Although we’ve now ditched the plastic bag, we have a long way to go before our shopping habits are entirely sustainable. For one, everything we buy in-store is contained in plastic, from bananas to chips, drinks and other snacks. Plastic culture has been so forced on us that some companies have even tried segmenting fruits like oranges in individual plastic containers — a horrendous waste!
But how do consumers get their favourite snacks, given the lengthy journey most foods must go through to arrive in our trolley?
One store in Canada has recently become the first of its kind by officially becoming the first in the country to go zero-waste. Brianne Miller is the brains behind the venture called Nada, a grocery that also offers home deliveries and online shopping. As you might expect, her stock doesn’t contain any major food labels covered in plastic wrapping — instead, Brianne relies mostly on organic, locally grown produce. The most disposable thing on her list — reusable glass jars full of preserved mangos.
Yet, despite seeming to be a massive cap on what the store can provide, Brainne is able to offer such diverse food items as pasta, whole grains, spices, baking ingredients, frozen fruit, jam and more. She even uses her produce to make baked goods and soups for the store! And since her produce is locally sourced, she’s also cutting down on her carbon footprint for travelled goods.
Locally grown and reusable containers make up the entire packing line of Brainne’s store, but other advances may solve this problem for larger supermarket chains too. New plant-based coating and biodegradable packaging for other food items could remove the need for plastic wrapping or labelling. The current technology extracts natural fibre-based polysaccharides used in carbohydrates to produce sturdy, sanitary packaging that doesn’t last forever.
While these trends are gaining traction overseas, New Zealand has been slow to bring naturally packaged alternatives into its food aisles. What you can do, however, is shop conscientiously and locally for package-free items that are grown in New Zealand. And (with all due respect to home delivery services) stay away from prepared meal kits, where the food items are individually wrapped.
Together, as a nation, we can change the way Kiwis shop — for the better.
On a positive note Eartha's packaging is 100% recyclable so be sure to recycle your brown paper packages when you receive your exciting Eartha packaging!
Sources: Reader’s Digest Canada, National Geographic, Environment 911, Inhabitat
About the author - meet Earthan James McCulloch
James is a literary student and environmental enthusiast who likes thinking about the better futures we could have (and those we best avoid). When not playing with other people’s dogs or taking long, mindful walks, he’s usually found reading and writing, often at the local library. You can check him out on his blog for something a little different, where he talks about all things literary or otherwise.