Toronto Vegandale 2019

TorontoVegandale2019

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Hi Savvys!

I was so happy to attend this year’s Vegandale in Toronto.   I had attended last year and was so excited to see the different vendors this year.  Entry this year was $10 for early birds and $15 at the door.  There were lots of brands that had booths such as Daiya, Silk, Yves and Magnum offering full sized free samples – you definitely got your money’s worth.

 

 

Like last year, we brought our own reusable bags, containers, cutlery and water bottles to ensure we were reducing the amount of waste that tends to be produced at these types of food festivals.  And like last year, Vegandale came equipped with a refillable water bottle station with cold water for both you and your furry friend!

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I also enjoyed seeing so many restaurants having their own booths as well, such as Fresh and Planta Burger.   It was great to see so many local restaurants offering their specialties off their menus.  We had ordered the Southwest Burger from Planta burger with their truffle fries – my absolute favourite and served crispy with ketchup!

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I also made my annual trip to the Good Rebel to stock up on some vegan staples like soy curls and TVP.  I love that they now offer shipping across Canada so I can stock up all year round.  Definitely check out their website!  They offer a wide variety of vegan products, from pantry staples to frozen products, such as Beyond Meat sausages.

Last year the event was held on both Saturday and Sunday but this year it was only held on Saturday, which did make the line ups a bit lengthy.  We waited especially long at Ital Vital for about 15 minutes, but it was well worth it.  We enjoyed their Jerk with rice and sides.  Luckily we brought our own containers because we packed it up and ate it for dinner at home!

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I look forward every year to Toronto Vegandale where I can explore and be inspired by all of the loca vendors.  It seems like this festival is getting bigger and bigger every year and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for years to come.  Don’t forget to check out my video to see the experience.

Now set forth and be savvy!

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics for Plastic Free July

Hi Savvys!Hope everyone is enjoying their Plastic Free July!July may be almost over, but I hope all of our new habits and healthy lifestyle changes will stick around all year round! Especially now that it’s summer, we have less time to spend indoors and look to convenience products since we want to maximize and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

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I’ve put together a list of my top 8 reusable alternatives to single use plastics that you can incorporate into your summer routine, whether it be attending food festivals, traveling or even enjoying a BBQ or two.

  1. Reusable Floss

Not only is this floss pot reusable for years to come, the floss itself is also vegan and compostable. That means when we’re done with the floss, we just throw it into our bathroom compost bin!

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush

I love that companies are so innovative now and creating everyday single use products out of renewable resources. Bamboo is considered a renewable resource as it can grow up to 4 inches a day. Cutting and harvesting bamboo actually improves the soil quality. Again, at the end of its useful life, we throw our bamboo toothbrushes into the compost bin.

  1. Diva Cup

I love my Diva Cup. It can be used between 2 – 4 years before having to be disposed of. Not only is it diverting pads and tampons from the landfills, it will also save you money in the long run!

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  1. Reusable Travel Zip Pouches

If you know me, then you know I love to travel. A lot of single use plastic bags are typically used when travelling to hold toiletries and electronics. I love these reusable zip pouches since they’re see through so security can see what’s in them as you’re passing through security check, and they’re sturdy enough to hold electronics such as wires and cables.

  1. Reusable Snacks Bags

Staying with the traveling theme, I always love to bring snacks with me no matter how long the car ride or flight is. I love that these pouches come in 2 different sizes to meet my snacking needs.

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  1. Travel To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set

I love that these bamboo utensils come in a pouch for easy traveling. I bring them with me when we have BBQ’s, potlucks or food festivals. Lightweight and can fit in my purse!

  1. To-Go Ware 2 Tier Stainless Steel Tiffin

Growing up I’ve always wanted these types of containers since they always reminded me of the bento boxes that anime characters would eat from. Now that I’m older, I love them for their practicality! They can fit salads and fruits and can fit into my small travel sized lunch box for when we travel by plane!

  1. ChicoBag Vita Shopping Bag

Of course we know how important it is to have reusable bags on us. But sometimes when we’re on the go, we don’t always have the space in our purse to stuff a reusable bag into. Luckily this shopping bag from ChicoBag is collapsible and comes with a key ring for your convenience. I never leave my house with this bag!TheSavvyPantry-8ReusableAlternativesPlasticFreeJuly2019 (3)

Of course, there are always reusable things around your house that you can use and incorporate that doesn’t cost extra money, but I wanted to share this fun list with you to show you products if you were interested in investing and reusing for the years to come.Leave your comment below to let me know what your favourite reusable alternative is.Now set forth and be savvy!

 

Toronto Green Living Show 2019

Toronto Green Living Show 2019

Hi Savvys!

This year was the 14th annual Green Living Show held in Toronto, and it was my 2nd time attending.  The Green Living Show  is Canada’s largest healthy living expo, showcasing products and companies to suit every aspect of your life.  If you’ve ever met me, then you know I’m all about sustainable living and sharing tips on how to reduce your overall carbon footprint.  I was so delighted this year to see that there was a whole section dedicated to sustainable fashion.

There were really cool companies showcasing their sustainable fashion, from scarves and tops made from organic cotton to handbags and hats made from leaves.  I picked myself up a pair of glasses made from recycled plastic from Dresden.  These glasses are super customizable and very durable.

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I also discovered the beautiful swimsuits from The Saltwater Collective where their gorgeous swimsuits are made from abandoned fishing nets and plastic scraps.  I felt so inspired walking this area and seeing the innovative things companies are doing to address the amount of waste we create.

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Within the Sustainable Fashion area, there was an interactive museum that showed different facts of the impact our purchasing decisions have on the environment.

At the Green Living Show, they seem to be evolving their food court, which they call their Food & Drink Pavilion, every year.   Like last year, it is a cashless system where you purchase food coupons before entering the pavilion.  After entering the pavilion, you use the coupons as currency to purchase food and drink.  This year was all about international tapas style foods.  They also have a beer and wine section.  Just like last year, we unfortunately never made it to this section because we always get so stuffed from trying all of the samples at the booths, but I would definitely love to check it out next year.

One of my favourite activities when visiting the Green Living Show is checking out all of the food vendors, of course.   There is always a huge selection of products to fit your lifestyle needs, whether it’s gluten free, organic or plant based.  I picked myself up all of the Nona’s cream sauces for an incredible deal and regret not purchasing more.  There were so many food vendors giving out samples that you could seriously have a meal here before you called it a day.

Don’t forget to check out my video below to see the experience.

Now set forth and be savvy!

 

Pinterest - Green Living Show

12 Tips to Reduce Your Waste

Zero Waste - Tips to a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Hi Savvys!

Happy Earth Day!  Every year I love to share different tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but since it’s the first year that I have a blog, I am so happy to be sharing these tips here!

With so much focus now on climate change and people really recognizing that this is a real problem, every little effort or change that each of us individually makes can make a huge impact collectively on our planet.  International days where we collectively take action such as earth hour on March 30th as well as Earth day on April 22nd, shows the impact that we can have.

In my opinion, the most important and impactful thing that you can do is to reduce your waste!

Did you know that it has been calculated that the average Canadian produces more garbage per capita than any other country?  We on average individually generate 2.7kg of garbage a day.  Collectively, this adds up to about 31M tonnes of garbage a year, with only about 30% of that being recyclable material.  Can you see now what I mean by each individual action we take can add to a greater impact collectively?  Unfortunately, in this case, it’s for the worse.

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More specifically, did you know that about 70% of our garbage comes from packaging?  Packaging comes in all forms, shapes and sizes.  When you buy ANYTHING at the store, it seems that you cannot get away with packaging.  Whether you are buying wires that come in a plastic box, peanut butter that comes in plastic jars and even fruits and vegetables now wrapped in plastic.  It is hard to get away from all of that packaging.  You might thing that it’s ok because we can recycle and that’s it.  But the problem is that most recycling plants have not adopted to be able to handle all of the new and different types of materials, shapes and even colors to be able to recycle properly.  It has been found that 91% of plastic waste created isn’t recycled, and ends up in landfills and our oceans.  You might think that reducing your consumption of plastic bags should be able to address this issue, but plastic bags only make up about 1% of the waste in landfills.

Not only do we have an issue with plastic waste, but there is also a huge issue with food waste.  Did you know that 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten?  That ends up being an average of throwing away $1100 a year per household!   I don’t know about you, but I don’t have money to throw away.  And that’s just what we’re doing individually.  As a collective, 58% of all food produced in Canada is lost or wasted.  That adds to a whopping $31 Billion.

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Food waste not only is a waste of money and food (obviously), but is a waste on resources.  Growing the food from seed takes a lot of water, energy and labour.  It also uses up a lot of energy and gas to then transport this food across the world.

Now I’d like to share my 10 tips on how you can reduce your overall waste.

  1. Bring your own bags, say no to bags. Though plastic bags only account for 1% of waste, this will definitely help create good habits and serve as a reminder that there are alternatives to plastic bags and packaging in general.
  2. Bring your own jars when shopping in the bulk section. Not only do you save the hassle of having to transfer the goods from the bag to your jars later at home, but in most cases, switching to purchasing in bulk is actually cheaper than buying prepackaged goods
  3. Bring your own metal straws and travel mugs, especially when you are traveling, whether it be in car rides or even on the plane.
  4. Say no to plastic bottles and re-fill your own and always have fresh water on you at all times
  5. Left overs at a restaurant? Bring your own containers to pack the leftovers in.  Leave a bag full of containers in your trunk so you always have them on hand for those last minute take out nights
  6. In the cafeteria at work: say no to disposable cutlery and bring your own or use the metal ones. This also works when eating in fast food restaurants or getting take out.  I always carry these bamboo cutlery when I travel (https://www.to-goware.com/)
  7. Paper towel and Sponges – use clothe towels instead which can be used over and over again. For messier spills where you need that extra support, or check out these Kliin reusable paper towels, which can be used up to 200 times and biodegrade at the end of its lifetime (https://kliin.co/)
  8. Re-using items you would usually recycle such as tissue boxes to organize drawers or cans as planters

9. Make trade-offs: when you have no choice but to buy something with packaging, buy in larger format – usually cheaper and at least you’re reducing the waste by not having to buy multiples of the smaller format. Or if you have the choice to purchase in a glass reusable jar or paper over plastic.

10. Plan out our meals and meal prep – this will allow you to curate your grocery list based on what is on the menu for the week (or in my case, what’s on sale in the flyer, then my meal prep, then my shopping list) and save money by not going out to eat

11. Freeze leftovers! In my house, leftovers are frozen indefinitely (though 2 months is best).  Freeze food you know you won’t use!  Fruits and veggies can be frozen for up to 18 months.  Meats can be frozen for up to a year

12. Finally, if you do have waste, composting is best! When food is sent to landfills, as it decomposes it creates methane (21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is the leading cause of warming).  If you have a home but your city doesn’t not accept compost, throw your plant based scraps in the backyard for the animals to eat (and if not, it will eventually decompose anyway).  Live in an apartment/condo?  See if you can start a compost system in your building through your city.

I hope these tips will inspire you to look for ways where you can reduce the waste you create.  Whether it be in your home or even at the office, every step that we take individually will lead to a great impact collectively.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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Tea Runners Subscription Box

Tea Runners Subscription Box

Hi Savvys!

I am so happy to share with you the Tea Runners Subscription box! It’s a new subscription box bringing you the world’s finest teas!

Like any subscription box, you can choose the frequency of how you receive them. You can choose to receive this box monthly, bi monthly or even quarterly.

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They have 4 boxes to choose from: the original, herbal, black and pure. For my 1st box, which was the January box, I chose the pure tea box. The selection of teas in this box contains flavours I’m already familiar with, but was still new and exciting.

I am excited to try all of the teas in this box: Water Sprite Oolong, Flowering Feng Qing Tea Cones, Fujian Black Tea and Golden Mao Feng. I especially love the packaging because it contains information such as country and region of origin, measurement per cup, temperature and caffeine level.

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Want to get your hands on your own Tea Runners box? Check out their website www.TeaRunners.com for more information. Don’t forget to use my coupon code DISCOVERTEA for $8 USD off your choice of first box.

Don’t forget to check out my unboxing in the video below.

Now set forth and be savvy!

Terra Winter Market | Milton, Ontario

Terra Winter Market - Milton Ontario

Hi Savvys!

If you’re like me and struggle throughout winter because you don’t do winter sports, are debilitated by the cold and feel like hibernating, then keep reading!

Since I am originally from Montreal and have grown up with winter storms where you can expect 40 cm of snow a week, you would think that winter would be a breeze for this Canadian now living in Toronto. Since living in the greater Toronto area, I’ve been really spoiled buy the tepid cold and lack of snow.

 

However this year was absolutely brutal.  There has since moving to Milton, we’ve tried to make it a point by going out at least once a month to explore our town and cities that surround us. We did pretty well in the summer time, visiting hiking trails, the farmers market and even waterfalls. The winter however has been less exciting.

This brings me to Terra Winter Market of Milton. I was elated to have been invited to check out this market because 1. I love food and checking out eclectic markets and 2. It will get me out of the house during winter.

Upon arriving at Terra Greenhouses (which is the actual store), I immediately started browsing all of the areas, with my attention being pulled everywhere! I saw indoor home decor, outdoor home decor as well as clothing. There were so many cute pots and planters that I was getting major inspo!

 

Then I realized I wasn’t actually in the market yet, but the store itself is worth a day trip. Once I entered the market, you forget that it’s winter time. They had live music, a garden area where you can sit at tables and enjoy the sights and sounds and even live birds chirping and flying around (though I don’t think this was on purpose but it really added to the atmosphere). The temperature was very pleasant, and felt like you were in the tropics with all of the beautiful plants utilized as decor.

The market features over 100 vendors ranging from homemade baked cakes to aroma therapy for your home. There is really something here for everyone. I especially loved the vegan Momo’s from TC’s Tibetan MoMo as well as the jumbo vegan pierogies from Andrzejewski Pierogies.

Since most people don’t realize that the Terra Greenhouses are opened during the winter time, this market is a sure way to bring people out to explore all of the different local vendors and all of the products they have to offer. I have visited twice so far, spending about 2 hours each time and have always left with regret because I didn’t buy more goodies! I high recommend a visit to one of their locations. You will be pleased!

Terra Winter Market id open every Saturday from January 19th to March 30th from 12pm to 3pm. They have a location in Hamilton as well which features over 50 vendors.

Terra Milton Garden Centre and Nursery – 12800 Britannia Rd. Milton, ON L9E 0V3

Terra Hamilton Garden Centre and Nursery – 340 Highway 20 R.R. #1 Hamilton , ON L0R 1P0

Check out A Day in the Life featuring the Terra Winter Market –