It is already the 4th January and I still have not started any of my new years resolutions apart from a very bad attempt to get fitter and struggling to motivate myself on a daily basis to continue. However, the plan is to write down the resolutions for 2014 tomorrow together with my girlfriend and come up with a bucket list for this year. We have been really successful in working through our bucket list in 2013 and shared some really amazing moments together. Additionally, we will start again our dream wall to keep focus on the things that really matter to us and we want to achieve.
While writing this post, I did a bit of research on the internet in regards to bucket lists and the things that might be important to be on this list. And here is a video that I found about rethinking the bucket list. It really is thought provoking, gives a different perspective to things and is a reminder about what really matters.
For this post I got inspired by my girl friend who discovered a lot of interesting things while having a little walk in our neighbourhood. She likes to go down to the Thames river bank enjoys the views over London, fresh air and the sound of the waves. However, on this occasion she made some shocking pictures of stranded rubbish that was swept onto the little bank we have only 2 minutes next to our home. I was surprised to see so much stuff. I know that the Thames is not the cleanest river of all and you can usually see that the water is not really clean, but the amount of plastic and rubbish in this river is just ridiculous. I think the pictures say it all.
By the way the red basked on the left was not even damaged and we have now in our storage cupboard.
What does a coconut have to do in the Thames?
This little duck seems to have escaped the bathtub and was looking for a bigger adventures.
The most concerning thing for me is that all the plastic rubbish will be swept out onto the sea and over many, many years will make its way into our food chain and will ultimately end up in our bodies. Therefore, we decided to go down to the river bank again on our next day off and collect all this rubbish and put it where it belongs – in the bin. Anyone joining?
Alright, today I need to let some steam go off in this blog post. For the past 3 month we (my girlfriend and I) have a big blue wheely bin outside our house for all our recycling and additionally, a small brown bin for all the food waste. Something I am used to since I am a small child. Apparently, not os for many of my house mates. But this is not the actual problem, the problem seems to be the ignorance and misinformation about recycling. When be first started to separate our glass, plastic and paper from the general waste, most of our flatmates did not join at all and just continued throwing everything into the general waste. When we talked to them about the issue they willingly listened and explained that they do not know how to recycle and what can be recycled. Therefore, we made some pictures and explained it all to them and put some instructions next to the bin. It was working maybe for a few days and then everything went back to normal and all rubbish was landing in the general waste bin. One comment we received was if we really believe that recycling will help the environment at all and that it all is just a big scam or hoax. Really????? I could not believe what I was hearing…!
Recycling by Nour El Refai
Anyway, we continue to get our hands dirty by getting plastic, paper, cans and other recyclable stuff out of our general waste bin. We will also continue reminding everybody in our house share what proper recycling looks like and why it is important.
Do you have similar stories? Please share them!
On my recent shopping trip I challenged myself and bought something that I have never used in my cooking before. As we (my girlfriend and I) are trying to be more environmental conscious and buy seasonal and local produce, I came across Kale – this intensely dark green vegetable. But I heard that is really nutritious with a variety of vitamins, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K and lutein and therefore would give it a try. Some even call it a superfood due to its high vitamin content, but I don’t really like calling anything ‘super food’ as most fruit and vegetables have it’s place and value within a balanced diet.
Searching the web for some exciting recipes with Kale, I came across this really easy to do Potato and Kale Soup and gave it my personal touch. I opted for the vegetarian version, but I think it would be great with chorizo as well.
- 450 g of potatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 small onion
- 225 g curly Kale
- 1 lemon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
Peel and slice the potatoes. Place them into a pan with the garlic, onion, and some salt and pepper to season. Cover generously with water and simmer until the potatoes become tender. Mash it until very smooth. You may need to add water to give it a soup consistency. Return to the pan and add lots of pepper. Prepare the kale by chopping off the stalks and finely shredding the leaves. Bring the soup back to the boil and then add the kale and simmer for around 5 minutes. Blend everything together. Add the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of nutmeg. Serve with a sprinkle of olive oil on top and maybe some paprika for the eye. Enjoy your meal! Bon Appetit!