Do you visit the local shopping centre, do you buy from a local green grocer, do you head to a bulk-buy store, or the Sunday farmers market, or do you grow and produce your own? Without a doubt, there are a multitude of options out there when it comes to obtaining your consumables, but how much thought do you give to the process? Well intentioned people skip off to their local supermarket with their reusable calico bag in tow believing they are the epitome of ‘green-living’. These same people then load their trollies with over-processed, over-packaged plastic wrapped products; reaching for ready-made meals and grabbing single serve snack-packs, all without grasping the irony!
Plastic is one of the many ‘wonders’ of the industrial age. Plastic in its many forms is both cheap and durable making it perfect for mass production and packaging but an absolute disaster for our natural environment. The state-wide single-use plastic-bag ban will come into effect within Western Australian supermarkets in July and although this is a fantastic step forward, it is certainly not the silver bullet to our plastic problems.
With a little forethought and some good organisation, there are a number of measures you can implement to reduce your household plastic dependency - particularly when it comes to the kitchen!
- What are you buying?
Buying fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables are not only healthy and delicious they also come in their own amazing in-built, eco-friendly packaging. Bananas, apples, melons, snow peas, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (the list goes on), all have a peel, skin or rind of some sort that negates the requirement for a plastic bag! If you can’t handle the idea of your fruit and vegetables rolling around in your trolley or the boot of your car, invest in some reusable produce bags and keep them with your calico shopping bags.
- Where are you buying from?
There are a multitude of bulk-buy shops or waste-free produce stores within the metropolitan area. Buying in bulk can be more cost effective, have lower food miles and often means less plastic packaging per serve/item, so it is a win-win. Bulk shops also generally encourage customers to bring their own jars/containers, meaning you can refill, reuse and recycle!
- How do you store your food?
So you have bought your fresh produce from the farmers markets and your non-perishables from a bulk-buy store, but then you store your leftovers in plastic wrap and neatly pack your kids lunches in plastic sandwich bags. Why not try Beeswax Wraps? Beeswax wraps are wax-coated pliable fabrics that provide a reusable alternative to single-use plastic packing and better yet, they are super easy to make yourself!
If you are interested in attending we are hosting a beeswax wrap workshop at Piney Lakes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register!
If you are keen to make your kitchen a more enviro-friendly and plastic-free place, please reconsider the purchase of single-use plastic items such as straws, plastic cutlery and bottled water. For more tips, check out Living Plastic Free.
Environmental Education Officer | City of Melville