So . . . Grocery shopping. It’s not exactly the most exciting topic, and it’s a part of our everyday lives which until now, we didn’t spend too much time thinking about. But in lockdown, our consumption patterns and how (and where) we’re purchasing our groceries is taking on a whole new significance. We’re planning ahead, thinking of exciting ingredients for recipes to spice up our monotonous days and doing our best to minimise the number of times we need to venture into a supermarket or order a delivery.
Sustainability has always been important to us, but more than ever we’re questioning the behaviours and habits we’ve taken for granted and considering how we can change them up to be even more eco-conscious during this lockdown and beyond.
Here are some of the amazing new products and services that have helped us make those small everyday changes for more sustainable living . . .
Remember getting glass bottles of cold, fresh milk delivered to your door by a friendly face every morning? (Or if you’re too young to have actually experienced this, there’s no doubt you’ll have seen this wholesome scene in movies and TV). Milk and More are bringing back this long-gone practice with a view to remove plastic as much as possible from the dairy delivery process. They encourage their ‘Rinse, Return, Repeat’ model, meaning that once you’ve finished your milk, you can rinse the bottle and the milkman will collect it from you to be used again. On average they use their bottles 25 times and once they’re too knocked around to be used again, they recycle the glass for you.
A revolutionary (and very accessible) approach to the waste-free movement, Loop is a recycling platform and shop that launched this year in partnership with Tesco. Loop offers zero-waste versions of all of your everyday essentials from your favourite brands. “How?” you ask. Well, firstly Loop redesigns the packaging to make it durable, multi-use and even more functional. With every purchase, you’ll put down a 100% deposit to “borrow” the packaging of your product. When your goods are delivered (in zero-waste packaging of course), your old containers are taken away, professionally cleaned and reused again – and you get back that deposit.
If you’re not already subscribed and getting your fruit and vegetable deliveries from Odd Box, what on earth are you waiting for? Did you know that if food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases? It’s a scary fact – but one that we can help start changing. So much food is wasted because they don’t meet the appearance and quantity requirements of supermarkets. But rather than letting them get thrown out, Odd Box comes to the rescue. They take all of this beautiful, delicious fruit and vegetables and deliver it right to you! There are different size boxes to choose from, and one of our favourite things about this is that it’s always a surprise what you get, which keeps us on our toes when coming up with new recipes to cook.
If you’re not ready to commit, or you want a bit more flexibility when it comes to ordering your boxes of fruit and vegetables, BoxxFresh could be the answer for you. The service is on-demand, and you have more control over the produce that you get in your box as you’re able to select exactly what you want when you order. All of their fruit and vegetables come ‘naked’ meaning they are delivered with bare minimum packaging to cut down on waste. In the lead up to Christmas, they’re also offering boxes of festive goodies delivered to your door just in time for the seasonal celebrations.
When it comes to supporting local businesses, what can be better than purchasing directly from the farm? Not all farms have the infrastructure to sell directly to consumers, but Darts Farm certainly does. On their online store, you can purchase a whole range of different artisanal goodies and fresh produce to get creative with at home. From seasonal vegetable boxes and a ‘steak night date night’ box to hampers filled with jellies, chutneys and liqueurs, cold cuts and cheeses, your mouth will water as you browse what they have on offer.
What’s the one vegetable that you cook with the most? If you’re anything like us, the answer is probably tomatoes. We love The Tomato Stall because they do one thing – and they do it better than anyone else. The destination to come to for all things tomatoes, beyond their online store where you can buy all kinds of boxes filled with different types of tomatoes, sauces and juices, they also offer a box scheme where they bring you fresh tomatoes from harvest to home.
Ditching disposable packaging almost entirely, Bulk Market is one of our favourite destinations in London to do our grocery shopping. When you come to Bulk Market, you leave with only the food you buy – not a whole bunch of unnecessary packaging that’s going to quickly end up in your trash. Bring your own refillable containers to fill with your products and rest assured that what you’re buying has a minimal environmental footprint with most of the produce being sourced within a 50-mile radius of the store.
It’s definitely not the most appealing part of grocery shopping but hey, we all need toilet paper so why not choose toilet paper that makes the world a better place? We’ve long been fans of Australian toilet paper company Who Gives A Crap because of their commitment to adhering to the highest standards of social and environmental impact when producing their toilet paper, but also their mission of using their profits to build toilets in communities for those in need – places where proper toilets and sanitation can literally save lives. Also, did we mention that their packaging is very, very cool?
For a treat so sweet, chocolate – and more specifically the sourcing and production of chocolate – certainly has an ugly side when it comes to the environment. Founded by James Cadbury (the great-great-great-grandson of Cadbury’s founder, John Cadbury), Love Cocoa is ready to usher in a new age for chocolate by facing and fighting the ugly truths of the industry. They produce chocolate with a purpose. Partnering with the Rainforest Foundation, Love Cocoa plants one tree for every bar of chocolate sold and sources their beans from small, family-run businesses, supporting them in improving their crops and sustainability. We know where we’ll be getting our advent calendars this year . . .