Sustainable Living

I believe we can all lead real, abundant, sustainable and joyful lives that are in harmony with nature.

Together, we can become more aware of our habits that create waste and consumption, and create change. Small steps, sustainable swaps, intentional choices, all can have a big impact on our collective well-being.

Good Food, Healthy Planet book

New cookbook to help people choose low-waste, good-for-us food.

Good Food, Healthy Planet

Your Kitchen Companion to Simple, Practical, Sustainable Cooking  

Worried about the wildfire smoke? Here’s what you can do at home

There are 400+ wildfires burning in Canada and currently a third of them are in the eastern province of Quebec. If you live in North America (especially on the eastern side) you have experienced the smoke and haze too. It was so bad this week that school kids were instructed to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities around the country. (This article was written as a follow-up to the Maple + Marigold newsletter, June 10, 2023 edition. Sign up for your copy.) Here are some personal health tips and advice to navigate this wildfire 'season’ and how we can maintain...
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Dear Canada, Our Forests are Burning. Here’s what we can do

As a Canadian parent the scope and severity of this year's wildfires, past catastrophic floods, and the UN IPCC reports, all keep me awake at night. But today, it isn't fear that drives me, it is clear-eyed optimism and an undeniable urgency. With over 400 wildfires burning in Canada the impacts of climate change are clear. Impacts that cannot be contained by a nation’s border. The effects of burning forests are showing up much further down in the US too. This article from the David Suzuki Foundation simplifies the science and the connection between climate change and wild fires. The...
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Break. Up. With. Plastic.

Every year, Canadians throw away more than 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, and a mere 9% of this waste is recycled. The remaining plastic waste breaks down into smaller pieces, polluting our environment. The recent single-use plastics ban is a positive first step. But, bolder, community-supported measures, particularly regarding food packaging, are needed to make a substantial difference in protecting our planet. In a TV Segment on CHCH Morning Live Puneeta talks to Annette Hamm about some practical ways we can work together to cut out single-use plastic. Watch the replay. Achievable solutions to reducing plastic: Do a trash...
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How to tackle those almost-empty jars

Frugal and sustainable habits in the kitchen Peanut butter is trending on Instagram, in particular it is the peanut butter that’s cruddy and left behind on the bottom of the jar. Food & Sustainability author, Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, goes back on CTV's The Social and joins Jess Allen and Cynthia Loyst on October 20th to take this trend many steps further. In this segment, Puneeta shows how people can adapt two of the tenets of sustainability to use what we have and to reuse the rest, and regain control of their fridge, all at the same time. Creative ways to use...
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Paper or Plastic? How about neither!

5 Easy ways to choose low-waste. One of the good things to come out of our home renovations is that I have been able to reorganize my kitchen to reduce what I use, and throw away as little as possible. These low-waste habits are grounded in the same spirit of use what you have and reduce what is thrown away. Start with the big step: no more single-use plastic products Now you may think, “But Puneeta I recycle….” The truth is our recycling system was never meant to handle the volume and variety of plastics that exist today. And the harsh reality...
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Sustainable Gardening: the Magic of Tea Leaves and Banana Peels

Four tried and tested ways to feed your garden from your kitchen Growing your own vegetable patch this summer? One of the trends that came out of the pandemic was gardening, and research says this fad is here to stay. Puneeta was recently on CTV’s The Social to share how food continues to be beautiful and purposeful long after it’s nourished us. Let’s feed our gardens straight from the kitchen by using food scraps we would normally throw away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIOv71yK9gw&t=4s Making tea? Put those used leaves to work. How: rinse used tea leaves and dry them in the sun for 2-3 days....
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Is Sparkling Water Really as Healthy as Marketing Suggests?

Puneeta was recently invited on Breakfast Television to comment on a new trend, sparkling water. Watch the video with Dina Pugliese. Here are the highlights from our discussion. Sparkling water is basically just water, which is good. Hydration is good in most forms, however, check the labels for different types of sweeteners. By now, most of us probably know that sugar-laden sodas and juices are out. In addition, some brands add artificial sweeteners to their products and we need to be mindful of that. Avoid anything that says artificial sweeteners of any kind on a daily basis. There is also...
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How to Shop Your Pantry on CHCH Morning Live

Watch: CHCH Morning Live - How to Shop Your Pantry to Reduce Food Waste Do you ever buy groceries only to realize you already have some of those food items in your pantry at home? One of the recipes that Chhitwal-Varma shared was a turmeric mac and cheese topped with crunchy oats. What I do with this to give it that pantry twist is that I use canned, evaporated milk because that’s another ingredient that people said they have tons of and they didn’t know what to do with it. To make the crunchy oat topping, roast unflavoured, instant oatmeal...
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Fighting Food Waste and Having Impact

Fighting Food Waste & Having Impact In 2020, Puneeta released the How to SHOP YOUR PANTRY digital guide. What started out as a simple pantry challenge during the early months of the pandemic rapidly became a 48-page collection of pantry-forward recipes and tips designed to help people nourish their families and reduce food waste. Through the guide, Puneeta is helping readers cook more at home, reduce what they throw away and improve the dire problem of food scarcity and hunger. This fund-raising endeavour has so far donated $2,400 to Second Harvest, Canada's foremost food rescue organization. If you missed out...
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Natural Cleaning Solutions

Homemade and All-Natural Cleaning solutions Hate spring cleaning? These all natural and homemade cleaning solutions will simplify your life. And give you that fresh new feeling.  Spring is my favourite time of the year (followed closely by Fall but we’ll get to that in a few months). A fresh start, a new beginning, and of course there are the little daffodils sticking their head out of the cold ground. Sounds quite lovely, doesn’t it? Spring is also the time that I move couch cushions and am afraid for what I’ll find underneath. This is also when I move furniture around...
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Use what you have, reuse what you can, reduce what you throw away, and repurpose the rest.

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