Small changes towards a zero waste lifestyle

As residents of Dartmoor head to the National Park headquarters to demand action against climate change, Extinction Rebellion are gearing up for a summer of rebellion to keep the pressure on the government to act now against the climate catastrophe that may just be averted if everyone pulls their finger out.

By now we’ll know who we’re to have as our new Prime Minister – chances are its Boris Johnson who I once thought would make a great Prime Minister with his straight talk, no nonsense approach.

That politician is not the same as he is today and how the environment will fare under a man who thinks the most important rural issue is the speed of broadband, is any fool’s guess.

I’ve said before and stand by my statement that the best thing we can do for ourselves and each other is to work together, keeping our lives as local as possible, support each other and each do our bit.

I for one won’t be buying supermarket meat if the American trade deal happens and I’ve taken a renewed interest in growing whatever I can veggie-wise. I’m not very good, but I persevere!

Of course we also have the ever-present issue of plastic. I live in Chagford and am very excited about the new zero waste shop due to open in Moretonhampstead soon.

These shops are becoming more popular but as with any change in the fundamental way we live our day-to-day lives, some people I’ve spoken to feel a little anxious about shopping in such places. So to allay some fears, read on!

Try not to be so staunch in what you have on your shopping list. If you always buy a specific make of oil, don’t be afraid to try something new. This isn’t a supermarket you’re in, the choice you have won’t be as vast.

Don’t go crazy with the amount you fill your containers with. Use the dispenser slowly and carefully so you don’t end up with more than you wanted, or with the rice all over the floor!

Make sure you take extra containers in case you decide that you want something else while you’re there.

It’s really frustrating to take just the right amount for what you have on your list and then see something you know you’ll need that week for your dinner! Also ensure that

your containers are super clean and dry to avoid your kidney beans smelling like gone off yogurt.

Most shops operate on a weigh fill weigh pay system, meaning you weigh your empty containers, fill them, weigh them again and the weight of the empty container is taken off the resulting weight so you’re just paying for the goods.

Remember to weigh your container!
It is exciting to first shop in a zero waste shop – don’t get over-excited and forget to weigh first!

And lastly, if you can cope with making more than one change at a time, most zero waste shops will also stock things like washing up liquid, shampoo and toilet cleaner. Be brave and make that change!

Laura White

Author: Laura White

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