Thursday, September 22, 2011

Idea for today: Collaborative Consumption

Today the idea that I've stumbled upon is Collaborative Consumption - the idea that the world is now moving from a time of hyper-consumerism into a new era where people are sharing, swapping and trading their possessions and time with the use of technology. Just take a look at eBay, car-sharing schemes, AirBNB, Couchsurfing, house swapping... the list goes on. Technology has allowed us to create communities that interact around the world, and you can even make money out of this! The average New Yorker earns $21,000 a year renting out their extra space on AirBnB.

Take a look at this TED talk by Rachel Botsman talking about how Collaborative Consumption is changing the world.

I got to this idea from an article about how the adventure clothing store Patagonia has teamed up with eBay to encourage people to sell their old Patagonia clothes. They launched the the “Buy Less, Buy Used” campaign because its the best way for the company to reduce its environmental footprint. Kind of strange for a company to encourage people not to buy stuff from their store, but to buy second hand! But that is what Patagonia is all about, reducing their impact on the earth. I recently read an excellent book by the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouninard, called "Let my people go surfing", about how he created a model sustainable business. It is an inspiring read.

So what can I do to reduce my consumption?
  • Think twice before you buy more stuff. Do you really need it? Why are you really buying it - to keep up appearances?
  • If you do buy something, buy something with the best quality you can afford, so it wont fall apart after you use it a few times. Or buy something second-hand, and extend the lifespan of the product.
  • Sell your stuff - on ebay etc, or swap it with a friend. Organise a clothes swap.
  • Rent your space - via AirBnB or couchsurfing. Perhaps you'll reduce the demand for beach side development ruining some sand dunes.
  • Buy green, buy local.
What other actions are you taking?

Monday, September 12, 2011

One-Pot Pasta with Peas & Tuna

I go through phases with cooking, and generally the quickest and tastiest dishes are the ones that stick with my kitchen. So here is my latest recipe, which takes 15mins maximum, and is made from food that I always have in the cupboard and freezer.

One-Pot Pasta with Peas & Tuna
Serves 2 Israelis

half a packet of pasta
1/3 - 1/2 bottle of tomato Passata
! clove of garlic, crushed (I use frozen pre-crushed garlic for extra speediness)
1 can of Tuna - 250g or medium sized can
Frozen peas, about 1/2 cup
Grated Parmesan (I buy freshly grated, and keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
All the ingredients, with the pasta cooking away.
1. Cook pasta as per instructions.
2. Add frozen peas to the cooking pasta 1 minute before you take it off the stove. Put in the peas and wait for the water to boil again, then check the pasta is ready.
Adding the peas to the pasta pot, waiting for the water to boil again after its dose of ice.
3. Drain the pasta & Peas. Return to the pasta pot.
4. Add some olive oil
5. Return to low heat
The drained pasta and peas, with the olive oil added.
6. Add garlic, salt and pepper, and stir
7. Add Passata so that all the pasta is covered with red
Adding the Passata
8. Add can of tuna. Heat for 1 minute.
Adding the tuna
9. Ready to Serve! Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
If you are a chilli fan, add some chili flakes. Amit and are are chilli wooses so we don't do that.

Now I know that Tuna is an unsustainable fishing stock, so I suggest you only eat this occasionally, or substitute the Tuna for extra cheese! Most Tuna species are currently over-fished, except Skipjack. Or you can find some tinned salmon that has been approved from the Marine Stewardship Council.

Some more info on eating sustainable seafood:
Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide
Sustainable Fish guides for all over the world