Like many vegans I have found myself on a compassion spiral.
I became vegan after opening my eyes to the abhorrent mistreatment of animals in the dairy and egg industry – not just meat as I’d foolishly been led to believe as a vegetarian for almost two decades.
After becoming aware of the impact that meat and dairy have on animals, people and the planet I started to consider how to reduce and eliminate harm to all these groups and what aspects of my lifestyle could be adapted.
We live on a planet with diminishing resources, increasing levels of pollution and a mushrooming population. We are essentially a world of wasters.
According to a report by WRAP in 2016 the food sector produces 10 million tonnes of food waste and food and drink accounts for 20% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Look at this alongside the fact that 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Voices of the Hungry, 2016) and you cannot fail to be disgusted and saddened.
"Reducing this waste could not only save the planet but it could save lives."
The goal to eliminate waste is commonly referred to as zero waste. This doesn’t just mean food though. It is a goal focused on reducing, reusing and recycling all resources so that nothing is sent to landfill or incinerated.
Veganism and zero waste are philosophies that are easily intertwined as both share goals to reduce harm to the planet and all beings that live on it. However their needs to be more dialogue around how these issues link.
Vegan gal pal Charlie-May and I decided to combine our vegan super powers (cause all vegans have super powers from all the plants we eat, obvs) to develop an education project to demonstrate that veganism can be accessible, healthy and sustainable. With a shared passion around reducing waste – in and out of the food chain – we decided to host a plant-based zero waste dinner to bring some of the issues together and get the dialogue going.
The dinner is happening from 7pm on Friday 1 September at brilliant community venue Space at 61 in south east London. We’re pleased to announce that FareShare - the UK wide charity that is fighting food waste and hunger - will be supporting this event with a food donation. We will also be doing the rounds of local markets to see what leftovers they have. These will all be utilised alongside some core stock cupboard ingredients to create dinner!
The menu will be partly devised the night before and finalised on the day of the event – nothing like working under pressure – and will be announced to guests on arrival.
Guests will also hear from Laura Boyes of Hetu - a vegan zero waste store that is opening soon and some short films will also be screened.
The event will be an informal yet informative evening and will highlight what steps can be taken to make a difference. We also want to hear from other people with knowledge and experience in these areas as we are keen to be able to make a collective effort towards much needed change.
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Both Judy and I recognise that an events company isn't ever going to be the most zero-waste business. However we are really keen to reduce our waste and work with brands who want to support us in doing this. So if you're a manufacturer or keep cups or re-useable cutlery please reach out to us as we are keen to discuss collaboration opportunites. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org