Kale & Compass is a lifestyle and travel blog dedicated to living sustainably and inspiring others to reduce their impact on the environment. Here are a few rules we live by:
1. Living “zero waste” doesn’t mean we produce zero waste.
The zero waste movement is misnamed and as a result, I think it’s intimidating and unapproachable to folks interested in reducing their impact. Here, we view zero waste as a mindset that means choosing the best, most sustainable, least wasteful option in any given scenario. We strive to do the best we can with the options we’re given.
2. Don’t be perfect & don’t dwell.
This is the real world and perfection is not realistic, especially when it comes to the beast we’re dealing with: unbridled freely-packaged plastic consumerism. We do our best to live according to point #1, but we don’t dwell on a less-than-perfect situation that produces waste. Most importantly, we don’t let a #zerowastefail stop us in our tracks. Each day is a new day, each moment a new opportunity to try... and try again.
3. Knowledge and appreciation that everybody’s different.
We’ve all got different lives and different priorities, so it’s best not to compare yourself to anyone else. Some of us live in areas where there are tons of package-free options while others struggle to find fresh produce nearby and at a reasonable price. It’s all about making the most out of what you’ve got access to, and even the smallest change in your lifestyle can make a big impact over time. You are doing the best you can, so stick with it!
What to expect on the blog:
As I work to live according to my own sustainable life rules ^, I’ll be sharing what I learn and offering tips and ideas for small changes in daily life.
Whether you’re looking to live a zero waste, low waste, low-impact, hyper-local or eco-friendly life, I’m just happy you’re here. Thanks for joining me in this thing!
Hey, I'm Lauren! Nice to meet you.
Kale & Compass is a collection of my musings, usually food-related, sometimes geared more toward adventure, always from the heart. I’ve been passionate about cooking at home for many years now. With cooking, there is an endless amount to learn – and I love that. I love trying new methods, tasting new ingredients and learning how to be resourceful and economical with my food purchases. I love the challenge of coaxing the best flavor out of the most humble ingredients. I also strive to maintain a minimalist kitchen. A kitchen where every tool, every utensil, and every piece of cookware serves many purposes, is multifunctional and will last for years. It’s a work-in-progress.
Over the last few years, I’d read and watched many books and documentaries about our food industry, food waste and food packaging waste. It made a big impact on how I viewed food at the grocery store. I realized the majority of the trash (so much plastic) Nick and I were discarding every day came from the kitchen. At the same time, since I was very young, I’d battled a peanut allergy and more recently new mysterious food sensitivities that I could never quite pinpoint. I’d spend so much time at the store pouring over every single ingredient list on every single processed, boxed or canned food item before I purchased it. It was exhausting.
Zero Waste Lifestyle
I learned about the zero waste lifestyle in 2014, and how to shop zero waste and became instantly curious. It meant saying ‘no’ to excess waste related to food packaging and instead, bringing your own reusable containers to shop. It meant buying simple, fresh and basic ingredients from the produce and bulk sections of the store and as an added bonus, it meant fewer mystery ingredients and less risk of a peanut allergy attack. Two birds, one stone. Armed with empty mason jars, bulk cloth bags, a sharpie and a few large canvas totes, I started in on a bring-your-own-container shopping experiment that would eventually become a weekly habit. I haven’t looked back. Thanks, Nick, for helping carry the “jarmy” to the store each week! 😆
Pacific Northwest Living
Living in the Pacific Northwest has allowed me access to hyper-fresh local produce and, thanks to our weekly farmers market just down the street, I’m able to leverage those virtually package-free ingredients in my home cooking every day. I’m incredibly thankful for that. Additionally, the breathtaking scenery and landscape over in this corner of the U.S. continuously serves as both a source of creative inspiration and adventurous outlet in my life; whether the result is a new recipe I’ve created at home or a new memory we’ve gathered whilst trekking through one of the numerous nature trails just outside of the city.
Drawing from all of these inspirations, my goal with Kale & Compass is to show you how to cook the tastiest, most satisfyingly comforting and nourishing meals with the least amount of food packaging and food waste as a byproduct.