One of the negative aspects of living rubbish free has been the amount of time it takes to do the weekly shop as we visit the Bin Inn, the butcher, green grocer and fish monger. Although we often bike, we more regularly drive, and so in addition to time there is also the issue of exhaust emissions. We have been very conscious of this issue, and as we are wanting to make this lifestyle as sustainable as possible for ourselves, over the past month we have been trialling a couple of alternatives. The Bin Inn and the butcher are side by side about 1km from our place so that is no problem but we had then been doing a rather large circle that took us back home via the fishmonger and green grocer. About a month ago, when yarning to our neighbours, we discovered that they go to the fishmonger every Monday without fail and would be very happy to pick up some fish for us. So now they are on board with taking an ice cream container along with them (to save using a plastic bag) and we give them some cash when they return. Greenpeace recently released a document on their website called the Red Fish Guide which outlines fish species they suggest we don’t buy due to depleted stocks or unsustainable fishing practices which has been useful.
The second development was organising home delivery of vegetables which has come by way of Just Organics. Every Tuesday a box full of organic fruit and vegetables is delivered to our door containing produce that is fresh and primarily locally sourced. We were able to meet with one of the owners and it was on that basis alone that we would have been happy to proceed with getting a box. There were a couple of things that really stood out in talking with her, firstly that 80% of the produce is from Canterbury and secondly, despite delivering to seven times the number of households they started with, the total number of kilometres they drive has not increased. Financially, we feel that the amount of time we save, as well as the cost of petrol, balances out the cost of the box, and environmentally it seems to make sense to have one less car journey when these guys are pretty much driving past our door anyway.