As we become more aware of how we as humans affect our environment there is a growing interest in zero waste living, especially surrounding how we buy our food. This has created a market for the zero waste store. These specialise in dried food bought and sold in bulk, household essentials such as washing up liquid, and laundry detergents, as well as a variety of other items such as bamboo toothbrushes, and toilet paper.
The way that zero waste stores work is through the process of filling jars and paying by weight. Step one, is to weigh your container, zero waste shops allow you to either bring your own empty container or to buy ones that they sell in store. Then you fill your jar or container with product. Finally, either you or the cashier will weigh the container again and then charge you for the weight of the product you have bought. The benefit of this system is that you don’t have to pay for the packaging that you normally would in a supermarket.
Although as a student it may seem that the best way to feed yourself is to live out of the frozen food aisle in Tesco. But zero waste stores are providing a new opportunity. One of the benefits for students of zero waste shopping is bulk buying – the ability to buy masses of dried pasta and rice (a student’s best friend) helps you save money and time! Also there is the opportunity to buy organic produce; usually as students we cannot afford the luxuries of organic food that our parents give us at home, but in zero waste stores these products can be found at a far more reasonable price. Finally, students are a major player in the fight to protect our environment but it often feels like there isn’t much we can do buying zero waste, however, is a change that we can all consider.
If you’re looking for a good place to start your zero waste journey then why not our very own Root Zero on Singleton Campus in Fulton House. Root Zero stocks a variety of dried food, detergents, cleaning products, toiletries, and a selection of other products. And most excitingly is their range of sweet snacks such as chocolate, carob, and yogurt covered raisins or nuts. These are a great alternative to packaged snacks that you might typically buy.
So go ahead and enjoy!