Friday, 20 March 2020

Low Waste Living Part 2: Fresh Food Shop

 Hello and welcome to my new series "Low Waste Living". One of my big goals for 2020 is to try and reduce waste, single use and plastic in my home as much as possible. It's something I've tried to do for a long time now but just kept feeling overwhelmed by all I needed to change in my life. At the end of 2019 I sat down and wrote down all the ways I could help cut down on plastic and waste in our home and made a plan to try to work on one small area of my life each month. It can be as small as changing to a bamboo toothbrush but each month I want to make at least one change that will help improve our planet.

This month I wanted to share with you how we've changed our fresh food shop to try and avoid as much plastic as possible. I hope this will help inspire you and give you some helpful tips on how you could also reduce waste and plastic in your own home.

1. Loose fruit and veg - we now do our weekly food shop at our local farm shop where all the fruit and veg comes loose. We take our own produce bags and when we get home we empty them into bowls or draws in the fridge. I know not everyone can afford or is able to get to a farm shop so here are a few other ideas. You could order a fruit and veggie box from Riverford. The majority of their fruit and veg comes package free and the stuff that doesn't, like mushrooms, come in a compostable packet and anything that comes in plastic such as salad, the bag can be sent back with the boxes when you get your next delivery. You could also take produce bags to your local supermarket and try to pick the fruit and veg that only comes loose.

2. Plastic free meat - our farm shop is old school and we love it! They wrap all meat in brown paper which has meant no nasty plastic packaging that goes straight in the bin. We have had to pop our meat in a container or on a plate in the fridge as the meat juices can leak through the paper but that's fine with us. Other ideas could be to take your own stainless steel containers or Tupperware to your local butcher or butchers counter at the supermarket and ask them to place your meat in their plastic free. Just get the sticker they normally stick to your package and pop it on your box for check out.

3. Fresh bread - we now get a large loaf of fresh bread from the farm shop in a brown paper bag which we then cut into slices when we get home and freeze so we can just take one slice each day. Other ideas would be to get yourself a large produce bag and pop down to your local bakery and ask them to put your bread in there. Or you could even bake a loaf yourself!

4. Eggs - we try to remember to bring our egg container each time we want eggs so we can fill it up again at the farm shop therefore reducing the amount of egg cartons that end up in the waste. We hope one day to have our own chickens so we can collect eggs fresh from the garden but for now this is a delicious and low waste option.

5. Milk - we rarely buy milk but unfortunately the only option in supermarkets and our farm shop is plastic bottles. I know in some places the milk man is making a come back but right now we don't have that option here. Hopefully as the culture in this country changes we will start to see a resurgence in reusables once more.

I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration. This is just the fresh part of our food shop. I am hoping over the next few months to start working on our store cupboard such as herbs, spices, tinned tomatoes and pulses. I would love to hear your ideas on reducing waste in your food shop so please do leave me a comment. I hope you all have a great weekend!


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