I think Bea Johnson is absolutely inspirational and I watch her household video that I wrote about last year OVER and OVER and OVER AGAIN. I just want my house to look that that. Now.
But of course, Bea herself admits that it has been a massive journey to get to that amazing household destination.
Here’s how we have started. And please note, I don’t receive any commissions on any product recommendations below.
Bea’s first point is to refuse anything that goes to landfill coming into the house. Sheesh. Big ask. No-one in my household, apart from my oldest teenage daughter was into it at all, so I decided to start with refusing things that were completely in my control.
My fortnightly grocery shopping.
I’m a big cook-from-scratch kind of girl, so I thought this part would be easy peasy. I found that it was not, and I had to spend some considerable time researching in my local area to find some answers.
Firstly – the only store that provides foods in bulk, that I know of, is our local Food Co-op. There’s a new store called Nude Food, but I am a loyal co-oper. I like their values.
So to complete my Co-op shop I either take to the shop some of these:
Breathable fruit and veg bags
Images courtesy of www.Onya.com.au and www.thehospitalityshop.com.au
Or larger bags to carry produce in (bottom right hand corner).
I’ve been unable to source some calico bags for flour and sugar, but they are on my wish list. In the meantime, I take glass jars (top right hand corner) to purchase these products.
I purchased a whole heap of glass jars from cheapo shops, but have found that their closures aren’t as good as the good quality homewares shops, so as they break down, I am replacing them with good quality jars like the one shown.
The Food Co-op then weigh the size of the jar and deduct it from your purchase.
I find at the Co-op I can purchase my bread making flour in bulk, as well as most of my dry goods like other flours, sugar, cacoa, pulses and legumes, spices and definitely their delicious organic dark chocolate covered almonds……
Then I shop at either the local farmers market or our fresh food markets. Here again, I take my produce bags, shopping bags and glass Pyrex containers to get my meat in. I find the organic meat shops are more used to these type of random requests (like please don’t wrap my meat in plastic and paper – put in my glassware instead please). Buying meat this way is a heavy job – usually I do the fruit and veg shopping first, empty my trolley into the car and then go and do the meat shopping.
That way, I can put the meat straight into the freezer or the fridge without any plastic wrapping or Styrofoam bases.
When I purchase bread (my husband doesn’t like my sour dough, even though it gets rave reviews from others!!) I go to Bakers Delight, ask them to cut up my bread and put it straight into my shopping bag. I’ve had to educate a couple of people on why I am doing it (saving the planet one plastic bag at a time) but now they joke that I am the crazy bag lady and it’s a bit of a novelty for them.
Once I come home from the fresh food shop, I do spend half an hour to an hour cutting up vegetables and making sure they are stored in glass containers in the fridge. You can’t store your veggies in the Onya bags because the bags are breathable and they go all limp….
Finally, last but least I do any other product shopping at Aldi or Woolworths. I look for recyclable packaging. Eg do you know that Aldi pasta packaging is recyclable? I finally put all of my shopping away in their containers, empty out any packets or packaging that I have begrudgingly had to purchase.
As I go around, putting my shopping away, I leave out any plastic, unrecyclable packaging that is going straight to landfill and I put it on a list to explore next time. The next time I go shopping, I look for alternatives, one product at a time, to reduce the overwhelming feeling of trying to zero waste everything at once.
I’m still looking for a gummy bears solution… my husband eats four packets a week…..
Anyway I hope you and your loved ones had a great Christmas break and New Year. My posting schedule will be fortnightly again this year (although I want to sneak in a review of this most beautiful book that I have been relishing over summer next week….). I look forward to hearing from you if you have any zero waste challenges or tips for me.