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Zero-waste pantry, local markets, work clothes and dog food

Continuing on with my quest to solve all of my zero-waste problems I've hit a tiny bit of a road block. The pantry.

2 weeks ago I ordered through Raw Bulk foods online. Which seemed really good at the time. It was really convenient. It seemed quite reasonably priced. It meant I didn't have to drive for half an hour to go to a source foods and refill my containers. Lots of positives.... but it ended up being not as good as I had in my head.

I'm going to walk you through it.

The order took longer to come than I imagined - to be fair there were like 5 public holidays between when I ordered and when I got the order, but it was still quite delayed.

One of the bags as you can see is in a compost-able bag rather than a refill bag. Which is fine, but I'm very skeptical about compost-able bags, the fake plastic can sometimes have harsh chemicals etc.

I was also missing an item which was out of stock. That was not mentioned on the website. I did get a refund, but if I was going and refilling in person, and I needed something specific, I could problem-solve on the spot - get something similar or go to another shop etc. So that was a bit frustrating.

I also underestimated how much 1kg of white rice is.

Normally when I refill my rice container, I FILL it. I never really paid attention to the amount of rice that container held, but it is definitely more than the 1kg that I ordered. I reckon more like 3 -4 kg.

The sugar was much better.

But the flour was really messy to transfer over with a bag. and I had to use a scoop to stop me spilling it everywhere. The bags that held the flour were just a really big size and were difficult to handle.

I am really excited to try these gluten free lasagna sheets to make a vegan lasagna! They look really good!

I then packaged up all the bags into the return pouch ready to be posted.

So a few hiccups. Would I order from there again - possibly. I'm undecided. I need to think about it a bit more.

Other things I did this week.

  1. I went to the 'Global Food Market' in Logan which is near where I live. I'm so stoked that I went. They are open on Sunday mornings and there is like a whole street just lined with small fruit and vegetable farmers who have locally grown fresh produce. I was able to get all of the fruits and vegetables on my list. I was able to get things in my own bags that I can't at retailers like grapes for example. The cultural diversity at the market was a real reflection of the true nature of Australia's multiculturalism. I heard at least 20 different languages being spoken. They had another whole section just with food trucks with traditional dishes from around the world made by local families. If I had more time I would have spent all day just eating - but I was in a bit of a rush to get the rest of my groceries. I'm keen to go again. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, I will try next time!

  2. I went op shopping. I went through my wardrobe and chose my work outfits for the year. I select 5 for summer and 5 for winter and just rotate through them each week. Having done that last year, most of my clothes were very well worn. I didn't quite have enough reserve clothes for this year so I went op shopping and got a few more things. I spent a total of $30 and got 6 items, so I was stoked. Here is just one example. I'm in love with these pants - they are stretchy!!

3. I meal prepped my dogs food. We went from being really zero-waste with our dog food, to feeding the dogs with canned food (mostly because it was cheaper) to now wanting to reduce the amount of cans. It has been a roller-coaster. Lucy is still on diet food from a can for a while because she was a little chonky. But she is almost ready to transition back to normal food. So I'm trialing this with Maggie at the moment.

I cooked up some rice, sweet potato, boiled chicken that we got from our local butcher in our container, and some sardines (that do come in a can) because they are Maggies favourite. I used some containers that I already had.

Ta-Da. So what would be a 11 can endeavour is now a 3 can endeavour. And to be honest, I could probably get it down to 2. There were a lot of sardines! We can still recycle those cans, but I want to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of cans we use. And Maggie likes the food we made which is the most important thing.

So that has been my 2nd week of refining our zero-waste practices to get better and better. Some wins and some losses but that is ok.

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