Invest in a Wasteless Future

A Wasteless Pantry is an investment in a better future, as anything of worth would be.

 

You exercise and eat well as an investment in your health. You might sign up for a mortgage as an investment in future financial security. In much the same way transitioning to a wasteless pantry or lifestyle is an investment in the future. You invest time and money getting organized and setting up with reusables but unlike exercise and healthy eating if you stop using your reusable for a couple of weeks you can pick up exactly where you left off once you get back into it – your health probably isn’t so forgiving!

 

In fashion there is this concept about cost per wear. If we applied this to your quality reusable the initial outlay might look like this:

 

Reusable bag (like an Onya Original Shopping Bag)

 

$12.50 initial costOnya-Original-Apple-Purple-Garden-150x150

Used once per week for the next 10 years = 2 cents per use + no waste

 

Vs

 

Supermarket ‘green bag’

 

$2 to $5 initial cost

Used once per week for the next 10 years = 2 cents per use + 3 bags being sent to landfill over that time (I’m being generous here as mine have never lasted more than a two years)

 

OR

onya-weigh

Produce Bags (like our cloth bags or Onya mesh ones)

Chilli-Onya-Weigh-5-150x150

$3 initial cost each

Used once per week for the next 10 years (I’m being conservative here as one customer has been using theirs for 20 years) = less than 1 cent per use + no waste

 

Vs

 

Plastic bags

 

1 cent each initial cost (incorporated into the cost of your goods)

Used once each for one purchase per week over the next 10 years = 1 cent per use + 520 plastic bags being sent to landfill

 

OR

Onya-120527-41-1

Reusable drink bottle (like an H2Onya)

H2-Onya-750ml-group-150x150

$18.95 to $25.95 initial cost plus free water from a tap

Filled once per day for the next 5 years (I know they last longer but this is going to be ridiculous) = 7 to 10 cents per use + no waste

 

Vs

 

Bottled water (I’ll pick the cheapest brand at a supermarket for comparison)

 

70 cents initial cost

One bottle per day for the next 5 years = 70 cents per use ($182 over that time!) + 260 bottles being wasted

 

 

I think you can see where I’m going with this – reusables win every time!! This goes for hankies vs tissues, lunchboxes/wraps vs clingwrap, JuJu cups vs tampons, cloth nappies vs disposable nappies, fresh loose coffee & tea including the plunger vs coffee pods or instant or teabags. Every time reusable wins for the environment but also for your pocket!


header-onya-back

There is a lot of confusion as to the impact that these things make. Consider this:

Every water bottle used requires 3 litres of water to produce 1 litre of bottled water and it takes 3.4 megajoules of energy!! And that’s just to manufacture.

 

More energy is needed to fill the bottles with water at the factory, move it by truck, train, ship, or air freight to the user, cool it in grocery stores or home refrigerators, and recover, recycle, or throw away the empty bottles.

 

The Pacific Institute estimates that the total amount of energy embedded in our use of bottled water can be as high as the equivalent of filling a plastic bottle one quarter full with oil. http://pacinst.org/publication/bottled-water-and-energy-a-fact-sheet/

 

Once in landfill where a majority of bottles go, it takes up valuable space, is a source of toxic pollution for more than a lifetime and represents more lost resources in a world that has little left to spare. If it does manage to get recycled it can only be downcycled (that is to say that it will never be made into a water bottle again) and will eventually be added to landfill too.

 

With reusables you still have impacts in manufacture, transport, storage and initial sale too but you get to fill and enjoy almost endlessly. If your reusable does break the majority of it is fully recyclable – over and over again.

 

So go slowly but do introduce reusables into your lifestyle and we can help you get started.

images-3 images-1 stacker.1-300x225 images-2images

 

header-coffee


Wasteless Ways: Cuppa sans waste


If you are anything like me, then you love to savour a good cup of coffee or tea.  The smell of it brewing, the warmth of the cup between your hands and the taste of that first sip of deliciousness.

To enjoy the experience even further how about going Waste Less?

All the waste associated with pod coffee makers just seems to take away from the beauty of a good cup of coffee made at home.  Making it without the waste takes no longer and leaves you with the feel good experience of living life simply.
Coffee can be brought as beans at places like Wasteless Pantry without the need for plastic packaging.  Depending where you go you could also use your own container.  Some places like Wasteless Pantry also have grinders onsite so your beans can be freshly ground for your delight!
Once home do not store it in the fridge – our friends at Yahava have clued us in on this common myth.
When you are ready for your brew there are a few methods available including plunger, but my preference is a stove top espresso maker.  These are as cheap or as fancy as you like – we have a range of these at Wasteless Pantry.  Works a treat.
Simply fill the bottom with water, scoop in 1-2 teaspoons of ground coffee beans into the basket per person, twist on the top and fire up your stove.  In 5 minutes you will have a smooth and delectable coffee ready for savouring the break in an otherwise busy or chaotic day.
A wide range of loose leaf teas are available from Wasteless Pantry if you want to give teabags the flick.
For even less waste grow your own herbal teas at home – fennel, chamomile, mint, raspberry or strawberry leaf, lemongrass, sage and catnip are all easy to grow and look beautiful in the garden too.
For tasty teas my preference is a simple strainer over the brim of my mug, but you could also brew in a pot or plunger if that takes your fancy.
The leftover tea leaves and coffee grinds make a great addition to compost in your garden too.

So have we tempted you to take your drink differently?  Let us know on the Facebook page or comments below.


Wasteless Ways: Bring Your Own Container

You go to the store or the butcher, pick out your cut of meat or deli item, the assistant packages your goods in a bag or tray, attaches a label, then you buy it at the check out where it is packed in a plastic bag and then you go home.  At home you use the food and then immediately throw away the bag, tray and plastic bag – or use them once and then it all goes to landfill.  Apparently Western Australians are one of the largest producers of waste per person in the world! Not surprising given the scenario above, so what do we do about it?
That’s just how you do it, isn’t it?
10432137_10152185030879150_4906728095971151746_n

The alternative is actually very simple – bring your own containers!

You can bring any clean food grade container you have from home to the store to get your goods.  I have taken tupperware, disposable plastic takeaway containers that I’ve reused until they died, glass or metal containers with good lids and wide mouth jars.  So long as it is clean, it can be used.
The steps:
  1. Take your container to the counter and hand it to the assistant asking for your item to go in the container
  2. The assistant will place your container on the scale and press TARE (this sets the scale to zero so that you only pay for the weight of your food item)
  3. The assistant will then fill your container, weigh your food item and print or note the price
  4. You can ask for the printed label to be attached to your container – they come off easy enough
  5. Then take it to the cashier as normal
When you get home the container of food is stored as normal but at the end you don’t have all the waste. Simple!
By far the scariest part of this is asking the assistant to put your item in the container the first time.  If you go to Swan Valley Market – deli or butcher,  Hills Seafood or JB Butcher (Glen Forrest) they will be happy to help – they have been doing this for Jeannie and I for some time now 🙂  You can blame us if you like – “Jeannie and Amanda of Wasteless Pantry told me to try this“… I’ve had plenty of people comment that it is a great idea to bring your own container, it is much easier to store in the freezer and fridge because it stacks nicely without getting stuck together, and often times I can serve deli items straight from the container which is a little time saver.
Yes you need to plan your trip, but given that that is such an important practice in reducing food wastage you are killing two birds with one stone.

So we challenge you – for just one purchase this week, take your own container and then post a picture on our Facebook page or leave us a comment about whether you would do it again.

amazing that

Wasteless Ways: Produce Bags

The simplest thing I have found to reduce my landfill contribution is to use Produce Bags.

Jeannie and I regularly get curious and positive comments about these bags whenever we do our shopping, and I’m starting to see more and more people getting on board.  These are reusable bags made of mesh or cloth which you take to the store to buy your food items that you might otherwise put in a disposable plastic bag. Everyone seems to love the idea!!

produce bags

I’ve used mine over and over for buying fruit and vegetables, bread rolls, nuts, snack foods and legumes from bulk dispensers like the ones at Wasteless Pantry.

As they are lightweight you don’t need to weigh them first, just pop your goods in and go. If you are using them at a store with a dedicated label machine just stick it on the bag – it is easy enough to remove later.  When you get home you can store your fruit and vegetables in the bag or empty into your usual crisper/containers.  It is easy enough to add them to your washing if they get dirty at all.

As well as being waste free, they are also a lot stronger than the disposable plastic so no more pears tearing their way out of the bag!  They hold a decent amount too – I’ve easily fit 1.5-2kg of fruit in an Onya one.

These bags compact down so much that there would be plenty of room in a handbag to have them with you all the time – then you won’t get caught out trying to remember them.

Onya have a range of bags available for purchase or you can easily make your own – I made mine from baby muslin wraps as it is a lightweight fabric.

What I really love the most about shopping with produce bags is that when I get home all I have bought is food.

I didn’t waste my time grabbing something that will end up in the bin as soon as I get home. My kids are far more excited about helping my fill a Produce Bag than one of those fiddly plastic ones too.

However, if you do get caught out at the store without them or without enough of them, which sometimes happens, then can I suggest you grab a paper mushroom bag or the paper potato bags on offer instead for whatever food you needed?  At least then it is something truly recyclable or compostable. We’ll talk all about the plastic recycling myth down the track….

Let us know if you think the idea is worth trying either on our Facebook page or comments below.