Scrolling through social media, my feed is full of people realising just how full of rubbish our planet is becoming. Suddenly the population of Great Britain (and of course the rest of the world) are very much aware of the impact that our modern way of living is having on Earth. I see friends having a go at living a zero-waste lifestyle, celebrities are now preaching to their fans to make a change and social media is full of viral video’s pleading for you to make a conscious effort of how viewers can make a difference.
We know that our landfills are filling up at an astonishing rate and our oceans are littered with plastics. Wildlife and sea creatures are dying, pollutants are affecting our ecosystems. The Earths population is rapidly rising, and with more people comes more waste. My biggest gripe is with our British supermarkets. Everything we buy comes from a packet. We decided 2 years ago to attempt to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. We moved house to gain a bigger garden and grow more of our own food. We decided that if we did purchase from supermarkets that it would be reduced food that lands in our trolly. This was to reduce our spending and reduce food wastage created by the supermarkets.
But, why are we obsessed with wrapping food with plastic? Is it really needed?
I dream of a future where we no longer buy food wrapped in plastic. I would love to see the Great British greengrocer back in town, but reality has shown that these kinds of independent shops just cannot compete with the high street supermarkets. I don’t blame people for shopping all in one place. Life is expensive, fast and stressful in 21st century Britain. Aldi offers good quality vegetables for 29p. Sometimes I cannot even buy reduced vegetables at 29p! I want to see the return of the classic Weigh-And-Save style shops, where we can all buy what we can afford, waste less and say “no” to pesky plastics.
Why shop at a Weigh-And-Save?
Imagine the good-old-days. We have seen in the history books, or museums how our relatives would have popped to the local store in town and chosen food from big jars behind the counter. Their goods were weighed and placed in paper bags. Everything was bought as and when they needed it. The first and second World Wars meant that food was in shortage, materials had to be used for the war effort. They didn’t have the luxury of buying goods because the item was on a BOGOF offer, or chucking their left-overs because they already knew what was for tomorrow’s dinner.
- You only buy what you need. If you only need 5 spuds for dinner, then you buy 5. You don’t buy a bag of 10, and waste the other 5 because you don’t eat that many potatoes. No need to waste 10 and let them turn to sludge in your cupboard.
- You only buy what you can afford. Many people in Britain are living in poverty. Some families cannot afford to buy a big box of laundry powder. They may only have £1 to spend on detergents. They could pop to a Weigh-And-Save and buy £1’s worth of powder. It will last them a few washes until they have the money to afford more- instead of going without completely.
- Any kind of packaging has an environmental impact- even paper and cardboard packaging. Recycling these items also has an impact on our plant and resources. Taking your own bags when shopping for loose items is allowed! You don’t have to use those flimsy little bags for your loose veg. Buying from a weigh-and-save shop would encourage you to take your own jars and bags to reuse and reuse again!
Would you like to see more Weigh-And-Save style shops on our high street? Let me know in the comments below. I know that if my local town had one I would certainly use it! Check out this list from The Zero Waster to find out where your local zero-waste shop is!