Monday, 17 August 2015


What is Huel?

"HUman fuEL: a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals your body needs."

So it is like that space food you dreamt of as a kid, the meal-in-a-pellet that would arrive at the same time as hover boots and teleporters. Well, only one of those has happened.

Huel comes as a powder. The easiest way to consume it is to mix it with water (though there are other options). We thought we'd buy some and get a few people to try it because many of the advantages below make sense to us.


  • Cuts down on food waste (up to 30% of all food in the UK is thrown away). Huel has a shelf life of over 1 year.
  • Makes it easy to take in the right amount of calories, which would help to curb the UK's obesity epidemic: 64% of adults are overweight or obese and obesity related conditions are on the increase.
  • Includes all the nutrients you need. "Huel provides at least 100% of the UK Government's Reference Nutrient Intakes and the European Union's Daily Recommended Amount."
  • Cruelty-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. "Huel contains no added sugar, no meat or animal products, no dairy, no soy, no eggs, making it suitable for those with even the most complex dietary requirements. Huel is made from real food. It contains a carefully chosen blend of vegan protein (rice and pea), oats, flaxseed, sunflower lecithin, MCT from coconut, and a vitamin and mineral blend."
  • Cuts down on packaging: a whole week's supply of Huel comes in two pouches, compared to all the packaging required if you purchased traditional food from the supermarket.
  • Saves time: it takes 2 minutes to mix a whole day's supply. Less washing up, less shopping, and no cooking.
  • Versatile: you don't have to have it as your only food. Just use it for one meal a day, or one meal a week, and eat traditional food the rest of the time. Some people have Huel when on their own, and normal food when in company so they can enjoy cooking or eating out with friends as usual.
  • Handy for when you don't have access to a kitchen (e.g. overnight stay in a hotel, travelling).

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Eat And Drink Between Trains

If you travel to or from Ceredigion by train, chances are you might stop off at Shrewsbury on the Welsh border. If your trip covers the girth of Wales, east to west, then you may also be at the other end of the line, Aberystwyth. Well, if you get hungry while waiting for a train then there are some great veggie/vegan cafe options. It may even be worth catching a later train in exchange for a treat at either of these!

Optimum Joy - tasty vegan breakfast special, coffee, 
and chocolate cake

Shrewsbury - Optimum Joy
A cafe with a relaxing ambience. All food is vegan, with lots of tasty options - breakfasts, lunch time meals, cakes and treats, teas and coffees, and lots of other things. Various holistic treatments upstairs. Website / Facebook

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cutting Back On Waste

Let's try and prevent this - mobile phones on a tip

Planned obsolescence is when manufacturers design things to break or be unrepairable, so that you have to buy a replacement. This leads to mountains of unnecessary waste. What can you do?

France passed a law that makes manufacturers publish the expected lifespan of their products as a way of combating this. Sign this petition if you'd like to see that in the UK too. You'd be able to buy something and know that it won't break within a few months! It is the kind of policy that would end the throwaway and low-quality manufacture culture. Global demand for resources has exceeded the earth's supply. We need long-lasting products that are designed to be easy to repair.

Monday, 13 July 2015


We've learnt how to make tooth powder; also soap and candles. It's fun to make your own toiletries and customise them. Let's make deodorant. Here are two options.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Don't Allow Hunting To Return

In a matter of days hunting could return to the countryside. That is what the Government is planning and without your support the hunters will get their way. It is vital that you contact your MP and let them know that you are completely opposed to a return of cruel sports such as fox hunting. Voting to water down the Hunting Act is a vote for animal cruelty.

The Government have announced that MPs will be asked to vote on changes to existing laws on fox hunting in England and Wales next week. These proposals are a return to hunting by the back door. By amending the Hunting Act, the Government would be deliberately and cynically making it easier for hunts to chase and kill foxes, and harder for them to be convicted when they break the law. This is not about hunting foxes for pest control. It’s about hunting foxes for fun. Hunting with hounds, whether the victims are foxes, deer or hares, is a cruel pastime carried out by a minority who like to see animals ripped apart. More information here.

The Ceredigion MP is Mark Williams, LibDem. The Liberal Democrats are rightly calling on their MPs to object to watering down hunting laws - we have asked him how he will be voting and will summarise it here.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Recycling Odds And Ends

An old article with tips on recycling and passing things on to charity shops

We haven't mentioned recycling for a while so here are some reminders and tips.

  • What does Ceredigion County Council collect from your doorstep?
  • Note that glass can't go into the clear bags, you have to take it to a recycle centre/bin yourself, even though it's inefficient in terms of journeys (e.g. you might have 100 cars going back and forth rather than one van). The best option is to take glass with you when you go for a walk or cycle that takes you past a recycle bin, and do it little but often.
  • Minimise what you purchase, and you'll minimise waste. The figures will have changed since 2012, but back then Ceredigion County Council were charged £120 per ton for landfill, and were disposing of 40 tons of material this way every single week (literally wasting £5000 per week, on top of the environmental and social harm from this approach). We don't need half of the things we buy, so buy less: it saves money and the environment at the same time!
  • Think about re-using stuff. For example, many people cut up and re-use cards (birthday/Christmas etc) as notepaper/notelets/bookmarks. Or you could pass them on to a school or creative group that would like them. For example in Aberystwyth you could donate them to Canolfan Padarn for clients' art projects (collages etc).
  • You can also re-use bits of soap (and make your own tooth powder).
  • Many tea bags aren't compostable.
  • Labelling of materials is always a pain, and it seems that many companies nowadays choose to use non-recyclable packaging (e.g. most crisp packets). Check the label and cut back on things that aren't recyclable - and tell the companies why! In an ideal world all packaging would be clearly labelled with either an R (recyclable), B (biodegradable), or a bin (if neither of the previous). For anything without an R or B the company would need to pay for a licence. That would soon start reducing the amount of non-recyclable and non-biodegradable waste! At present there's no penalty at all to manufacturers, and the only stick we have to beat them with is consumer power. Use it!

Thursday, 25 June 2015