Say goodbye to single use plastic produce bags, containers and excess jars and packaging! It's way cooler to shop naked, buying only what you need and storing it in jars you already have (or straight into the fridge).
"According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian creates just over 2,000kg of waste each year." - Cool Australia.com
A large portion of this is food packaging, most of which ends up in landfill or blowing around our environment, exposing our animals, birds and sea creatures to risks associated with eating or getting tangled in it.
WTF?! That's just not ok with us and it's a big reason why we at Spray-Free Farmacy use (and reuse) recycled boxes, have absolutely minimal packaging in our boxes and allow our customers to choose exactly what they want (rather than getting a set box with items they may not use). Sustainability is very important to us.
It should be important to all of us but we know making changes to the way you shop can seem a little overwhelming at first. There is so much packaging on our food, where do you even start!
We believe the best way forward is to start with small, manageable tasks.Once you feel comfortable with this then you can start tackling other areas.
Remember it was only a short while ago we made the adjustment to stop using plastic grocery bags and plastic straws and now this is almost second nature to most of us!
Here's a few ways you can easily reduce your waste by making small adjustments to the way you shop/eat..
1. Buy your fresh produce from a company that uses minimal packaging (like Spray-Free Farmacy!)
Did you know we are a minimal waste business? Our boxes are recycled and reused again and again and we use absolutely minimal packaging (only the baby spinach and mixed lettuce comes in a reusable zip lock bag).
Don't use plastic produce bags or choose a company that wraps your fresh food in plastic and styrofoam trays - it's so unnecessary!
2. Buy from a Waste-Free Co-op
A co-op is a great place to purchase your items in bulk. The idea of a co-op is to split large quantities of produce into smaller sizes. If you are unsure if there is a co-op in your area you can ask in your local community groups.
Many co-ops and naked food stores allow you to take your own containers in to be refilled so there's no waste at all! You don't need to stop at food items either you can even refill your cleaning liquids like dish washing, floor cleaners and laundry detergent.
3. Find butchers where you can bring in your own container
Meat is usually wrapped in a lot of plastic even before being placed in a larger plastic bag so we suggest finding a friendly butcher or deli that will allow you to bring in your own containers.
Our friends at Sherwood Road Organic Meats allow you to bring your own container in when purchasing meat to avoid any plastic packaging. They also sell Barambah Organic Milk in glass bottles which you can return to them to be reused.
4. Make your Takeaway Trashless!
Is there anything more wasteful than using a plastic container to hold your takeaway food or coffee for 10 minute before chucking it in landfill?! Why not join the Trashless Takeaway movement and BYO containers/coffee cup/cutlery set/cup/straw?
Shops like Biome Eco Stores have a great range of containers that are small and portable so you can take them with you wherever you go.
More and more food stores are jumping on board with this so it's not quite so awkward to ask them to use your own container anymore. In fact there's a whole website dedicated to showing you which restaurants are on board. Check out Trashless Takeaway here.
5. When waste is unavoidable - recycle it properly!
Did you know you can recycle soft plastics now? Redcycle collects them from local supermarkets and turns the plastics into new items like furniture for child care centres. Any scrunchable, soft plastics can be included.
Other items you may not have known can be recycled include oral care products and packaging, dish care products and packaging, batteries, mobile phones, coffee pods, mail bags and plastic lids. Check out Terracycle and our earlier blog post on reducing waste for more information on where to take these items.
There are many more things you can do that we have not listed here. We would love to hear your tips and suggestions we can all learn from one another. Share your thoughts with us over on the Farmacy Family Facebook page.