Cooking seasonally (+ two cookbook tips!)

My favourite tips for cooking seasonal

One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my habits lately is cooking more seasonally. Eating strawberries in December doesn’t actually taste good and it doesn’t do the environment any good. Instead, isn’t it much nicer to enjoy foods right when they are in season here at home? Even better, get them fresh from the farmers market?

I must admit, I’m not perfect at eating only seasonal food. I jump at the first raspberries in March and quite enjoy eating tomatoes all year round (I know). Still, it’s not about being perfect, so here are a few habits I have adopted and my favourite cookbooks to help me with it.

Get in the right spirit

Instead of thinking about all the fruit and veg you can’t eat, dream about new dishes for each season. Think about that berry compote with ice cream in summer, fresh apple tart on a crisp autumn day or a hearty stew in winter. This way, you can concentrate on all the great new stuff you get to eat soon and actually get excited about it. Eating that first orange in winter when it gets cold outside tastes so much better than just eating it all year round.

 Look at a seasonal calendar

Just google “What’s in season” and you will find tons of them. Make sure you take one that’s for your region/country and your set for the next month!

Plan your recipes

After looking at the calendar, find some recipes you can try with your new seasonal goodies. This way, you can truly enjoy the season, try something new and have a great new repertoire of seasonal recipes. I love to sit down with my cookbooks at the beginning of the month and bookmark new favourites. It’s such a cosy tradition and really makes me appreciate the seasons even more.
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5 sustainable June goals

5 sustainable june goalsHey guys, June is around the corner! Can you believe it? I feel that 2017 is slipping by in a second, wasn’t Christmas just last week? After lots of travel in April and May, I’ll actually be home in Bonn all month. I set myself a few sustainable June goals and challenges. I can’t wait for summer to finally arrive and this is the perfect time to slow down and just enjoy.

Turn my home into an urban jungle

I want to take nature inside and decorate with plants instead of plastic. At the moment I only have one ponytail palm and a tiny cactus in my apartment. This needs to change, so I will definitely head to the nursery a couple of times this month.

Go offline for one day of the week

I’ve wanted to start doing this for ages! For one day of the week, probably Sunday, I want to switch off my phone, computer, everything with a screen. I’ve been glued to my laptop lately (guilty!), so this will hopefully give me some headspace again. And save energy as well, of course ;)
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Who made my clothes? 2 years fair fashion

Who made my clothes? My journey with fair fashion

It’s Fashion Revolution Week! I wanted to take the chance and tell you guys a bit more about my journey with fair fashion. As you might remember, I started buying only fair clothing about 2.5 years ago, at the beginning of 2015. It’s been quite a learning curve so far and I found so many cool labels, ideas and initiatives along the way, so here goes!

Fair Fashion: My lessons so far

+ Allow yourself to take the journey step by step. When I started shopping completely fair – not just a piece here and there – it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to look out for or where to find fair labels I liked. So I just started slowly by reading blogs dedicated to fair fashion and learning more about sustainable production, worker rights etc. One book that really helped me was “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle. It’s a must read for everyone interested in fair fashion! I can also really recommend the documentary “The True Cost” if you haven’t seen it yet.

+ There’s a lot more out there than you’d think. At the beginning, I thought the only fair labels out there were Hess Natur, People Tree and Armed Angels. How wrong I was! Just yesterday I chatted with a friend and she introduced me to two cool new labels I had never heard about. If you’re on the hunt for new pieces, I’d recommend checking out fair clothing boutiques and following the rabbit trail of new stock and young labels. In Germany there’s glore for example, in the UK Gather and See sells some amazing pieces.

+ You won’t spend more money. Of course, if you look at the prices of fair fashion, it’s more expensive than the high street (for a very good reason!). What this means though, is that you naturally won’t make as many impulse buys anymore. Yes, one shirt might cost a bit more, but you won’t have 10 low quality shirts that you bought on a whim and don’t even like anymore.

Fun & friendly

+ Second hand shopping can be fun too! I used to shy away from buying clothing second hand (too much of a hassle), but today I love it! Just take your time and remember that you can take pieces that don’t fit properly to the tailor! Second hand shopping also helps me when I miss my former favourite brands like Topshop, COS or even Zara – I’ll just search for their collections in my favourite second hand online shops!

+ The fair fashion community is incredibly friendly. If you’re just starting out, dare and reach out to people who are further along on the journey than you. I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t eager to help yet!

All in all, I haven’t regretted going fair fashion for one minute. If you want to give it a try, just go ahead. Please ask any questions you might have in the comments and I’ll try to help and answer them. Happy Fashion Revolution Friday!

PS: If you don’t know what Fashion Revolution Week means: In the week around the 24 April, people all over the world think of the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh. Over 1.000 people died working at a clothing factory with horrific working conditions. Since then, every year we’ve been asking brands: Who made my clothes? It’s a really great initiative, you should definitely check it out!

5 ways to start small today (and chill)

5 ways to start small today
Making the switch to a sustainable lifestyle is hard. There are so many options, so many opinions and – it’s more expensive. I get that. It’s still totally worth it though. So today, I’m sharing five small ways with you that will hopefully help you chill and live a bit more sustainably (without having to struggle):

Make a change and chill

Allow yourself to experiment | It takes time to make the switch. It is hard. For me, for example, switching to natural cosmetics is a process of several years (the chemicals do have a purpose after all). I struggle with a lot of allergies, especially while using natural cosmetics. So I’m trying and trying to find products my skin and hair tolerate (and sometimes switch back to drugstore products as well). I don’t give up though because I care about supporting products that don’t put a toll on the environment!

Don’t try to start fresh | Just because you are committed to live a sustainable lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your old stuff anymore. It is tempting to just purge and start with a clean slate, but this just puts a lot of pressure on your wallet and doesn’t really serve anybody.

Find out what you care about most | No sweatshops? Organic? Vegan? Locally produced? There is a lot to consider when it comes to conscious consumerism. I know a lot of people (and me too) who just give up because you can never do it ‘perfectly’. So forget perfect for a moment, choose the cause you care most about (for me, it’s the sweatshops) and stay committed to that one. Everything else is just an added bonus.

Buy organic what you eat most often | I read this tip on Me & Orla the other day and it makes so much sense: If you can’t buy all your groceries at the organic store, commit to buying what you consume most and go to a normal grocery store for the rest. For me, that’s milk, bread and coffee. You can always start buying more organic items, but it’s all about starting small.

Keep a flexible mind | Always stay open to learning more about how to do good in the way you consume. It is a very complex topic and there’s so many different influences to consider, so it’s very important to stay open to new ways of doing business.

MerkenMerken

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Meet Hanna
Hanna's Places - a green lifestyle blog

Hanna’s Places is a green lifestyle magazine written by Hanna Ulatowski. It’s all about slowing down in a fast-paced society and finding ways to live a more sustainable, simple lifestyle.

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