Today, I wanted to share my experience of my first ever zero waste shop. Firstly, I’m going to retract from calling it completely zero waste because although I saved a few items from being bought in plastic wrapping, others I could not avoid and I wasn’t sure of the alternative. I had to shop at three places: the pop-up, the butchers and the supermarket. Time wise, I know it took longer than the average supermarket shop and cost-wise, I spent more than my average supermarket shop.
So, a while ago I saw an ad for a Freecycle event near where I live and noticed that there was a zero waste pop-up. I’ve seen a lot about shopping zero waste and decided I’d like to try it out.
I can’t say I planned too much because I knew a limited amount about what was being sold. I gathered a few containers on the morning of the event and went to the local church hall to see what it was all about..
First impressions…it was a LOT smaller than I expected and (a good thing, not a complaint) seemed pretty popular, therefore there was a little bit of a queue. I waited in line for about 10-15 minutes before being served.
I noticed a good selection of foods that included difference rices, pastas, oats, berried and nuts. They were also selling recyclable/recycled goods such as toothbrushes and loo roll. I noticed on the end of her stall, there was a station for refilling washing machine detergent and household cleaners.
I knew that I wanted some rice and pasta, and decided when I was there to grab some nuts and berries because I had an urge to make some granola bars. All in all I spent approx £12 on food and a little extra on a set by BZBWraps (beeswax food cover kit).
I don’t really know what I was expecting, so initially I thought that my shop was quite expensive
(considering I’m normally really tight on food shopping). However, I did enjoy the experience and would love to give it another go.
The rice and pasta were fairly inexpensive, however the nuts and berries really racked up the cost. I know that if I bought my goods like for like in a supermarket, they would have worked out slightly cheaper. I can see why not as many people are diving into the zero waste culture. Until it becomes a larger event and costs are less, people on lower incomes are unlikely to choose this option.
I think that my next shop will certainly be more mindful of the amount of plastic waste, however I cannot say I’ll be running back to a pop-up anytime soon.
If you have ANY tips for future shops (I live in the UK), then advice is welcome 🙂