders. It’s really good for mobility and you can always go at your own pace.

Although there are chemicals and energy costs to swimming pools, especially private ones, we are supportive of the public use concept. Think along the same lines as public transport! Of course if you are by the sea or a public lido these would be a lot more energy efficient and considerably cheaper again than a swimming pool.

The best lidos in London from London Fields and Tooting to ...

Outside gyms

Dotted around parks and public places there are a number of outside gyms. These vary in quality and sometimes have a younger crowd, or a drunken man sleeping, but they can be really good, free ways to exercise. Have a search online to find out whether there are any near you, early in the morning or late at night would be our advice as the best time to go and check them out.

Are All Green Exercise Machines Equal? | Greener Ideal

Pool equipment

If none of the above is really your bag, and you’re still in dying need of a rowing machine or static bike at home, why not think about sharing it with someone? Rather than having a private gym at your home with only you using it (sometimes rarely) consider asking a friend or family member to join you in exercising.

Sharing resources is a greatly important action in the current climate, we don’t all need to own the same things. If you have a friend who loves weight training, think about investing in some weights and become gym buddies. Exercise is always more fun with friends.

Weider Home Gym Workout Plan | LIVESTRONG.COM

So give one or all of these a go! You can reduce your environmental impact while making a positive action for your health. Look for activities which use a low amount of energy or are communal to reduce personal energy use. If you have any more suggestions, please comment and tell us!

Grace has quit the 9-5 lifestyle in London to study marine conservation in Thailand. She will subsequently work as a scuba diving instructor with emphasis on teaching students about marine conservation and anthropogenic impacts to our oceans. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.

Weekly Environmental news update March 2020

Weekly E.C.O. roundup
Your weekly roundup of the top eco stories from the last 7 days

As always, we give you the top eco stories from this week on Sundays. We hope you enjoy!

Corona Virus cuts CO2 emissions

A huge number of public appearances, rallies, sports events and music events have been cancelled due to Covid-19. To protect spreading schools have been closing, flights cancelled and factories closed. Flight cancellations alone have reduced air traffic by 4.3% which has lead to a decrease in CO2 emissions globally.

Campaigners say governments should act with the same urgency about the climate crisis as it has towards the corona virus to stop CO2 emissions continuing to rise. It is predicted once society reopens and reschedules its events the CO2 levels will revert back the figures pre Covid-19.

Scientists create 'flu trap' that 'protects against virus ...

University uses drones to map glacial decline

A university in Edinburgh has started to record the devastating decline of the highest glacier in South America. The Andes contribute to 70% of the worlds glacier coverage. Of that 70% there has been a 30% decrease in the last few decades.

The drones which are being used have been specifically designed to spin faster to withstand thinner air conditions as well as been fitted with thermal imaging technology to record images of the glaciers.

Bears end hibernation early due to mild winter

Russia, Finland and the US have reported sightings of bears which were not yet predicted to finish hibernating. If they emerge too early from hibernation there may not be enough food to survive as they hibernate while food is sparse during winter months.

Bears that have been sighted include Himalayan Bears in Russia, Grizzly Bears in Canada & USA and Black Bears in USA. There have been warnings to humans to warn bears might start conflict if disrupted.

Cancel Bear predictions wrap-up for 2016-17: Time to ...

UK tree plantations not helping climate crisis

More than half of trees on commercial plantations are harvested for timber, usually used for approximately 15 years then burnt. This means any carbon stored in the wood will be burnt, or used in products that have a very short life expectancy (packaging, paper, fencing).

A report shows 2018 statistics for UK’s commercial tree plantations to have been used for;
23% wood fuel
56% saw mills (of which 33% used for permanent construction (more than 15 years life expectancy), 36% fencing, 24% pallets, 4% paper (less than 15 years life expectancy).

The Committee on Climate Change has requested that 1.5 billion trees should be planted in the UK before 2050 which would require 30,000 hectares of space.

Business Ideas | Small Business Ideas: Starting a Tree ...

Greta Thunberg rally leaves green destroyed

On 28th February Greta Thunberg attended a school strike rally in Bristol, UK which lead to the green being trodden into a bog. Around £15,000 has been raised to repair the green and people are being told to stay off the area.

The rally was said to have had a 15,000 person turn out which was organised by Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate.

A Bristol Greta diventa un murale: l'arte non smette di ...

Grace has quit the 9-5 lifestyle in London to study marine conservation in Thailand. She will subsequently work as a scuba diving instructor with emphasis on teaching students about marine conservation and anthropogenic impacts to our oceans. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.

Quick vegan harissa squash hummus recipe

Quick vegan
Vegan meals made in under 20 minutes

Our ‘Quick Vegan’ series are short, sharp pieces that get to the point. You’re a busy person who needs to eat, so check out our simple recipes that get from screen to stomach in 20m or less.

We have shared with you our staple hummus recipe in the past; Hummus Five Ways. But now we turn the flavour up a little bit higher with our butternut squash and harissa hummus. This is healthy, spicy and perfect for picnics, pre-dinner snacks and parties. Put it in wraps, burgers or just have with piping hot pitta.

Carrot, Beetroot and Harissa Hummus Flatbread | Vegetarian ...

For this recipe you will need a food processor or hand blender.

Ingredients:

2/3 butternut squash, peeled and diced, aim for 500g
400g can of chickpeas
4 tbsp tahini paste
5 tsp harissa
4 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil for roasting
3 tbsp olive oil for hummus, plus more if serving
1/2 a lime
Salt
Pepper

Method:

  1. Turn your oven on to 170C. In a large baking tray drizzle the roasting oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-50 minutes until soft. Leave to cool slightly until lukewarm
  2. Microwave the chickpeas in the chickpea water in a heatproof bowl for 3 minutes
  3. Chop or blitz the cloves of garlic in the processor first, then add the oil, harissa, drained chickpeas, and tahini into a paste
  4. Pour in the butternut squash and blitz until smooth
  5. Add any salt and pepper to taste if required, squeeze half a lime into the mix
  6. If the mixture doesn’t combine add some more olive oil or water until it does
  7. Spoon into a bowl, and add a dollop of harissa on top to finish
Harissa Hummus | Daisies & Pie

Hummus usually comes in a plastic tub which in some areas is not recyclable. We prefer to make our own as there is less plastic involved, and we can decide how much flavour we want to pack into it!!

Got a recommendation to add to our Quick Vegan: series? Let us know.

Grace has quit the 9-5 lifestyle in London to study marine conservation in Thailand. She will subsequently work as a scuba diving instructor with emphasis on teaching students about marine conservation and anthropogenic impacts to our oceans. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.

BECO: The social good company and their plastic free soap – our review

Disclaimer: We have not been endorsed by BECO for this review we just love their products and company ethos! 

This month we want to highlight a social good company that we adore, and whose products we love and use daily. BECO, also known as better considered, is an eco friendly natural soap company that does good with every bar of soap produced.

From the ingredients we pour in, to the benefits that pour back out, every product we create is Better Considered.

BECO is a UK based company that produces 97% organic, biodegradable, vegan cruelty free soap. BECO pride themselves in their workforce who are 80% disabled, visually impaired or disadvantaged. Aside from their lovely soap I can’t help but love the ethos of this company and their wonderful employees who appear on the different soap boxes!

BECO the social good company

If all households in the UK used BECO in their bathrooms, consumers would help to create nearly 45,000 new jobs for people with disabilities.

Now down to the product, the soaps come in three scents; honey blossom, wild berries and spring meadow (we like the honey blossom best). They come both in the form of a bar and a foam soap. The bar soap comes in a cardboard box and is plastic free making it a guilt free purchase.

Did you know that liquid soap has 10x the carbon footprint of bar soap? 

I use the soap daily and have found that it’s gentle, doesn’t irritate the skin and smells lovely and fresh. One major plus for me is that it doesn’t go slimy or break up as it dries in the soap dish (which most other soaps do).

If you’re not into the idea of bar soap why not give their foam soap a try?While it does come in a plastic bottle it is recyclable and in comparison to ordinary liquid soap you can save up to 88 litres of water!

Their products are:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • 97% organic
  • Paraben and SLS free 
  • Recyclable packaging (the soap is plastic free) 
  • 100% biodegradable 
  • Vegan
  • No animal testing

You might have already seen one of their great marketing campaigns #StealOurStaff which is quite literally asking companies to steal their staff. The campaign aims to get their employees hired and into new jobs so they in turn can hire more disabled and disadvantaged people and provide better prospects for disabled people. BECO believe that more companies should be hiring people with disabilities and this campaign gets to the heart of the issue.

They have also just released a new shampoo bar which is Argan Oil based and is hypoallergenic, plastic, paraben and SLS free.

You can find their products stocked at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Coop, and Boots.


Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Lauren Morgan

Weekly Environmental news update March 2020

Weekly E.C.O. roundup
Your weekly roundup of the top eco stories from the last 7 days

Here’s our round up of the biggest environmental news stories from the last 7 days…

Heathrow Airport third runway ruled illegal

In 2018 Theresa May’s government won a parliamentary vote on Heathrow expansion but this week those plans have been deemed illegal. The appeal court’s decision declared the runway plans illegal and in breach of the UK’s climate change commitments under the Paris agreement. The government has set a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and the third runway would breach this.

If the go ahead was given the £14 billion runway could be built by 2028 and result in the arrival/departure of an additional 700 planes a day.
As the plans were, half the village of Harmondsworth would have been destroyed including some listed buildings. The surrounding area would also be made inhabitable by the noise and actual pollution.

New York plastic bag ban comes into effect

A state-wide ban of plastic bags has come into force stipulating that shops will no longer be able to give or sell plastic bags. New York is the third state after California and Oregon to enforce the ban.
Every year the state of New York uses a whopping 23billion plastic bags, most of which aren’t recycled and end up in landfill or littered. In the coming year Maine and Vermont are due to enforce the ban followed by Connecticut and Delaware in 2021.
Businesses that don’t comply with the law can befined $250 for a first violation and $500 for any further violations in the same year.

New York plastic bag ban comes into effect

Study find that forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide 

Ordinarily forests act as a carbon sink (a natural reservoir that stores carbon and carbon compounds), however research from Leeds University suggests that forests are taking in less co2 from the atmosphere.
The study tracked 300,000 trees over 30 years, providing the first large-scale evidence of the decline in carbon uptake by tropical forests. The data was combined from two forest observations in Africa and the Amazon. The research shows that over the last three decades the volume of co2 absorbed by tropical forests has fallen, and this trend is likely to continue.
The uptake of carbon by tropical forests reached its peak in the 1990s when approximately 46billion tonnes were removed from the air. By the 2010s, the amount sunk to about 25billion tonnes, or just 6% of global emissions.

Study find that forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide

2021 to see greener petrol at UK garage stations 

The government is looking into producing C10 which contains less carbon than fuels currently on sale. The Department for Transport has said that this swap could reduce CO2 transport emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, however the new fuel won’t be compatible with some older vehicles.

In other UK news the government have announced that a ban on the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars would be brought forward from 2040 to 2035. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said the change in petrol could be equivalent to taking up to 350,000 cars off the road each year.

2021 to see greener petrol at UK garage stations


Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Quick vegan Mexican orzo recipe with black beans

Quick vegan
Vegan meals made in under 20 minutes



The enchilada sauce is super versatile and can be used in virtually any Mexican recipe including fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and of course Mexican pasta. The best thing about this recipe is you can adjust the spice depending on your taste. To intensify the flavour you can leave the sauce to sit for a few hours or overnight, alternatively you can just use it straight away.

We love this one pot meal because it’s quick and easy to make and is full of flavour!

Ingredients:

Enchilada base mix (recipe is here)
1 tbsp fajita spice mix
1-2 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
140g orzo pasta
1x can black beans
1x can sweetcorn
Juice of half a lime
To serve: a handful of cherry tomatoes, jalapeños and an avocado

Method:

  1. Make the enchilada base mix 
  2. In a separate pan boil the orzo until it’s almost starting to go soft (about 5 minutes before it’s ready). Don’t let it get too soft or it will overcook in the next step
  3. Add the sweetcorn, black beans and fajita seasoning to the enchilada sauce and stir thoroughly. Turn down to a low heat
  4. Squeeze in half of the lime to taste and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile halve the tomatoes and slice up the avocado
  5. Add the orzo to the pan and give it a good stir. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until the pasta has finished cooking and everything has heated through. Make sure you stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the pan
  6. Dish up with a wedge of lime and top with jalapeños

We love this recipe because it’s quick and flavoursome but best of all it can be made with minimal plastic! You can buy your herbs and spices in glass jars with metal lids (Sainsbury’s sell these) and your vegetables can be bought loose. 

Lauren works as a digital fundraiser for a charity and volunteers in her spare time for a small animal charity doing all things digital. On the last Sunday of the month you’ll catch her out on a canoe litter picking on the Thames. Her favourite eco product is BECO soap.

Lauren Morgan