Beeswax Wraps Top Tips As Seen on Countryfile
As shown on Countryfile, Beeswax Wraps presents our top tips for making small changes when food shopping to reduce your single use plastics!
1. Simple swaps at the supermarket - Faff level low
These tips might be teaching you to suck eggs but it is amazing how our lives become routine and we forget to challenge our everyday habits. There are some really simple swaps you can make when you are in the supermarket aisle, here are a few;
Swap plastic tomato sauce bottles for glass bottles -
Yes it may be a pain to get the last bit of sauce out but just go old skool and stand it upside down, or as my mum used to do, put a few drops of vinegar in the bottle and give it a shake to get the last drops out. Since we swapped back to glass bottles we’ve found we don't get through as much - I think this is mainly down to the out of control squeezing that happens with the plastic bottles (especially by small people).
Choose unpackaged fruit and veg
This can reduce your options but larger supermarkets are already making changes. We take our own cloth bags to put the fruit and veg in, or if it's an ad-hoc supermarket run we are the annoying people who have loose fruit rolling all over the conveyor belt, oh well!
If you have time at the weekend, pop to your local fruit and veg shop. It can be difficult to factor this in to your weekend, especially if you have kids, but it can be quite enjoyable. It's worth giving a go, and you get a nice feel good factor from supporting local businesses. Try it, you might like it!
Crack out your Tupperware
Or old ice cream tub, or just a bowl (we use a beeswax wrap to cover the bowl) from the cupboard and take it to the meat counter at your supermarket. Don't be worried about them giving you strange looks when you ask them to put your sausages or mince into your own container. We have been to 3 different supermarkets and they have all been more than happy to. You can also do this at the cheese counter. We take our beeswax wraps with us to the cheese counter as they fold up nice and small and then seal the cheese well so it doesn't get bag fluff on it during the journey home.
2. Swap to online shopping! - Initial Faff Factor is medium but soon drops to low
It's really not that long ago that most people had milk in glass bottles delivered to their doorstep every morning. We are very lucky and live near Stroud Micro Dairy and each week we take our glass bottles to fill up with fresh milk. There are a few micro dairies across the UK but for most it will be easier to get a milkman to deliver to your door. You pay 81p for a pint of milk from Milk and More which compared to around 60p in your local supermarket is a little more, but for those who can afford an extra 20p it's not bad for home delivery.
It is really, really hard to get pasta, rice, cereals, nuts, coffee and pulses not packaged in plastic from the supermarket. This is where online shops like Plastic Free Pantry come in. We do a monthly shop and everything is delivered in paper bags which we then re-use if we go to our local refill store or the supermarket. The selection on offer is fab and it is really lovely to support a new business.
There are also lots of refill shops popping up across the UK. This article from Pebble Magazine lists 26 across the UK. Lots of our local health food shops usually have a small selection of loose grains and cereals, so it's always worth popping your head in to see if they do.
3. Make it yourself - Faff Level dependant on if you like baking or not
Are delicious but they all come wrapped in plastic, doh! To get round this we just bake our own. It's pretty quick and they genuinely taste better. We usually make biscuits from very old Good Housekeeping recipe books, or Dan Lepard’s book, Short and Sweet. It has loads of easy sweet and savoury recipes.
These are a tricky one, as to make your own is possible but there's no way you could crack out a pickled onion Monster Munch at home. For this we do have to compromise sometimes. A good way to buy crisps but with less plastic packaging is to go for the larger bags rather than the multi packs. If you then want to put crisps in your kids’ lunch boxes, make a pouch out of one of our beeswax wraps and pop some crisps in.
How much will going plastic free cost?
You may have read all this and thought, 'That's all well and good but my food bill is going to skyrocket.' Ah ha! No it won't, we have spent less on food since we have cut out our single use plastics. This is because we no longer have to buy the amount the supermarket decides we need in our pre packaged veg, fruit, grains and meat. We only buy what we need. The amount of food we throw away is tiny compared to when we bought it all wrapped in plastic. Using our beeswax wraps has also helped hugely. The reason a lot of veg is wrapped in plastic is to help keep it fresher for longer. If you buy a cucumber (as an example) and wrap it in a beeswax wrap it will stay fresh and crunchy for a week.
The main thing to remember about cutting down on your plastic is that it doesn't have to be done in a day or a week. Take one swap at a time, be happy that you have made it then move onto the next. You will be amazed at how easy it is and how enjoyable it becomes! You can do it!