Clara del Rey // 8 July 2015 // #GoingGreen #WasteNot
A growing number of waste-free food stores is now popping up in cities across Europe | (c) Clara del Rey
Buying your vegetables and fruits wrap-free is really a doddle. As I wrote yesterday, you only need to join an organic cooperative or CSA, walk to the nearest farmer’s market or, in the worst case scenario, limit yourself to buying the loose vegetables and fruits at your regular supermarket.
But when you commit to the waste-free quest, every single plastic wrap can cast a shadow in your conscience. What a great thing, then, that more and more little old-fashion convenience stores are appearing in Europe’s cities, where you can buy loose products in your own upcycled bags, jars, reusable plastic or metal containers and bottles. Very recently, the store Original Unverpackt in Berlin caught the attention of international news media. Take a look at how the owners explain their approach:
Sometimes they are whole foods supermarkets, little cooperatives, or the good old Mediterranean-style Sunday markets. In Edinburgh we have a tiny coop where I can refill my jars with pulses, rice, flour, salt, sugar and chocolate, teas and spices, cereals and nuts. On top of that, they also offer oil and vinegar, cleaning products and toiletries, all on about 40 square meters! I really consider this shop a gift for our community and I can say today that it has made my life much better, so I truly recommend you to look for a similar one in your vicinity. Sometimes it happens that they are located far away from home (as mine is), then look at the brighter side, organize yourself, write your weekly shopping list and cycle there on a day off. Then apart from helping the environment, this routine will be a great physical exercise for you as well!
Clara del Rey, the winner of the travel well MAGAZINE's #WasteNot 30-day challenge , was invited to share her favorite ideas on reducing trash. Clara, a Spanish native, taught in St. Joseph, Missouri (USA), and is now living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Not only does she know both the U.S. and the European perspective on sustainability, but her ideas are creative, unconventional, and yet easy to follow.She is conviced: "I truly think being environmentally conscious starts with reducing your consumption of resources and products. Sometimes I stop, reflect upon people's frantic consumption habits and just think to myself: we are all addicts, in a way, having to buy compulsively insane amounts of disposable, poor quality 'goods'. It makes me wonder how we are losing the ability to create things with our hands or imagination—simple things such as cooking, growing greens and vegetables, or sewing a button. I refuse to represent this mindset."