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Thinking of how to end the summer season with impact?
This Guide gives you a day's worth of activities in Malta that — helps the planet! Whether it's by eating vegan to reduce the impact of the meat industry on climate change, to f***ing fast fashion, you're doing your bit and that's why we love you.
Remember, every day is a good day to start being sustainable and be sure to share your sustainable activities on Sustainability Day scheduled for the 28th of October.
Breakfast at Balance Bowl
There's no better way to start the day than with a good breakfast.
Grab a delicious breakfast at Balance Bowl, known for its plant-based kitchen and unlimited nutrition bar. The idea behind the bar is simple: you customise your breakfast with as many nutritious items as you like.
Did you know that they also do weekly vegan meal plans? Yes! You can sign up for them to prepare and deliver freshly made protein-packed, plant-based meals to your doorstep. Every week is an exciting round of diverse meals from vegan Moroccan tagines to Asian mung bean salads. To find out what's next on the meal plan, check out their Instagram profile.
Note: the nutrition bar is temporarily closed due to Covid-19 but the cafe is open as normal, so grab yourself some brekkie and a vegan smoothie!
Kicking-Off the Morning with a Coastal Clean-Up
As the end of summer nears, throngs of people continue to get their last beach fix. Sadly, this leads to beach litter.
Plastic pollution is the most widespread problem affecting the marine environment, threatening ocean health, food safety and quality, human health and coastal tourism. At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and make-up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
Go to any beach and there's a high chance you'll be picking up some rubbish. However, this activity is best done with some motivational support from like-minded people.
What the Fork is For Lunch?
If you’ve worked hard picking up other people’s trash, you definitely deserve a nutritious lunch.
I love Foam and Fork for dolling out mouthwatering vegan dishes.
You'll find Asian rice and noodle bowls, burgers, tacos and salads, so you're definitely not short of choice. They also update their menu from time-to-time so that they can bring to you the freshest, most seasonal ingredients.
Visit their branches in Gzira or Marsascala.
Spending the Afternoon Kicking Fast Fashion's Ass
Did you know it’s Second Hand September?
Second-hand clothes are playing a bigger role in sustainability. Fashion—a $2.5 trillion sector—is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil.
Fast Fashion is a big no-no. The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are cut in the name of profit. Fast Fashion’s negative impact includes the use of cheap, toxic textile dyes — with the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture. The speed at which garments are produced also means that more and more clothes are disposed of by consumers, creating a huge amount of textile waste.
Let us not forget the scandal of April 24th 2013, when the Rana Plaza clothing manufacturing complex in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,000 workers and injuring over 2,500. There are approximately 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not have rights or protections. They are some of the lowest-paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women.
The exploitation of women’s work is too big to ignore. The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are cut in the name of profit. Fast Fashion’s negative impact includes the use of cheap, toxic textile dyes – with the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture.
Re-using, re-purposing or recycling is key to avoiding fast fashion. Veg Box (an initiative that supports local, seasonal, organic and sustainable farming) has organised an 8 day-long event focused on pre-loved Fashion and Furniture, at the Farmoury. This second-hand market will host Fashion collections from Needle Meets Thread and the Farmoury Thrift Treasures, as well as some unique furniture pieces. Check out the event here
It's Time for that Afternoon Coffee Break
It’s been a long day and it’s definitely time for some freshly roasted brew!
Currently, my favourite coffee den: Lot 61 Coffee Roasters, voted as one of the top 50 coffee shops in Europe by Big 7 Travel. They source their green coffee beans from different fair-trade farms from around the world and roast them on a daily basis. You can find their cafe in St Julians and Valletta. And don't forget to try their cakes!
Enjoy the Outdoors
Valletta has plenty of nooks to explore, not to mention gorgeous gardens with breathtaking views, like the Upper Barrakka Gardens. It's also an excellent way to get your 10,000 steps. Start counting!
Feed Your Soul at Dinner
If you're still hanging out in Valletta after your coffee at Lot 61, why not stop by Soul Food for some din-din. Located on the historical Merchant Street behind the Grand Master’s Palace, Soul Food serves Italian food with a vegan and vegetarian line. You'll find homemade vegan burgers, fresh pasta, salads and buddha bowls. They also make homemade piadina, a thin bread flattened with a rolling pin, baked and filled with whatever fillings they have in store for you that day!
Wrapping it Up with a Drink at Cafe Society
Well, our day of sustainable activities is coming to an end — but why not end it in style. Head over to Cafe Society in Valletta to grab yourself a boozy refreshment.
Our favourites: the "Pea-sco Sour" — a twist on a "pisco sour", the Chilean/Peruvian classic cocktail. The Pea-sco Sour is made with pisco, gin, lime, sugar snap peas, and aquafaba.
Wondering what in heaven's name is aquafaba? Aquafaba is the chickpea liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas and can be used as a vegan substitute for egg-white. But wait, there's more. Not only are the cocktails at Cafe Society vegan. You'll also get their homemade beetroot hummus as a complimentary appetizer and its served in the spent husk of the citrus they juice daily for use in their cocktails. Nothing goes to waste!
Also, we love this place for using paper straws instead of plastic, because — yes, reducing single-use plastic matters! We appreciate!
Oh, and we love the repurposed Cisk crates too!
You can check them out here.
Want to get some more ideas on how to be sustainable? Check out my comprehensive toolkit: 21 Easy Steps You Can Take to Live Sustainably.