8 Food Waste Hacks

It turns out that we,
in Australia, throw out vast amounts of food every week. Some estimates indicate
that over a year, the average household discards $2200 worth of food!

We do it because we
overestimate how much we need, underestimate how much we already have, serve
more than our families will eat, and forget about all those leftovers we have
hiding away somewhere.

There are easy
solutions that can help you reduce your waste and they only take a moment…

  1. Take a moment to clear out your fridge, freezer and pantry. If you haven’t done it in a while, challenge yourself to stay away from the shops until they are at least ¼ empty. Why? If your storage is too full of food, you won’t know what is in there and will likely double up when you hit the shops.
  2. Set up a compost bin system. It’s just a bucket or a container that you put your scraps in. All of them. Yes, even the stinky stuff you found in the back of the fridge yesterday. You store it in the kitchen that you then take outside to a compost bin (plenty available secondhand on Gum Tree) or bury in your garden later. Why? Getting up close and personal with your waste helps you to get to know WHAT you are wasting and HOW MUCH. Maybe you find out that the kids are throwing away whole sandwiches – so maybe you can stop feeding them for a while (I’m joking, of course). Or maybe you find out that it is always leftovers – so maybe you dedicate space at the front of the fridge, so they are easier to find or pop them straight into the freezer next time.
  3. Get your head clear on Used By vs Best Before. Things that you buy at Wasteless Pantry have a best before – such as rice, pasta, spices – which means that even after this date if they have been stored properly, they will not harm your health to eat. They just might not be as flavoursome as they used to be. Whereas things that are past their Used By date can be a health hazard and should be composted to be safe.
  4. Develop an autopilot response ‘No, thanks’ to “Specials”. Unless you are 100% certain that you will use the item before it goes bad, then take a deep breath and walk away.
  5. Label your leftovers. Permanent markers wash off most containers so just write the date and name straight on there before it goes in the fridge or freezer. If you know what it is and how old it is, you’ll have a better chance of making sure they get eaten.
  6. Think about the leftovers before you start cooking the meal. Does this meal freeze well? If it doesn’t, how long will we have to get through any leftovers before they go off because almost always there are leftovers! If it’s likely to go to waste, then be more thoughtful about portion control upfront.
  7. Speaking of portion control – serve less and encourage going back for seconds, especially with kids. Even if it is uneaten on the plate, most families are unlikely to save excess food that gets served so don’t serve it. Your kids won’t starve, most likely.
  8. Shop weekly, instead of daily. We all know the feeling of popping to the shops for one thing and coming home with at least a bag full. So instead, plan your shopping for once a week and challenge yourself not to go back until next week. We’ve even put together a handy tool to help you with this one. This way you can remember what you already have, what you’re planning to make as well as what you need to get. Easy!

 

A little planning can save a bunch!


Shop for You Made Easy

We’ve been providing a free Shop for You service since we opened oh so long ago, but with recent times this has become more of a necessity than before. To help you understand what we offer and to streamline the process as much as possible we thought we should make it a nice clear process for you.
Below you will see a ’Shop for You Order Form’ which gives us all the info we need to get your goods together as quickly as possible.  Email it through and we’ll confirm we got it within 24 hours, then we aim to have your order ready within 3 days but will call you if it is ready sooner and to take payment.  That way when it gets picked up you can just grab and go rather than having to queue up waiting to pay. You don’t have to bring your own containers but if you are dropping off containers for refilling, we will have a spot in the store to drop them so you don’t have to hang around then too.

Shop for You Order Form – click on red text for PDF which can be typed on or printed

Bassendean now have delivery until May 31st – click here for the special form

Shop for You Order Form (Word Version)


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So that we don’t miss your order please send it directly to the dedicated orders email address for your local store:
 
Since clarity is key:

Our Returns Policy is available online:  http://www.wastelesspantry.com.au/returns-policy/

Our Product List is available online: http://www.wastelesspantry.com.au/bulk-foods/

Our prices change frequently depending on supply conditions.

We cannot guarantee that all products will be in stock.

There are purchase limits on some products depending on demand and supply.

Please be as clear as possible – this helps staff to fulfill your order more quickly.

Some products which have multiple options (varies depending on your local store), please be clear. For example:

Chia – black or white?

Chocolate –  bits or buttons? milk white or dark (or carob)?

Coffee – Imported or Australian; single origin or blend; decaf; strong, medium or mild

Flour – plain, SR, 00, rye, wholemeal, spelt (white or wholemeal), bakers, gluten, sustainable (stoneground or normal), gluten free?

Laundry Liquid – top or front loader?

Muesli – fruity, tropical, toasted, 98% fat free, organic or sugar free?

Nuts (esp cashews, almonds and peanuts) – raw or roasted/ salted or unsalted?

Oats – organic, rolled or quick?

Paprika – sweet or smoky

Quinoa – tri colour, white or red

Pepper – peppercorns black or blended, Szechuan, white ground 

Rice – basmati, jasmine, arborio, short or long grain

Salt– Fine or Rock, Regular or Pink Lake Salt or flavoured (chicken, garlic, celery, onion, vegetable)

Spices – seeds or ground?

Tea – so many options!

Turmeric – 3% or 5%

We hope this makes it easy to understand and clear what to expect. Thanks for supporting us!


Low Waste Gifts for Dad’s

Father’s Day is nearly upon us (it’s on Sunday, 1st September 2019) and you might be thinking to yourself, “What should I get Dad this year?”

You want to get him something that is thoughtful, environmentally friendly (the search terms green gifts, eco gifts, zero waste gifts, gifts for waste-free Dad come to mind), and something that he might actually use.

We are here for you at Wasteless Pantry!

Firstly, let us remind you that Dad probably just wants to know that you love and appreciate him, which requires very little to express. Maybe you could cook him a meal, go out with him on an adventure, or just head out for a drink together? None of these things is hard to do but might mean the world to your Dad.

Secondly, if you feel weird rocking up empty-handed and you really want to give a gift, maybe consider something consumable like Dad’s favourite snacks or coffee (brought in a reusable container at Wasteless Pantry of course). Or you could find something secondhand that has sentimental value, like that book you used to read together as a kid or a beer mug from his favourite tavern when he was growing up. Or you could make something out of reused materials, like all those pallet frames and furniture that pop on Pinterest every year and show off all the carpentry skills he spent hours teaching you.

And if that’s just not going to work for you then we are happy to help you out with a few other ideas too:

  • Stainless steel lunchbox - something big and sturdy, or even stackable - that he'll think of you when he uses every day for lunch
  • Stainless steel water bottle - pick the size that works best for Dad, insulated or not, so he is always hydrated but doesn't have to buy disposable plastic ones any more
  • Food flasks - for keeping food and drinks hot or cold whilst Dad is out and about
  • Travel coffee mug - whether it's glass, flexible silicone or stainless steel we have one to suit Dad
  • Shaving kits - we have stainless steel safety razors, new blades, shave pucks (low waste shaving cream) and shaving brushes available
  • Coffee kits - think plungers, stove top espresso makers, reusable coffee pods and coffee beans with flavour descriptions like "strong great all rounder" just like Dad
  • Tea kits - we're talking teapots, tea strainers and so many loose leaf tea options (in both our tea and herbs sections)
  • Toiletries - maybe what Dad could use is a shampoo bar, dude rock (manly soap), bamboo toothbrush, plastic free floss, bamboo comb and natural deodorant (we have scoopable paste deodorant or refillable liquid deodorant in masculine scents on hand)
  • Toilet paper - if you have a Dad who spends a lot of time in the bathroom then maybe he'll appreciate the light reading that comes with each roll, particularly the red emergency roll

If it’s just too hard to pick, then don’t! We have gift vouchers too so your Dad can choose for himself (and we can email them if you prefer too).

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

Top picture credit: Photo by Szilvia Basso on Unsplash


How much do you love your Mum?

Mothers Day from a Zero Waste Perspective

Around this time of year, you’ll probably be getting numerous marketing messages that if you buy your Mum (or Mum-like equivalent person) the right kind of gift she will know just how much you love her.

If you get her the gift pack, the nicest flowers, the corny trinket or biggest box of chocolates then surely she will know that you love her heaps! And likewise, if you don’t then you mustn’t love her at all.

As a Mum, I have to say, this is absolutely correct so buy up big at Wasteless Pantry!!!!

Nah, just kidding 🙂

Your Mum, most likely, does not care what you get her or if you get her anything at all.

Most Mum’s just want to know that you care and you think about her.  She would love to spend the day with you enjoying each others company like when you were a kid and she was your whole world.

Remember that drawing you did for her when you were 5 that she made a fuss over or that disaster of a cake you baked that she smiled all the way through eating, or that time you offered her burnt toast, lukewarm coffee and an underboiled egg in bed.  She loved it all because it was from the heart and it was from you.

You could spend your money on your Mum with things that don’t create waste like:

  • Handcrafted tea blends (I love ginger & lemongrass with coconut sugar at the moment)
  • A cake you baked yourself (we have a brownie mix that you just mix with water if your baking skills haven’t improved much since you were a child)
  • Coffee beans and a plunger or a nice mug (mug sets always get chipped so you could pick up a one of a kind from the op shop)
  • Anything chocolate (you could try your hand at custom-made chocolate bars if you are keen)
  • Reusable face wipes, shampoo bars, moisturiser in a nice jar you saved and refilled or nice smelling soaps

But really, just focus on giving her your time.

We love being Mums and we love our Mums xx


Practical Gift Giving Guide

The Lost Art of Not Giving Crap Presents

Do your Christmases and birthdays revolve around getting and giving plastic, over packaged trinkets and novelty gifts that are enjoyed for less than one hour and then become awkwardly pushed aside, dust collecting reminders of rushed decision making and consumerist manipulation?

Or maybe you’ve been regifted one of these little treasures?

I ask these questions not in judgement, but in awe of how easy it is to get caught up in the hype of the festive season and leave all reason behind.  As much as I love waste less living, reducing waste, talking rubbish and being thrifty and creative, this time of year I feel the pull of buying stuff.  Who doesn’t love showing how much they care by doing nice things for others?  The thing is, doing nice things for others is not the same as buying something, just to give something.  Thinking through the life of the purchase requires a little more in-depth enquiry.

Will this person find this novelty gift funny for years to come? Yes, great get it! No, then maybe just recap what you saw the next time you catch up.

Will this person have space for this gift in their home long term? Yes, fantastic! No, then is there something else consumable that might be more appreciated?

Does this item fit with who this person would like to be?  Yes, fantastic! No, show your support by not making them agonise over wanting to be grateful vs. becoming the person they want to be.

I get that picking out the right gift for someone is hard!  But I also wonder if sometimes we forget to ask, does this person even want a gift from me?  Would they rather my company, a hand with something or just a smile?

So I titled this blog post “Practical Gift Giving Guide” and whilst I think the most practical gift is often nothing at all, here are some other ideas that might relieve the need to give something good:

  • Handmade tea blends: How about pulling together your own blend of herbs and petals that would be most soothing for the person in mind?  Think a combination of lemongrass, peppermint, hibiscus, ginger & cinnamon for an uplifting blend or chamomile, lavender, rose petal, rosemary for a fragrant calming blend.
  • Fragrant bath bags: Much like an oversized tea bag for your bath.  Again, choose your own blend of loose herbal teas plus some Epsom salts and bicarb to relieve tension and soften skin.  Pop it all into a little refillable bag (like our soap nut bags) and you are good to go again and again.
  • Homemade soaps: Palm oil free soaps can be hard to come by, so stocking up for a friend who cares about this topic may be just the treat they were after.

  • Individual chocolate bars and rocky road: If you popped into Wasteless Pantry last week you would have had the opportunity to try out Christmas Bark (white chocolate topped with cranberries and pistachios).  It took me less than 15 minutes to make, was delicious and the combinations are endless!  Just melt chocolate buttons or bits of your choice and top with your friend’s favourite flavours.  Maybe they love dark chocolate topped with pepitas, hemp seeds, goji berries and slivered almonds; or perhaps white chocolate topped with trail mix and chia seeds? Delicious!
  • Reusable items: If you have a friend that is preparing for next years Plastic Free July or saw the War on Waste and wants to get themselves equip to waste less, how about supporting them.  Think BYO coffee cups, reusable shopping bags in pretty designs, produce bags, reusable baking liners, metal straws or stainless steel drink bottles.  It can be a bit of an investment to get yourself kitted out to start with so this type of thing is greatly appreciated.
  • Recipe jars: For that friend who loves the idea of cooking from scratch but finds it tedious to gather the ingredients, show your love by doing it for them (or get us to, we won’t tell on you!) and popping a recipe on the back of the container to make cooking a breeze.

Just a sample of ideas to get you started and you can always pop into Wasteless Pantry to have a chat if you have a very tricky friend to find something for.

You never know what inspiration you might find.

Photo credits:

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Photo by Yoori Koo on Unsplash


Eco Friendly Easter Guide

Aiming toward a zero waste Easter this year?

This time of year is for celebrating and unfortunately also seems to be about generating waste.  An article by Pre-Waste on 6 April 2012 indicates:

Since their development in early 19th century France and Germany, chocolate Easter eggs have quickly become seasonal bestsellers. In Italy, 40 million eggs equalling 6.848 tons of chocolate were consumed in 2010. As the chocolate egg has since its first appearance developed from the simple type wrapped in paper to the beribboned variety wrapped in brightest foil and packed in a box or basket, it leads to vast amounts of packaging waste. Approximately 4.370 tonnes of card and 160 tonnes of foil waste are generated in the UK during the holiday every year. Most of the plastic packaging used is not recyclable yet, which means it ends up in landfills.

That’s a lot of waste and whilst there have been improvements in the recyclability of packaging since the article was written, it is fair to say that just because packaging can be recycled does not mean that it is being recycled.

With a little creativity, you can turn this Easter in a low or no waste event!

Eco Easter Gift Idea Guide

How about a refillable reusable Easter egg?

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Hollow wooden eggs such as the ones offered at Wasteless Pantry are a blank canvas waiting to be decorated!  Fill with lollies, chocolates, flavoured almonds, sweet Easter wishes or money if that’s your preference.  Blank Goods have a great inspiration page to get your creativity flowing.

 

 

 

 

Make your own felt egg shaped gift bag or what about a fabric bunny basket?

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Make your own chocolate Easter treats!

We have Easter molds and chocolate buttons (white, milk or dark depending on your preference) ready to be melted into your own handmade Easter treats.  And if you want to try your hand at making your own chocolates from scratch, we have those ingredients on hand too.

90-2130 Easter Mint Assort 90-2353 Cracked Egg

 Dark chocolate recipe:

Makes approximately 200 grams

  • 100g cacao butter (also called cocoa butter)

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder

  • 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar

  • 1/4 cup almonds or 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)

 

 

Step 1: Melt cacao butter in a double boiler

Step 2: Mix melted butter with sifted cacao powder and icing sugar, incorporating other fillings if used.  Place in mold and allow to set in the fridge. Done!  Plus it is dairy free (making it vegan) and gluten free chocolate!

 

If you want to go a bit fancier you could always give a complete Chocolate Making Kit

Perfect for making Easter and other treats all year round.

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So while all the rest are cleaning up the commercialised rubbish, you can sit back and indulge in a heart felt and personal Easter celebration befitting the spirit of this time of year.


Bulk Food Store Skills: 9 Ways to Shop at Wasteless Pantry

Shopping Options at Wasteless Pantry, more than another Bulk Food Store

We want it to be as easy and enjoyable as possible to shop at a bulk food store just like ours.  We know that it seems daunting to start with when you are just getting started on your waste less or zero waste journey! But, really, it doesn’t need to be inconvenient or difficult.  Just start with a few products and then expand from there.  Bulk food stores are there to help you reduce your food waste, by allowing you to only buy in the quantity you actually need.  This way when you get home you have just enough for the meal you are making, without the leftover prepackaged amount staring at you guiltily every time you open your pantry.  Plus, because you have only bought what you need, you know that it is as fresh and tasty as it should be.  No stale spices, no inactive yeast, and no using up last years latest super food.  Just remember to bring your shopping list so you don’t get tempted to buy all the goodies you find and be sure to bring your reusable shopping kit of reusable shopping bags, produce bags and containers if you are trying to reduce your packaging waste too!

So apparently there are at least 9 options for shopping at Wasteless Pantry – check out our latest how-to video on Youtube…

  1. Use paper bags
  2. Use a produce bag
  3. Fill reused containers – bring your own or grab donated ones
  4. Fill a new reusable container
  5. Pick up pre-bagged mixes
  6. Drop off your containers for filling
  7. Drop off a shopping list
  8. & 9.  Call or email your shopping list to be filled & picked up at your convenience

So there you have it, so many options to get you started.  Are you ready?


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

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

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$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

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Reusable drink bottle (like an H2Onya)

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$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!


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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.

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