HOW WE SHOP

“Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum..”
– Bibendum Malesuada Nibh

Here are some of our top tips for cutting out plastic from your food/life:

Purchasing fresh produce:

To avoid using single use plastic bags for fresh produce, we love to use ‘Onya’ produce bags, perfect for bundling up your green and loose produce with the added benefit of being made from re-cycled ocean plastic. For a game changing selection of other reusable alternatives, we love to keep up to date with the online offering at Flora and Fauna. Try buying whole items to avoid cut and plastic wrapped items. Items such as pumpkin and cauliflower last well stored in compostable bags and are versatile ingredients that can be easily used up with a bit of thought. As a rule of thumb if we can’t use up the natural ingredient whole, we just don’t buy it (this applied both to work and in our home lives). 

Fresh produce storage

When it comes to storing refrigerated food there are a range of solutions that can be utilised for different applications. An obvious solution is using reusable containers instead of wrapping plastic bowls with single use plastic wrap for leftovers and food prep.

When it comes to storing fruits and vegetables that ‘traditionally’ require plastic bags, we use compostable bags, the larger of which to then be reused as bin liners once they’ve been used for produce storage of larger items i.e celery, cut pumpkin etc.

Dry goods:

When it comes to dry goods such as nuts and flours, try opting for a loose produce vendor, so you can purchase based on need, not by a standard packet size. To avoid additional plastic waste, we use reusable mesh produce bags (like the Onya bags) which work well for larger items such as whole almonds (i.e. that wont fall through the mesh), but for flours and other smaller ingredients we use Wotnot compostable bio bags and large containers or jars. These and other similar bags can be purchased by the roll and can have a host of uses in the house where small plastic bags are currently used.

Tip: Keep nuts and oily seeds (i.e. sesame, pepitas, sunflower seeds etc.) fresher for longer by storing them in the freezer.

Meats:

Supermarket meats are most often sat in single use Styrofoam trays, with ‘meat nappy’ absorbent packs, under a further layer of plastic. To avoid these non degradable layers, choose quality and freshness over quantity and switch to buying meats and fish from butchers and fish mongers. These good local suppliers can pop items in containers or compostable bags that you bring along yourself, or even wrap items in waxed paper instead of plastic if you are planning to use the product on the same day.

Bread:

Buy from a REAL baker. Picking up a selection of hand crafted loaves made expertly by a caring baker supports a craft and another local family – not a factory. It’s one of the things that is just always worth the effort, and makes shopping more enjoyable. If you don’t have ‘that’ kind of bakery close by, try stocking up, purchasing larger quantities in paper bags and then slicing and freezing down that goodness in a compostable bag, so it’s on hand whenever you need it. Bread freezes and defrosts fantastically.

A word on waste…

About 40% of the average household waste is FOOD. As Australians we have been sending tons and tons of our once perfectly edible produce to land fill, uneaten. It’s these statistics and the dire environmental impact of that waste that has put a strain on our precious natural environment.

Benefits of reducing your food waste:

  • save money from buying less food.
  • reduce methane emissions from landfills and dramatically lowers your personal environmental/carbon footprint.
  • conserve energy and resources, preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling of food (not to mention hauling the food waste and then landfilling it).
  • support your community by providing donated, untouched food that would have otherwise gone to waste to those who might not have a steady food supply.
  • composted waste puts carbon and nutrients back into the soil, where plants can turn it back into food for you and the natural environment.

The best way to approach waste reduction in your home is by monitoring what natural organic matter (NOM) you are tossing into landfill and why. NOM includes any organic carbon based matter from tissues, cardboard and paper, tea bags, coffee grinds, vegetable trimmings, and garden waste. It’s quite a light bulb moment when you see what could be going back into the ground to compost.

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