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Lessons learned so far:
1. Aiming to be vegan AND avoid single-use plastic at the same time is going to be super-challenging: it is really not obvious where to get lentils, beans, vegan quorn, quinoa or nuts & seeds that isn’t sold in plastic wrapping. So I’m going to give myself some slack there …..
2. Travel food: there was very little to buy at the food shops at Paddington station that wasn’t wrapped in plastic - rows and rows of plastic tubs each with one portion of appetising salads and fruits. The only thing available really was loose apples and bananas. However, I realised that the baguettes at the ‘Upper Crust’ stall outside were entirely plastic-free!! Nothing vegan amongst their food though … :(
3. Supermarkets: It is really sobering to look through the foods for sale and see how there is hardly anything at all that doesn’t include some single-use wrapping material. I did manage to fill a basket at Tesco’s and avoid any single-use plastic except the seal on the houmous lid: the main realisation was the need to bring my own containers/clean cotton bags - for the loose bread rolls, mushroom, tomatoes and other veg. Plastic-free houmous - well, I could have a go at making my own?!
4. Local farmers market: as it is over the other side of town I’ve never really included this in my weekly routine, but yes - success!! Bread, fruit and veg and if I wanted to, cheese; all without plastic wrapping and of course many food miles. I even managed to buy salad leaves in a paper bag :) - on the down side, it is all a bit pricey ….
Going to the local market also highlights what vegetables are actually in season and local … so, no broccoli to be had at this time of the year; and obviously no lemons, avocados and the like :(
The other obvious choice is of course the local greengrocers rather than buying veg at the supermarket
5. Make/Grow my own: Yoghurt and salad leaves are two of the items that are tricky to purchase plastic free - mmm, is it really out of the question that I grow my own salad, and make my own yoghurt?! I’ve done that in the past, not that hard, I’ve just lost the habit ….
6. Lastly, I have just come across this rather fabulous website - www.thezerowaster.com - with a page dedicated to Packaging-Free Shops and Zero Waste Projects UK - sadly not much to be found in Exeter …..