Although I try and buy package free fruits and vegetables (whether that’s from a supermarket, greengrocers or market), I will admit it can be a little time consuming and also very heavy carrying back! Being vegan and eating mainly fresh wholefood meals, we go through a lot of vegetables. I wouldn’t be surprised if our daily fruit and veg intake is what an average meat eater eats in a few days!
I absolutely adore The Fruit Shop at Brighton’s The Open Market. Most of their produce is package free, including the biggest English cucumbers and even lettuce and pak choi- usually, things which are always wrapped in plastic! Our old flat was only ten minutes walk away, so it wasn’t a problem going every few days. However, now we live further away, I was ending up carrying a very heavy and often bursting backpack in the midst of our British heatwave. I was coming home sweaty, flustered and with a shoulder ache. Although I am very fortunate enough to be able to have such lovely fresh produce around that I can afford, I knew I needed a new alternative! We then decided to look into veg boxes.
There are so many companies around- ones that offer wonky veg that supermarkets/shops won’t take, boxes created by local farms and ones that use veg from various farms around the UK. We decided to opt for a local company. We’re still trialling different ones to see which works best for us, but there are several things we are looking out for:
- NO PLASTIC!
- When they can deliver (local companies may only deliver one set day a week)
- How much produce each box has
- The quality of the produce
- Mostly organic (if possible)
I’m still picking up the odd bit of veg from The Fruit Shop and other shops when we’re out of something but having the veg box has been really great. Cooking vegetables we wouldn’t normally purchase has made our meals more creative and getting a box of ‘surprise’ veg is really fun!
So eating so many vegetables, we always have a lot of excess veg cutting waste. 30% of household waste can actually be composted, but when it’s thrown in the normal waste bin, it actually just rots away and creates greenhouse gases. Our old house had a plastic composting bin, which we started to use for kitchen waste when we first moved but then only used for our garden waste over the last two years there. Before we moved, I knew I wanted to start composting properly again. We only have a patio garden and so after some research, I found that the only composting system that we could use was a wormery. Even looking at small ones, they still seemed very bulky, all plastic and not the price I was willing to pay. So, I decided to look at community composting. I contacted the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and enquired about signing up to a local composting site. The one nearest to me had unfortunately closed as there was not enough interest to maintain it and the second nearest was for the residences of that road only, but there was one which is about a ten-minute walk away. I was able to pick up a kitchen waste caddy from the site’s monitors and was given the key code for the lock.
We fill the caddy up really quickly, but it’s good as we can empty it in the compost bin regularly before the caddy gets too smelly and full of flies! Reducing waste and composting my raw food cuttings and being cautious of my environmental footprint are just a few more small steps that I can take to help Mother Earth!