Re-evaluating our understanding of sustainability has coincided with a financially difficult period that has forced us to rethink our weekly meals. Our meals now feature less meat – only beef mince and free range chicken which the butchery at Pak n Save puts into containers we provide. We are yet to do a complete zero waste grocery shop but we are getting closer to our goal, finding alternatives each time.
To see where we could eliminate packaging I typed up a weekly meal planner which clearly lays out the ingredients and utilises our garden produce. The planner may seem a little overboard, but as societies’ consumption norms are often stacked against sustainability, a planner has become a vital tool to help us work towards cutting out packaging completely. We also learnt that leaving a ‘free day’ often leads to eating out or impulse shopping choices that inflate the food budget and/or lead to extra waste. We will eat this menu until we feel the need for a change, adapting with seasonal availability and when we tire of certain components.
Homemade fermented tomato sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive Oil (Our favourite is the Palestinian olive oil from Trade Aid)
If you decide to attempt a zero waste home your kitchen is a good place to start. I suggest going through a week’s worth of rubbish to see what forms the bulk of it, which is often food packaging. Items like rice, pasta and flour can easily be bought in bulk with re-usable bags and stored in glass jars that you have saved. Reducing your waste by finding a non packaged alternative not only benefits the environment but has a flow on effect to other areas of your life such as good health and reducing your living costs.
To quote Valter, one of the catadores from the movie Waste Land “99 is not 100” – one less piece of packaging does count.
*My partner has IBS so our meals are FODMAP friendly .