0Waste #3: On The Way Swaps

Assuming you’ve read my ‘0Waste #1: Intro‘ and ‘0Waste #2: Kitchen Swaps‘, I’d now like to introduce you to some simple things everyone can do to produce less waste on the way!

STRAWS
Everyone knows they are the worst! Avoid plastic straw at all cost. They are the reason many turtles and other wildlife die. It’s so not necessary. If you really want to have a straw for a smoothie for example, choose reusable straws. There are many types: metal, glass, bamboo, silicone. I have silicone ones myself and I love them. I don’t think I’d choose them again (I bought them about 3 years ago) as they’re not recyclable, but I must say that they are great quality. I love the feel of it on my lips in comparison with the harder materials. Invest in a good (set of) straw(s) and make sure you always have on in your handbag if you like to use straws on the way. I’d go for metal ones if I’d choose again now.

CUTLERY
You can of course carry around a set of your kitchen cutlery around and that is totally fine. This is helpful whenever you want to buy something from a market stall or from the supermarket that requires cutlery. Though I invested in a travel spoon and fork (in one), made out of titanium. One side is a fork and the other side is a spoon. I totally love it! I keep it in my handbag and it has been super useful. It’s easy to clean and light + small to carry around. There are also complete travel sets including a full set of cutlery (made of metal or bamboo) and a straw. I think it’s a personal choice and also I think different people have different needs. Do a little research and find out what will work best for you.

TRAVEL CUP
I used to always drink my tea (sometimes every day, shame on me!) in a take away cup. So much waste! And then I’m especially talking about the lids. All plastic! So a few years ago I bought myself a travel cup. I saw it and fell in love with it, so I didn’t mind investing in it at all. My one is just so pretty. I bought my one at Starbucks and it’s in my favourite pink colour. I don’t drink coffee (yuk!), but I use my one for tea, so I’m very happy with a medium size. There are so many brands selling travel cups though and as a coffee drinker you might want a smaller one. So go and explore the options. A great thing about getting your coffee/tea in your own cup is that in many coffee shops you actually get a (often 25p) discount. Yay!

WATER BOTTLE
An easy one! Using a reusable water bottle. Luckily many people are using one already. Are you as well? If not, please invest in a nice water bottle. I used to have a Bobble Bottle. I had many to be honest, because of heavy use they broke after a while. I love them, because they make water taste sooo much better. Especially here in the UK, because I think the water here tastes like swimming pool water. The downside is that they are made out of plastic and when they only last for about half a year, I was creating plastic waste. So I bought a metal one instead and dealt with the taste (I now add pieces of ginger and lemon to mask the flavour and it’s so much better!). I totally loved the bottle, but after a few weeks the water started to taste like metal, because inside the bottle it started to oxidate. What made me buy the HIP bottle, which I totally love, but is also a plastic one. This one will for sure last very long, because when I drink it keeps the shape. It’s also recyclable, but I do love to get a metal one again when I’m in need for a new one, as I think they are most durable. So tips are welcome!

I hope this was helpful and will motivate you to swap (some) things in your every day life. Do you have more tips or more things you can change/swap on the way, please let me know in the comments or contact me via Instagram (@planetmanel). Thank you! X

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Popular Coffee Shops

12970556_1130108947033207_568335795_oIn London are a lot of coffee shops, almost on every corner of every street you can get a cup of coffee or tea. Now I don’t drink coffee myself, but I love tea. Out of all these coffee shops there are actually 4 really big ones. Named in order of my personal preference: Starbucks, Costa, Pret a Manger and Cafe Nero.
In my opinion they’re all very different and for that reason worth writing about. I like to get a quick take away tea, but I like it even more to sit down to truly enjoy it.
Now and then I bring my laptop and I work for a few hours. Sometimes I work for half an hour and then take a little break to look around, watch people come an go or to look at the busy streets. It happens that I have a lovely random conversation with somebody and sometimes I work for 2 hours straight without looking up. I love working like this. It’s a good balance and it helps me concentrate.

12991901_1130185700358865_1395190920_oSTARBUCKS

Let’s start with my absolute favourite: ‘Starbucks’! I’ll tel you why I love Starbucks so much. There are a lot of them, they have very very big cups, their green tea is perfect and they have cinnamon at the self service bar. When I’m at Starbucks I always order the same: venti green tea with 1/4 of soy milk. Then I mix in about 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon.. It’s my favourite drink ever! It’s not a very common drink, apart from the people I introduced to it already, I really am the only one who orders it. After I order they always ask to check if I really meant green tea with soy milk. Everybody think it’s weird, until they taste it. So let’s make it a new drink, go and try it! The only thing about Starbucks is that, apart from some fruit, nuts(very nice almonds though), a muesli bar and little dark chocolate bar, they don’t have a lot of vegan snacks. But luckily my venti green tea is very filling.. Though it would be nice if Starbucks had some vegan snacks available. There is a rumour that they’re busy creating some, but until now I haven’t seen any.
12959400_1130185687025533_332056864_oMy favourite Starbucks is the one in Portobello Road. I go here about 2-3 times a week. It’s not big and on Saturdays it’s crazy busy, but it has big windows and you can watch all the interesting Portobello Road people passing by. When the weather is nice the windows can open all the way, which I really love. Oh and for all the tourists, next to this Starbucks is the famous ‘Blue Door’ from the movie ‘Notting Hill’.

12980764_1130108807033221_1445770803_oCOSTA

My second best coffee shop is ‘Costa’. The tea they use is from Twinnings, which I only like with soy milk. It’s tasty like that, but just plain I find it too bitter. It would of been nice if they had big cups like Starbucks, but their cups are more medium sized. Though the good thing about these cups is that you don’t need the sleeves if it’s too hot. Less waste!
They’re also not great with their snacks. I tried the fruit crumble bar for this review as I noticed a lot of vegans go for this option, but it was a bit too sweet for my liking. If you have a very sweet tooth, you’ll probably love it.
12986579_1130108813699887_276796826_oThe Costa in Hammersmith is one of my favourites, as I love the interior there and you have a big seating area up stairs. They used very nice basic colours and I love the big red lamp up stairs. Great eye catcher! They have sofa’s with cushions, which are lovely to have a nice afternoon chat with friends or to watch the people passing by. There is also a lot of work tables, what makes it perfect to bring your laptop over and work there for a few hours. I think it’s a good mix of seats. And very handy.. they have toilets!

12991911_1130108833699885_1935764995_oPRET A MANGER

Now, I actually think ‘Pret a Manger’ should share the 2nd place with Costa, because they have a lot of vegan food options and they’re very tasty. Also Pret a Manger is organic, which I love! Food wise it should definitely be on the first place. The only thing is that I’m not a big fan of their tea. It’s ok, but Costa and definitely Starbucks are a lot better.
Now the food.. They basically have complete meals, which are all handmade. For example, there is a falafel salad, avocado sandwiches and I went this time for the avocado&chickpeas wrap, which is delicious. So you can easily have a quick lunch here. They also have a lot of delicious smoothies and juices and little snacks like dried fruit, nuts, crisps and fresh fruit. 12962403_1130108817033220_829018044_oAlso Pret a Manger marked all their food. So you can easily see if something is vegan or not. I love it!
In general all the Pret a Manger coffee shops are nice and light, but I like the one at Marble Arch. It’s a very busy one, but you can sit up stairs and it’s a good start (or end) when you go shopping in Oxford Street. The only thing about Pret a Manger is that most of them have no customer toilets and I always think it’s handy to have toilets at a place where they serve tea..

12986301_1130108933699875_699244399_oCAFE NERO

Last one.. Cafe Nero. To be honest, I never go to Cafe Nero. Unless there is really nothing else around and I really crave a tea I will go, but I just don’t have a connection with this coffee shop. I think it’s because a lot of Cafe Nero’s are quite dark or something. It’s probably in the name, haha.. It just doesn’t attract me. The tea is alright, just not outstanding.
12991900_1130108943699874_1573348409_oFor this article I went to the one opposite of Ladbroke Grove station, which is quite a nice one with the big windows(light.. ) and the quiet seats in the back. I like that they sell ‘Yoyo Bears’ here, but apart from that there are not a lot of vegan snacks. Just a bag of crisps and a little bar of dark chocolate and that’s kind of it.

 

Which one is your favourite coffee shop out of these 4? And please let me know if you tried the ‘venti green tea with soy milk and cinnamon’. It’s really worth trying, I promise! Leave a comment or show me using #PlanetManel so I can see it! Thank you!