I thought it might be helpful to accumulate a list of shopping tips and FAQs for my plastic-free July attempt. The focus will be on the inner and northern suburbs of Melbourne because that’s what I know. But I can add things if people want to comment with their own favourite places. Any westies out there? Give me all your Footscrays.
This page will start small and hopefully grow into something big.
Local sources of inspiration
- Moreland Council Zero Waste for a Week Challenge (Melbourne)
- Rubbish Free (New Zealand)
- The Rogue Ginger (Melbourne)
- One Million Women (Australia)
- Local Harvest (Australia)
- http://myzerowaste.com/ (UK)
- No Impact Man (skip the 2016 marketing hype and go read the blog entries where it all started, back in 2007)
- Can’t go past Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe
- Oh She Glows is a picture of perfect Americana and I love it. More expensive than Jack. Less expensive than eating out all the time.
Where can I recycle … ?
- Soft plastics (e.g. food wrappers)
How do I find bulk foods?
15/6/2016: The first thing I’m going to do is get on this app developed by zero waste home. It’s called Bulk and it looks as though they’re crowd sourcing information on shops that let you bring your own containers. I’ll see if I can add any information.
Some things just don’t come in bulk, as far as I know, like milk. This is a tricky one. You could go for powdered milk in tins, but that can be hard to find and tastes a bit different. In Melbourne, La Latteria apparently sells milk in returnable glass bottles (according to their website). But when I turned up to try it, they had a sign saying ‘glass bottles – no returns’.
Edit: Slate has published an article on the the best types of milk packaging. Glass comes out slightly ahead provided it’s refillable, but recyclable plastic gets a fairly good review.
You’re looking for delis that stock whole wheels of cheese and cut them to the size you want. Generally, these will come wrapped in deli paper (which is actually lined with plastic). So far, I’ve been to Piedimonte’s in Fitzroy North, the Miller Street Continental Deli and the Spring Street Cheese Cellar near Parliament Station but I think some major supermarkets also do this.
Did you know there is such a thing as a cheese factory outlet? Google it. I’d like to try Alba Cheese Factory. It’s a lovely bike ride out to Tulla. There’s also That’s Amore Cheese in Thomastown. Maybe I’ll go one weekend. We’ll see.