The Vegetable Diva opened its doors on March 13th. For myself it felt like a retrospective of a life’s work. Something which I have been building up to albeit unknowingly for the last 40 years ( I have been cooking and experimenting in the kitchen since I was 6).
For me cooking is very much a combination of conscious creative expression, each dish should be beautifully presented taste divine and respect the producers and suppliers who have made it possible and finally certainly but not least that its transportation to the public should have minimal impact on the environment.
As a company we took the plunge to offer grab & go, take-away (what ever you like to call it without packaging. We wanted to provide a service which encourages people to think and hopefully change their habits. The response so far has been interesting, many people have left and then returned with a box to carry their goods which have has been encouraging and heart warming to see, some were frustrated by our napkin less cafe, overall the response has been positive and supportive.
This move has resulted in me thinking more and more about the impact which convenience has on the environment and is it really saving time and making us more productive? As a nation the UK is currently responsible for off loading its plastic waste to other parts of the world. China has put its foot down and has placed a ban on this, however the problem has now been offloaded to Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Since the ban came into force, waste being exported to Malaysia more than trebled. This ranking comes from a report published in the journal Science in 2015. When are landfills are full we are now taking our rubbish and destroying the environment of other countries but keeping the blue flag flying on our beaches, how can this be considered fair?
We at the vegetable diva have dipped our toe in the water to encourage the public to dive in and take the plunge by supporting us we hope that the corporate world will see the demand and follow suit. I feel that it is only when our ruling authorities and a national government makes conscious decisions which support the environment by investing money in an infrastructure which actively supports the environment and the health of the nation that we will see a noticeable change.
In the meantime at the Vegetable Diva we will continue with our mantra “ Package Free and Proud “ and hope you will sing along with us or support the movement by bringing in your containers/tiffins/plates well anything really.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi