Hey everyone, thank you for stopping by again. I hope you are still enjoying my blog and if you have any suggestions for topics you'd like me to cover then please don't hesitate to comment below, message me or comment on my instagram @zero_hero_movement
This fortnight I'm going to tell you about my recent trip to Norway and I'm going to incorporate the three main points of ethical living that I mentioned in my very first post; zero waste living, minimalism and veganism.
Firstly I feel I should say I was lucky enough to visit Norway because of my job. I work in marine conservation and am so wonderfully blessed to visit some of the most beautiful parts of the world in an attempt to study and hopefully preserve the amazing wildlife of the oceans. Now let's get started on those three points;
Due to this being a work trip I was a little limited on time and therefore couldn't spend hours wandering around looking for bulk stores or zero waste affiliates but I am always aware of zero waste in the every day.
I did notice lots of litter in some of the most beautiful spots I visited. Beautiful city streets, ancient woodlands and even the magnificent fjords were all tainted with plastic. It was truly upsetting as Norway has some of the most charismatic cities and breath taking natural environments I have ever seen. I felt a great sense of sadness that even these magnificent places were not untouched by plastic pollution.
I did however also notice a far smaller amount of cheap, nasty, disposable items for sale compared to most places I visited and was over the moon when me and a friend visited a coffee shop that gave me a soy latte and a vegan cinnamon swirl with absolutely no nasty extras, just a glass and a plate! A great chance for me to use my own cutlery!
zero waste vegan pastries and coffee, yum!
I feel it doesn't matter where I go these days I've got the minimalism thing down to an art (a not yet perfect art). I had the smallest suitcase of all my travel companions and never needed for anything else. I had packed for all occasions, smart business wear, outdoor winter clothes (Norway was cold and wet). I even saw opportunity to downsize further and got rid of several things before re packing to come back from the trip.
I also came prepared. As I said, I had my own cutlery with me and I also brought all my own toiletries in tins and refused the complimentary ones offered when I arrived. Planning is key to avoiding waste and keeping things minimal, I look forward to exploring more ways to plan ahead for future trips. Please send your minimalist travel tips, I'd love to hear them!
I am currently working on fitting all my belongings, clothes and otherwise into my 85L ruck sack and I'm creeping closer and closer to this goal. I'll perhaps make a blog post specifically about this at a later date. Let me know if you'd like to hear more about that.
My 85L Lowe Alpine back pack ready for more travels!
This was the tough one. Norway is a country that is built on its fisheries. Throughout all the fjords there were fish farms for salmon, trout and halibut. Whilst there are vegan options in Norway, particularly in the bigger cities it was still difficult in "normal" eateries to find something suitable. One hotel gave me a bowl of iceberg lettuce with cheese on top and called it a salad and at one point I was asked "why are you vegan? Are you sick?". I appreciate this is not the majority and only the experiences I had with the people I met. Perhaps if I were to visit on a personal trip with more time to spare I would have a completely different experience.
All this aside, Norway is one of the nations that still actively, hunts, eats and sells whales/whale meat. This was something I could never have prepared myself for no matter how much I tried! Everyone I spoke to said it was normal, "just like eating cow or pig" I was even told. No one I met battered an eyelid and most people thought whales were plentiful and able to increase their populations enough to sustain regular hunting. This is not true. There was whale meat on the markets that we passed and free samples were offered to passing tourists. I was delighted to hear one passer by exclaim, "I want to see them, not eat them!". Surveying the North Sea surrounding southern Norway specifically for whales for a whole week, myself and my colleagues saw none. This could be for many combined reasons, but whaling most definitely plays its role.
Whale meat on sale in Norway
Without ending on a negative note it's important to say I did adore Norway, I appreciate cultural differences even if they are not in alignment with my own beliefs and hope that one day Norway will cease their whaling and understand from a scientific stand point that whaling is not sustainable. The scenery of the country was absolutely breath taking and I fell in love over and over again with the fjords. Definitely a country I would like to revisit on a personal holiday trip.
Beautiful Norwegian fjord
Thank you so much for baring with me in times of little wifi! As always please comment below your thoughts and for more about my journey with zero waste living, minimalism and veganism, please follow my Instagram @zero_hero_movement