It’s a daunting prospect, heading to the supermarket heavily-armed with jars and bottles but it needn’t be as hard as you think. There are a few simple tricks to help you reduce the amount of packaging that you bring home with you. Don’t worry if you can’t go completely packaging-free, just a small change by lots of us, goes a long way. Plus, the supermarkets will identify the need more and more and will start making the necessary changes.
Organise and simplify your larder. Identify what you use on a regular basis and stick to that. Purchase large sealable glass jars to contain the ingredients. Not only does it reduce waste but it looks super-stylish!! (We use giant oats, jasmine rice, Arborio rice, black and red rice, red lentils, green lentils, pumpkin seeds, pine kernels, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, rice flour, spelt flour, coconut flour and plain flour).
Support your local farm shops, grocers or farmer’s markets. You can fill your basket with fresh produce that hasn’t been wrapped in plastic.
When at the supermarket, shop ‘around the outside’. This is where the deli counters are usually situated. Most supermarkets will now weigh the goods and place them into your container (a jar, a tupperware container or a canvas bag). Even if you forget your container, the packaging from the deli is far less than off the shelf!
Visit a local bulk shop for all your dry goods or the bulk aisle of your supermarket. There are more and more appearing in the supermarkets thanks to growing pressure from organisations such as ' A Plastic Planet'.
If you are lucky enough to have a bulk store or supermarket that delivers in bulk with no plastic packaging, order online! It takes away all the pain. In the UK, I believe there are lots of options and in NZ I saw Goodfor delivers. I can’t wait for Switzerland to follow suit!
Grow your own! In the summer, you don’t need a huge garden to grow lots of fresh herbs and salad. I have two small wooden boxes containing all the herbs I need for the summer and a raised bed full of cut-and-come-again salad. Plant vegetables in your flower bed. You don’t have to dedicate a whole area to veg. Tuck some kale between your flowers, grow some courgettes, beans and pumpkins amongst your shrubs.
Don't forget that every small change you make makes a big difference!!